This is a submission addressing Word press’s – Daily Prompt : Delayed Contact –
How would you get along with your sibling(s), parent(s), or any other person you’ve known for a long time — if you only met them for the first time today?
Day 2 – Fearless Journal
Fear may be the enemy of Love … But curiously we often confound the one for the other. It is equally binding and compelling. When is the drive to be attached to an abuser, an addict, an alcoholic, a lackluster lover, a player more about the fear of experiencing loss than about the love of keeping connected?
I know, that if I met my father again as a stranger, and he verbally struck out at me the same way he did a year ago, without cause or warning, just his habit to be an A–hole to whomever and however – I would have probably written him off as a crazy malcontent. I wouldn’t have lost my shit entirely, cursing him and every crime he had ever committed against me, my mother, or any other family member. I would feel more at peace because the only people who can hurt you – are the people you allow to hurt you. And at that point in my life, I wouldn’t have given a stranger the power to hurt me.
For about 15 or 20 minutes, I had been his demon child. And only later did I realize that this had been an agreement that I had fulfilled on his behalf. The day before, he told me, out of the blue as I was walking away from him to the house – “Every person in my life, has betrayed me in one way or another. ”
I looked over my shoulder and thought – “This is the way he experiences life, so at some point, I will betray him too, whether I intend to do so or not. ” I believe that certain people’s life agendas are so strong, as to how their life will go, that they will drag other less willful people into their experience.
Fear plays tricks with one’s mind. Any sort of change that it imagines as threatening, even the love of a daughter, really any love at all, it will destroy before the love can take root. The next day, after we had spent a peaceful morning together. I set up an account on Skype for us to keep in touch, as we have been largely estranged for years now. I remember him giving me a heartfelt thanks. And I thought it odd, how sincerely grateful he was, because it wasn’t a big deal for me to do what I did. I was being regular me, and routinely helpful. I barely believed that we would talk on Skype in the future, but I was willing to set things up so we could. But his sincere thanks, opened my heart again, and I dared to hope – maybe we could be the father and daughter we never were.
But I should have known – that his routine – was always to pounce on me when my heart was open and I was most vulnerable to his verbal attacks. When my heart was open, I had no resistance to his LIFE agenda of that focused upon betrayal and other dark visions. And this is the reason, I generally avoided contact with my Dad for most of my adult life. To be close to him, meant giving into Fear.
- Fear that I was a bad person for not maintaining a connection
- Fear that if he didn’t love me, no man would love me
- Fear that there was something WRONG with me, and I had to try to repair it, so he would love me
- Fear, that if I didn’t heal my relationship with him, that it would poison my relationships with all men
- Fear that I was permanently damaged by the toxicity of our relationship
- Fear that I was like him in so many ways, and that not loving him unconditionally meant I couldn’t love myself unconditionally
And you see, in spite of the fact that these FEARS would have kept me more closely connected to him over the years, it would have had nothing to do with love. Because honestly, if I were to meet him right now, first time ever – I wouldn’t like the man, much less love him.
These Fears all had to do with me, and my precious identity as a good and lovable person, without addressing his needs or the needs of the relationship. Fears are just about basic individual survival (including survival of identity) and deny the import of connection.
But I didn’t just meet him today. I met him a lifetime ago – my lifetime, and it wasn’t all bad, and some of it was beautiful. I have beautiful painted puppets and furniture he carved for me. I remember his outrageously funny stories and lofty promises to me. I remember how much he wanted to give me the things he never could. Even if they were promises always broken, I remember the joy in his eyes and the hope in his voice when he made those promises. Perhaps my love is largely based upon an illusion of a father that never really was, and never could be. But the only way I found to keep that illusion alive, has been to keep safely away from the man he became as his personality embittered through the years.
On that last visit – he informed me that he couldn’t change and I would have to accept his bad behavior at times. But the thing is, after many years of dealing with the bad behavior of lovers and an ex-husband and realizing the harmful effects of my own bad behavior upon others – I was DONE with consciously accepting another person’s bad, let alone atrocious behavior, as a matter of course .
And looking at it from this perspective, perhaps the most loving thing he could have ever done – was to release me from the daughterly obligation of maintaining a familial connection that was hurtful. The last thing he wrote to me was a 2 sentence email. The second sentence being – “I am done with you.” And so the year long silence ensued.
Some people believe that before we are born, we are spiritual beings who pick their own parents, who will teach us important lessons. And if this is true, the most powerful lesson and truthful lesson I learned from him – is to respect my own sense of truth and if I encounter a person with whom I feel so out of balance that I respond to them in fear and aggression, they are dangerous. And if I get into a situation where I feel compelled to be hostile, no matter where I am or whom I am with … I need to understand the urgency of danger and that very harsh things can occur – lives and relationships can be destroyed permanently. When fear rules the atmosphere, love disappears, peace is a very distant memory, and war is at the top of the agenda. And sometimes, the only way to keep the peace is through detente.