My father showed up just minutes after I left for my therapy session. My wife was home. He said he was there to drop off a present for my daughter’s birthday. My wife asked him to leave. He asked why. My wife asked him to leave a second time. He asked for me. My wife said she’d be calling the police. Fine, he said, here’s your present. He scampered off.
It wasn’t until a day or so later that we found that he’d called my work phone that day to announce he was coming over. He also spouted some lies about not being able to contact me or else he would have in other medias (other phone/emails). He left a second message several hours after he visited my house saying he was treated very poorly and he doesn’t know why since he’s done nothing wrong. I guess I’m living in some sort of alternate reality where he wasn’t spying on us for The Parasite, where he wasn’t trying to tell me to divorce my wife and leave my kids because I had to step up and “be a man”, where he didn’t tell me that I wasn’t a priority of his, where he doesn’t use guilt as his primary weapon, where he completely disregarded all of my requests for establishing a healthy relationship with him. All of those, of course, DID happen, and it’s he that refuses to accept the facts, not I.
Another thing: I had to actively fight the immense surge of guilt I felt when my wife first told me about his visit and what happened. I immediately pictured him sulking and crying on his way home, as was trained for me to do. I recognized that I couldn’t feel like this, that this was how I was taught to respond. I had to tell myself that I was not in the wrong here, and my father was. That his choices reflected how he felt and my wife and reacted to them accordingly.
My mother’s second husband (now divorced) showed up at my door, banging to be let in. I felt most of color drain from my face and my stomach sink to my feet the first time I looked through the peep hole in the door. I told him he needed to leave. He said that this wasn’t about him or me, it was about my sister who’d apparently just attempted suicide. She was in the hospital. I explained that he needed to leave or I’d be calling the police. He threw a tantrum and said that I should go ahead and call them, he’d make a huge scene in front of everyone, and my neighbors. He emphasized “huge scene” and “everyone”. We called the police, and when they showed up, no “big scene”, from J the Bully. As he stomped away to his truck, I could see that he was in a rage, just from his gait. I’ve lived with him long enough to recognized his “pissed walk”.
He obviously was there for other reasons other than to inform me that my sister was hospitalized. I mean, he’d told me that news right away but still remained on my porch banging and asserting himself. I find that I’m more shaken up about the confrontation with my mother’s second ex-husband than the actual news he came to deliver – I had already expected my sister to cry for help like that. I still felt bad during this exchange, but again, this man had been a non-entity for the better part of two years – he wasn’t really “there” when married to my mother, and we had no connections after the divorce. I’m not even sure how much he truly cares about his daughter (my sister). He doesn’t show the capacity for that type of caring.
My sister called me late the same night. She called to tell me that “something happened” and she was in the hospital. She explained that our mother didn’t know she was calling and she wouldn’t tell her. My sister thought “I’d want to know”. When I first heard the message (on my work phone) my eyes went wide, as I had not expected this girl to call me…at all, for any reason. After the initial shock, I felt bad, like I had to do something, like I should be doing something for her. I would like to get the Parasite out of her life too, but that’s not my job and I quite obviously have to continually impound that thought into my head.
I’ve written at least 4 or 5 drafts of a letter I want to send to her over the last few years and my wife pointed out that it seemed like that letter was one of the most difficult things I’d ever tried to do. I mean, it’s taken years and I still haven’t got anything to send her, just a jumble of words and ideas. Her phone call could be bait, and most likely is – she called my work number and not the house phone which is far easier to locate, I think. This is the only “personal” number that she has (or more likely was given to her) for me at present. If she had my cell phone number, she’d of called that. My mother has proven over and over again, that her children are expendable, replaceable, less than human.
I felt a rising tide of anger just under my solar plexus as my wife and I were discussing what had happened. I pictured a tumultuous ball of fire, not unlike the sun, pulsating there. My kids were around and I was acutely aware of their presence, which is why I did not flare up entirely. I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do or not, in retrospect.