I Just Wanted To Say...

What is your problem?

Name:
Location: Georgia, United States

I am me. More than I was, less than I will be. This is difficult. Facts-female, southern, mother and grandmother. Abstract-a Christian, a loner, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, impatient with stupidity, an unusual sense of humor.

4/11/2005

A Failure of Logic

I am the child of an alcoholic.

That isn't the way it is supposed to be. I am 51 years old and my father died last year. In some vague way, I thought when my father died, that particular part of my life would be over and I could put it completely to rest.
A failure of logic on my part. When my emotions are strongly involved, my reasoning ability suffers.

I don't remember a time when he didn't drink. I remember the smell. I remember, even as a small child, learning to gauge which way he would weave as he was walking to avoid having him trip over me. I knew how to be quiet and unobtrusive so as not to draw his attention. I didn't want his attention. But I spent 30 years of my life trying, unsuccessfully, to win his approval. Because I believed that if I were prettier, smarter, better somehow, he would be happier and wouldn't need to drink so much.

A failure of logic on my part.

When you are never able to please someone, eventually you stop trying, no matter how much it would mean to be able to do it. I remember the exact moment it happened. I even told him that I felt I had wasted my life trying to please him, but that I would never try again. It felt good. I felt good. My focus changed. I began to look at myself differently, and without the filter of my need for his approval, I was able to see myself and my abilities more clearly and I was pleased. I believed that I had freed myself from the hold my childhood and the unhappiness that was so much a part of it had on me. I couldn't change the past, but I had dealt with it and overcome it. For twenty years, I believed.

Another failure of logic.

When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, it didn't surprise me. He had begun smoking at 14 and smoked heavily his entire life. I didn't cry when he was diagnosed. I didn't cry for the month and two days he was at home under hospice care. I didn't cry when my mother came and told me she thought he was dead. I didn't cry when I checked his pulse and didn't feel one. I didn't cry while making his funeral arrangements. I didn't cry at his funeral. I did not cry at all. Not once.

Now, six months after his death, I find myself thinking about my father. I think about what he wasn't able to give me for thirty years. I think about what I wasn't able to give him for twenty years. When I do, I cry for both our failures.

And because I will always be the child of an alcoholic.

1 Comments:

Blogger rmacapobre said...

tout va bien ..

11:52 PM  

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