Saturday, August 17, 2013


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Well yet again I am surprised.  And when I think about it I am surprised that I am surprised for it seems if the past is any indication I should not be (surprised).

My father called me today.  He agreed to call me this weekend in response to my request for the opportunity to enter into mediation with him.  I made my mediation request this past week by email.  He then called me and we had an unplanned conversation about it.  He was very opposed to the idea.

When he called today he made no mention of my request for mediation.  I did not bring it up because I wanted to see if he would actually make a positive or negative response to my request.  Rather than acknowledge my recent request he instead offered me some financial assistance.  He also probed a bit about my recent health issues.  But he never brought up my interest in mediation.

Several hours later I still do not know what to think.  I genuinely wonder if my father is developing memory problems.  Perhaps he has always had them to some degree.  Or perhaps he is deliberately avoiding the subject of mediation in the hope that I will drop the matter like I did last year.  I am more inclined to think the latter explanation is the correct one.  And I would also rather believe the second one is correct.

What transpired today is all too familiar.  Rather than have an authentic conversation my relationship with my father consists of monetary transactions.  But this is not what I most need.  I need him to understand the circumstances of my health.  I need him to provide me emotional support while I go through the process of improving my health.  When I look at what took place in the most negative frame of mind possible I feel as if my father is attempting to buy me off.  It would seem he is attempting to buy my silence so I will acquiesce and leave long unresolved issues unresolved even longer.

I didn't bring up the idea of mediation because I am simply too tired.  I did not want to risk another heated "conversation" (though it often felt more like a monologue) over the phone with a man whom I no longer recognize.  I truly do not know if his recent defiance is just his typical stubbornness or if he is now also showing some early signs of mental health issues of his own.  If indeed my father has untreated PTSD from thirty years ago (as I believe he does) it would seem to me that this untreated condition may begin to manifest as more severe symptoms in his later years of life.  I simply cannot be sure.

What has become clear is that I have reached the point of no return.  I am no longer willing to continue to feel the anxiety of wondering what is going on in my father's own mind.  Seeking closure by sending him an email and then asking him to confirm he has read it is not sufficient.  He might lie about reading it.  Writing a letter and sending that to him seems equally fruitless.  It seems somehow I must have a conversation with him in some context that will provide me the satisfaction of knowing he clearly knows what my thoughts and feelings are.  It is not necessary that he agree with my thoughts and feelings.  I simply need to somehow communicate with him so he knows what I think and feel.  But how will I do that?  That is my question of the day.

The fork in the road I wrote of the other day has come and gone.  I now can see it behind me.  I must find some way to closure if that is possible.  I am just not sure how to do that.  This work is going to require the guidance of my therapist.  It's good that I am seeing him on Monday again.

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