… That is the card I sent my dad for Father’s Day. Yup, in Germany we celebrate Father’s day on Ascension Day.
I find it rather ironic that on the day Jesus went back to his Father I am forever reminded of how dysfunctional my relationship with my father is and that I am not welcome to come back in.
The whole reason we came to this part of Germany vs a region further south was to invest into family relationships. And now as we are pushing to leave this area, my family relationships, with the exception of my grandma, went from ‘tolerable from afar’ to not existing at all. Well. I sort of see my mom now and then… “for the kids”… or something like that.
My dad and I have always had a strange relationship. We are so alike in many ways yet my faith in Jesus and my desire for deep connection and authenticity has eventually driven a wedge, or more like a freaking ocean, between us. The last time I addressed my dad respectfully, I mentioned that he maybe not shout at and intimidate my niece in front of my children or not at all. It was a crazy situation and it wasn’t only frightening for the kids there, it also triggered an avalanche of emotions from being in that same position all those years ago until I stood up to my dad age 18.
So, stupid as I am, I prepared to confront Him about it, believing that he really does love us all and really he wants to make things right with everyone in the family. My heart certainly tried to let me know that I was embarking on a mission destined to fail because of, you know, past experiences. But I had to… one more time … try and make him understand as compassionately and respectfully as I could that my boys were frightened and that could not happen again.
What followed was a hostile conversation, however hard I tried to connect and make him see, using the whole non-aggressive, non threatening “When you do this I feel” vs the accusative “You did.. you said…” conversational style and tone of voice, followed by an indefinite punishment of the silent treatment to the point of me along with my husband and kids being ignored, even if we passed on the streets or even passed in cars. Yup. We even get “outvited” for birthdays. I mean the effort of it all…. *rolls eyes*, also sometimes *cries*.
We live only 10 mins away by car and we haven’t spoken now for over two years.
But it is Fathers Day and so I took a card and felt like expressing my freedom to express love regardless of his expression to me to say…
Thanks Dad for everything.
Because amongst the emotional and physical abuse and the scars that are to be managed still, there were wonderful and amazing times too. Really. I mean he is so wonderfully real, non- religious, -non-churchy, fashionable and warm. Growing up in Germany people are more reserved, practical and cold. But my dad’s portuguese warmth and philosophical way of thinking has always attracted me. I am my Fathers daughter. Like it or not.
That is the annoying thing. Life is not always black or white. There is a lot of grey. And it is navigating that that can be the challenge.
I know I am not welcome in his home anymore for daring to speak up and out against the “Narcissistic Show” my dad brings to the table… but I will still be thankful for all the good, for the the imperfect love I have received. Hear me right, I don’t regret speaking up. Not at all.
That is not to say that I don’t miss him and I don’t long to be united and reconciled!!
But that is, unfortunately, … not up to me you know, though my door remains open! Well, not wide open! But open for sure!
Ok… back to making dinner. It is sandwiches. The Father of my kids is preparing them as we speak. On Fathers Day. I am so freaking glad I get to experience Him with our boys. He is so loving and kind. Even Father’s Day is not all about him, and him demanding attention of the kids or them acknowledge his “amazingness”. He is a great Father because he loves those boys, whatever they throw his way. Of course we have way to go. Teenage years to come and all. But he is all about expressing love and that love increasing and Him decreasing.
So fitting on Ascencion Day, don’t you think?
P.S.: If you like this blog, please let me know and consider sharing it with others. Thanks loves. x