So contact with my Father has remained inconsistent since my last post starring him. Not because of the post – because, as I wrote at the time, he doesn’t bother to read my blog – just because of our inexplicable relationship. The only thing that has remained consistent in each of his phone calls (there’s been 3!) is that we have an argument.
I have always tried not to argue with my parents – they are my parents and deserve respect – but this is getting crazy. Mostly, instead of arguing, I say ‘okay’, hang up and burst into tears. Then, of course, I have a flare.
My Father is currently in rehab (funnily enough, the same place that I go). He was transferred there after a back operation. I had to call the hospital to find out that he had been transferred!
Our last phone call was Monday night (the eve of the Day of Atonement, in the Jewish religion), when he called me to tell me off for something else (you’ll hear about it in a minute). Yes, I said ‘okay’. Yes, I hung up on him. Yes, I burst into uncontrollable tears. I just want to have a normal father/daughter relationship with him (is there such a thing?)
On Friday morning, he phoned me while I was asleep and left a message. I don’t want to return the call just to have another argument and another flare, so I wrote him a letter. I realised that this letter might end our relationship totally but I cannot handle it the way it is now.
This letter took me a couple of hours to compose and write (and cry about) – I wanted him to REALLY understand (WARNING: This is a very long letter):
You called this morning, when I was asleep, and I can’t decide whether I should call you back: every time we have a conversation, we have an argument. And every argument we have causes my fibro to flare (that is: every part of my body starts to hurt and this can last two to three days). I don’t know if it is worth it, as you don’t seem to think that I am worth it.
I do NOT try to upset you or Yvonne – I ALWAYS try to do the right thing (I was trained that way by my Zajda!) So, while I have your attention, I’ll let you know how I see our (yours, Yvonne’s and mine) relationship:
Everything I say is wrong – either Yvonne gets upset by it, there and then; or you phone me later to admonish me.
You tell me that a lot of it is because I talk about Mum and that part of my family – but they are my life. I don’t go out very much and, if I do, it tends to be with Mum (she is the ONLY person who can be bothered to come get me and take me anywhere).
I am sick. I have been this sick for a whole year, yet I think that you have only visited me (maybe) four times. (One of those times was because you needed extra meds and another was because I begged you to pick up some food for me). You do not support any of my fibromyalgia awareness activities; in fact, you probably can’t even describe my condition. I have tried to get you to look at my blog so you can understand but you show absolutely no interest. I know that you are going through rehab now (and I hope it is helping and you are doing better) but I have been attending rehab for 3 months. The pain you are having now is the pain I have each time my body flares.
I have only one friend (Thais) who bothers to stay in contact with me.
So, yes, if you want me to talk about anything in my life, it is likely to include my mother and her side of the family.
Then, I decide, for the sake of peace, I will just be quiet. I will attend any family dinners but I will shut up.
That doesn’t help, either. You phone me to tell me that I do not talk to Yvonne, the boys or her mother (I have nothing to say!); that I must include them all in my life and conversations.
So, I try to talk to Yvonne when I call you at home and she cuts me off EVERY time with ‘I suppose you want to talk to your father’.
Well, of course I do – what am I supposed to do then?
The other day, when I left the hospital and as I was getting in the car, I thought to myself ‘Shall I call Yvonne and tell her that I’ve seen you and that you are sleeping’ so she didn’t need to rush over.
No, I won’t, and I started the car and drove away. Then I thought that, if I had seen Uncle Jack in hospital (recently), I would call Mum in that same situation, as knowing she didn’t need to rush to see him would most likely make her life easier. So I stopped my car by the side of the road and called Yvonne. The conversation went something like this:S: Hi Yvonne, it’s Simone. How are you? Y: Are you there now? S: I just left. Dad is sleeping at the moment. Y: Well, I’m rushing around. What did you want? S: I just wanted to let you know that Dad was asleep so you didn’t need to rush there. Y: Your father and I are communicating just fine, thank you. Is that all? S: I also wanted to let you know about Danny’s on the corner. Y: I know it. I don’t think your father is up to walking to a restaurant. S: I just meant that maybe one time you could pick up a nice lunch to have together… Y: Look, Simone. Everything is fine. We are all organised. You don’t need to worry. Was there anything else? S: No, I guess I’ll see you another time.
Now, I remember that conversation very well because I was really upset afterwards. I did NOT tell Yvonne NOT to visit at the hospital, yet you phoned me to tell me that Yvonne can come and go as she pleases. I KNOW that! I just wanted to let her know that she didn’t need to rush around, to take some pressure off – which, obviously, didn’t work.
After your phone call to me, where I just said okay and hung up, I fell apart. I can’t even describe the type of tears that were pouring out of me (and I am still very upset just writing about it).
I feel helpless and hopeless, as I can do no right.
I get it, Dad. You and Yvonne are a couple – I KNOW that. I have no problem with that – UNTIL it affects our (yours and mine) relationship.
I feel like you are not allowed to spend any time with me – I am your daughter. Yes, I am over 18 or 21 or whatever…but I will always be your daughter. You seem to forget that, or maybe, take it for granted.
I understand that Yvonne has a problem with talking about anything to do with your previous life – but, hey! you’ve been together for 20 years; perhaps it’s time for her to get over some of her insecurities? Especially as it feels like I am part of the life she wants you NOT to be a part of, anymore.
I understand that you have to compromise because you live with Yvonne. But, sometimes Dad, you need to choose me – I am NOT always in the wrong!
Perhaps you’re scared, at the moment? You’ve just had an operation. You can’t work. You can’t do very much for yourself. You don’t have a home of your own. You MUST get along with Yvonne – is that any way to live? And alienating all your own (not just Yvonne’s) friends and family is not leaving any doors open. Anyway, that’s just my psycho-babble – I could have it very wrong; but I’m looking for excuses for you and your behaviour towards me.
I CANNOT deal with stress – for some unknown reason, my body has rebelled against me and won’t let me lead a normal life; so yes, I know that stress is part of life, but I can’t handle it and need to avoid it.
So, I still don’t know if I want to return your phone call. What do you think?
I love you
His response came in the way of a text:
1stly before delivering a letter u should consider the ramifications. And then have the guts to deliver it in person. Any time u want 2 discuss all the points ring me. Until then look in the mirror.
I guess he really didn’t get it, did he?
- Day of Atonement (arnoldzwicky.wordpress.com)