- 6 years ago
- Wedding: January 1992
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, I have mentioned my father and our rocky relationship. There have been a litany of circumstances in my life that have hurt beyond words, for which my father has never apologized.
At the very top of my list includes a few circumstances in particular, but by no means covers the gamut.
Background: My parents were 18 and 15 when they got married and had my sister. I followed 14 months later. My father cheated on my mother on copious occasions, but I remember things coming to a head when I was about 5. He got another woman pregnant, and left my mother for the mistress. He never saw my sister and me consistently, and when he did, he would usually just show up in the middle of the night to scoop us from our beds and take us to his place (He worked 3rd shift, and he would get off in the wee hours of the morning). He started listening to Harold Camping on Family Radio in the early 90’s, and convinced my sister and I the world was going to end (sound familiar?). She and I have been traumatized by that experience, and have since eschewed religion.
He then moved out of the state, and we didn’t hear from him for 4 or 5 years. When my sister and I were teenagers, he brought my biological grandmother (he is adopted, and found his natural parents) to stalk my sister and I, and appeared on the playground one day, wanting to take us with him “for a visit.” Just appeared out of the blue, no phone call, no warning, nothing. My mother was furious, but allowed a visitation that week. He left, our relationship was marginal again.
Fast forward to adulthood. Remember how I said that he and my mother were teenagers when they got married? Because they were so young, my g-parents were very instrumental in raising us. They had the emotional, financial means as well as the time needed to give us a good childhood, whereas my parents were not equipped at all for parenting. Especially him. But they filled in the gap, and I couldn’t ask for better grandparents. When they began aging, and my grandfather needed to be institutionalized with alzheimer’s disease, my father moved them to his state 1500 miles away from me. My grandmother soon followed, not wanting to be without my grandfather. My father neglected them, and eventually called my sister saying “put them in a home up there with you guys. I’m tired of being their caregiver and being called to buy them supplies every week. You do it.” So my sister and I found a nice place that was on their standard of living when they were living in their own house. The facility was beautiful, and they were well cared for. My father as power of attorney decided that he “wanted to have some extra money when they go” and wanted to put them into a cheaper institution. Because he felt we would get in his way because of his selfishness, he did not tell us that he was packing them up and taking them 1500 miles away again. He gave no notice until he was there the day of. He called on a Saturday and said “you have 20 minutes to say goodbye to your grandparents. I suggest you get over here so you can.” Yeah. No fanfare, no “visiting with Daddy” first in a functional “I genuinely enjoy your company” kind of way. He just came in the middle of the night so to speak, and stole away my sweet grandparents. He did not call us for a year and a half after that, and only called to say my grandfather was dead.
After the funeral, I would check in periodically because it was important for me to know how my grandmother was, and WHERE she was, since he was hiding them for all that time. I felt compelled to be nice to him. Remember also how I said in the 90s, he was convinced the world would end? He fell for the same thing in May, and was CONVINCED we were all going to die then. So the world didn’t end. He did call me the day it was supposed to end, and I begged him to give me my grandmother’s phone number. He was very reluctant to do so, until I told him that if we were all going to die anyway, what did it matter if I had the number or not? He gave it to me. When I got married over the summer, I did invite my father to my wedding. I wanted to maintain peace for my precious grandmother. No RSVP. No phone call. No card acknowledging his daughter’s marriage. No daddy daughter dance, no one to walk me down the aisle. Nothing.
During my honeymoon, I did go to his homestate after my main trip to Canada was over with, just so I could see my grandmother and show her my new husband. I took my wedding dress, and I took pictures with her. I did not contact my father, because he did not give me the courtesy of wishing me well for the wedding.
Now it is Christmas. My younger sister, the affair child that resulted in my father’s cheating, sent me a note to ask if dad called me, because apparently he is in my home state. He offered no phone call to warn me, no advanced notice, no nothing. I am so glad my sister gave me warning, because I am dealing with a difficult time losing my baby this week. I don’t know how to handle myself. My father did call this evening to say “Merry Christmas” and said I could call him back if I wanted, but made no mention on the voicemail to say he was in town and wanted to see me. He is sticking his toe in the water, I know.
I guess I’m wondering if I should even make the effort to see him? I dislike that he operates on his terms, and his terms only. I dislike that he has such little consideration for me and my sister that he never calls to make sure we clear time in our schedules to accomodate him. I dislike that he minimizes thiings that are important to us, yet expects that we drop everything for him. How should I communicate with him? Everythign I have tried has resulted in him getting defensive like a little baby, and accusing me of attacking him. He doesn’t see that he’s disrespectful, disappointing, and emotionally draining. Should I even return his phone call?
If you were me, how would you handle the situation? I swear, I can’t even think for myself at this point, I’m emotionally spent. Thanks, all.