This is the house of crazy. I hate these hormones. I want to feel in control again. I find myself thrown into these fits–either crying or yelling or spouting of nastiness–that I can’t pull myself out of. It’s exhausting, and it’s bad for my relationship, and it’s bad for me.

We’re trying to get ready for this wedding and being out of town for a couple of days. It should be joyous, but I’m finding myself with social anxiety and wondering how I’ll deal with seeing my dad without a glass of wine to take the edge off.

My dad and I have been estranged for awhile. He left my mom for another woman two days after my brother was born. I was three and a half; my brother was two days old. I saw my dad pretty regularly as a child, and he always had these horrible wives. Wife #2, for whom he left my mom, attempted to take me and my infant brother away from my mom simply because she wanted more kids. When he left her, he married Wife #3 with whom he had another son. After this son was born, my brother and I hardly existed. His wife intercepted the child support checks. It was not good. Through my teenage years, we were in a bit more contact as he taught me how to drive, but as I got older, I spoke with him less. He would occasionally come see me, driving the full six hours from his place to mine. He would stay for a couple of cups of coffee and chatting–around an hour usually–and then he would drive the full six hours home.

My dad isn’t exactly sane. He was in Vietnam. His helicopter was shot down, and he was alone in the jungle having to fight off enemy soldiers on his own. He has never recovered from that. He has always been a little off.

A few years ago, Wife #3 was dying, and while she and I had never gotten along well, I went to be with my dad. I sat by her bed with my father and my brother (half brother–the kid of these two–was nowhere to be seen) for a week, waiting for her to pass. I grew closer to my dad than I had ever been. It almost started to feel like I had a dad–a feeling I had never really known.

And then my dad started to take the crazy train again. He met up with a woman from his childhood at the funeral, and he obsessively pursued her. He bought a big Harley and started dating immediately. He wouldn’t clean his house. For the next couple of years, he would call me and complain about the childhood friend not wanting him around. He joined her crazy-ass church. Any time I would see him, he would be looking over my shoulder waiting for her to show up or staring at his phone, waiting for her to call. He never asked or really cared how I was doing, and he was oh so fucking childish. So I just stopped trying. I was tired of being the grown-up in our relationship and so sick of him treating my brother and I like shit when his younger son was offering him no support and yet was still living in his home. It sucked. I finally made the decision one day that I couldn’t talk to him anymore; I couldn’t be his therapist and his relationship counselor when he needed it and then still be without a dad when I needed one. So I stopped returning his emails (for some reason he stopped calling).

It’s been a couple of years since that decision. I’ve seen him once, and he hardly acknowledged me. Now, I occasionally will email him. He’ll sometimes send me these obnoxious Christian forwards or sometimes his even more obnoxious right-wing propaganda forwards, but mostly I don’t hear from him. I know he cares about me, and I know he’s proud of me. I also know that he is more than a little intimidated by me, and that doesn’t help matters. He’s an aging man, though, and he’s alone and sad a lot of the time. Ultimately, he’s my father and I can’t help myself from wanting him to be my honest-to-goodness daddy. That’s not going to happen, which is why this remains so fucking difficult. 

Seeing him at the wedding will be interesting to say the least. I plan to tell him about the pregnancy toward the end of the festivities, and I’m sure he’ll be happy. Despite his right-wing leanings, he’s always been supportive of J and I (he grew up around two out gay couples in the fifties, believe it or not). This will be his first grandchild. J and I have decided that if he wants to be part of the child’s life, great; however, we are already prepared to avoid developing any expectations or even hope. He has always let me down, and I will not allow him to do the same to our child. Still, he’s part of me, and he’ll be part of this baby, and I think the two should know each other. Oof. It’s just a lot to process.

So this brings me back to wishing that I could have a drink, wishing I could rely on those old social lubricants to get me through an already awkward time. Perhaps I’ll have the veil of fatigue to ease the awkwards, or maybe I’ll get really lucky and have crazy hormones to guide me in all the wrong directions. Either way, it’s sure to be a grand time.

Huh. I didn’t know I was going to write about that. Thank the gods for blogtherapy. I don’t know what I’d do without it.



Filed under blogtherapy, family

15 responses to “verrückt

  1. Sounds like you’ve got a lot to think about. If I were you I would bring my ipod with some relaxation meditation on it!!! Since you can’t drink, at least you could take some nice deep breaths and remember that he’s only in your life in the ways that you want him to be.
    Sorry for the hard stuff, family is complicated!

  2. Well, damn. I’m sorry to hear about your father story. I wish you luck when you see him at the wedding. Focus on the good…your wife, your baby. I have issues with my family now and then, and it definitely helps to redirect my mind to the things that make me happy.

  3. A.

    You’ve been through a lot with your dad. It sounds like you’re being so strong about seeing him at the wedding, and especially about telling him about the baby. Good for you. Just stay true to yourself. I’ll be thinking about you!

  4. poppycat

    I have a relationship with my father that is similar to what you have with your father but I haven’t spoken to mine since 1997. I think its nice that you are willing to give him a chance but don’t forget that your new family comes first.I know you won’t but its hard sometimes.

    I hope you have a really wonderful trip and enjoy your time with your brother.

  5. Parental relationships are so hard when it feels like you’re doing all the work! I wish you the best of luck dealing with the situation at the wedding. I thought I had made peace with my relationships with my parents, but the pregnancy has brought up a lot of stuff for me similar to what you talked about–there’s this new need to protect my child from the treatment I’ve had. I hope you find a way to work it all out–and have fun at the wedding!

  6. cindyhoo2

    Wow! You are much more forgiving than I would be. I think your blend of defensiveness and welcoming is really healthy. Your dad and your child are lucky to have you in their lives. I hope you find a way to enjoy the wedding!

  7. jay

    blimey!! that sounds like hard work, to say the least. all the very best of luck. I know you’ll be great. xxxx

  8. tbean

    Sounds like a difficult weekend. Hope it goes better than you imagine it could.

  9. Wow, that is complicated. I had a similar relationship in my youth with my father. As an adult I was doing all the work and finally stopped. We have only spoken once in over 15 years now. You are very forgiving and your dad and your brother are quite lucky.
    Try to have a good time, but protect yourself as well.

  10. I’m sorry for your dad, too, but I’m mostly sorry for you and your brother. I am also verrrry sorry about the no wine rule. Good grief. Why can’t it be something else pregnant women can’t have? Like, um, beet juice.

    Life’s never easy, is it. Thinking of you.

  11. gypsygrrl

    parent stuff is so hard.
    i will be thinking of you…

  12. wow…you really are amazing….that is hard stuff to deal with girl.

    wishing you could have a drink, but happy for the reason you can’t!!!


  13. Family dynamics are amazing. They can really rock or they can rock your world. I’ve been on a similar roller coaster and have learned to roll with the punches, though at times it’s much easier said than done.

    Have a fantabulous ceremony and be as happy as is humanly possible. Congrats on the pregnancy. All the best to you and J.

  14. Wow, that’s a really difficult relationship – I can understand wanting a drink to get through.

  15. My mother is the same, minus the ability to say she ever went to war. In K’s 2 years of life, she’s seen him MAYBE 5 times. She lives 25 minutes away. She missed his birth, his first birthday and I’ll bank on the second birthday which is up and coming as well.
    I use to let it hurt me but I had to give up on ever having a mommy long ago. We have built a family outside of our blood relatives and am grateful for the Aunties and Uncles K has that are made of my closest friends. And the Grandmummy who has loved K and, despite working 3 part-time jobs as an English professor at 3 different campuses, manages to find time for K.
    I know that feeling though, of hoping one day they’ll come around. 😦

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