Thursday, March 17, 2011

my dad....and D

Today is the 3 yr. anniversary of my father's death. He lived a long life,..was 93 1/2 when he died....a hell of a long life. Knowing him as I did, I'm still surprised he did actually die....for he was way too stubborn to do so. He was born in 1914, Imagine all of the changes he saw in his lifetime, major.

He was a unique character, to say the least, ...fortunately, for the rest of us. Don't get me wrong...I loved him....still do. But he was a difficult man,....selfish, intense, persistent about what he wanted, so often a bully of sorts .....and could easily make many around him quite miserable. He did that so much for my "family of origin", especially my mother, who was the inventor of co-dependence. (see.....I really do come by it honestly). She never did improve on it at all and still, if asked....will just remember "all the good things"....amazing.

They had a very tough marriage,...and he was controlling and demanding, jealous and selfish.....and many other negative adjectives you want to throw in. I have 2 older brothers, 13 yr.s older, one 6 yr.s older than me....and I'm the one girl,...the "baby" of the family. There's much more to it (isn't there always?),...but I was very much my mom's favorite...."always wanted a girl". So, do the math......I therefore wasn't my dad's favorite....since I took away my mom's attention from him...who should always have her attention. He always told me he loved me...but his behavior told me otherwise,...... but, in that sense....he wasn't exactly magnanimous with others either. Yet....don't get me wrong....he'd do some things for me....and worried about me,....but in an insulting, often angry way. Anyway,..ours was always a conflicted relationship,...and I always was envious of those girls who so typically just so loved their dads.....and looked up to them, and I wondered, .....what would that feel like ?

I know this is somewhat odd of a post.....since I always write this blog about D. But....go many ways,.....sooo many ways......since a very young child...D always was reminiscent of my dad, but not in the selfish or mean ways. My dad (once a grandfather) was called Pop Pop. And we actually used to call D "Pop Pop boy" least my husband me privately,...not to D. It was so odd....he looked just like my dad when he was little, as photos of my dad when young looked. He had the olive skin that my dad did......(D's 2 siblings weren't that dark complected),......he had almost ALL of the idiosyncratic preferences about food that my dad liked...., he was cheap like my dad,(or should we say mega frugal)....that changed later ! ugh......used to want to buy useless inexpensive trinkets....never get rid of anything,.....didn't trust anyone easily, and was so intense and persistent about something he wanted (from about 15 mo.s old) that well....damn....there were just so many similarities.

In so many ways.....these traits emulate anxiety (which D was diagnosed with at age 8) and intensity.....a symptom of D's ADHD,....and are so often personality and/or biological predispositions of those who are or become addicts. (and mind father liked to drink too.....he's the one I first hated someone drunk from). I'm sure my dad had ADHD too....which no one at all understood then......barely do now , really.

I have to wonder what could have been for my dad if all of that was understood for him. And mind you, he was treated by his parents is a whole additional negative story.

And now....despite all that has gone downhill for D,....he's working on his recovery and himself and is not now continuing with the selfish, lying, angry behavior that was so characteristic of his addiction, just a short time ago. God willing....he'll continue his growth and work on himself. Last night he told me on the phone, "the good thing is that now I quickly won't accept my own bullshit".

He really isn't that "Pop Pop boy",.....he's becoming a young man that is honorable, patient, kind, and responsible. And mind you....that is who D always was before too. He always was moral and kind-hearted,.....but did have those intensities of my dad about what he liked.

I'm just proud of the work that D's doing on himself and so so grateful. And rough as I have described my dad.....I really can't do him justice,....because...there actually was a good side to him too. And I know that he's happy that D is doing better, just like we are.


  1. Beautifully written. You have such insight. Your words touched me because my dad is a lot like your dad. My dad has a "I'll get you before you get me" personality. No one wants to tangle with the bear.

    The difference between your dad and mine is I am my dad's beloved biggest cheerleader. I was the ONLY one who could approach him in one of his "moods"...not even my mom. Imagine a mom having to go to her daughter to intervene and speak with her husband? My mom was never physically abused, but much worse was done to her emotionally. She took it all and fed the bear. I still get pissed about it.

    Ok, I'm moving off the couch...LOL!
    I really just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your thoughts today!

  2. Thank you for sharing this about your dad. My dad is 87, born in 1923. He is now taking care of my 72 year old stepmom. My mom died of cancer when I was only 18. She was 54. She was 6 years older than my dad and a year later my dad married a women 15 years younger because he wanted someone to take care of him when he got old. The irony is that she is fighting breast cancer for the second time. This time it's in her spine and she can't even get around anymore. He is the care giver and who knows who will take care of him now when he needs it. It's a little bit scary for me since I live to far away. I will tell you his story some time. Maybe I can write about it in my blog. Thanks for giving me an inspiration.

  3. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for introducing us to your dad.

    I also have an older parent (1924) and they all seem to have a similar perspective from living through the depression.

    It's great to hear about D's progress!!!