Sunday in church the conversation centered around stories. Everybody has one. Everybody came from one. Everybody is still writing their own. Unfortunately, nobody gets to pick the story from which they came.
And then we were all asked to think about our own story.
Easier said than done.
I've been trying to get away from those beginning chapters and pretend my story starts in the middle. If I reread the beginning and bring it all to light, then there is some responsibility on my part to deal with it.
And I don't want to deal with it.
I'd rather be silly, crack jokes and hide behind humor and sarcasm, because then it will look as though I'm really okay.
But I wasn't in that room by accident on Sunday and I'm just going to say, I'm not okay.
My dad was not an affectionate man. He was gruff and abrupt. That's not to say he wasn't a nice guy. He could be very funny and approachable with most people. Just not with his children. He was critical, and found it difficult to say the encouraging, even the loving words. My entire life I wrestled with feeling valued and loved by him. This is not to say that he never had his moments. I do have a few very precious memories, but they are so small in comparison to the overall feeling that my father just doesn't have any desire to have a relationship with me.
The most recent blow came when the kids and I made a trip to see he and my mom one weekend. He holds his arms out wide to my children and is so happy to see them. And truly, whatever he lacked as a father, he makes up for as a grandfather. But when I tried to hug him he never even responded. His arms hung at his sides. And no matter how I try to rationalize or deny it, it hurt like hell.
Why am I blogging about this for the whole world to see? I've struggled with it all week. I've gone back and forth about posting it. It seems weak and whiney. But it is chasing me. Maybe this is the first step to turning and facing it. My dad crippled me in some ways. I don't hate him for it. I don't even blame him for it. But all I want in life at this moment is to move past it and have some resolution and to stop feeling like that needy little girl waiting for him to notice.
That's my story, in a nutshell.