I’ve been a little quiet since my last post. It’s been a busy week and I’ll confess I was a little afraid to come back after revealing my innermost hopes and fears. I’ve been very touched by all your messages of support. Thank you so much everyone. Again you’ve helped me through another tough time. Where would I be without you all?
My mother came to lunch today and unexpectedly brought my father with her (ugh). Thankfully I was spared toxic behaviour from either of them, although I did come out quite confused.
My father is old – he’ll be 90 in a couple of months – he’s frail and his health is not good. Last year he had a series of strokes – he was in the hospital and then rehab for many months. It was touch and go there for awhile, but by some miracle he survived and regained enough mobility to return home. He now has some (presumably mild) internal bleeding, which requires regular blood transfusions. This is on top of the heart attack he had about 25 years ago, and the first stroke about 15 years ago. Not to mention the high blood pressure, the high cholesterol, the diabetes, etc. And his lifestyle is appalling – as someone on TV once said: he’s a test driver for the lounge chair. He spends his life sitting in it, trying to tip his cholesterol into the Guinness’ Book of Records. Oh, and he has an enlarged heart that was supposed to kill him before he reached 45. I guess those doctors were wrong because that was nearly 45 years ago.
I really noticed his frailty when I saw him today – he could barely get out of the car and walk to the door. I guess he’s in decline, although I’ve thought this many times before. Part of me thinks he’s never going to die – even my therapist said she never thought he’d still be kicking by now. Rational me knows that he’ll die sometime.
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted him to die. That’s actually what drove me to therapy in the first place – thinking I was a bad person because I wanted him to die when he got sick last year. I know now that I’m not a bad person for thinking like this. As my therapist says, just because he’s a sperm donor doesn’t mean I have to love him. He sure as hell never loved me.
So, why the confusion? Well, I suppose my new-found-therapy-induced compassion kicked in a bit today seeing this old, frail man, clearly struggling with life.
Will I dance and sing when he dies? Probably not, although I thought I would. I suspect I will feel some relief that all these years of sh1t are finally over. I suspect I will also feel some sadness – not at his passing, but at my own losses. Perhaps there will be the regular sadness people experience in these situations, who knows?
I’m confused. Torn between compassion and willing his death. Feeling bad that I don’t really feel all that compassionate towards him, and bad that I want him to die. Or used to. Or still do. I’m not sure. I guess if therapy is teaching me anything, it’s that life is messy like this.