Monday, June 20, 2011

Father Knows Best, Should Know Better

Good morning.

I haven't written here in a while, because I haven't really felt very awakened lately. Things are getting better in my outer world, but my inner world is currently in turmoil.

I got a job, after nearly six months of unemployment, and it is better than I hoped for. It's very challenging for me, but I haven't been challenged in a job for a while, so it's welcome. My feelings about money have relaxed, and I'm getting more of it now; I haven't decided yet which came first (actually, I know my feeling changed before I even got the job).

On the day of the holiday of Father's Day this year, like most years, I did nothing but sit in solitary discomfort at the whole idea of Father's Day. I don't really understand it the way most people do. I have no image of "Father" on which to base the object of my paternal affection. Even my mother's dad, the greatest man I ever knew, could never be "Father;" he was already Papa. I have a father, though it has never quite felt like it.

Today, the Monday after Father's Day, a coworker asked me if my father was still alive; I said yes. He asked if I talked to him yesterday, I said no. He then said my name to me in a tone that spoke the unspoken meaning behind his use of it: "shame on you."

I knew, from past interactions with this person, (we've worked together before) that he had good reason to feel the way he did, and even to admonish me for not staying in touch with my dad; he's had some problems in the past getting his own kids to stay in touch with him. I get it. But I found myself getting increasingly distraught as the day went on. Not angry, only, though there was some of that. Nor was it mostly guilt, or even pain, but a combination of all kinds of negative emotions, all tied to various thoughts which all shared a common theme: my history (or lack thereof) with my father.

I won't get into very much detail in this medium; this is a weblog, not a diary. Suffice it to say, I've seen the man maybe a dozen times since I was 5 years old, and not a single one of those times was at his initiative; I have always had to invite him (in the cases of my graduations) or seek him out myself. I had other "father figures," but I never had much use for them as "dads".... I guess I couldn't bear to replace him, in spite of all that. But I did allow myself to love my stepfather as a dad when he came along. Then, I lost him, too. That story is too gruesome to tell.... Let's just say, I grew up real quick in high school (and I would have no trouble seeing Thestrals).

I reconnected with my dad a few years ago, but even that has not continued. I found out from him what his reason was for staying away: He knew my mother had it under control, and he felt that he would only get in the way by being around. If he only knew what good just being in my way would have done me. I do love my dad, just to be clear. And I forgive him his mistake. At the same time, he hasn't stopped making it.

So I let another Father's Day go by unobserved. I could have tried to contact my dad, but he hasn't got a phone, and it leaves me bitter to call the only other place I know he's likely to be or to get a message, the saloon. I wanted to tell my coworker all this, and so I did tell him this last fact. As soon as I did, I felt worse. I thought it would shut him up, and it did, but it did not help. The vicious spiral had begun.

I spent all day at my new job with my mind basically disengaged. Instead of focusing on work, I was unfocused, with the many various dad-related thoughts and the accompanying negative emotions that only served to keep them coming. Like, "I'm glad I never had kids, I don't know how I could ever be a good dad myself..." and, "I do know my dad's not going to be around forever, and I really SHOULD try to get hold of him...."

And my whole day got worse. I made a couple of mistakes I shouldn't have made. I got a huge, ugly mark on my pants, which I just washed yesterday. At lunch, every traffic light was red, even though all last week they were all green. Pretty much everything I saw today reflected my repugnant mood.

Then I came home and started writing this. My hope is that, with this venting, (and the EFT tapping I might do later) I can let this pain go, too. But you know, a big part of me is not ready to let it go. It's like it informs my identity. It's MY pain, I earned it. I know that's insane, but I know that it's part of my ego, and I will be ready to let it go soon. And either way, tomorrow will be better. At this moment, though? ...I don't know. I don't feel like it.

I really should know better.