10 June 2008

My Feet Betray Me

I spend a lot of time consciously not thinking about my parents. Unfortunately for me, because most of us have them, there are things that serve as constant reminders that I wasn't just dropped to earth by a low flying stork. May and June offer two holidays that could prove excruciating if I let them into my mental consciousness very far. But I don't. Most of the time I am successful at the denial game. But once in a while I will talk with a friend and hear that they are doing something mundane like making jam with their mom, and I am so overcome with the want of a mother that I could physically crumble into a heap.
Father's Day is this weekend. A few years ago - 11 to be exact, I was sitting in church on Father's Day, about 20 some weeks pregnant with my beautiful boy. I could feel the tension building, the emotion overpowering me as the pastor talked about fathers. I was trying to relax and do some deep breathing when the contractions started, but found myself helpless to stop what my body had put into motion. Thus, that Father's Day of 1997 ended with a stay in the hospital. This was a very real indicator of how much it is hurting me even when I try to deny it. I am so thankful they were able to stop the pre-term labor, and that I had good friends to gather round me for support, yet that has never been an adequate substitute for having parents.
My mom decided with a little help from me that she wasn't speaking to me about a year and a half ago. It seems there is a level of control she wants in my life - such as the ability to dictate which family members I maintain a relationship with - that I am not able or willing to give in order for us to have a relationship.
The situation with my dad is a little different. There are siblings involved. There are my children's cousins. But still it seems that he wants little or nothing to do with me. I try to maintain this illusion in my own mind that it is my choice that keeps us apart - and then the facade that he no longer has the ability to hurt me with things such as hanging the pictures I send them of my children, their grandchildren, partially behind a door down a dark hallway while the similar pictures of the other children are in proudly on the mantle, with properly directed recessed lighting. (Okay, I made that recessed lighting thing up - but it sure seems that way!) I do not blame my siblings, but this has put a strain on our relationships as well.
So I keep a lid screwed pretty tight on that bottle. But then out of the blue, something very ordinary, will blow it off very unexpectedly. Yesterday I caught a glimpse of my feet and was overwhelmed with emotion. Minus the toenail polish with slightly softer skin, they were my dad's feet. I was thinking about the years as a little girl I saw those feet walking around in flip flops, driving the Pinto, the shape of the toes, the gait of their steps. Even my own feet betray me.

9 comments:

  1. It's a shame that your relationship is so strained with your parents. I can't even imagine how that must feel.

    I never knew my father and my mother and I were really close. Mother's Day doesn't depress me though. My mom passed away back in 93.

    I pray that your relationship with your parents improve. It's not all your fault. It takes 2 people to have a relationship.

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  2. I tired to leave a comment just now, so if two now show up, you know why. This kind of hurt goes deep, deep, doesn't it. Keep looking up at your Father and at your precious family. Bad family relationships just stink- it is not because you are not worthy of their love- please remember that. I can say that with all certainty because God says so, and He don't lie! (I have to tell myself the same thing at times too).

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  3. Hi again, Julie, I am really sorry about your sadness - sometimes we aren't dealt very good hands in our family of origin. But please remember your post from the other day - You are enough/Your Father in heaven loves you as you are and also the legacy of bad parenting/ relationships will stop with you - you are a great mom. Mel

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  4. They're just dumb because you are great and they're missing out on it.

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  5. Sorry hon, I know it sucks. It's ok to feel it, just don't let it suck you in like it did before.

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  6. I can sympathize with your feelings in part. Growing up, I didn't have much of a relationship with my father. I take full responsibility for the bad choices I made but I also see how that influenced me to fill a hole in my heart that was empty. I would stillsend my father a card but there was never anything that really fit. There are the mushy, "you've always been there kind" which wasn't us.

    Flash forward to today... I am thankful that God has restored our relationship and has made me healthy and whole. Those years that were wasted have no effect on me because I am focused on what my father and I share as opposed to how I used to feel cheated.

    I'm not saying that to make you feel badly, just a testimony to the healing power of our Heavenly Father. He truly can "turn mourning into dancing" and "restore what the locusts have eaten".

    Hugs,
    Connie

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  7. I know almost exactly how you feel. You know that I have my own issues with my Dad.
    I wish I could help you feel better. Try to focus on your precious gifts this week.

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  8. Well, at least your feet keep you walking. right? You're still moving forward. Still breathing...still living.

    It's agony at times. Isn't it? I never cry, yet I will bawl like a BABY over these parental things. I turn into an 8 year old girl....confused and unloved. It just sucks.

    Hug that little boy. Maybe that will help?

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  9. Wow, Julie! MY heart hurts for you. I'm sure I can't imagine what a horror that must be to live out. I only hope you'll keep running to Papa. Don't be afraid to let it all surface. That's where the healing is, and unfortunately, there are NO shortcuts. I am deeply sorry that your parents have sucked at loving you. It is wrong and should not be. You deserve Papa's kind of love, not because you're better than anyone else, but because, you did not choose to be here, He chose to put you here (in existence, I mean).
    Love you!

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Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥