Sunday, June 20, 2010

DD#64: Father's Day

OK, I think the whole Father's Day thing has brought up some stuff in me that needs to be released. I don't have any happy memories of Father's Day Past and always had a confusing and troubled relationship with both my bio father and my step father. I'm certain I transferred plenty of that confusion and trouble into my relationships with all the men in my life, too.

In the past, I've just treated Father's Day with a sense of obligation - find a gift and card and try not to tell the truth about what I really felt. I did the very same thing with my Mom. I remember many years of standing in front of dozens of cards, reading all of them to find the one that wasn't an obvious message of sappy love and devotion I didn't feel. "To the BEST Dad", "I want to be just like you, Mom", all sentiments that were not in my heart. I wanted to be a little honest - I loved them, but didn't feel any love for them for many years. I was just too angry at them for all of the things they did or didn't do as parents. I held their failings against them, never understanding how that played itself out in my life.

I carried my wound around like a weapon to use against me. I lived in a perpetual state of the victim - embracing my role. I accepted, mostly quietly, all of the abuse that I felt was heaped upon me by those who could sense my cooperation in that dynamic. I may as well have written an ad and posted in on Craig's List! "Looking for someone to punish? Well, here I am! Believe me, you don't punish me nearly as harshly as I punish myself - I'm the Mistress of Self-Abuse. I'm such a coward, I'll never tell you to stop. When I can't tolerate your behavior, I'll leave - until then, pile it on because I'm here to take it."

Gratefully, those days are mostly gone. But something is lurking around underneath and it's been poked by Father's Day. Painful memories have peeked up and asked me to take notice of them - shine some light on them and clean house again. This time it's not a complete disaster - it's not epic in its proportions - these are gentle nudges, not catastrophic shoves off cliffs into a free falling sense of impending doom. I'm able to feel them and see them for what they are: history. I can move through them as if lifting a veil that shadows my wholeness. I can walk through them with a sense of safety because I know my wounds no longer define me - they're not who I am - I don't feel hostage to them any more. So I can reach this Father's Day itch and scratch it feeling relieved that it hasn't de-railed me for more than a momentary lapse of remembering - a reflection on the pond of my life that fades quickly. Gratefully gone...

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