…It may be even more difficult to read.
Some people may think this is a cry for attention. It’s not. I don’t force people to read what I write, so if you continue with this post, great. If not, no harm no foul. I’m just all jumbled up inside, so I’m not even sure if there’s a narrative thread in all of this.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen that my father recently died. Overall, it shouldn’t have been THAT much of a shocker to me, seeing as he’s had health issues for many years, but it still tossed me for a bit of a loop.
Dad and I weren’t close for the vast majority of my life. There are many reasons for that, but I won’t get into specifics. Let’s just say that my childhood wasn’t exactly terrific.
That said, in the past six or seven years, Dad and I were trying to work on our relationship; trying to get it to a good place. There were many bumps along the way, but I felt as if the last few years really held promise.
One of the main sticking points was dad’s sobriety. I’ve been honest and (somewhat) open about my own sobriety. This April marks seven years sober for me. Dad had tried and failed at staying sober several times. It’s not easy. No one who says it’s easy has ever done it. But dad was still trying, and I had finally thought he’d broken his record. I was wrong.
See, sometimes we hope for something so badly that when we’re presented with evidence to the contrary, we STILL don’t believe it. Despite telling me he was still sober, dad had started drinking again about a year ago. I’d call and hear slurred speech, but he’d tell me his doctors switched his medication again and that he was having trouble sleeping. I believed what I wanted to believe because, in my mind, I was so proud of him, and I wanted nothing to tarnish that. But he WAS drinking, and he WAS lying to me about it. He was lying to me about a whole host of things, but maybe that’s for another post.
The point is that I’m angry. I’m angry that he lied to me. I’m angry that he’s dead. I’m angry for being angry at a dead man who can no more apologize than make things right. I’m angry that I can’t concentrate on doing things for my career because I have to worry about things like probate and surety bonds. I’m angry because I have a script hanging over my head that I can’t wrap my head around. I blame him for this, and, Hell, I’m just ANGRY!
I know that anger is one of the stages of grief, but this is different. I’m not angry he’s gone, I’m angry he’s not alive for me to yell at. Like I said, I’m all jumbled inside.
Should I just let the issue of him lying to me go and forgive him? Should I let HIM go? Should I hold on to that anger? What should I do? And that’s what I’m having the biggest problem with. I don’t know what to do.
At any given moment, I get upset and think, “My father is dead,” but then I remember, “But he lied to me! I hate him!” This roller coaster I’m on is exhausting, and every feeling I feel feels wrong. Should I just go on with my life? Should I cry?
A wonderful writer, friend, and colleague emailed me yesterday and said that I shouldn’t force myself to grieve, but isn’t that what’s expected of me? If I’m not crying or distraught at any moment, am I being a bad daughter? Should I feel guilty if I laugh at a joke?
People may say I’m being dramatic, and that’s fine. I’m dealing with this the only way I can think to. I know I don’t live in a war zone. I know that I’m not being persecuted for my religion or race. I know there are other incredibly important things going on in this world. The world didn’t revolve around my father, and it doesn’t revolve around me, either. I know this. I’m just one woman trying to deal with the loss of her father and the lies that he told her. I’m just trying to try. I’ll likely just bury myself in work, like I usually do, or take on other people’s problems to avoid focusing on my own. Maybe one day I’ll have the time to process this all.
Here’s a PSA, though: If you’re married, make a will. If you have children, DEFINITELY make a will. Your heirs’ lives will be so much better because of it. It’s morbid, yes, but very easy to do and will save your heirs loads of time, money, and aggravation. You can try Legal Zoom.
And lastly, I want to thank all the friends and colleagues who have reached out to me with emails, cards, and voicemails. Your kindness and understanding is truly appreciated.
Be good, all.