Broken silence

I’ve written about it in the past, but my relationship with my father inside of the past 12 years has slowly deteriorated. We used to be very close, but since he and my mother split it’s been all downhill. That came to a head in December, when I determined that I was done. For those not click-friendly, this is the important part of that:

Older sister called me on Saturday. I was surprised because this is the time of year where she and her family are found on a vacation island many miles south and many degrees north of here. She told me that she spoke to my father on Christmas. In conversation about what’s going on with the family lately, she told him about my mother’s medical situation, and his response was to suggest that it was karmatic retribution, and that my mother was getting what she deserved for what she’d done to him.

My younger sister graduated from college this past weekend, and the entire immediate family was to attend, and that meant that I was going to see my father for the first time in over a year, after not so much as speaking to him in as long.

Truth be told, I wasn’t entirely prepared for it. I didn’t know what I was going to say or do, or what he was going to say or do. When he first saw me it was while he was sitting in my older sister’s car in the passenger seat, and I was standing next to it. He opened the door and started to step out. I leaned down and extended my hand, which eventually engaged us in an awkward handshake/half hug.

“Where ya been man?” he asked.

“Oh, I’ve been around”

“How ya doin?”

“Not bad. Not bad.”

That was that, until the actual graduation ceremony. There was a little small talk about work and how I’ve been doing, but I couldn’t get into deep conversation. Why? I’ve lost the desire to. I don’t think it will be returning anytime soon.

Broken silence

6 Responses

  1. That really sucks — it’s easy to blame someone else for the misfortunes that strike us, but when we can’t either a.) recognize our own involvement in said misfortune or b.) get over it and move on, then it’s really no one else’s fault but our own, or in this case, your Dad’s. It’s really sad that its affected his relationship with his kids to such a degree.

  2. With parents, I’m realizing it’s better not to engage. Sometimes the tables turn, and you realize they aren’t the adults, you are. And that they were never really the adults.

  3. It sucks that you have to be the bigger person in the situation, but know just how much “bigger” you are because of it.

    (That’s what she said?)

  4. This makes me so sad. Big hugs to you.

  5. I’ve often said that family civility functions on a thin veneer of dishonesty. My friends who have good relationships with their happily married parents (i.e., “pod people”) just can’t understand it.

    I totally get from where you are coming. Hugs to you.

  6. This makes me so sad. Big hugs to you.

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