Sunday, June 21, 2015

Shooting Hoops & Grilling Steak

Dear dad,

     Today is fathers day. I'm sure you know this, and I'm sure today you are surrounded by family and friends who are offering you their condolences, and support. I'm sure Other child has called you or sent you a card, maybe both. It's up to them to be the good child now, to be that image of the ever loving little kid. I'm sure today will be another marker of your victimization because of the "horrendous" accusations I have made against you. The family will no doubt be rallying around, closing ranks, and trying to self protect from these perceived "attacks". It's as if I have become alien, a foreign invader and any sense of my being related to them vanishes. Any thought or sense of connection and love disappears. The thing that would weigh against the programming that tells them to shut me out and disbelieve what I say disappears. You've shut me out too. When I came to you wanting to discuss hurtful and harmful behaviors you shut me out and dismissed me. And when worse things came to light there was no response then either. I imagine you decided to not dignify such "horrendous" accusations with a response.

    I watched Father of the Bride today, and the scene where George and Annie shoot hoops makes me cry. I used to shoot hoops with you, I was totally a daddies little girl. I used to have a special bond with you, and things that we would do that were just our things. I think I had more of a bond with you than my sibling did (other child) and certainly more than I did with my Mother. While you might be wallowing in self pity today- and shutting out the versions of yourself that are unsavory- I'm grieving  the loss of love, of being daddies little girl. I'm grieving that I didn't get to shoot hoops the night before my wedding with you. I'm grieving because you don't love me in the way I thought you did, or the ways I hoped you would. I'm grieving because instead of anyone else we know seeing me as the bubbling, laughing daddies girl, I'm seen as not having any joy, not having any sense of soul or heart. Instead of being seen as what I am- a woman with a little girl inside of her that is grieving the loss of her dad shooting hoops with her, being a friend- I am vilified.

     Our family would like to disenfranchise me from being a victim in any way, but not you. I'm not seen as deserving to be grieved or angry, but you are. I know why they do it, but it doesn't make it any less wrong. I am not undeserving of being seen as I really am, of being given the benefit of the doubt. Of the two of us my quote crime is superfluous- I am guilty of telling the truth and bringing forth choices you made during my childhood.  I'm guilty of accusing you of things- things that are actually true. How does being the accuser stack up against being the person who actually committed the crimes?  And in a situation were I to accuse you of something that was not true- what would you have you lost? What could the family really say in that regards- that would ever make accusation worse than the crime? But yet I know they think that the possibility (in their minds) of my bringing forth false accusations  is worse than the the possibility that they are true. Isn't that strange, why would they think that way? Perhaps it's because they know, or are afraid that what I am accusing you of is actually true.

     I wouldn't expect anything less from our family. If they couldn't handle my saying you could be controlling and have other issues that were hurtful, then how could they possibly handle me saying truths that are even harder to swallow? They know your controlling and can be hurtful, you frequently direct that behavior at them. But that truth hurts, because there are other truths connected to it that have to do with their relationships with each other and the nature of the family structure, and its dirty laundry. They don't want to face any of those things, they want things to be okay, to pretend everything will work out, that at the core you are a good person. The only way to keep whatever fairy tale dream they want to keep living is to keep out anything that says it might not be true- me. Yet it doesn't have to do with me as a person, it has to do with I became a mirror that they saw themselves reflected in and that was terrifying. Because if I am right and telling the truth and they accept your actions as abusive and that your should be responsible for your choices, then they have to accept that my Grandparents made choices that were hurtful. They have to face their own upbringing and for some how they have raised their own children. They have to admit to any hurt and pain they have stuffed. Perhaps the would face the dissolution of our family as they have known it if they speak out and confront each other about the hurt in their relationships. I've heard the story from one of your siblings that they observed you getting beat with a broom when you were younger- I imagine that is just the tip of the iceberg. It's so scary that the family would rather just fold in on itself and shut me out- even if they know I'm right. I think that even on a subconscious level they do think or know I'm right.

     Today is such a mix of emotions. It's too bad that you couldn't be the parent to stand up and care for me in my life.  It's sad that you would partake in just as many betrayals of parent child bond, as my Mother. I am sadly pretty sure your my only parent  who could muster up any feelings of caring for me at all. I'm sad because I was daddies little girl, and probably the only one you'll ever have. I was also probably the only kid you will have. I think it's sad that while my mother may have not liked me because I was your kid- I think you cared for me more during the times you did because I was your kid. I think you've always probably known that I was your only kid- I think that's why you tried to make things better for me when my Mother made them difficult. I think that's why you never wanted to do the same things you did for me for my sibling (Other Child). The fact that those things which were important, including being daddies little girl came at the cost of your violating and betraying our relationship and myself is heartbreaking. It's really hard to sift out the good things in the torrential damage you have done. And trying to hold on to them is even harder because it feels like excusing or dismissing your actions. It feels like saying you ever did anything good makes anything bad disappear. I know I feel that way because of how often that is used to justify parents who abuse their children, and how often it is used by our family in a similar fashion.

      I want to hang onto that image of you and I shooting hoops, and feel warm and fuzzy when I see that scene in Father of the Bride. But it's really painful. Your actions feel like they cancel out any truths; my being daddies little girl, of being loved, of doing things that we could bond over- especially shooting hoops.  I feel nostalgia and grief over something that seemed to exist, but might not have and now never will. In all your wallowing and self pity today  I doubt you will get that deep into your feelings, it's not your style. And I doubt the family will think about me in such a thoughtful way, or be grieved for me that things are the way they are. They can't spare room to open themselves up in that way.  But how much do you all really care for each other that you would keep up a facade, that you would rather be so insular and deep in your own shit than tell the truth? How is their protecting you or each other in this way loving? I don't think its love- I think it's survival mode and even narcissistic.
     So you might think you are getting love today on fathers day, but your not. Real love is more like kings daughter that told him meat needs salt, that in life if you love someone you need the truth. He rejected her in favor of her sisters over the top flattery, but eventually realized that she was the only one that actually cared. And in a really sad ironic way; my calling you on your actions and telling the truth will always be a far more loving action than all of our family gathering around you and spinning false narratives. Even if I am not sure if I could ever have you in my life again, or if I could ever sort out all my feelings- telling the truth, confronting you, and applying boundaries is still more loving an action than protecting or coddling you. Even if part of my motivation comes from the fact that you have caused devastating hurt in my life. That's still better than the motivation of self involved narcissists. Even my mother seemed to want to protect you from consequences, perhaps to save her own self in some way. But meat needs salt; Happy Fathers day I suggest you try grilling a steak without it. It's about as limp and rubbery as trying to shoot hoops with a deflated basketball.                                      

No comments:

Post a Comment