I had this all figured out. I did.
60 is upon me. I can binge a few seasons of a couple shows maybe before heading into that next decade? I mean, long running shows. Like Frasier or Friends, before turning 60. But not super long running shows. Not Doctor Who or SNL. Or The Simpsons.
I’ve written about parental narcissism for years now. I went from discovery to acceptance to really not thinking about it much.
Then my dad started winding down. Hard.
Life isn’t neat and orderly. Problems present themselves and sometimes we can wait a lifetime for no answers. Life is capricious.
Too bad life isn’t actually like a sitcom. You know, a conflict is introduced and after some pain, soul searching, or misunderstanding, a solution gets presented.
But in real life? The Huxtable’s always figured out their shit on the show, but in real life, when Cliff Huxtable was just Bill Cosby, life becomes complicated and dark. So, I guess sitcoms don’t offer much usable guidance.
My dad is winding down.
And he’s doing this thing.
I talked about it before. I don’t want to be a broken record here, but it’s freaking me the fuck out.
When I was very young, my father worshipped me. I was a princess.
Then, I wasn’t.
I spent literal decades looking for that approval again. I didn’t get it.
I let it go. Or I thought I did.
When I see my dad now, he always seems genuinely glad to see me. I have no idea how to react.
When we leave, he hugs me and tells me he loves me.
See? This is fucking up my nice, neat little bow. I dealt with this shit.
I would be kind. I would be helpful, but I sure as fuck wasn’t going to care.
Now, I care a little. And I have to deal with anger, bitterness and so many things that I am just so goddamn tired of dealing with.
I mean, it changes nothing. He’s brain damaged and our relationship was damaged beyond repair before the decade of the seventies ended.
I let go of the anger. I let go of the bitterness. I let go of a lot.
I’m doing my best to not let the feelings bubble up again, because what is the point in that?
I do see something on the horizon, though. I’d like to pretend I don’t, but I do.
I can feel grief waiting. How is that fair?
No one gets any nice, neat little bows, do they?