As my grandson might say… I’m all up inside my head today.
Yesterday we celebrated the first birthday of my youngest grandson. It was truly a day for celebration and we did it well, if I must say so myself. Scott and Crystal throw wonderful parties and this was no exception.
So why am I all up inside my head?
Let me ‘splain…
My father (he’s 89 years old) went to visit a urologist last week for problems that he’s been having and they found a tumor in his bladder. Pretty frightening – especially when his father died of cancer – his sister died of cancer – and his brother has been battling cancer for several years. His brother’s cancer began with a tumor in his bladder and when they performed a CT scan, they found that the cancer was also in his kidney and so they removed the kidney when they performed the surgery to remove/biopsy the tumor in his bladder..
My father is my only parent. My mother died in 1985 (I was in my 30’s) from complications following a stroke. (That’s another story)
So… I know my dad is worried – frightened. And I am frightened for him. I am almost 65 years old – with lupus – and I am not able to care for him if he needs care. He’s in a pretty frightening situation.
We have never had a close relationship. I think it’s better now that it’s ever been, but it’s not (and most likely won’t be) what he wants it to be. He would like me to be all mushy-gushy “oh. my dad… my dad” about him but I don’t see that happening..
I would describe my father as manipulative, passive aggressive, emotionally abusive, emotionally dishonest, self-deceiving – and oh! Did I mention that he’s just plain mean and that he seems to enjoy causing trouble (what I call a pot-stirrer) and that he takes responsibility for nothing? Nothing is ever his fault.
Well, he rode back to my house yesterday after the party (about a 35 minute drive) and for some reason he chose yesterday to tell me how sorry he was that we didn’t have a better relationship and that he knew that he screamed a lot (which was insignificant in the big picture) when I was a kid… BUT… that there was a reason (isn’t there always???) for his behavior.
At that point he proceeded to vilify my mother and present a long list of her sins (as they say… both real and imagined). My mother and I were not close either, so his rantings and voluminous accusations (oh sorry… accusations leave room for doubt. These were facts Just ask him!) certainly did not break my heart (Although I do think it was meant to hurt me as much as acquit him – that’s kind of his M.O.).
Maybe it’s a judgement thing. I don’t want to judge her. Her life was loveless. She was a truly amazing woman who was criminally under-appreciated. No one should have to live like she lived (Oh wait! I lived there, too, didn’t I?). He, of course, never mentioned his sins – his affairs.
He claimed that he told me all of those things to improve our relationship (um… really??? I think I must have missed that episode of Dr. Phil.) but that he was afraid the he just made it worse. And then… he cried.
I feel so badly for him. The tears could have been more manipulation but I don’t think so. I think the poor man is just scared to death. (and of death)
He thinks I haven’t forgiven him. He’s wrong. If I hadn’t forgiven him, he would not be part of my life – in any way. The man is toxic, and I’ve been advised (by more than one person) to eliminate him from my life. Somehow, for me, that doesn’t seem right. Justifiable? Sure! But right? Nope.
I explained it to someone this way…
If my father had beaten me with a stick when I was growing up (which he didn’t. He was not a “hitter”) – and I had grown up and forgiven him. I would still be out of my mind if I allowed myself to be in a position where he could do that to me again. It wouldn’t mean that I hadn’t forgiven him.
I have forgiven him. I would like for his life to be happier. I would like for him to enjoy my family – his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He’s welcome in our lives. With conditions? You bet your ass! As long as he’s not abusive – as long as he’s respectful – as long as he doesn’t try to pit people against each other.
Was he any of those things yesterday? (the good ones, that is) No, I think he was again manipulative, mean, abusive. But I also think he’s extremely frightened, so I’ll give him a little latitude, but not a lot. What was not okay… is still not okay.
This week is his CT scan – surgery scheduled for the 26th of this month. After the CT scan, I think we’ll know more and we’ll go from there.
One thing that never changes… God is good and He never leaves us – any of us.