Saturday, November 8, 2008

more boring psycho babble

I write about my mom a lot.

I write about my kids a lot.

I'd like to write about work more, but am always worried about it.

I write about my friends, my dogs, my life, my hopes, my dreams, food, the beach, things that irritate me and my views on the Midwest as a transplanted tree hugging, granola headed Left Coaster.

I've even been known to write a time or two about my ex.

I very rarely write about my dad. And that's really too bad, because god knows there's plenty of material there. Some good, some bad, some definitely open to interpretation...but lots of it. Obviously, I'm far from alone in having complicated relationships of the parental kind, so I'm not complaining exactly. I fully realize that I'm ahead of the game in that my mom and I get along so well. I just have a lot of unresolved issues with my dad that have been popping up in unexpected ways lately.

My mom left an interesting comment recently about it being a hard time around here due to some recent "death dates" and my dad's birthday passing by. That kind of got me thinking. His birthday was September 29, and that is such a loaded date for me that I was absolutely positive my divorce papers would come in the mail that day. Or be dated that day. Or in some way have something to do with that day. The symbolism would have been pitch perfect. I could give a lot of reasons for that - most of which wouldn't make much sense. But here's a brief stab at it:

I've had three long-term complicated relationships with men in my life. My dad, my ex and Sasquatch. (I don't know why Gumby and Surfer Dude don't feel complicated to me, but they don't. This isn't a slap at SQ, honest. I just think it's more a temperament thing). In the win-loss category, it's a toss-up. I think I lost with my dad (but to be fair, so did he), at first I chalked the FX up as a loss, but have since changed my mind, and I really think I'm winning with Sasquatch, inch by inch. And why do I continue to lump them together in this odd and disjointed way? Well, because old habits and patterns die hard. Because my eldest son is the spitting image of my dad in so many ways. Because I have a chance to change some things for the better. Because I married a man just like dear old dad, and what's worse I knew it at the time and what's even worse, I made jokes about it. For years.

Because I have to get past this. Bit by bit. And I'm going to drag you all along with me.


Maggie May said...

That was extremely meaningful to me....... as similar things have been going on in OUR family.
How come that there is a repeat pattern going on that attracts us to the very people who seem to have hurt us in some way? Not only with OUR choices, but other family members choices too? How come these family characteristics come out in other relatives who can't have been influenced at all? Is it really hereditary?
Like you, my relationship with my dad, leaves much to be desired........ now he is gone, I have a degree of affection for him.
However, he seems to be around in other family members!

The Choppy Sunflower said...

Well, I'm ready to be dragged along wherever you want to take me, so go ahead then and get started.

softinthehead said...

Ditto what Irene said. Always here, hanging on your every word even if I don't always comment. I also can relate - my dad is still around and I know we should both make more of an effort!

Frances said...

do you think you are very much like your Dad in some way?
I think that can be a true source of conflict - the unadmitted similarities that we wish we didn't have. Works both ways.

CrazyCath said...

That meant a lot to me too. I've fastened my seat belt RC. I'm in for the long haul.
Relationships, especially family ones, can be so complicated.

(And I often say I married my dad. Just why is it they are only alike in the irritating habits? I look at my older dad and worry....!)

the rotten correspondent said...

maggie may - that repeat pattern is just fascinating to me. WHY do we do it? And I totally understand what you're saying. I get along with my dad a lot better now that he's gone (!), but somehow I still deal with him on a daily basis in others.

choppy sunflower - hang on, baby. this couch is going to get bumpy.

softinthehead - well, it takes two to make an effort,doesn't it? and if your dad is anything like mine, that isn't easy to get.

frances - ding ding ding!! the winner!! I'm so much like my dad it scares me. (but only in the good ways, of course!!)

crazy cath - that whole marrying our dads thing...what is that all about? seriously. it just amazes me.

aims said...

Oh hell! My dad issues are huge too!

He was nothing but a prick - to me and to the whole family. He didn't talk to me for 5 years before he died - but I still sat by his beside during his last hours and looked after him. He said something quite nasty to me before he died and I have never forgotten it.

Now - I always talk about my mother who is not dead to us. But our Dad certainly is and we never talk much about him but to say he was a prick.

Funny that huh?

Anonymous said...

I relate with what you are saying, completely. I'm looking forward to joining you on this ride, bumpy or not, I'm here.

Devon said...

Relationships can be so complicated. Especially when we have failings and then repeat the cycle over and over.

I really believe that we can break that cycle and choose again. I hope your writing will help you find the clarity to understand the dynamics, forgive any failings and then to choose again.

Tiggerlane said...

I married a man just like my father. And I had NO intentions of doing so.

If my husband knew I thought that...he would just die, b/c oddly enough, he sees NO similarities.