Back up therapist says I should treat my father like a plane. I should prepare myself to see him as I would prepare for flying, or any other stressful event in life. AND I should prepare to nurture myself afterwards.
She says I shouldn’t go straight into beating myself up when around my parents. That I should acknowledge what’s happening (“ok, here’s this again”), think about what coping mechanisms I might use; what strengths I might draw on. AND nurture myself afterwards.
Instead of berating myself, I should say “ok, I knew he was going to affect me”, observe what happens but stop being toxic to myself about it. AND I should nurture myself afterwards. (Did I say I should nurture myself afterwards?)
My parents came for lunch last weekend. I noticed that when I’m around my father I get anxious (really? No shyt.). When I’m sitting at the dinner table with him I physically shrink away. When I’m close to him I feel sick – I can’t bear the smell of him. And when he cuts his finger and bleeds, I feel sick at the thought of having to touch him to put a band-aid on.
I feel sad that this happens. It shouldn’t happen between a father and his daughter. It shouldn’t happen between any parent and their child. But it does. At least now I understand why it does. I am not the creepy dysfunctional one. He is.