My father is a plane

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.

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9 thoughts on “My father is a plane

  1. Hi Kerro,

    I think this is a good way to approach the issue. Good for you. Good for back-up t.

    For me, my mother, was a plane craxh. So I needed to approach it from that standpoint.

    You are right, you are not the creepy dysfunctional one. He is the abuser.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  2. Excellent advice. I would also add that you should try to pay attention to what is happening on the inside while you are with him. Paul.

  3. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I don’t think I’ve commented before, but I just wanted to say I think you’re doing amazingly well … and I also think back-up therapist is pretty darn good and seems to be giving some great suggestions. Having a good therapist makes allllll the difference, I’ve had the good, bad & ugly when it comes to them.

  4. @ Kate – thank you.

    @ Paul – Hmm, I thought I was paying attention to the inside! LOL Shows you how much I know!

    @ My Blue Funk – thank you so much for dropping by. I’m flattered that you’ve been reading, and pleased that you commented. I agree that a good therapist makes allll the difference. Thank heavens for back up T. I could not have survived this break from regular T without her. 🙂

  5. how much do I love your backup therapist? such good words. and some good coping techniques too, I’m taking note of some for myself.

    and indeed, as my future tattoo is going to say, “there is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it” – alfred hitchcock. the man knew his shiz.

    Glad to see you hanging tough as always and for this line:

    “I am not the creepy dysfunctional one. He is.”

    PIVOTAL. I love it. V. proud. hugs.

  6. Pingback: Update on fathers and planes « Kerro’s Korner

  7. Excuse the dumb question (since you might have already explained this), but if he’s your abuser, I’m wondering why you’re still willing to see him or be around him? I haven’t seen my abuser (also my father) in over 20 years and in my book he lost all father privileges through his behaviour. I couldn’t imagine sitting down with him for lunch. He’s a heinous creepy mindtripping paedophile scumbag.

    I’m not saying this at all to judge your choice, but more to support you/validate you in not seeing him if you don’t want to. You don’t have to see your abuser just because he’s a relative. That’s how things are different now.

  8. @ WISP – thank you. Yes, back up therapist has been surprisingly wonderful. Love the Hitchcock quote. Thanks for sharing.

    @ Sword Dancer – it’s not a dumb question at all. Reality is that I don’t want to be around my father, but I do still want a relationship with my mother (at least when she’s behaving herself), and for her own f***ed up co-dependent reasons, she’s still with him despite having been a victim herself for the last 45 years. It had never occurred to me that I had a choice in this until I started therapy (about 8 months ago). I am slowly starting to set some boundaries, but it’s a slow process, with lots of guilt along the way. I’m glad you’ve been able to free yourself from this mind-tripping mess.

  9. That makes a lot of sense. My mom took ages to leave my father too (14 years). What’s up with these women anyhow?! I think I was three or so years into therapy/healing when I committed to not seeing or speaking to abuser-dad, even though he lived with my mother, although I didn’t have to see him really since he lived in another city. After, I’d just hang up if he answered the phone. It was a real pain to get hold of her, but I just couldn’t deal with speaking to him, even hearing his voice creeped me out.

    We live in different cities, so she’d come down and visit me, without him, although we had to work out some stuff about him not dropping her off at the house if he was in town with her and she wasn’t good about that generally. Mostly I just met her in public places since I didn’t even want him to know where I lived. When I reported the abuse to the police (around the same time), they put a no-contact order on him which was great. He’s never broken it.

    I also didn’t have much contact with my brother who was still living at home for much of that time. So much easier now that she’s left him.

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