June 09, 2008
Sometimes, I Disappoint me...
This past weekend I spent some quality time with my father. This is not something that, under the best of circumstance, happens often and right now these are not the best of circumstances.

For over a year now, my parents have been separated. Not divorced, just separated. Its been difficult, and its hurt on many different levels. Sometimes I've been so angry, I haven't wanted a single thing to do with either parent. I spend a lot of time wishing they would BOTH just act like adults instead of lovelorn teens, but their pain is not mine to carry. Rather, I am the adult child of a set of parents who are experiencing pain--something I wish someone had written a handbook for!

But I digress...

I realized for the first time this weekend that I don't think I've been fair to my father. It has been so easy to vilify him in this whole affair: he's the one that fell out of love, he's the one that cheated, he's the one that left. He's the one that didn't try hard enough, continues to not try hard enough.

And yet.

Talking with my father I realized that I've made the problems my parents are experiencing my problems as well, that I've tried to shoulder my mom's pain while ignoring my father's. I assumed that my presence at home, with my mother, would some how imbue her with the strength she's lacking. I assumed that by sheer osmosis she could get back on her emotional feet and move on. I put all of my energy into that, not stopping to think for a single second that perhaps my father needed me too, maybe even more. That maybe, just maybe, he needed to hear me say, "I love you, be happy."

I hear a sadness in his voice, read it in his emails. I see how he knows what he's done is damaging, and I feel his longing to make it right some how without sacrificing his happiness. And I feel ashamed, not of him or his actions, but my own.

I have not been a good daughter.

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posted by Tina at 8:33 PM
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