Friday, January 8, 2010

Catching Up

Like writing in a journal, it's hard to pick up where you left off. So much has happened over the last few months.

In August, I divorced my father. I turned it ALL over to God, because I was done. This email I received was the last communication before I decided I didn't need those brick marks on my forehead from running into the same wall over and over and over again:

I can’t believe I’ve let this go this far. Just when I think there’s some hope for us you show me that the road is much longer than I could imagine.

This year has been horrifying. I’ve never been more at war spiritually than in these last eight months. Your stepmom has been fighting for her life and I’ve been fighting for my sanity. I’m proof that God never gives us more than we can handle, but believe me He better have His hand on you while you’re going through it. But this letter isn’t about me. It’s about you.

I have never really looked at your selfishness in quite this bright of a light before. I’ve prayed to God plenty about you and He’s told me what I know, and that’s that I love you with all my heart. No matter how you act. But I don’t have to like how you act. And over these last months I’ve really gotten to dislike how you act very much. I can’t believe you’ve sunken to the depths of self centeredness as far as you’ve gone. I can take a lot of what you dish out in my direction, maybe because I’m your father, but this time you really screwed up. My wife was laying there in the hospital struggling to live and not one card, not one call, no flowers, no concern. And I know where you’re going with this right now that I should have called you and kept you informed. I don’t have to call. You do.

This world does not revolve around you as you think it does. You have this self centered sense of entitlement about you that really fowls the air. Today it is really showing up strong. I’m emailing this to your office because I don’t think you’ll read it if I send it to your home email. I don’t want you to get fired for using company email for personal use, and you will be fired because even that boss you have won’t tolerate an employee that has a sense of entitlement like you have for long. And they will probably use your personal usage of company email as the excuse without having to confront you with the truth as I am now.

So go ahead and bond with your support group and cry about this letter to them. They’ll all feel sorry for how your father has hurt you again, and sit around and agree how bad he is, again. And nod in subtle agreement.

I pray that you discover the truth abut yourself, and soon. I pray God will show you that you can be loved without being liked. That love isn’t a ticket to act any way you see fit.

Yours in Christ,

As vitriolic as this email was, it was also freeing. It let me know that I could go on with my life, be free of the guilt that my relationship with my father was a failure.

But really? How does somebody rip someone a new a$$hole and then sign the letter "Yours in Christ"? I don't get it.

So, of course, when we found out she was sick, we sent a card to the hospital and again when she got transferred out of the hospital. My dad and I didn't talk again for another couple of months.

My stepmom passed away Nov. 16. My dad left me a voicemail. Obviously sad, but not tragic. Handsome and I made plans to go to Montana for the memorial service. I was a bundle of nerves but very glad I went. Since then, I feel more free and expressive with my dad and our relationship. I loved my stepmom, but she was always intimidating somehow. I feel like I'm on level ground with my dad now. I text him on his phone (he hasn't learned to text back). He's grieving, and that lets me see his human side. I am a lot like him, I've learned. We both make assumptions that usually end up completely untrue. Shame.

I've grown a lot in the last couple months. I was struck down, afraid, sad, liberated and now, just trying to figure out this new relationship. I feel confident again. Whatever happens, I'm glad things have changed. Life is short, we must make amends while there are still people to whom the amends should be made.

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