Monday, June 17, 2013
Undercover Agnostic: (Update 13) Post-Father's Day Thoughts
The singing was done by the male members of the choir, and one of them, who recently become a father himself, and is an avid comic book fan, went up onto the podium with both him and his infant son in Superman capes. (I suppose he was saying he was "superdad"). It was rather amusing to watch.
Father's Day is a much easier holiday for me to celebrate than Mother's Day, my feelings about Mother's Day are worse than my feelings about Christmas. To me, it's even more hollow, and joyless, and I don't like the expectations that are upon people to celebrate it joyfully like everyone else does.
Father's Day makes me grateful for my father, especially after I just finished a guest post I wrote for the blog Confessions of a Heretic Husband. The post isn't up yet, and the time of the writing of this post, I'm still awaiting word on when it will be published. It was one of the hardest posts I have ever forced myself to write.
I'm not going to give away much of what is in it, but it talks about my last 5 years, the time since my infamous nervous breakdown. I spill it all, and what I have had to deal with from my mother. Let's just say that emotional abuse doesn't stop when you turn 18. There's details of my life which I have felt too humiliated to talk about until now.
That post made me grateful for my father. As bad as my life has been with my family, it could have been worse without him. You see, on the surface, my family seemed like the typical fundamentalist family when it came to gender roles. My father worked full time as a mechanic (until he had to go on disability when I was 14), and my mother was the stay at home mom, homeschooling me. What people didn't often see was that the roles were truly reversed.
My mother was the dominant, angry, abusive one in the family, and though my father didn't get the physical abuse that was dished out to me, he got just as much of the verbal abuse. My mother considered him just as worthless, and just as much of her property as she did me. My father often played the role of mediator, trying to run interference between my and my mother, trying to talk sense into her and me both, trying to diffuse the situation.
My father was also the more moderate one in the family when it come to fundamentalism, he believed what he believed (and he can still be somewhat homophobic to this day, he isn't perfect), but he also believed in letting people live their lives. He wasn't an angry, in your face fundamentalist, and still isn't. He taught me a lot of things, moderation, respect for other people, and most importantly, love.
There were times where he could be frustrated with me, like any other parent, but he never made his love conditional. He never believed the lie that my mother believed that my depression was all my fault, he knew better because of his own experiences with mental illness. He believed me when I told him about the panic attacks, because he had them before, he accepted me for who I am.
Even when I did something wrong, he was forgiving, and if anything, that is one of his faults, he's too forgiving. He can be in denial sometimes about the way my mother is, and why she does what she does. I guess he's in denial somewhat, because he feels that he needs her, and can't leave her due to his various health conditions. It's hard to see him like that, such a strong man, in denial about his situation, and what he puts up with from her.
He was there for me all throughout my life, and looking back, my life would have been much worse without him, I wonder sometimes, if without him, how much farther the physical and emotional abuse would have become, it's something I really don't want to think about, but I have to wonder. There have been times, now that I'm in the process of moving out, (closing date is this Thursday), that I have thought about trying to persuade him to divorce her, once I'm set up in my new house, he deserves better than the life he has now with her, I feel like I owe it to him, but I don't think I could ever convince him to do it. I hope someday he will change his mind.
I'm grateful that I have him in my life, and if I still believed in a god, I would thank him for him.
I know that since I keep this blog secret from people in my personal life (and besides, both my parents are not fond of computers and will probably never get on in their lifetimes), that he will never read this, but I'll say it anyway, I love you, "Shorty".