when words fail me, which is often, I paint. When words work for me and are available on time, I am surprised.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Unfinished Business

As much as I hoped to be big about my little girl drama with my ex-father, I seem to be a bit stuck. I expected the fact that I had worked the dynamics into my dreams would resolve the issues in the awake world as well.
First night I see the man who was my father enter the room with a ukulele and my three-not real- sisters. He is going to play music with them and I am left out and heart broken, I want to play too. I enter the room and sit down on the sofa next to him, I lean over and whisper in his ear- "I need some daddy time"

He puts his arm around me and I feel calm, safe, protected and loved.

Next night- I am getting ready for my wedding to Tate, there is much drama and preparation. I move along a city street and stop near a wall with a telephone sitting on top of it. I pickup the phone and say-"Hi dad,I just want you to know that Tate and me are getting married today, you probably won't be interested in coming to it because your wife's children are not in it, so don't bother coming, thanks"
Dad, or man that used to be my dad,laughs his laugh-

Perhaps you get the gist now; I welcome feedback on this one. Even though I now have my great big BA in Psych, I may not be ready to get through this conflict alone.
Here is what happened:
As the academic front runner in my family, dad expected me to go to college, hopefully in the Med school track. (like all smart doctor daughters)
When I was 14? 15 years old,my Jewish doctor dad left my mom and his three children for a Catholic woman (of course she agreed to convert to Judaism for the financial(strike through)/spiritual reward) who had 2 smaller children of her own.
Mom took all his money and spent it on fur coats and sports cars and singles clubs.
All three of us kids dropped out of High School (unspeakable sin against Judaism)
Dad said he has no money to send me to school.
I proceed to take alot of drugs and have a breakdown.
OK kid- he said- I will send you to college.
Art school I say
Art is a hobby I won't pay for it, why not med school he said.

Twenty seven years later, I have completed my BA in Psych and am planning a Masters in Art Therapy.I am paying my tuition as well as helping both of my sons pay theirs.
For the past year or so, the man who used to be my father has been asking me when I will graduate and if I am going to it.He said he would like to go too.( I could care a less if he is there or not, its not the point.)

Two weeks ago, I call him to discuss this evil flu I have. He asks again, When is my graduation?
May 9th I say.
-May 9th?!!! That is Mother's Day weekend he said disbelieving. Why do they have graduation on a holiday?! he implores-this is a major tragedy for him.
Oh Stace (not my name anymore) he said, if it were any other weekend I could go, but not Mothers Day my wife would be livid.

Well gee dad, they always have graduation then I replied.
And- You can bring your wife to graduation too- (I actually like her)

Big drums roll-
We just can't do it, you know we have the kids to think about (meaning his wife's adult children in their 30s now).

As Tevye said- He is dead to me, dead to me i tell you, as my dad, now he is the man formerly known as my dad and I am changing both of my names, legally.

As an adjunct to my case, since the leaving time,not once have I, or my siblings been invited to participate in a family gathering or holiday at their home. Apparently those times are reserved for the new family- forever.
His loss truly.


Jerri said...

My heart bleeds for you. Truly.

May you find peace around this, my friend. His loss, indeed.

Michelle O'Neil said...