I look at this picture, and wonder if he liked our parrot at all. I doubt it. To him "it's a just a dog" or "it's just a cat". In fact a kitten in a picture in the photo album I have was put to sleep because we were moving when I was four or so. I am sorry I ever asked about that picture when I was older.
We did not share the same thoughts on animals. I don't think he likes or liked anything that he could not control, unless it was also male.
I sort of know where this came from in his upbringing, but all the same even if my grandparents tried to control through intimidation, they never would go through with it. They loved enough to adjust and accept......eventually.
My father is great with other people. He's a great host (unless you spill something) and he likes a good party. He has always gotten along great with his siblings. I assume he loved my grandmother though he got frustrated with her a lot, and had his own feelings about the reason for his birth. He also had the same entitlement that my grandmother had (but earned).
Not convinced he ever did like kids, unless they were gifted. He was a teacher and later a principal. Sadly his racism came out when he talked about the parents of the kids, yet I was brought up not to be racist or sexist. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized both of my parents kinda are!! And that was fine, so was my grandmother and that was there "thing", but it was just weird how they had pretended during my childhood. I am grateful for that however, as I believe tolerance and acceptance is the way to be. Whether my father believed it for himself or not, that is what was taught to me. It has stuck.
Not having been a stellar student in school himself, that did not stop him from judging others. I often wonder if he resented my mother's Masters degree at Clark University. She did much better than he did, but he still thought everyone else should be gifted. He also felt he knew all about psychology due the the introductory courses that he took at Worcester State. These were often brought up to me as the reason I must be wrong about my own thoughts and feelings.
Third grade is when my father disappeared from my life. Before then there were camping trips as a family, and shared moments. The moment I got a crush on my third grade teacher, Mr Sullivan, the resentment grew. It grew because I was getting my own ideas. It couldn't even wait until I was an adult. This too gave me the strength that I have needed, and that I have today. To forge forward and think for myself came from this emotional and verbal abuse. I don't think I will thank him for it, just acknowledge that it had an effect on my character that it might not have for another person.
My dad once gave me a teddy bear as a thank you, as his therapist told him he should do that when I was doing chores. That was nice, but that sort of thing was short lived. I don't think a one time thing was quite what the therapist meant. He tried it though.
When I turned 17 or so, he brought me out for a nice dinner with my friend. My mother must have already left, and he must have been trying to make it feel like a nice family. Also, he had gotten us Duran Duran tickets earlier on. He did notice what music I liked.
I never did get him though. I am not trying to list my complaints here, I am actually attempting (albeit poorly) to point out the positives in the relationship. He really doesn't like woman, and I do happen to be one:(