**Like I said in my FF post, I was going to have to grow balls to do this post today... Just to warn my readers, this is a really long post. Constructive comments are definitely welcome. This is basically just a story and when I re read it I was thinking it felt a little choppy, for lack of better words? And I kind of feel like a sounded a little crazy, But it's really helped me to write it all out**
I don't quite know how to begin talking about what's happened. Mostly because I'm so used to NOT talking about it. I've conditioned myself to push these matters away into that little spot in my brain reserved for things that hurt to much to think or talk about. It's been a few days since my last conversation with my dad. The conversation(s) went just about as bad as they could have gone. Like I've said in a previous post I've been trying to patch up the lack of relationship between my father and which has proven to be a challenge, but it was much better than before.
My dad never fully quit drinking, and 95% of the time I talk to him he's drinking or drunk. My father sober and my father drunk are like night and day. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There are two different drunk dads- the emotional one and the angry one. So it's pretty much a crap shoot. I can handle the emotional drunk and I prefer sober, but I cannot handle angry drunk. Angry drunk is the mean spirited, scary, aggressive and irrational. "Angry" is what haunts my innermost thoughts fears and emotions. "Angry" is not my real father, but he was the father I wound up with most of the time.
It's next to impossible for me to have a civil conversation with "Angry" because my defenses are up the second I gauge what kind of drunk he is. The first conversation didn't work. Not at all. I called back the next evening, thinking maybe we could start over. And because I had to, mainly because there's been news about his health with each phone call. My father was diagnosed with Colon cancer early this year (I think) , and is creeping up on stage three. In the last few months, his health has been what was bringing us together. I was the person he was talking to about everything. And I was happy to be there for him. I felt connected to my dad in a way that was something I wasn't used to experiencing. And when it came time for me to confide in him I gave it a chance, and talked to him about some problems my boyfriend and I had been having, and at the time of that conversation things weren't looking to good. Well lets just say the secret didn't stay with him, despite him saying I could trust him. Things between my boyfriend and I have since been fixed and everything is great.
The first phone call he discovered I was indeed still with my boyfriend. That did not go over well. And the main issue is my boyfriend's face/religion. He is Lebanese and Muslim. I am American and Christian. It's proven to be a touchy subject for some so far. However, my boyfriend regardless of which race or creed is amazing. He's one of the most awesome people I've ever had the pleasure of having in my life. And has been there for me in ways that not many have. "Angry" was not a good side of my dad to be talking to about this. Needless to say it ended badly, and completely ruined my night. And I was even more pissed because of how upset I was and that I LET it ruin my night. I should know better.
Skip to the next day. The whole incident was heavy on my mind the whole day. I was thinking and hoping/dreading; Hoping he wouldn't be drunk, and dreading that he probably was. But I had to try and make things better. I literally started my phone call with " I was calling to see if maybe we could start over". And I immediately regretted it. I knew right away he had been drinking. I should have just waited until the next morning. At first we talked about his cancer, he explained he was seeing a new doctor, and had a different procedure planned and things looked much more optimistic. Ok...so far so good. Wait maybe not. The subject of my boyfriend came up. I explained to him again what I had tried to explain the night before, making sure to leave nothing out. I should know better by now to think that details mattered when "angry" was beginning to show. At the end of my speech, I stepped off of my soapbox and said, "Dad, I know you worry about me, and you have every right to, you're my dad, and I understand, but I'm 26, I'm smart and I'm a strong woman". I spent even more time defending my self and my boyfriend, trying to explain my boyfriend and "his kind". I was incredibly offended. I am not and never will be one to generalize a single person into a "kind".
I have learned so much about the Lebanese and Muslim culture, and I am lucky to have had the opportunity to learn part of what makes our world so awesome. The world we ALL occupy. I digress. Conversation goes on and completely goes to shit. All hope of salvaging the conversation at this point was decimated. The subject had been changed and the one we were on came to a head and the words out of his mouth caused me to end the conversation immediately. I practically hung up. Well I said "bye" but not much more than that...Oh and "I cant talk to you anymore".
"Sarah If you're so f***in' strong then why did you need to borrow money, If you're so strong then why don't you have two jobs, If you're so strong then why do you struggle..." I stopped him there. I was crushed. "ANGRY" should not be saying anything about being strong ( strong man would never have abandoned his family in the way that he did.) But it was his disease right? His Alcoholism? I felt torn down, like all the times he told me I was doing a great job, and that I was going to be ok, if I ever needed anything let him know. Maybe that was the alcohol talking too.
The voicemail I got after I pseudo hung up on him, said "I didn't give a f*** about him, and not to EVER call him again. NOT EVER" Pretty clear to me. But it was the alcohol talking right? I wasn't real dad, it was "angry". I do not know how many times in my 26 years that I have said that it wasn't him. I was the alcohol talking. Well you know what? I'd officially like to say "F*** you alcohol!" In the spirit of facing my demons and making changes, I'm going to promise to myself that alcohol is no longer an excuse I am accepting. I have learned through this that the reason why his words still cut me like a knife, is because I love him, and all I've so desperately wanted my whole life was a relationship with my FATHER. Not the alcohol. My DADDY. Not "angry". And until alcohol is no longer in the picture, a real, ans significant, trusting relationship with my father will be impossible. I cannot let him too far into my heart, and this has been one of the toughest revelations of all.
And then comes the guilt...like I am giving up on him or something. I mean, is it true that in order for someone to be helped they have to WANT to help themselves? He has so many opportunities. All with his whole family backing him. My mom for over 20 years. Hand fulls of wake up calls, many runs through AA, some more successful than others. And the alcohol years later and with cancer still has its grips on him. It's the only thing he knows.
I don't know if I'm going to call my dad. As of right now the answer is no, not yet. Definitely not yet. At first it was not EVER. Even though deep down in my heart I should and will eventually. I would not be able to live with myself knowing that if something happened to him I didn't try to talk to him. This is something that has and will be on my mind for a while...or until I grow the balls to call him... When he's sober, and try talking to him then... I'm going to have to learn how to talk to him when he's sober. Problem is my dad doesn't even know how to talk about these issues sober.
But I can still try right?