Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Letter to My Father (that will likely never be sent)


Dear Dad,

How is it possible that only a couple of months after her death you starting looking for other women? What made you think it was ok to share with me your casual viewing on Match.com? Did I need to hear that you were dating? That you had "friends?" Or, Goddess forbid, that you were actually becoming "close" to my Aunt, my mother's sister? What in the hell were you thinking?!

I tried to handle it, expressed on several occasions my discomfort, asked you to not fill me in on details, that I understood you had to move on and live your life but I'm not ready. We, my children and I, are not ready to see you with another woman, in her space, in her home, in our lives. Just because you have moved on, Dad, we haven't. The thing is, you apparently can get another wife, move Mom from the front seat in your Game-of-Life car and replace her with another pink peg. But we, we can't get another Mother, another Grandmother. There was, there is, only one of her. She is not replaceable!

Yet we continued to shut up, look the other way, try to understand..until this past weekend, until you were so distraught over your new girlfriend's absence at a family vacation that you sat in your motor home and stewed. Until I could no longer keep silent about the lack of Mom's things in that RV, from the candles she decorated to the placemats and napkins she embroidered, they were all gone. Tucked away, shoved in drawers, put in their place..just like you are doing to her. Why, Dad? Could the new woman not handle seeing your deceased wife's possessions around her? Or did you not even give her the chance? Why did you think it wouldn't be important to us to have those memories around us? Could you not have pulled them out, even just for the time we were there?

No, instead you sat & stewed, and when that wasn't enough you started criticizing, "picking" Mom used to call it..on me, on my kids, on my Man. When things got heated, when we finally had enough, when we stood up to you, you threw us off your property. In the middle of the night, 2 hours from home, you threw out your daughter. How could you do that? And a better question: what do we do now? Where do we go from here?

These are the questions I ask now, Dad, sitting here awash in memories from the past and still stinging from the hurtful things that were said the other night. I am left to believe the statement I reluctantly made to Beren when she died, "I think that without my mother to reign him in, my Dad will return to the cold, mean man he used to be." I didn't want to imagine it could happen, it was beyond my comprehension that you would desert me and leave me, in essence, an orphan. Doesn't matter that I'm 44, I still need my parents..or, at least, I thought so, until now.

You see, I don't need you anymore, Dad. I'm a big girl now, with my own money, my own home, my own family. I don't have to cower in the corner of my room waiting for your verbal attacks, I refuse to tolerate the abuse and neglect I suffered as a child. If Saturday night is any indication of who you are now, or who you have always been without Mom to make you a better man, I am sorry for you and I forgive you because to do otherwise would only hurt me, but I won't have you destroy me again, and I sure as hell am not going to let you do that to my girls.

I hope I'm wrong, want to believe that you will call me and say how sorry you are, that you are just griefstricken as we all are, that you will change, that we are more important than some bimbo you picked up on the internet or in a bar..but I don't hold out much hope, Dad, because that little girl inside learned a long time ago not to trust you. You taught her well that she's really not important enough, not pretty enough, not good enough. Not then, not now, maybe not ever.

Your Daughter,

12 comments:

The Vintage Housewife... said...

hello miss kitten...i was so glad to see you swing into my place...love to see you swimmin' around your pool you look gor-guss!

first let me say i am so sorry about your mommy...and i hope you find peace in her love and friendship with many many great lovely memories...now on this letter to dad...i think you should mail it...its your heart...your truth...he can do what he wishes with it...but you need it...to stand and love you, choose you!

i always say it kitten...you have got to love you! every moment, every path, every thing about you...love it...its you! don't let this world make your path...its yours...sass it up...kitten...!!!

you are in my prayers...and it is this...that you would stand up...search the truth...and love you, right now, just as you are, where you are,and how you are...the awesome, sassy, lovely,& fab...miss rapunzel kitten! cat~

Aurora said...

Another pink peg!! No disrespect, but that was priceless!!

I know you may disagree, but your's Dad's behaviors actually do smack of grieving. In his own way, he is trying to forget and move on BECAUSE it is too painful for him to remember. Even YOU are a reminder to him of your mom and how special she was, and thus he must shut it (you) all out.

No decent woman worth her salt would take up with him now. His behavior is unforgivable, and here in Earth School we learn through pain. Give him (and you) time and space. Whatever you choose to do will be the right action, for the highest good of all. If that means never seeing him again, so be it! Be compassionate, but do not compromise your values, and keep your boundaries strong. (And that post DID sound strong!)

I disagree with Vintage Housewife... don't mail the letter, but place it on your altar and at the full moon, burn it; bury the ashes, walk away and never look back. Let Mama Earth recycle this energy, growing flowers in its place.

Please take what works for you and leave the rest! I wish I could come over and have a beer and a chat! I am glad for your cyber friendship, fellow Leo Nine....

Aurora

Rapunzel said...

Thank you, Cat, for your support and kindness, it does mean so much to me! You're always so encouraging and reading your words always make me feel better about myself. :)

xoxoxoxoxo

Rapunzel said...

Aurora, my Wise Woman friend, I know that you're right..this is part of his grieving but I can't help but think, "it's not ok!" It's disrespectful to her. sigh.

Thank you for your advice, your friendship, your wisdom. You know the heart of this Leo, don't you?

So wish you were here, I'd gladly buy you that beer and just sit back for a nice long heart-to-heart.

jan said...

anything i say will just sound trite... but know that i feel for you and your family. that i can't imagine what you're going through only that i think of your sweetness and kind words and feel that you deserve better than you're receiving.

kim said...

Oh, hon! I am sorry to read this post.
Some people like my uncle, got married within a year. Others, like my mother-in-law, will never marry again.
t is strange what makes people tick. I cannot imagine though, having to see one you love move on so quickly and hide the past in a drawer. And it is just as disheartening that he feels the need to do hide the well loved items from the "new" person.

Susan said...

Hey, M ~

Oh sweetie - sounds like *both* of us could use that long phone chat you promised by e-mail...

So sorry to hear of this situation, especially how it exploded - hard to take back things that are said in anger/hurt/frustration.

Not to excuse your dad at all (there's past history you're still dealing with) and I hate to generalize but... men seem to have an easier time moving on than women do (I watched my uncle do the same thing just a few months after my aunt's death) - I think ultimately they *need* companionship (caregiving?... housekeeping?) more than women do...

I do hope you continue to speak your mind, and I believe you will - don't allow his behavior take you back to the "not worthy" place of your childhood...

Stay strong - much love... <3

Aisling said...

*sigh*

No advice; just sympathy. Hang in there!

love and hugs,
Aisling

linda said...

dearest, this is so sad but, regardless of what his pain might or might not be, I feel strongly you must protect yourself and your kids from his rages....from what you say of your childhood, he was verbally abusive,, and that is something he will always be, if my knowledge of human beings is worth anything...and you don't need that, nobody should have to live with it nor indulge others in their particular form of sucking power from others...

I would send the letter because those are your words to him, what you want to say but that is something you will have to decide...I would most definitely stay away from him. You have had much pain over your mom's death and you don't need to have someone so insensitive as he has shown himself to be, making you feel the loss even more...

walk away, turn your back, look at what's ahead of you, with YOUR family and those you love...he may need to go his way and someday, things may change for you both but this is today and today, you cannot handle such insensitivity...he seems adept at being that way and it is not what you need to help you heal...move on from here.

my thoughts are with you during this most difficult time...

xoxoxox

Rapunzel said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have take the time to comment, I'm truly overwhelmed with your love & concern.

As each day passes and I don't hear from him, my heart grows more heavy and I realize more & more that I do need some space, some detachment from him right now. I imagine he feels the same. It's just so very sad.

Leslie said...

I was wondering if you have read "Loving What Is" by Byron Katie.

Rapunzel said...

Leslie, no I haven't but I'm adding it to my "to read" list right now. Thank you!