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Catching up with work and with dad

  • Dad came over yesterday so I didn't get ANY work done. So today I have been catching up, and I figured that since I was behind on the up-dates for my own web site, and as I have just re-designed MM's web site, I might as well re-vamp mine at the same time.
  • So.... like I said Dad came over yesterday. He came back from his latest trip to France at the weekend with a new car. A 3 year old Toyota Rav 4x4. It is actually very nice, although I'm not sure why my dad needs a 4x4. I know he's moving to the Alps, but he's hardly going to be living at the end of a dirt track, nor is he likely to be taking it off-road for any reason at all. I thought it might be so he could get to some of his more remote fishing spots (considering how much stuff he takes with him, and the fact that Fay's legs are giving her grief now) but apparently not. He's keeping his old VW Golf estate for that.....
  • But that's my dad and cars for you. It has to be big, it has to be powerful, and it has to have gadgits. Especially when he doesn't need a car to be any of those things!
  • He did bring me the combi-oven he'd mentioned though, and yes it is a little battered (there are some worrying cracks in the door) but it is in a consideraly better state than my micro wave, and it will actually cook something which makes it an improvement on my oven. It'll do until we get round to buying something new and safe anyway.
  • Yorkie was at work so it was just me, dad and Fay for the afternoon. Dad took us out for lunch to Glassen Dock (as usual) and we had a pub lunch (just butties as I am on a diet.... I had tuna) and while Fay was in the loo dad got all teary at me.
  • He asked me how I felt about him moving to France. Puzzled by this question I just said I knew it was something he's always wanted to do and I was fine with it. Then he hit me with the big one. Did I feel like he was "abondoning" me again.......
  • Now - Dad leaving when I was 9 hit me very badly. Up until this time I has worshiped him totally. He was my world. And the sudden shock of him leaving, and prefering a life with another woman and her son to the one he had at home with his own family was something it took me years to comes to terms with. I'm talking councilling and a sever knock-on effect on the rest of my life (abandonment issues, choosing boyfiends who were gay because they didn't look at other women, etc).
  • However - I have known that dad wanted to retire to France since I was about 10 or 11, so I've known for most of my life. I hardly ever see him (5 or 6 times a year at the most since I became an adult, and usually only for a day at a time) although I do speak to him almost every week. We don't get on well if we have to spend much more time together in one go. We have too many of our bad habits in common and we grate on each others nerves.
  • So basically, abondonment wasn't something that crossed my mind about all this.
  • I reassured him that I had no problem with it at all, and reminded him that these days I don't keep feelings like that bottled up so if I did have a problem with it I would certainly voice it! And without waiting to be asked either. I told him I knew it had been his life long dream, and reminded him that with communications being as good as they are now (and constantly impoving) it will hardly feel like he is any further away then he is now. It's a 2.5 hour drive to my dads house in Leeds from home. I can fly to the airport nearest him in rance in less than half a day (including driving to and from airports).
  • This seemed to cheer him up some. But it's as though it's only just occured to him that he's leaving the country in the next few months. He's only waiting for the house in Leeds to sell and he's away. And harsh as this sounds, he should have worried about my feelings of abandoment when he was actually leaving when I was a child, not now I'm 26 and planning a family of my own. He never believed that was how I was feeling then, and I thought he just didn't care. Now he cares....... and I'm old enough for it not to make a huge impact on my life anymore.
  • I feel very sorry for him actually. It was only in the last 5 or 6 years that I have been able to get through to my dad exactly what happened to me when he left. He's never been able to accept that he was anything other than the perfect parent. He always said "I left your mother, not you" and I'm sure in his heart he believes that. But that doesn't change the fact that I only saw him on weekends and holidays - I needed him there every day. It drove me mad that for years he told me and everyone else that I was a happy child enjoying the perfect childhood, when in fact I was in a terrible state of depression for almost all my childhood. Eventually - as part of my councilling - I managed to sit down with him one night and told him everything. How I felt then, how I'd felt all those years, and why. He hated hearing it, and is quite convinced that I blame him for everything bad in my life. I don't blame him for everything, but he had to know that his behavior contributed to it. So did my mothers (after all she let him get away with his behavior for years and demonstraighted how to be a perfect door mat wife).
  • It's good for me to have been able to tell him all this. But I'm not happy that I have made him sad because of it. I don't want him to change who he is now. I don't want him to change how he is with me now. I've grown up and I've come to terms with things. I just want him to say sorry for what he did in the past, mean it, and move on. That's what I've had to do.
  • He deserves to be happy in France. It'll be the first time in his life that he is happy.


Donna said…
Oh CB, hearing the abandonment from your angle is really hard. Andy left his wife and kids to be with me, and he says to his kids that he left their Mum, not them. But he did leave them too, didn't he. We always justify it on the basis that he's a better person now for not being with her, and why should he have remained unhappy to try and make them happy, and he has a right to happiness too etc. But hearing it from your angle, just makes me realise that however much I do for his children, however kind I am to them and however much I have grown to love them too, I will always be the woman who took their Dad away, and they will always feel some level of abandonment by him.

Thanks for making me realise that (kind of) ...

Donna x
Donna said…
Hi CB ... I'm thinking about writing a blogpost myself about what you've made me think about. Would you mind if I quoted from yours?
MummaWalker said…
Sure you can quote me :0)

Don't feel too bad about your situation. Every one is different. My dad made it this way by dominating my life as a child. I wasn't allowed friends and I couldn't get close to my mum because of the way he was, so the only person I formed a bond with as a child was him. That's why him leaving affectedly me so badly. He has a real need to be the centre of the universe, and uses his 2 degrees in psychology to bend the people around him to fit that ideal. As a child I was more suseptable to it.

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