I swear, this isn’t going to become me only complaining about my dad. I just need to put this stuff down and have it public so that I resist the urge to tell myself a story where he’s only mostly good and sweet and where I should be able to live with the bad stuff, where “live with the bad stuff” means they come here.

But also, he made comments about me being single and then, when I was holding the baby, made some comment about how I certainly have the right parts to care for a baby, but mine are broken or something.

I keep thinking of my therapist’s advice to name my emotions. Like, when I think about this shit, how does it make me feel? And, in general, I can’t tell what I feel. I feel the emotional equivalent of a scream you hear in the distance and you can’t tell if it’s hurt or rage.

But when I stop to think about it, I feel incredulous. How can you love someone and say this shit about them? Like, what the fuck is wrong with you?

3 thoughts on “Unnatural

  1. I wish I could answer this. I’m sorry you have to endure it.
    I’m reminded of my mom, and how abusive she was to her children. I’ve heard of far worse, mind you, and I’m not holding a grudge. In so many ways she did the best she could with what she had, and I’m grateful. That doesn’t change the horrible things she sometimes said and did. I wonder if she was just so damaged that she didn’t know quite what to do with all that pain and dysfunction, and so she incorporated it into her parenting. Maybe we’re all like that, at least a little, whether or not we have children. I know that I’ve got my own damage, and I fear that up to now I’ve not done a good enough job of filtering that out before inflicting it on our daughter. I don’t imagine myself as abusive as my mother, but the failure to give sufficient affection is a form of abuse on its own. I know my mother loved me, and in her own way still does, and I certainly love my daughter. A key struggle of parenting, then, must be to practice that love without letting the pain and damage take control of it. I don’t know, it’s a work in progress for me.
    I just hope you know that you are worthy of being loved, and that the hurt is his burden and not your due.

  2. Maybe your emotion is incredulousness. There has to be rage and hurt in there too.

    I’m so sorry your father is unable to act with compassion, or even aware that he is being cruel.

    The shitty part about dealing with your shit is that you stop being able to ignore family that is not dealing with it. Like cigarette smoke. You don’t notice it if you are a smoker but if you quit, it’s disgusting.

  3. These are both very good responses. There may come a day when you decide to tell your father how you react to him, not in hopes of fixing him but just to have it out there, so that he can’t pretend he doesn’t know. Then you’ll be able to refer him back to that when necessary. But really, I think incredulousness is a completely appropriate response.

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