My capacity for maintaining illusions never ceases to amaze me.
I haven't seen my father for a couple of weeks now (we were away) and he is going away with his girlfriend next Thursday to the summer resort where she works during the summer season. They spend six months out of each year there. So, he won't see me or his granddaughters before October. The Big Girl will be almost five. The Baby won't be a baby any more.
And I thought "Well, it would only be decent to invite him over for lunch one day to say good-bye, right?"
So, I invited him to come over on Wednesday. He replied he would be packing then, as they're leaving on Thursday evening. Really? Packing all day long? He can't pack today or on Tuesday or on Thursday or all day Wednesday with the exception of, say, some two hours which he could spend seeing his granddaughters before he goes away?
So I said "OK then, come on Tuesday" and he said "I will have to see if my girlfriend's schedule allows for that. She has a dentist's appointment."
Are you kidding me?
By now, you should have learned a little bit about when it is appropriate to fake interest and love and when it's not.
Right now, his girlfriend has no classes so he has no use of my apartment as a waiting room, so he doesn't say "I have come to see you, my darling only child, and my dear Big Girl, and my cute smiling Baby, and my beloved son-in-law, while my girlfriend is in class." This is inappropriately fake.
When you're going away for six months and your granddaughters are tiny and growing so fast, it is appropriate to fake interest in them. You are supposed to act like you'd like to see them one last time before you go. Even if you don't feel like it. Your whole life is fake, you can do one more fake thing before you go.
What shocked me was my reaction. I was just so sad. I had a clear sense of loss. Maybe now I'm beginning to emotionally realize that I don't have a father and that I never did. I might have known it intellectually, but emotionally, I've kept the illusion that I was loved all this time, even after diagnosing him.
So I insisted and he realized he's supposed to do it and he agreed to come tomorrow. I have no idea why I insisted. I have no idea why being rejected by him hurts when I've been working on being free from him at least since my early teens and felt emotionally distant all that time.
Well, maybe I do, now that I think about it (this blogging thing really works): I've been working on opening up and caring and feeling my feelings, whereas, until now, I bought the "cold, unfeeling and selfish" definition of me that he implied and told myself, accordingly, that I didn't care about what he did and said, because I was unemotional and didn't care about him.
It is actually normal to feel sad when your father doesn't feel the need to see you or your kids. It is normal to mourn the loss of a father you never had. It is normal to want to reach out and not be rejected.
I'm not afraid to feel this nor will I be ashamed of it. It's OK to be human, whatever the narcissists may say.