Sunday, July 09, 2006

Insights

Last week I spent a few days visiting my dad out in Albuquerque. I was real eagar to develop the father-daughter relationship I so desperately wanted but I came to the stark realization that I do not know this man. After ten years of being in and out of my life my relationship with him is awkward and strained at best. I resent the fact that he tries to tell me how to live my life and I resent that he acts like his absence in my life was no big deal. I tried telling him that I needed time to get to know him better before I can learn to trust him and let him be part of my life again but he completly took this the wrong way. By the time I left he was convinced that I never wanted to see him again and went into full self-pitty mode. I really don't know what to do at this point. I tried calling him to explain my situation with him even further but I think he has completely shut down. So now I kind of avoid his phone calls. Which leaves me really confused right now because on one hand I do want to have a relationship with him but on the other hand I want it to be on my terms. Am I wrong for being this way?

10 comments:

LA said...

This is one of those things you can't define by wrong versus right. You're a person with needs trying to negotiate those needs with your dad who has needs of his own. Which when you get right down to it, the process of doing just that is exactly what a relationship is. The keyword is process.

And even though he's your dad, you guys don't know each other that well. You're an adult, but he probably still sees you more as a child since he missed much of those years of your life. So it's going to take patience from both of you. If you keep trying, it's a relationship. I think it's good that he's calling you because it means he's not giving up.

Keep your expectations realistic. Remind him that you're doing the best you can and that you know he's doing the best he can. That way, even if things aren't going exactly the way you want it or the way he wants it, at least you both can appreciate that you're trying.

Who said life was easy? Not me!

PixieGaf said...

That is so true LA. I think what bothers me the most is that my family is so dysfunctional on both sides that I just really wanted a 'normal' functioning relationship with at least one of my parents and I know realize that it is going to take some work on my part to achieve that.

prettykitty said...

pix, your expectations are not out of the norm. you definitely deserve to have a relationship on your terms, especially after years of having ones based on everyone else's. unfortunately, when people reach a certain age they're less likely to change. inevitably, you find yourself moving over to acceptance. you just haven't reached that place yet. in the meantime, you have to go through certain stages to get there.

M-M-M-Mishy said...

I think its totally reasonable for you to tell your dad that you need time. It can be hard when people (especially parents) still see you as a child when you've grown up.

joy said...

I had a ver similar experince of having a father that was in and out. Although my parents never divorced he left my mother for another woman when I was four, but would come home to us and tell us Lies about where he was. Very proud and arrogant with extemley violent tendencies. Last time I saw him he tried to set my and my mother on fire. He backed us in to a corner of our house and doused us with gasoline and was holding a lighter to our faces threating to use it. That's all I remember I must have passed out. My mom said he just took off after scaring us. I doubt this cheery tail helps I guess I'm just venting.

PixieGaf said...

Damn Joy thats some crazy shit!
Its ok to vent Joy sometimes I wonder if there really are any 'normal' families out there. Which I am sure there is but I have never met any.

joy said...

It's sad when you can't connect with a famil member, because of alot of the trauma my brothers and sisters incurred it's really hard for us to bond. Soemtimes when you have bad memories about something you want to seperate yourself from the people and the places that remind you of the.

I try every couple of years to bond with my family, but it always comes out in utter failure. Because they can't move-on. Sometimes you have to look for your family.

GetFlix said...

I would only add, and this is in addition to the great advice already offered, is consider his POV. If he is calling you, he cares. He knows he messed-up when you were younger. When he starts to go into overdrive, it's his natural instinct as a dad. He may be trying to make-up for lost time.

If you want him to be your dad, let him be your dad.

Ffleur said...

Oh Pix, I hope it works out. At least both of you are trying. And sometimes just the act of trying is theraputic and helps the relationship. Baby steps will get you there, don't expect big changes but in a few years you will look back and see your relationship HAS changed.

prunella jones said...

I wish I had some advice to give but I rarely talk to my Dad. He and I are such different people and I just don't like him so I've given up.