Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Insights

N.V. has inspired me to open up a little bit more about my family life so here goes.

I was out of town this weekend visiting my dad. He is a recovering drug addict and has been in and out of our life for years. For the most part my mother thought it best to have as little contact with him as possible so she would do things like change the phone number everytime he found out what our current phone number was, tell people that knew my dad that he was not welcome in our home and one time when he showed up for a surprise visit we ended up moving out of our house.

Now I know my dad had problems and he wasn't the best role-model but he was our dad and he was a descent father. I have so many good memories of my dad that I began to get anger towards my mom for doing this. I was around 16 when I confronted her and demanded that she give me an adress or phone number where I could reach my dad at. She was reluctant but in the end she gave me a phone number.

I called and spoke to my dad's girlfriend and she told me that he was in rehab. I was really bummed out but she told me to call back in a week. I did but the phone number was no longer in service by then. And that was that.

Fast foward six years later (one month ago) I recieved a wierd phone call at home. It was my dad and ofcourse I was extatic to talk to him (I have always been a daddy's girl). Anyway he informed me that he has been clean and sober for over a year now and that he wanted me, my sister and younger brother to come visit him.

Needless to say my mother was not too thrilled about it, we even got in a big fight because she did not even want to let my younger brother go but eventually she caved in. However my older sister who was planning on going suddenly changed her mind at the last minute. I suspect it was my mother but I have no evidence.

All in all it was a great trip. My dad is getting his life back in order and things were so peaceful and serene all that weekend that I dreaded going home. I suspected a major fight with my mother or sister once I arrived and I was right. You see my mother and sister are alike. They are very passive-agressive and they won't tell me the real reason why they are mad. They will just blow up for any stupid reason and stay mad a whole day or even week.

Right now my mom is mad at me because I did not answer the phone when she called but I suspect she is really mad because of my dad. I even told her to grow up and let all her resentment towards my dad go but that just made things a lot worse. She'll get over it in about a week or so. Oh well at least I still have my dad.


P.S. I choose Van Gough's Starry Night because it is very peaceful painting and peace is what I am craving right now.

8 comments:

GetFlix said...

Good for your dad. Good for you. And maybe your other sister will come around!

ffleur said...

wow, you must be so proud of your dad for working hard on his recovery. I feel for your mum too. It can't be easy being a single mum, she probably has tons of resentment about him. But I'm glad you got to meet him. You can develop a relationship with him as an adult now.

LA said...

Pix - That's a very amazing story, and I think the real winners are you and your dad. I'm glad you were able to spend a weekend with him and that it went so well. I hope with all my heart that he stays clean.

Your mom and sister are entitled to their anger at your dad, but they are not entitled to take it out on you. It's not unusual in dysfunctional families that a strong emotion like rage will be redirected somewhere else.

A wonderful book about this is called The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner. I don't generally advocate "self-help" books, but this one is the exception. It really helped me understand the source of rage in myself and other people, how to manage it, and how to deflect misdirected anger that came my way.

Thanks for sharing your story!

PixieGaf said...

Thanks for all your positive words guys. Now I know I can share intimate details of my life without anyone of you guys passing judgement.

And thanks for your recomendation LA I amd going to check out that book as soon as possible.

M-M-M-Mishy said...

I just came across your blog, and I wanted to wish you luck and I hope things work out well for you and your fam.

NaughtyVoyeur said...

Pix. I read this yesterday actually, and sort of tried to think on it a bit. I have an alcoholic brother, he's almost 50 now. Your Mother has gone about it the wrong way, but maybe she just wants to protect you? It can be totally heartbreaking to deal with anyone with an addiction. Good days.. bad days.. good weeks.. then crash. It can take the wind out of your sails. And maybe she just doesn't want you to get hurt. And obviously your sister just isn't as strong willed as you are. But, in my opinion, you will always be happier in the long run having known your Dad.. good or bad. It's better to know him, than to wonder what it could have been like. So I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your new relationship. Just be easy on your Mom. I'm guessing she just loves you and has a long history with your Dad.. many things she may never have told you about. And of course, since it seems she raised you alone.. she doesn't want him to come in and be the apple of your eye now... after having done nothing all these years to help raise such a great daughter.

And thank you for sharing :) I can't imagine any of us would ever judge you. We all have family :)

PixieGaf said...

You guys are the best!

N.V. I think you are exactly right. My mother for the most part raised us alone and I think she is possibly feeling jealousy and resentment towards our new found relationship. I love my Mom for everything she has done for all of us but I think she is wrong for trying to limit the contact I have with my Dad. But I guess maybe her mothering instincts are trying to protect me from getting hurt.

NaughtyVoyeur said...

Pix, you're still a young puppy. It's cute :) Give Mumsie a break, and make sure she knows you love her. Send her a card. Let her know that you have to know what a relationship with Dad can be like, even if it ends up being crap. But that she's still your Mumsie and that you love her. Because if he dies in a freak accident tomorrow, then you would have never known if you could have been pals.. and you would have resented her. Right?? :)