Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Whirlwind of Emotions - It has been One year



One year ago today my father died. I found out through facebook (story here). I was denied the opportunity to attend the funeral.

I found some closure, not only with his death but with lots of my childhood memories when I revisited the House of Horrors (story here).
I knew the anniversary was approaching, not because I remembered with respect to my father, but because I remembered with respect to the anniversary of the death of my mentor, who was more of a father to me in these last several years than my own dad.
I emailed my Sister and we exchanged some light-hearted emails joking about whether we should be sad or not. We discussed all the family secrets that we learned when we met up with our sort-of-siblings. Neither sister or I have heard anything from them since that one meeting.
I thought I was perfectly fine....but I've been a bit weepy. Then I started bawling upon reading a simple facebook update about a friend whose son has a stomach virus. I can't name the emotion I'm feeling so I keep shutting them down. After all, if I can't logically explain what I'm feeling and why, then I have no right to engage in the self-pity of emotions. Right?
I'm getting better about giving myself permission to feel. I've let myself get a bit weepy - controlled of course. Decided I would shut my office door, but first I'd go to the bathroom and get more coffee. Then I'd put the sign on my door that says "come back in 10 minutes." So even when I let myself feel, I still control it.
A long time ago I created a postcard to send into Postsecret. It is the picture below of my father with the facebook logo across his face. It says "If it wasn't for facebook I would never have known my father died." I mailed it in yesterday.
When I look at his picture I feel love (still) more than hatred. Then I get mad for not feeling more mad. I was able to finally admit that at the last meeting I had with my father, I didn't really like him. But I can also remember the good memories and I do miss that.
I think one of the worst parts of the abuse is being robbed of the concept of what is "okay" and "normal." I ~think~ it is okay and normal to mourn my father, even though with all his faults. It's hard to mourn though because my friends don't even know - if I say anything about my father being dead, they are very sympathetic and then I feel the need to say, "oh don't be sad, he was an ass." On the other hand, I find it hard to say, "yeah dad's been dead a year but he was an ass so I'm only half-sad." And of course the kids don't understand why mommy is all whishy-washy with emotions. Maybe it's a chik-fil-a meal tonight with time for them on the playground and a big fat milkshake for mommy.

8 comments:

Beautifuldreamer said...

I don't think it matters whether or not others understand you getting weepy about your father. He was the only dad you had, and human emotions are so convoluted that the fact of his being an ass sometimes doesn't mean that the good memories you have are worthless.

We tend to grieve not only the good times, but also those things we needed and didn't get from our parents.

It's a good thing that you are allowing yourself to grieve, if only in 10 minute increments! When I feel the need to grieve I'm always afraid that once I start I won't be able to stop, so usually I just stuff everything down that much more.

Be gentle with yourself by not over analyzing your need to feel what you feel.

hearttoheart said...

I left a comment earlier but it apparently didn't "take". I said to my wife just last night, life is not simple. I've been feeling a mix of emotions myself over a certain daughter, and as I am able to identify the emotions, different ones are attached to different aspects of the situation. So it makes perfect sense to me what you're describing about grieving for your dad, @ at the same time feeling some anger because as you said it was an ass- I've known you now..how long? about three years I think this March...I've said it before, but I can see solid growth in your life. your friend dm

mssc54 said...

Grief is a difficult "emotion" in the best of circumstances (whatever that could be).

Perhaps it's not so much of giving yourself permission as it is too not beat yourself up for being where you are emtionally. You certainly did not chose the path you had to take.

I think it's pretty remarkable that you have (deliberately) determined that your very own children will NOT have the same "things" visited upon them. That in and of itself is a tremendous victory.

Be well as you navigate this most difficult season.

Colleen said...

Hugs and prayers.

Woundedgenius said...

This is a wonderful post. It's also helpful to me as some day I will hear of the death of the father I am no longer in contact with. I agree with Beautifuldreamer - grieving for the times you didnt have is something that has to be done and its harder to get closure or peace from that as there is no way to un-do the past.

And mssc54 says that you didnt choose the path you were put upon - this is true also. That's something I forget constantly.

The only thing I know from previous experience of losing people who were important to me is that each time the grieving process is different, takes more or less time and stirs up different combinations of feelings.

Love the post and the comments.

WG

jumpinginpuddles said...

anniversaries are always hard in fact harder than the actual passing perhaps closure isnt as raw as a funeral so therfor otehr pain starts taking place but we are feeling with you

Rising Rainbow said...

Are you getting weepy about your father, or the lack there of? Maybe thinking of him triggers those feelings of sadness over what you didn't have.

Vague said...

we lov the tornado pic