Been meaning to post this nearly 2 weeks ago, but you know life and adulting and shit ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’m not gonna lie. In the world of family drama and the midst of familial bullshit, I have always been a spectator or a meditator. Never have I been in the center for reasons beyond hating attention. But as I found myself thrust into such a situation that birthed itself last week, I leave my homeland of sunshine and ridiculous amounts of traffic stronger. There was a slight amount of apprehension during the crescendo for tonight, but the denouement was slightly surprising. I don’t know what I expected honestly. I did discover that my support system came through in my time of need in such a fashion that still has me reeling from the shower of humility I bathed in for five days. It’s so easy to take love for granted, especially if you feel like you don’t have any problems. I got some good eggs in my basket people. Some quality, organic, wholesome, cruelty-free type folks…let me tell you. And in a world where I largely try to Lone Wolf™ the shit out of everything, I discovered that sometimes you gotta revert to the cub.
This almost-week was probably the best and most necessary voyage of 2017. I was challenged to do better internally and externally. Sure, I could have sat on that plane ticket money. I most definitely could have done that; but based on what came out of this trek, I would have done it all over again in a heartbeat. To make that final decision to move on past my own father; to close that chapter in a respectful way (to my heart and mind in any case) forced me to really decide. Truth be told, I’ve also been on the fence about how I should deal with him. When things were relatively good, he wasn’t so bad. When his ego reared its ugly head, he was a piece of shit. There was hardly a middle ground and I often went to bed tormented by my own ambivalence. How was it possible to love somebody yet not want to be within five feet of them for longer than 45 seconds? Could I truly not like somebody that was half the reason for my existence and did everything in his power to make sure I wanted for nothing? Was I being ungrateful and entitled? Was there validity to these labels that showed themselves between his minced words?
Maybe. But his shitty opinion of me, as I discovered this week, was only held by him and him alone. And in turn, after re-reading the angry 30 or so text messages I received prior, was really just a projection. It was a projection that usually held power because I would stick my head in the sand on making a decision with what to do with my relationship with this man. My indecision emboldened his actions at the end of the day. I knew in my heart of hearts that he’d never be mature enough to apologize. His substitute for humility and seeking forgiveness was materialism married to grandiosity. And when I took control and showed him that I’m getting to that point of financial independence, he freaked. Hanging up on an elder is fairly out of character for me, but respect doesn’t have an age requirement. Respect is a two-way street. Respect is easily lost and harder to gain. After being imbued with some serious wisdom from a confidant of mine in regards to such a situation, I started to understand what it means to be not only a “man” in a classical sense, but what it also means take away the semblance of control from someone who constantly wants to prove his “manliness” unprovoked.
That’s the heart of this whole fiasco. He is frustrated that his own life is out of control in no small way and when a situation he expected to be in control of also slaps his ego, rabidity is the last resort. The writing was on the wall when I hung up the phone. It was then he understood that an end of an era was nigh. We’re put on this Earth to live how we feel we should live intrinsically. I’m not vessel for vicarious living. He’s lived his life, made his decisions, and must live with those consequences. If sacrificing the iota of respect I had for him is required for such freedom, then so be it. I now know where he stands in a very intimate way. I am now committed to my decision to designate barriers and dissolve communication outside of something catastrophic.
I knew this was the likely scenario and I did have some reservations about such isolation, but after apologizing to him in person about hanging up on him and viewing the incredulity of the whole situation, I knew I was making the right choice. It’s not about me. It was never about me. And as much as I cracked a smile at his comment about me “being intoxicated with ungratefulness and narcissism,” that couldn’t have been a bigger piece of projection. He’s literally done that with his own parents and continues to practice it with everyone he interacts with. It would require a lot more thousand-word posts, but suffice to say, ego and image are core to his value system. Two things I could live without.
I intended for this post to be more a recap of my visit, but my subconscious has taken the reigns. The soul must speak apparently. It’s pretty sad that he can’t put his pettiness aside long enough to see the future consequences of his actions. And I’m not sitting here just shitting on him like I’m 100% innocent. I could have handled it differently. I didn’t have to hang up on him, ignore his texts, and make my last visit less than five minutes. But I needed to. And that’s the difference. Everything transpired in the way it did because if it went predictably, he would not have understood that I was making and expressing my choice to not entertain bullshit. To command self-respect and communicate that respect is a two-way street. And lastly, to let him know that I’m not to be controlled in any fashion. I’m going to do what I want, how I want, when I want while accepting the consequences the follow that path.
It’s been a long time coming, I hung out in the storm before this calm and it’s interesting to say the least. I haven’t heard from him since and I really don’t expect to. I’ve done my due diligence, said my peace, and have the backing of everyone in my family. They’ve all said I’ve done a brave thing and they’re at a loss for why he won’t get over himself, which is fine. Our father-son relationship was never one I treasured in a profound way, but I did wish it was actually something beyond a façade. I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me in this new Mid-Western land and I simply don’t have the mental real estate to worry about all that. I’m done trying to understand and have come to just accept.