Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Father, The Child

My father called me back last night. Over a day since his first phone call.

The rundown:
Right away I asked him about the "stuff" that he said he had for the kids. "Oh, they're, you know, Easter things, for the kids."
Cool, what kind of things, I asked.
"They're...[Father's Wife] what are they?" At this point I hear my stepmother in the background getting frustrated and upset with my father. Then I can make out her saying "Oh, what difference does it make?".
My father gets back on the phone with me, "They're just presents, let’s leave it at that."


Oook, I reply. Then I ask him about having dinner with me. He replies it was just to spend some time together "you know, like we used to."
Dad, I'm married now, I'm kind of a package deal here.
"Oh, well yeah, well they can come too, I don't care."
Ok, well Dad, I'm not going to dinner with you by myself, I have a family. Plus, we haven't gone to dinner in a long time anyway. I'm married now. Why would you want to go to dinner with just me anyway?
"Oh well, you know, to talk about guy stuff, to have some guy time."
Anything you want to say to me you can say to my wife.
"Well no, there are some things that maybe I don't want [wife] to hear."

At this point, I told my father I had to call him back. I repeated this conversation to my wife and she promptly told me to call him back. We did and we were on speaker phone with my father and his wife. My wife told him how it was sneaky, and deceptive, and unacceptable to not include me in discussions he has with me. My stepmother chimed in and attempted to explain that it was her idea for my father to attempt to spend more time with me and maybe going out to dinner was a good way to do that. Well, the last time my father and I went out to dinner, he gave me a book on courage and told me to forgive everyone. Translation: you are a coward, grow some and be a man, and stop hating everything, and let everyone walk all over you. Thanks Dad.

My father tried to reiterate that he just wanted to go out to dinner "like we used to", and my wife and I told him again that we were a package deal. My step-mother responded with projection: "you know, it's very hard to schedule you in, you're very difficult."

Hold up.
This coming from the couple who came down for a half an hour last Christmas. Who show up late to their granddaughter's birthday party because they were doing other things and lost track of time. Who WE have to schedule time with because THEY are too busy to have their children and grandchildren show up on a Saturday out of the blue. I conclude they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes and are not willing to change their lives to show me and my family that we are important.

My wife let them know that they were projecting and we would not take responsibility for their actions. They both flared at this: "What?! What does that mean?!"

My father spoke angrily, "You know what [LSV's wife] I'm done talking with you, I want to speak with LSV now."
I said, Dad, anything you have to say to me, you can say to my wife as well.
"Then I'm going to have to say goodbye."
Translation: I only want my son, and I don't want his wife, and if I can't have my way, I'm going to let the world know about it by making a fuss and storming off.

^^There it is: my father, the child.^^

A few minutes later my stepmother called back to say that she "didn't want things to end on a bad note." Right off the bat, she said to my wife, "you know, [LSV's wife] I hope your heart is open to this, what I'm going to say", implying that my wife was close-hearted to begin with! That did NOT set a good tone to this second conversation.

She tried to explain that she goes out with her girlfriends and her daughters and well, it's ok do that because SHE does it. And so because SHE does it, that must be a universal truth to all marriages. Was she talking down to us? Looks like it. She wanted to smooth things over but only if my wife and I did what she wanted, which was to see things her way only. She began asking my wife about what she had done to wrong her, "seriously, I don't know what I have done, I'd like know. I want to know."
That's not with this phone call was about - it was about why my father wanted to have dinner with me and only talk about "guy stuff" and not let my wife be a part of it. We asked were my father was.
"Oh, he's cooling off right now. He's too upset to talk, and he doesn't want to say the wrong thing because he's angry."
We explained that we shouldn't be having a conversation that directly involves him without him. She didn't want to hear it. She told my wife that she was very "sharp" and very "difficult".
My wife: Ok [LSV's stepmother] I'm going to hang up now.
"Listen sweetheart, you're going to have to grow up --"



  1. This interaction was fraught with deception. I don't like the "what difference does it make" about the presents - why not come right out and say you want to talk to LSV alone about the letter he sent his mother? Why not cut the fucking bullshit fakery and get right to the point?

    Sure, you have presents for the kids - why so instantly fussy when LSV asks about them? Sure, you want to "bond" like men - why so touchy when LSV flat out says no? BECAUSE THAT WAS NEVER THE GODDAMN POINT.

    Here's the thing that really bothers me: your dad is essentially asking you to keep things from your wife. You don't even have to say "we're a package deal" - it's even simpler than that. "Dad, I'm not comfortable with what you're implying - I don't keep things from my wife." Or "Dad, I don't want to go out to dinner alone, I'm not interested." You don't owe him any explanation or reason, you have the right to simply not want to!!!!

    And EF's wife is meddling where she doesn't belong. Oh, she goes out with her girlfriends, does she? Do they have a single minded campaign to destroy your marriage? Do they want to get you alone so they can talk shit about your husband? If your husband knew they didn't like him, would he still be so goddamn comfy with you going out with them?

    They both are playing fast and loose with their true intentions. They're framing your marriage as one of control, domination, and imposition - and you don't have to "disprove" shit - they're out of line in the first place because WE ALL KNOW they're interfering in your conflict with NM!! Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining, EF, there's no doubt he's spoken to your poor victimized mother.

    Sounds very draining and pointless. Sorry this was such a shitty interaction, hang in there. Don't let them frazzle you, don't let them provoke you, don't let them frame your reality.

    These flying monkeys need to retreat!

  2. Upsi - they've only just started. We're expecting more monkeys flinging shit our way.

  3. My father needs to just be truthful about things, that's for sure. He's flat out told me he speaks with my mother routinely. That should have been an indication that I shouldn't have anything to do with them. I have to get there....

    Thanks for your support!!

  4. My Nparents used to "love having you to ourselves" even after I was married and someone's mum. When we reconciled, after the death of my aunt (NM's sister married to NF's twin), my NF walked in the door, ignored his grieving brother and remarked to NM, "Oh good, we've got our (mulderfan) back." The biggest kicker of all...when I called to say my DH was dead, NM's response was, "Now you can see us more often."

    They loved my DH until he became my husband and we were a package deal. Nothing sinister! They just wanted their favourite plaything back so they could kick her around.

    Like my Nparents the narcs in your life would love nothing more than to separate you from your strongest ally. Divide and conquer is an age old tactic.

    The phone call is so typical and just plain wrong on so many levels! Fuck 'em!

  5. I'm in your corner to begin with, but also because my family has made it their personal mission to "pin this thing" on my DH. I really don't like to see Jonsi treated like a "threat" that needs to be "cut out of the picture" so "we can talk" - that is just plain WRONG. It's not okay, it's over the line, it's out of bounds, it's infuriating.

    OK, so they don't know what projection means - so fuck off already if you're going to accuse LSV of being "difficult to schedule in." I have no doubt that translates to "ever since you got married, we never see you anymore" - same old NM party line. If they're going to pussy foot around with these little digs, they should just steer clear, because this is the adult realm, and if they want to criticize you, you are going to want to respond! These folks who like to fling shit right in your face get really pissed if you start flinging it back. And it all just digresses.

    LSV, this process is very difficult because all your life you really believed in your FOO's good intentions. Take your time processing all the facts - there is no rush! THEY will want an answer yesterday, but that is not a good reason to push yourself to give them one.

    Big Hugs,

  6. Upsi- I think it's easier for me to accept that my father isn't healthy and therefore doesn't need to be in my life becuase he's been distant for 20 some odd years. You know, I think my father and his wife are praying for me too. I wouldn't put it past them. I would like to say, listen, I don't need prayers, I need YOU to stop disrepecting me and my family! I believe they're big on "honor they father, honor thy mother". And here's the thing, I'm just beginning to get that I DON'T OWE MY PARENTS ANYTHING.

    Mulderfan- 'now you can see us more often'. Breaks my heart, it does. I'm glad you were able to realize that your parents are super Ns and working to overcome this hurdle.