FB Live Oct 2 : Let Go/ Color with Suzi
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Journal Question for October:
Is there something big in my life I can let go of?
Note – I share my life with the public with the hope that I can be a small sense of light for someone who might be in a very dark place. Before the internet, life was dark for me and I was, for years, utterly alone. Even with the internet, not everyone has a great support system. I believe too many blogs that disguise themselves as personal do not show the actual reality of their lives, which leaves readers feeling that in comparison their own lives do not measure up. These are the people I am writing to, to acknowledge that they are not alone, that life IS dark and messy at times, but to remind them that it can be beautiful, too. I share my dark moments with you to show that it is possible to get to the other side.
Most of you know that my dad passed away nearly 5 years ago, and I have had a very difficult time trying to deal with it. Most of us love our fathers, of course, and it would be a devastating loss for any of us, but I have found it nearly impossible to process. For the first two years afterwards I didn’t even want to live, not if it was in a world without him. And that is a normal feeling to have after the loss of a parent, especially one to whom we are very close. I never acted on this feeling of despair because, thankfully, I had Miss Carol to take me in and help me get through it.
But just getting through the first years of learning to live without my father did not mean that I was grieving effectively. It wasn’t until I thought of this month’s journal question, what should I be letting go of, and writing about it, did I see what had been keeping me so distraught – the need to keep him “alive.”
Dad is in a black cardboard box with a white label on it that is kept on top of the dresser where he used to keep his clothes in my parent’s house. I am not sure what is inside his dresser now, but his new space occupies the entire top of it. Him in the box, a statue of the Virgin Mary, and a vase of red silk flowers. I called mom the other day, fueled by bravado from caffeine and rage, and asked why she never got an urn or at least a prettier box to put the black box in. She said there have been too many other things to do and that there was a statue and flowers, and that that was enough.
So, it has been five years and she has no intention of putting his plain black box inside anything nicer, prettier, or more sacred. This makes me so angry because the way she treats him in death is exactly the same way she treated him, and me, in life.
That said, I also know she wants him buried with her. This also has pissed me off and in my head I thought, “No way. I will steal him back and he will stay with me.” Because I am the one who truly loved him. I am the one who has been waiting a lifetime to take care of him. For it to be just him and me – quiet, safe, and peaceful.
But, it is now the season of Letting Go. And I remember, one week before he died, when he said to me, “You were left alone.” This meant he knew he had left me alone. He knew she was crazy, but he chose the insanity and the cruelty over my well being. This is true. People can say how they wish things were but actions are what is true. All this time I have been clinging to our secret conversations – yes, I am going to come live with you. She is terrible. She doesn’t love you or me, but then he would never leave. Worse, he would turn against me.
I had been in the middle of my parent’s marriage since I was 12 years old. I was the other woman. The psychologist called it Emotional Incest. My father never touched me, there was none of that kind of abuse, what he did to me was emotional – I was his emotional wife.
Which is pretty fucked up for a 12 year old or 15 year old or 35 year old. And none of that died when he did, I still felt responsible for his memory and well-being.
Our moms and dads are human and they are people and they are not perfect. None of this has to do with love – both of my parents loved me very much, to the best of their ability. But this doesn’t mean that ability was enough. This drama of being in the middle destroyed me for my entire life, and here I am, continuing it. It is time to let it go.
I love you dad, but I need to let go of your need for me to see you as perfect. Truth is truth. I was your daughter, but you lived for mom – her love, her attention, at the detriment of my own. I can work on forgiving you but first I have to admit what was real. You acknowledged it so near to the end of your life there wasn’t time to talk it through or whatever you are supposed to do when someone acknowledges they were aware of how bad they were hurting you, but refused to stop.
I used to think my sanity relied on him choosing me over her, which is basically denial. I held onto this all the times I felt I had no family, when I was on the outs and the two of them got along. I lived for when they didn’t because both would come to me individually and be loving and attentive and I’d hold it like a hug that felt like a hundred hugs. Soon it would be over and she’d be crazy and he would choose her over me and the cycle would start again.
I am ready to let crazy town go.
I am ready to live the rest of my life, as my life, with me in charge. I am ready to love my dead father and accept that what happened is what happened and I don’t need any of it to be different to be happy now.
This girl and baby coloring page will soon be available in my Etsy Shop.
Check back in a few days!