Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A (Not So) Wordless Wednesday: A Belated Monday Musings Update

I wanted to do this as a Monday Musings post, a follow-up to last weeks, (click here for that post) but weather (3 rounds of nasty storms), time and my iv session were against me on Monday and yesterday I wasn't up to anything more than dozing off, reading & watching The Shipping News while camped out on the couch, snuggled under a blanket on a rare Autumn-like day in June.

On Friday, during lunch with Mom after her speech therapy appointment, the topic of my father came up and she clarified (corrected) some history for me which I am very glad for because it gave me clarity & closure to some of what I mentioned in last week's Monday Musings post.  Sure, it also peeved me off and left me reeling but at the same time I really wasn't surprised - He was a cruel, sadistic, evil man who abused her in ways you cannot imagine for 17 years, so it's not like I expected anything good from him. They weren't divorced when I was 6 months old and she didn't kick him out when I was 6 months old. She told him her money had all but ran out and it was time to start providing for us once & for all. Instead, he walked out on us. They were finally divorced when I was 3 years old and he died 6 months later.

Angry? Sure! But how freeing! I had a few choice words for my father as I stared at one of his photos Saturday morning. I put it inside of a blank notecard along with the card I'd written on Father's Day & tucked them away in my tote bag knowing the answer to last weeks Monday Musings question: Into the fire at our Northwestern NJ home they would go!

Saturday evening, after we finished dinner, I began to write to my father, standing up to his ghost and taking back any power I'd ever given it. It felt awesome! Then I sealed up the 2nd card, put them both in the fire and once I made sure they were burning, I walked away. Any guilt or conflict I'd ever felt in regards to him was gone.

It takes a lot more to be a father than to help create a child and a man's actions can prove if he is or isn't a father beyond the shadow of a doubt. This isn't a case where one or both of my parents had an affair or grew apart, divorced & he tried to do his duty until he died, so this isn't a case of 'what happened between your parents is between them and had nothing to do with you.'  He used to leave their dog unchained in the room with my crib (which I already knew) and he walked out on Both of us.  I'd say that has everything to do with me.

And just to clear the air: Yes, I tried shrinks in the past.  For many reasons, 3 of them over a decade plus as a matter of fact, starting in my 20s, and not one of them ever provided anything useful to help me. What a waste of good money!  (My husband went with me at times, met them, and he agrees).  I've found more healing in gardening, writing and photography than I've ever found anywhere else. It's what works for me and has worked very well. I got myself off of anti-depressants, not anyone else.  We all have to find what works for us and maybe for some, a doctor is where they'll find their help. I know for me it comes not from others (or self-help books), it comes from within myself, hard work with myself every day and my hands - with my hands in the soil, with a pen in my hand or with a camera in my hands.

I did major in psychology (and writing) back in college and while I choose not to continue down that path, perhaps those years of study have helped me help myself in recent years without my realizing it!

But, I digress.  This isn't the point and I don't want to be sidetracked.  Back to the post at hand.

Unfortunately, on Sunday, my beloved father.in.law passed away. (Click here).  So, essentially in one weekend, I said goodbye to one father and lost the other, a dear man who loved me unconditionally & welcomed me with open arms into the family from the start, before we'd even met, just over the phone, because we were up here in NJ and they were down there in FL.

Losing Dad has left me suffocating. I knew it would be awful, but...

I've been through too much, survived too much and go through too much every day to give up now. The grief is literally overwhelming but I just have to go with it for as long as it takes. Another journey, a dreaded one, but another journey to take nonetheless. Despite knowing I'll miss him deeply for the rest of my days, in time, I'll learn to live with this loss as I've done with others in the past, as we all eventually must do. It's life. And whether or not we want it to, life goes on.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Your strength is truly amazing, Jo. **hugs**

Hedgerow Rose said...

Oh Jo, you are such a strong and beautiful person. I'm so glad I've gotten to know you and I'm sending you hugs!