Sunday, 4 April 2010

Hung up

So my Dad hung up on me this morning. In his usual childish manner he terminated a conversation because he couldn't express how he was really feeling. Same old same old.

I haven't really written about my relationship with my Father on my blog - I don't know why. Perhaps because it would involve me wading through such murky muddy waters that I hope to have long crossed and made my peace with.

Regular readers might remember this post: (wish I could do that thing where I just say 'this post' and it comes up all highlighted and you just click on it and away you go - but I am technologically brain dead - so any help on this - WELCOMED) about when I married my Husband for the first time... When I blogged about this event - for the second time -- it occurred to me that this news might somehow filter back to my Father, and so decided it was high time I told him the truth.

So... On Xmas evening, when we had all had one drink too many and were in fine spirits, I admitted to my Dad that Husband and I had indeed married twice. Once to stay together and once for real. He seemed to take it well - understanding our issues and why we trod the many wedding'd path.

Or so I thought...

My Mother called me this morning and having had an unfortunate conversation with my Dad earlier in the week - (they are divorced, she only rang him to find out the phone number to the local chopped log seller and no, that isn't a euphemism) she explained that he felt 'conned by me' and has decided to write me out of his will. Born of a materialistic family, of an upper class Mother and working class Father, (who educated himself into a higher class) my Dad has long believed that money holds the greatest power, ergo the greatest wound to inflict. Money, however, whilst it makes life sure as hell a lot easier - has never motivated me to do anything in my life, so being left out of his will doesn't phase me at all - but the thought that he felt conned by me did.

I immediately called him. Upon being challenged, he used the classic cliche: 'I have a right to my own opinion' - sure, but about what? I explained in a calm steady voice that me and Aussie boy had very little choice but to get hitched back in 2002 - yep, it has been a while - with his expiring visa and all... That we told NO ONE, that we pretended it never happened as we viewed it as simply a legality in getting to stay together on the same soil and then we got married full and proper and everything - for our friends and family and for us - to embrace and enjoy. I wondered if deep down my Dad was just pissed that he had spent money on feeding my guests (80 of them) on my wedding day - so offered him his cash back.

Back in 2004 he had initially told me he wouldn't attend my wedding if I invited my Mum's ex boyfriend to it (the man who had taken more interest in me than either of my biological parents and who I lived with at weekends from the age of 14 - 21). Then he told me he wouldn't make a speech - even as Father of the bride, and that he would leave early. It wasn't his 'thing.' I remember my angry tears as I raged at Husband-to-be that all I wanted was a 'normal' day - just one day in my life where my warring families would put aside their differences and instead simply focus on me. This after all, is the same man who didn't attend my Uni graduation as 'it cost too much for a flight.' (From Belfast to London, not fucking LA to NZ).

His catalogue of disappointing me goes so far back it would take ten years to list it - but I am the only bride I know who on her wedding day expected to pay for it all - until after the meal when I was wandering between the tables chatting to all my beloved guests, and my Dad sauntered up to me and proclaimed that he would in fact pay for the food and drink. Finally he had offered to contribute. On the actual wedding day - half way through it in fact. Which is lovely - having refused to be in a single photo with my Mother and I - yes, but oh my god, it was so hard planning a wedding and trying to achieve my little vision of the day, when I had no idea if he would help out or even attend.

And now - now that I have admitted to him that Husband I did the deed twice and are still together - 9 years on, with a beautiful child - he has an issue!!! Well I have an issue: that I have lived in London for 19 years and in all that time he has never once visited me. From Belfast to London is an hour long flight - and we live 20 mins from the airport. That true enough, we used to live in a flat too small really to play hosts to my Dad and step-Mum - but we have moved - 2 years ago almost - to a proper house, and still he has never once visited Sproglet - yet he has had my step-sister's two kids to stay EVERY fucking weekend since they were born. They are 14 and 9. I could deal with his lacklustre attempts to be in my life; his negligence coupled ironically with the egotistical need to be the 'big man' in my eyes; but I cannot tolerate it in my son's life. You are either in, or you are out.

My childhood is thankfully long gone - I have moved on. But in one swift phone call I can be back there. Bullied by a man who picks and chooses his responsibilities and flits in and out of my life like a butterfly on speed and all the while expects me to hold him in the greatest esteem. I love him. I really do. Which is why after all this time he still can hurt, he can still bruise.

So he hung up. Last time we fought on the phone was when I had gathered him and my Mother together to talk about my wedding plans, again, way back at the start of 2004 - each not knowing the other one would be there. My Mum took it in good grace - my Dad went nuts. He rang me that night claiming I had set him up. I told him to grow up. And he hung up.

He feels conned. Well hell, that makes two of us.


brittany mum said...

I SO feel for you one this one!... My mother made the same show at our wedding, saying it was all costing HER a fortune (when I figured I was paying for most of it!). I went back to the restaurant the next day and paid for the after dinner extra drinks (a couple of hundred quid if I remember rightly, it was the Bushmils Inn!), and then proceded to get girned at from her, that I had paid too much, and it was none of my business doing that etc, etc..I even found out later that she had brought one of the bridesmaides dresses back and got the money back after the wedding, and it was me who'd paid for the bloody thing in the first place!..Glad I'd left the country by this stage or I could have been up for GBH! Anyway, as you say ..Fuck'em! Live your life and Fuck em, CM!

Keenie Beanie said...

I have similar issues with my own mother... so contact is minimal. I envy people who have good relationships with their parents. But it is not to be. No one needs toxic people in their life, even if it is parents. I'm sorry that the wound had to be reopened for you.

As an aside - to get a link in blogspot's post window, you highlight the text you want to make a hyperlink then select the "link" button in the toolbar at the top of the text window and paste in the link URL.

All the best to you!

Lozzie Cap said...

You may find THIS WEBSITE quite useful - it is the one I always go to to remind me how to post links in HTML. I'll go back now and read all the rest of your post.

Anonymous said...

Realtionships with parents are difficult, I wish I had a better one, as all my friends parent's love me, but I have nothing to do with my own. It's just less painful that way. So I feel for you. But you don't have to let him have the power to hurt you - you can be the bigger person and see this as his inability to supportively parent. It's harder to rise above it, especially now being a mother yourself, you know you could never to that to Sproglet. And just know he will love you for it. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Bless you Suzanne for every honest, raw word that you write. Love you very much, Rachel (York) x