It had been 2 months since I’d spoken with my father. I sent an email and a letter a while back and he chose not to respond to said correspondence. Which is his choice.
He called both my sister and I yesterday and said things like. “I think 2 months is long enough not to be talking!” He said some other things, including that he feels angry about the way my sister and I treated him while we were in Portland. I felt a spark of anger when he said this but chose to bite my tongue. My sister added fuel to her spark of anger and their conversation went very differently than mine.
You see, it’s not that I think he doesn’t deserve to be angry, it’s that I truly believe that his anger is misplaced. Today I called my father back. I wanted him to know that my lack of response on the phone with him yesterday was NOT agreement on my part.
And in a fit of frustration and a desire to open this up to outside dialogue and opinions, I’m putting it all out there. I’m airing my dirty fucking laundry!
The text that follows is an email I previously sent to come close friends when I wanted to let them in on what was going on in my life. Please don’t feel obligated to respond. However, if you would like to respond, please, by all means, I’m all ears, or eyes as the case may be!
The Setting: While on my recent Portland trip, we were at the cabin, Candice, Greg, my Dad, and myself. We had been enjoying dinner and some wine as well as pleasant conversation. We began to discuss the fact that my Mum has a half sister out there in the world and they do not know each other.
The Dreaded Question: Suddenly my Sister asks my Dad if there is a possibility that he has any other children. He responds by saying, “Yes actually, there is a possibility that I have another child out there.” My response is total shock and awe. I would never even have thought about asking this question. So I’m expecting at any moment he will explain this away into a little tale of young, innocent fun with a momentary scary twist. I was not so lucky.
Apparently, while my Dad was 19, he lived in Germany for some time. He met a similarly aged girl there and they had a 3 month relationship. She was German, he is Jewish. After he returned to Scotland, a letter from this girl was sent to my Dad, at his parents home, my Grandfather opened it and then shared it with my Dad. The letter stated that she was pregnant and that he was the father. My Grandfather discouraged my Dad from doing anything about this letter. My Father never contacted the girl, and he never heard from her again.
To this day, he does not know if she was even pregnant.
What bothers me the most, is that my Dad at 62, seems to hold the same belief as he did at 19. He didn’t think she was really pregnant but he never followed through. He never took the time to find out. And doesn’t think he should have done anything different. And STILL doesn’t.
What I tried in vain to get him to admit was that if there was a possibility that she was pregnant, which he can concede, then there is also the possibility that he walked away from his own child, this possibility he vehemently denies. He sees more value in thinking about the, uh say 99 other possibilities, like that she wasn’t pregnant, rather than the 1 possibility that would have resulted in the birth and abandonment of his own child.
My Dad and I have struggled over the years. My Sister and my father have also struggled over the years. For me, this was the “straw”.
If you have any questions, I’ll be more than happy to share!
There is obviously a huge issue with boundaries in the relationship we have with our father. That is a given. The damage has been done and I am trying desperately to do my part to reach a healthier place in our relationship. I can’t do it alone.
And I KNOW my Dad needs therapy. (As do I, which I’m already doing!)