Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Ginny's Analysis of Tony
As for recent occurrences with your father and his wife, my gut feeling was that you are doing what is best for you and that it makes sense. My gut feeling is that the situation was impossible and that estranging yourself may be the best solution. However, I don't know your stepwhatever and I don't know either of their sides of the story. I do know how you have reacted to me. Perhaps your decision makes perfect sense but I don't know for sure because of other things that I do know.I am sorry that your relationship with your father has gone downhill like this. Yes, he is limited in relationships. He offers an image of a warm civilized friendly person but if someone wants to know him better, there is not a lot of there there. He just can't hack it. He doesn't see the need to communicate more and if he did, I don't know whether he has much that he wants to communicate. He is withdrawn but someone has to spend time with him to realize how withdrawn he is.He doesn't know how to communicate or that he is missing out on anything. It is like teaching an elephant to type. He just can't do it. And he seems to be very dependent on having a woman in his life. He will do almost anything to keep one woman in a relationship with him. Not more than one, just one. He would probably do anything .... except have more depth to himself. He can't do that because it's just not there. Being angry at him for this could use up a lot of energy and the outcome would be the same. What you have described about him is what I experienced with him. He hasn't changed.The only way to have a relationship with him is to have a very limited relationship which isn't what you want. The only way to have a relationship with both him and your stepwhatever is ........ I don't know the answer to that. Perhaps your answer to that IS the only answer.I had a limited relationship with my father. The limitations on it did cause me a lot of pain, sadness, and sometimes anger but not anger to the extent that you are experiencing. My father had two serious illnesses of the soul: addictions to alcohol and gambling. He was never able to overcome those illnesses. He didn't even try. They consumed him. Or he allowed them to consume him. Eventually with the help of Al anon I recognized how seriously he was affected and his inability to do anything to get better. So I was not as angry as you are because I could accept that. I didn't see him much but I never estranged myself. He was sometimes abusive but not as abusive as my mother is and was. He had a sweet side that people occasionally saw but that side wasn't around much. I did love him. I hated his illnesses and how they consumed him.Your father is more aggravating in that his illness, whatever it is, is not obvious to most people. He appears warm, friendly, somewhat sociable. He is responsible in his profession. He does his job and goes through the motions well. His lack of ability to have deeper relationships is not noticeable until someone tries to do it. And then he just falls down flat and he doesn't even know that he has fallen down. He blames the disappointment and puzzlement that others feel on learning that there is no there there on them, not on his own inability to be there for them. His blaming others is infuriating.I recognize what you are saying about him. He isn't going to change. If anyone wants to have a relationship with him, they would have to accept him as the limited person that he is and be able to ignore certain things that he does and doesn't do. Not having a relationship might be easier. It sounds as though his wife makes your having a relationship with him much harder than it would be if it was just him by himself.I haven't missed him since he stopped talking to me. The only thing about his stopping talking that I disliked was the fact that it made it more difficult for us all to communicate and to be in the same place when we needed to be. The responsibility for that is his and will always be his. It is something that I have trouble forgiving him for.Personally, if I had been in your shoes and he refused to help me with my dying dog, that would have been sufficient reason right there and then not to speak to him ever again. His refusal makes me sick to think about. I could wish he had some really awfully good reason for that but I don't know what that would be. That he was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital because he was suffering a heart attack? His refusal is appalling.However I am sorry that you and your father aren't on good terms and that you are in pain over it. While you have said that you don't love him, I wonder about that because you must have some feelings of caring for him since this is causing you so much pain. If you didn't care, it would be easier to do. I do support your decision from afar regardless of which way it goes. I know that estranging yourself from him is hard. Maybe some day in the future you and your father will find a way to be in a relationship that is more bearable.The dream that you had about him was scary and powerful. Your mind is giving you strong messages and you are listening. This is good.As for me, I don't know why you put the reason for a failure to reconcile with me on the website and the blog as those are irrelevant considering your lack of feeling for me. The way you feel about me is sufficient reason not to reconcile with me. I wouldn't want you to reconcile with me as long as you feel that way. The website and the blog are part of me too and they are important to me and that is why I do them. So it is best that you know exactly who I am and how I feel and then neither of us need to waste any time on a painful failed reconciliation which is what would happen if you can't accept me and like me for who I am. I prefer to remain estranged rather be in a relationship with anyone who doesn't care about me.I agree with and relate to this quote from William Borroughs that was recently posted to a discussion board: "If after being in someone's presence you feel as though you've lost a quart of plasma, AVOID THAT PRESENCE."