Sunday, August 10, 2008

To call or not to call...


I hate that word and everything it implies, especially when it comes to family.

The last time I talked to my father was July4th, and it was an ugly ugly conversation. I finally told him of all of my disappointment over the years, all of the times he left me alone and lonely, all of the times he chose drinking over me.

He basically spent the entire conversation in either serious denial, or serious defense. He admitted nothing, took responsibility for nothing. He even went so far as to blame my mother for everything- my bi-polar, extremely mentally ill mother. He had all his frickin faculties, but it was HER fault, naturally. What a bunch of bullshit.

That phone call left me angry and reeling. It is the first time I have had the courage to come out with some of the things I have felt over the years, and he denied it all. All the years I spent alone, in foster homes. All the times I spent looking out the window waiting for him to come pick me up and he never showed. All the times he did and then took me to the bar.

I needed saving. He saw this. He never reached out a hand.

I expected him to at least acknowledge the pain he caused me. That he was a less than stellar father. That he was responsible for some of the trauma I went thru. He denied it all.

To say I am angry with him is a vast understatement.

So here I am, a month later. I feel obligated to call and check on him. I HATE that I feel this way- I HATE it. This man didn't give a rat's ass for anyone or anything but his whiskey the whole of my life- but I still feel obligated to see if he's okay. WHY?

Mark says it's because I am a good person. Another explanation I hate. He also says it's because despite it all, I still love my father. I guess this is true. I love the man who broke my heart more times than I can count. Who left me alone, who defeated any ideals that I had about what a parent should be.

I do still love him, and I hate myself for that love, and that need.

At this point, if I do not call and he dies, I think I can say that I am okay with how I have treated him. I am also okay with our last conversation, because I know I said what I have needed to say for years. It is inconvenient timing since he is so ill, but at the same time, it needed to be said.

So I am stuck, not knowing what to do. Do I be true to my own soul and not call, and not allow this person who has injured me so greatly another foothold in my psyche? Or do I call and follow that small niggling voice that is telling me I am a bad daughter for not calling? Sould I be the "better person"? Should I call and see if he feels ready to REALLY talk?

Today I have no answers for many of my own questions.