Sunday, February 25, 2007

Just Call Me Speedy Gonzales

You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable.
You pull punches, but people still love you.

I did a flower survey too and discovered I am a Snapdragon. Hmmm...notice a pattern developing here? I've also been Irish Coffee, Schindler's List, and Yoda. Definitely attracted to the dark side of life.

Speaking of the dark side, and not pulling punches, I had an interesting encounter with my dad on Friday. I have at times referred to him as my ex-dad, if that tells you anything.

An example: I had to go to a clinic just before Christmas to get prescription renewals for my various psych-meds. Unfortunately my regular doctor has moved far away, and I had to deal with a new guy. This meant going through all the questions they have to ask before they'll renew this type of prescription. I know exactly how to answer these questions to get through the maze and receive my cheese, but in the back of my head, I'm thinking: Just give me the frickin' drugs, okay? Do I really have to go through the dog and pony show EVERY time??

Me: I'm going to need some more Xanax too.
Doc: Do you usually take that?
Me: I usually get to have about thirty on hand for special occasions.
Doc: Such as?
Me: Next week (Christmas) when I have to spend time with the source of a lot of this anxiety
Doc: Horrible ex-husband??
Me: Horrible ex-father.

To be fair, he isn't that horrible. Seriously, and I'm not defending him either. I don't do that anymore. He wasn't that horrible at Christmas either. Pretty damn irritating, but not horrible. When I was a lot younger, and he was a lot younger, he had the capacity for some pretty awful behaviour, most of which is never discussed (like as though it never happened). But the damage was done.

So...on Friday he came over to pick up something from our garage. I have not seen him much in the last four years. Just a few times, a few quick visits when he is with my mom, and the conversation is light, and we are all glad to keep it that way. Each time I've seen him, I've gained some strength in realizing that he has become a mostly harmless old man and that the old nightmares are fading, and that I can do this. Each time I feel less afraid.

On Friday, I invited him in for tea, and Doug and I had a visit and a chat about what he's up to these days. He is passionate about his pursuits the way I am about mine. This is always safe ground. The kids came home from school and said hello. Doug went out to run errands. And I was alone with him for the first time in a very long time. He started in on a topic that is a very old issue. One thing led to another, and we had one of those encounters in which a great many things get said.

Did anything get resolved? I don't really think in that category anymore. What is resolution? But things got said. Hard things. Painful things. Helpful things. We agreed on some things and disagreed on others. I discovered the limits of my dad's ability to understand some things, and he probably discovered mine. And we parted on amicable terms.

I could probably meet him for coffee one day in a few months, and we would not have to go back over that ground. We could go back to talking about our interests and how we spend our time. I am not expecting miracles, but in a way, I've already had one.


CatBookMom said...

So glad you were able to get through that. And if it makes you feel you could get through another one-on-one meeting, then it's positive for you.

I'm beginning to think that it's helpful just to say those things you've wanted or want to say. Mom isn't very responsive, as you know, but I've told her some things, particularly how I felt about my dad, that I didn't plan to say at the time, but that 'just came out', and afterwards I was glad I did.

Lisa W. said...

nice work. doesn't just being aware of the situation, and being aware of our own reactions sometimes help put a nice filter/buffer there. I also like remembering to take my share of responsibility for how the conversation/emotions go too. anyway...put this one in your gumball bank!

Joan said...

I approach my deranged sister the same way. If she calls, I answer and take great pains to talk about completely safe topics that she likes like ebay shopping and soap operas. I don't ever go beyond those 2 topics with her, for my own sanity. Funny thing is that she tells the family that all I do is shop ebay and watch soap operas. LOL! You just can't win & cautious limited contact is always the best. Exhale deeply when it's over.