What Next?

A bit depressing.  Just a warning.

Some of you have asked me to send an update about my dad.  – about my old dad.  – the one that’s married to my mom.  My hope was to be quiet about it long enough for things to heal.  My hope was that as autumn came and holidays got closer, there would be some magical change.  But that didn’t happen.

Worse, actually.

A few months ago my mom asked me what my plans were for the holidays.  The question was painful enough because I’ve never (except 1x in Denever) spent any portion of the holidays without my family.  But I also realized she was trying to find her easiest path.  If, by chance, I was planning on being away for the holidays, she wouldn’t have to plan around it.  I told her I’d be here and waited for her to say, “I guess I’ll have to talk to your dad.”

She did.  She talked to him about my nephew’s upcoming Sweet 16, Thanksgiving, my birthday, the family Christmas party and Christmas Day.  Because I would be attending all of the events, he would be spending them alone at the cabin.  And as the events of the season started, he stayed true to form.  He missed my nephew’s party.  He missed Thanksgiving.  And he didn’t call on my birthday.  Unbelievable.

His relationship with my mom is basically the same though.  My mom no longer goes to the cabin on the weekends but their weeks still move relatively smoothly.  He still takes jabs at her and she still puts up with it.  I’m not sure what the larger plan is because it changes all the time.  I’m not even sure what I’d want it to look like at this point.

Having her home on the weekends has been nice.  I’m able to go home and hang out in my house.  Glory gets to see her Baba more often too.  (my mom)  Last Saturday night she even had a sleepover – first time in months!  My dad usually stays at the cabin until noon or so but, oddly enough, he came home early Sunday morning.  My mom was so excited that he was going to see Glory – she even took a picture and was “excited” to show me & Cristy.  She said that when Glory saw him, she ran to him yelling, “papa!”  I suppose that could be true.  She hasn’t seem him in 8 months but I suppose she could remember him.  Yes?

Uh.  This is where I need advice from all you smarty pants who know me better than I do sometimes.  He’s a jerk, no doubt.  But his relationship with Glory, up until 8 months ago, was really sweet.  On the other hand, if he’s saying I’m no longer his daughter, can she still be his grandaughter?  He still talks to people about her as if he still knows her but he longer talks about me.  My first instinct is to be mad that my mom allowed them to see eachother – be MAD that my “dad” thinks he can have it both ways – and just be mad & hurt that it’s really not going to change.  Will she grow up thinking of him as the husband of her grandma or will he always be her papa?  Thoughts?

Cristy is far more angry than I am but I think it’s more of her protective nature for me.  She’s saying that Glory can’t stay there any more because we can’t know if she’ll keep Glory protected from seeing my dad.  And she has a point.  When we went there on Father’s Day, trying to make peace, he basically ran us out of the driveway – swearing in front of the kids, etc.  It was awful.  We have no reason to think he won’t behave badly in front of Glory.

Anyway, it’s a lot.  If you have anything to add, please feel free.

 

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4 comments on “What Next?

  1. kateecee says:

    Without knowing you, your “old” dad, or the story behind him disowning you…I’d say you have to do what’s best for Glory. For me personally, I’m not sure I’d want my daughter around someone with that treats others like that, but I appreciate the trickiness of the situation since he was/is her Papa. I say try your best to remove the emotion and consider it in terms of Glory’s best interest, keeping in mind that once she realizes what’s going on it’ll be a whole different game.
    I’m with Cristy on this one though, but I don’t know the whole story and it’s not my relative, so there is that.
    Good luck! I’m sure whatever you decide it will be the right decision for your family.

  2. Leslie says:

    I like Kateecee above don’t know what happen with your “dad”…but I do know what it’s like to be faced with the decision to not allow your “dad” to see your child. I did such a thing. Abet it was when she was 9 but it was still the one of the hardest things I had to do. The back story is long, (and has nothing to do with me being a lesbian)…and for me at one time in my life very sad and painful.
    I made the decision for my daughters sake…I could see him repeating the same things all over again…with my daughter. I asked him to remove himself from our lives that if he loved my daughter and I; to never contact us again. It’s been 15 years and my brother, my daughter and I have never heard from him again. I do believe I gave him what he wanted…and easy out.
    Being 9 my daughter does remember her grandpa “G”, but she has no desire to see him or know anything about him. She is now a mother of a new baby girl and he will never know or see his great-grand daughter. It’s his loss…not ours. For me personally this was the best thing that could have ever happened. I ask my daughter when the baby was born if she wishes that I would not have asked him to go away. She told me, that she has never felt that she missed out on anything in her life, and that she was thankful that she did not have to go thru even ½ of the pain I did as a young child thinking she was not good enough for her grandpa’s love.
    I know this is long…sorry,  but as far as you allowing Glory to go over to your mom’s house. It seems that maybe you could talk to your mom….let her know that you don’t want to keep Glory from going to her house and spending time with her Baba. But if her husband comes home that you would prefer that they not spend time together and to give you a call so you can come pick her up. There are so many factors to this decision, but the most important thing is you need to have Glory’s best interest at the forefront. If your “dad” is a good man, for the most part, (something has to be wrong for the two of you to not be speaking), and you know that he is a good papa and the problems are between you and he, but his actions do not affect Glory, then maybe the solution is to let them spend time together. But, if at any time, you see something that is not the best thing for your daughter, then you make this hard decision, when it’s the best time to make it.

    Leslie

  3. authenticollision says:

    I would say, don’t give up on him. He’s a jerk yes, but he’s a wounded jerk. This is him operating after the rug has been pulled out from under him and he’s in survival mode with little to no coping skills. You never know when he’s going to be ready to talk but you do know he’s incapable of reaching out. That means it’s up to you to be the bigger better person and wait for him. Otherwise you’ll just change places being the hurt one needing the other to fix it.

    Some advice that I got back in the day when I had recently come out to my parents that might be applicable here: Once I came to terms with my sexuality and braved telling people I expected them to be completely emotionally caught up to where I was. I wanted them to share the relief and the joy that I was finally able to muster up. Someone reminded me that it had taken me YEARS to get to that place and that I couldn’t expect others to be okay with it a thousand times faster than I did—most specifically, my parents. Same idea here. You’ve wondered about your new dad for years and it took you months to approach him and actually talk about it. Your old dad has a lot of painful catching up to do.

    When you get discouraged remember that if he and your mom are working it out and if he wants to see Glory & his other grandkids, then he’s already changed a ton. He’s working it out the best that he can and at least he’s moving in the right direction. That’s hopeful, right? :o)

  4. Marcy Taylor says:

    Perhaps I won’t be as eloquent as the others but seriously … what has he done specifically to your daughter that would cause you concern? It’s like sharing time with my ex, as much as I know he’s an asshole, he’s good to them. How can I justify taking someone that loves them out of their life? I can’t … unless I’m selfish. Just my two cents. I love you tons and know you’ll make the right decision for your family 🙂

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