When I reflect, recall a memory, it is like watching a movie in my head; however, I am not reliving it or living in the moment–audience sympathy or empathy–I am just watching it play out and know how I felt. It is amazing how some memories can be recalled in such minute detail while others are so vague where I can recall pieces or just the emotions.
I started speaking to my father seven months ago–it is a monthly occurrence that I look forward to. Why did I stop speaking to him? Because he wanted me to give up on my sister who was doing things he did not like and refused to compromise about the situation. It became difficult to talk to him until I just couldn’t take it anymore, emotionally. I remember handing the phone to my Mom upset asking her to tell him that I can’t do this anymore and not to call back. She never asked why.
That was my junior year of high school and I was 16. I became ill, kind of, after that. I would get a low-grade fever every two weeks or so for the next six months and no medical doctor I went to knew why. The result was I failed the first half of my junior year because I didn’t want to do all the makeup work–That is completely on me.
I don’t blame my father for what happened–my psychosomatic reaction to the loss of him and our relationship. My reaction–sort of illness–wasn’t the first time it happened but is the last; I won’t go through that again.
This month he wrote to me, and along with the letter, he put an index card wanting me to come visit and directions.
We have only been writing to each other once a month for six months. I don’t know him yet but I want to know him. I am writing him back explaining why but I am afraid when I write these emotional responses, sometimes outbursts, that he will just go away again. He hasn’t, but my confidence and trust in him isn’t there.
The interesting part of the index card was he wanted to meet my son and asked how I will introduce him. I was surprised that he didn’t assume as ‘grandpa.’ He is my father and I have never denied that. The question took me by surprise and is a bit refreshing.
I haven’t finished writing him back yet. I am explaining why and telling him about my junior year. Trying to make him understand why it is so difficult to see him. I want though. I want to so much, but I am scared. As a child, I loved my father fiercely even though I interacted with my Mom more and she raised me after their divorce.
I guess I have had my heart broken before my Mom died, but I knew later was a possibility. In retrospect, the pain wasn’t as harsh or deeply felt as the loss of my Mother.
I never realized the difference until now.