More like a mutual truce.
I don’t think that my father is ever going to understand how his actions have hurt me. Or sent a message to me that he didn’t agree with my choices, in regards to my marriage to, and subsequent divorce from, Barry. He even told me tonight: “it was the right thing to do.” when he had Barry living with him after his arrest for harming me.
He started out the conversation telling me. “Those emails you sent weren’t very nice. Do you still believe all of that?”
I held my ground with him though. I said: “Yes. I do. I don’t think that you support my choices. I feel like you choose Barry over me.”
He said: Well Barry’s family is all in CA. His friends are in CA. What should I do?
me: Barry could have made friends here. He’s been living here for 17 years. He has chosen NOT too. He had made friends from his job. His previous jobs. There is Blaine. Keith. Any number of people that he could turn too. But he doesn’t. His choices.
Dad: “Well with my birthday I’m supposed to tell him that he can’t come to my house?”
me: “Sure you can. Its your house. Your choices.”
He didn’t have anything to say to either of these statements.
Then he went on, “Well when he was there. He was really quiet. He didn’t interact with anyone.”
me: “Well he told me that Mom didn’t want him there. And had made it clear to him that she didn’t.”
Again: no response from Dad on that one. Not that Dad would have taken Mom’s feelings into account anyhow. She claimed right on FaceBook, in front of the whole world, that she did not like having Barry living with them, when he was arrested, and under court order to stay away from me. She had no choice in the matter. Which is opposite of what he tells me.
He even told me, that according to him, when Barry and I got married we were joined forever. We became one person. That when he bailed Barry out of jail, and had him living with him those months, “I consulted with your mother. It was the right thing to do.”
He continues to deny that he ever had any knowledge of anything Bad happening to me by Barry’s hand. He said to me that he didn’t know about the abuse. That he had no utter clue. At all. That he asked Momma about it. She also claimed to him that she didn’t know anything about it. They are going to deny that until they die. He said that I should be able to come and tell my parents anything.
I told him: “I came to you several times. I tried to tell you. I got lectures on marriage. Even when the police agreed with me. When the DA refused to drop the charges. Its not like I was going to start screaming it from the rooftops. Its embarrassing and humiliating.”
Does he respond to this with any sort of apology? Nope. Sensing a pattern yet? I did at this point.
He said to me: “Well we just want to help you.”
I asked him: “And just how do you think I need help?” I’m readying myself for the ‘you need psychological counseling for wanting a divorce’ speech. Instead he blows me away with an equally unsupportive comment.
He says that I shouldn’t have to do this alone. I’m thinking GREAT… he’s going to support me in my choices….
He says that he and Mom feel like they have to support me financially. Financially?!?!?! *shakes my head*
I tried to explain to him that I didn’t want his financial support – I wanted his love and approval for what I was doing. That I would have thought he would be proud of me for being able to stand up on my own 2 feet. To support my 4 kids the way that I have. No… he says anyone can do that… anyone can buy a car. Keep a job. Make a mortgage payment. But it takes a real woman to raise kids. And that as a single mom, I shouldn’t have too.
I object to this, but told him that the only thing I want from them is their emotional support. Their pride in my accomplishments.
I told him: “I want you to be proud of me. I want to be able to come to you and say, I’m getting a divorce because I deserve better. And have you agree with me. To hear you say, “You’re right you don’t deserve to be treated that way. Good for you for standing up for yourself.” But that isn’t what I get from them. I don’t think that I ever will.
He did say that I was doing a good job raising the children. He was proud of the job I was doing for that. So at least that is something. I guess *shakes head* – Again.
Then the subject turns to my dealing with Barry. He said that while Barry is no longer family, he is still the kids’ father, and as such, he would have to be invited to things. After all, I was still in contact with Barry. I tried to explain to him that I was doing what I had to do, when it comes to dealing with Barry – because of he still scares me.
I even told him about the time that Mike stayed around, at the restaurant, because Barry was in a foul mood. How Barry had demanded to see me. “I want to talk to my wife!” (this was after the divorce) How I listened behind the door, as Mike stood in front of it, and told Barry that I was busy.
I tried to explain to Dad that I deal with Barry the way that I do – I’ve learned over the years – that I do those things to AVOID getting hurt. I do my best to not engage him. I don’t piss him off. I don’t let him know that he upsets me – when he says things like how I won’t be near the kids this Christmas.
How Barry used to tell me all of the time “Well you won’t get a divorce from me, you’d never see your family again. They love me more than you.” How, “Even after the divorce Barry would dangle the information of how much he hung out with Scott, and You; and how ya’ll talked about what a bitch I was for divorcing him.”
Dad didn’t have anything to say about this. Neither acknowledging it. Or denying it.
I told him what Scott had indicated to me, when I tried to explain to my brother, Why I was getting a divorce. How Scott told me that he didn’t agree with me and basically that I was terrible for divorcing HIS Brother. Then in the same conversation, told me that Barry had access to his guns. How this conversation is why I have such an animosity towards Scott. That I was under the impression that Scott would support Barry in harming me. Even going so far, as to allow him access to his own gun.
Dad actually thought that was wrong. Nobody should agree with someone hurting me in the way of shooting me. So I guess that’s something.
So what does Dad do. I’m thinking that he will say something to Scott. That he would say how maybe I might be doing something right. No. Dad wants to buy me a gun. A gun!!
I told Dad that I am not getting a gun. Ever.
Its not about guns being around the kids. I don’t worry about that. I know that he locks up his own. He has 6 of them. I know that Scott locks his up. He has 4 of them. I know that Mindy locks hers up. She and Tyler have 8 of them. I am not like the other people in my family. I am not a gun person. I do not want one.
Again, Dad wants to show his Loving Support for me by arming me. I told Dad that all I wanted was his support my decision to divorce. How all I wanted was him to tell me I was right. How I tried to get that from him for years. But instead I got lectured on marriage. I reminded him of the conversation when we sat out on the dock, one night. I had come over to tell him that I wanted his support in getting a divorce… and he gave me a lecture on how divorce was bad for children. He said that he remembered that conversation.
I told him : “You do realize that since the divorce the kids are actually doing better in school?”
He had no response to that.
I told him about how Rebecca and Daphne were released from therapy on Monday night. That its taken a year, but in the in their final therapy session, they each admitted to the abuse in our home. At their father’s hand. They no longer denied the things that had happened, and how they had been treated. They were able to clearly identify it; and voice it. So that perhaps they can change the pattern of abuse. I told him of my hopes, that through all of this; they will never have to live the way that I did. That even when asked by their therapist, “What do you think will happen when you have kids?” Rebecca had been the one to say: We will hurt them, and do the same things.
The therapist told them: “That’s why you are here. So that you can learn differently.”
And once again… a major lesson for Dad… and it goes unacknowledged. Unsupported. Untouched. It is like talking to the proverbial “brick wall”.
In the end: He wants to support me. But he wants to take me grocery shopping. He wants to throw money at me, and make it all better.
For me: I want his emotional support. I want him to say to me: “I’m proud of you.” Or, “I get it.” Or, “I see your point of view.” Or, “I’m sorry for my part in this.” Or, “Thank you for changing this.”
I would like to be acknowledge for what I am doing. To be thanked for having endured this hell of a relationship, so that I can learn it, identify it, and change it. To be told that, all of the hurt I endured was worth it, to some one. To be apologized too, for the pain I suffered. By him, for not only, not helping me get out of the marriage, but also turning me away. At his hand, as a child. And taught by him, that it was, normal. I’m never going to get any of that from him.
So instead of looking backwards and trying to heal the past, that won’t, can’t, or doesn’t want, to be healed. I can only try and heal the future.