It’s been almost a year since I’ve had any contact with my father.

It’s a long story, but the short version is that when my mother died my father didn’t handle it or his children well.

I suspect this stand-off has much more to do with my current writing funk than I’m willing to admit.

One of the lines I wrote to him was, We’re are all adults now, we all know why you rushed to get remarried.

I must have re-read that line fifty times. It wasn’t the most shocking thing I said, or the most difficult but it caught my attention and wouldn’t let go. Never in my life did I foresee a day I, as an adult woman, would feel the need take my father to task. In fact, I don’t remember ever thinking about being an adult much at all.

I imagine this he pictured something like this as he read.

I think that because when my sixteen year old son snaps at me, I see this…

None of this changes the fact that what I said, truly, desperately needed to be said. Nor does it mean I could have said it any differently. It’s hard when your parent disappoints you. It’s heartbreaking when you must explain it to them.

Like all uncomfortable lessons, it has ingrained in me the importance of listening, of paying attention, of the necessity that is communication.

I’ll learn from my dad’s mistakes so that someday I’ll have the pleasure of picking up a little boy who looks something like my own, and enjoy the company of my adult son.  I’m not perfect, but I take seriously his trust. His teenage years are giving us ample opportunities to practice disagreeing, being mad, and resolving our problems almost like adults.

I wish I had it in me to be more appreciative of this particular phase of my education.

0 thoughts on “Adult-ing”

  1. You did what felt you needed to petal, it’s been brewing a long time. A septic wound needed treatment.
    Hang in there with the kids, teens are painful, but they do grow up…eventually! The rewards are so great, it’s worth the gritting of teeth and all the bruising your heart can stand.

    1. Yes, I should thank my dad for showing me what not to do so consistently and well. Self care can be a serious pain in the a** sometimes.
      I’m taking your word on those rewards…..

      1. Well I’m on holiday at the mo, the Greek Islands are gorgeous. My wee boy took us to the airport, gave me a lecture on keeping safe, gave my big sister ( who’s with me) a list of things I’m not allowed to do. Yep, they grow up fast.

          1. ‘Tis as hot as old Nick’s undies dear! & loving laying about in the sun. Not loving sparse Internet connection. But before I left I got to see first 2 episodes of Berlin Station! Quite chuffed about that…

  2. I see my kids as babies when they tell me off too. I wonder whether it’s an in built mechanism that allows them to reach adulthood without us killing them.

    I’ve had a similar situation with my father too. How long are you to enable bad behaviour because ‘that’s just dad though.’

  3. It’s so hard when our heros become so un-heroic. You did what needed to be done, don’t beat yourself up for it.

    And yeah, what Katy said about teens. This too shall pass.

    1. It makes me withhold my approval from a lot of men. Getting tired of being disappointed.
      Going to go ground my boy for things he hasn’t done yet to make myself feel better…lol…not really but it’s tempting!

  4. We had a moment yesterday that was just like the one between Kenneth and Rose in the play that Richard Armitage is currently in — I had just gotten a job turn-down (after a lengthy interview) and dad got onto the topic of how much money he is now collecting in various investments and social security and so on and I said, “you know, it’s not really very nice to tell me all this after I’ve been discussing my current circumstances” and he said “what” and I said, “it’s just not polite to tell someone who is unemployed how great things are going for you” and he said, “but you’re my kid” and I said, “I am, and I am glad that things are going so well for you right now but this just isn’t something I can listen to at the moment.”

    G-d, I was proud of myself.

    1. Nicely done! I wouldn’t have been able to think so fast on my feet.

      I just struggle with the oblivion they seem to live in when it comes to my very human feelings. How does it not even register?
      In truth, I blame mom. I blame her constant interpreting of his words to us in order to make him seem more connected.

      1. Yeah. That’s exactly right. I recently heard a different version of my mother’s last hours (from her cousin) and supposedly one of the last things she said was “who will take care of him?” and that could be the slogan for a lot of his current issues. It’s really made me look a lot differently at the whole “strong gender roles” marriage than I used to. No, they never fought about the laundry, but he’s had to learn to do his at the age of 75. I always used to think she was the press secretary for their marriage but I see it goes so much further than that.

  5. None of this changes the fact that what I said, truly, desperately needed to be said. Nor does it mean I could have said it any differently. It’s hard when your parent disappoints you. It’s heartbreaking when you must explain it to them.

    The above portion of your post really grabbed my attention. I’m a firm believer in being authentic but I’m struggling with things I want to say to my mother but feel like it will start a huge fight if I did. My dad is already passed and she I and I have had a rocky relationship for years. She’s hurt me in many ways but I feel torn between wanting her to know the real me and not wanting to hurt her by telling her how I feel.

    I commend you for having the courage to speak your mind to your dad despite the consequences. You’ve given me much to ponder…

    Hope you’ve been well.
    Have a great week. ☺ 🌷

    1. I completely understand. It wasn’t until my mom was close to the end of her life that she came to understand how to love her adult children. Somehow she realized that we were people with feelings and challenges and that everything we did was not some attempt to hurt her. Though she often had no memory of the situations me or my siblings brought up, she would listen and sometimes laugh with us, sometimes cringe or cry but she finally gave us the respect and attention we had needed from her for so long. She mended relationships that had suffered for many years and indeed, the one I thought was fractured beyond repair, was a sister in law who was devastated by mom’s death and who shared many wonderful memories with us when we were all together the summer after the funeral.
      My dad is a whole different story.
      In the end, it was my sanity or continued association with my dad. There was no middle ground. We live a thousand miles away which makes it much simpler. I don’t believe that my dad wants to know me. He wants that little girl who will unthinkingly do whatever he says. I often think about what his second wife mentioned to me in an email….You’re dad often wonders what has happened to you, he says you used to be such a good girl……
      It’s why that poem hit me so hard today, I was that faithful little girl and she was such a damaged little thing. It’s taken me almost fifty years to recover, to take my humanity back for myself. It’s a daily exercise in self care. It’s that day when you realize that hurting yourself to make everyone else happy, just isn’t working, never did.
      Hugs for you.
      It’s an impossible place to navigate in peace.
      Sending all the hope and best thoughts I have for you!

      1. Yep, your dad sound much like my mom. I get the feeling she really doesn’t want to know me. She prefers to bury things and live on a superficial surface while I need a crave depth. I often search for a middle ground but sometimes there is none.

        Thanks for chatting. Be blessed. Here’s to self preservation! 🍻

  6. Reblogged this on Inner Ramblings Boulevard: and commented:
    Hello lovely people!

    As my day comes to a close and my eyes begin to dim, I find myself engulfed in deep reflection. My life has had may ups and downs and as I struggle to find my happy place amid all the chaos, I find myself often wishing I had a better/closer relationship with my parents.

    My dad has already passed on, but mom is still around. I struggle with the notion that she really doesn’t understand me and perhaps doesn’t care to. And in turn, as much as I try to be authentic in my general life, I can’t be that way with her. How frustrating!

    As I spent time catching up on my reading today, I stumbled on this piece by one of our loyal followers, Carly Quinn. Her words resonated with me and gave me much food for thought. Delve into her mind for a little while as she relates her story and her solution. Be sure to show her your love. Enjoy!🌷

    October 10 2016 (Showcase Reblog)

      1. You’re welcome…
        Just showing a bit appreciation.
        It’s something I started doing recently to say thanks to our loyal followers. Without all of you there would be no Inner Ramblings Boulevard. Hugs 🌷

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