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ASK iAN * The Reluctant Daughter

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Christmas after a break up is no bowl of cherries, especially in your late 60s, because most people in their late 60s/early 70s probably thought they would have the "girlfriend/boyfriend" thing already in the bag and after many years of having a family like your Father did, he is now in a new place that isn't much of a home to him.  His kids have moved out and now his wife who has tried to end it a few times before has now made it official, and it probably stings a bit.  None of it feels "normal" to him right now and he hasn't come to terms with the fact that Life HAS changed...the life he once knew, the role he had in that life and now it has all done up and changed and he can't accept it right now...

so fuck him...and his rickety memory!  ( Just kidding)

Nobody likes the discomfort of change that one didn't order.  It must feel like somebody going out and buying you the Insane Clown Posse & Jack White single along with the re-make of footloose on DVD and clothing that only the mentally fractured would sport,  and not only buying it all for you, but charging it all to YOUR visa card.

As much as i can sympathize with your Father and his selective hearing and memory...i remain on your Mother's side, and even though you and your sister are, all affected by this, it is truly your Mother's loss, burden and suffering for as she was then, she is now, the target of his aim.  He may have never been a slob, a drunk or a beater or whatever but that doesn't mean you can't beat people down in other ways and make them feel less than worthless....and yeah he put food on the table, clothes on your backs and a roof over yer skulls ( those terms make my skin crawl) well he didn't do all the things your Mother did, so fuck him and his man laws.

You can ignore your wife and kids so quietly at times that it can actually feel louder than a screaming match.
You can show your wife so little affection as to make her feel as though she were living in the city morgue's freezer...
You can talk so much about your day that you start to do it everyday and never ask the other person how their day was...and this can add up and make that person feel invisible...or worse, as though they were slowly falling away into nothing...piece by piece...disintegrating...losing everything about themselves...who they were...the spunky personality they may have had growing up...make them forget how to smile and worse how to even paste one on...without using one's fingers and a small tube of glue to hold the smile in place....

You don't have to use a gun, knife, poison or a rope sometimes to kill people and the warm feelings they had for you for so long...ignore them to death, you can use words to make them feel weak, helpless and small....you can find short comings in every little thing they do....you can talk right through their face until they can't even gather a thought for themselves....there are so many ways...and it sounds as though your Father may have performed quite a few of these or something quite similar...and some people like your Mother happen onto a last little grain of themselves and instead of letting that last little grain die away...they hide it, they build on it like adding clay until they find enough strength to leave and to never let that person who broke them down ever touch what they are ever again...and maybe your Father just can't understand the depths of it all...and that's just too bad, because if he can't already put 10 and 10 together even with your help, we doubt that he'll ever stumble upon the truth of the matter...it's called denial...it's something he knows deep down within...he just can't fess up to it nor embrace it...even if he did, the jig is up and your Mother could never go back to being with him like that any more than i can go back to being a 16 year old high school pupil.  Hopefully she has...had enough.

I believe he will always be a part of a place in her heart where there is a little love...but one need not go to the grave feeling less than half a person to prove anything...not anymore, not in this day and age...I have known of men that never let their wives get drivers licenses...it was a real dark little way to control.  Your Father...he doesn't like having no control...and i think it may be a fresh new freedom feeling for your Mother to have some control...not over him...but over her own life, her own destiny, her own decisions...for once in a long time.

Sometimes you can sit with a person in a room for 40 years...and even though you are together in that room....you are Alone, but not free to be alone...it must be like being shackled to a rotting corpse as the wall paper dies all around you and the television laughs it's hellish laughter....a true hell on earth....

As for your gig i can say that it's no fun being the middle man, the messenger, the new ignored one... Your Father may also feel that you are doing things out of charity or because you feel sorry for him, there are a few little twisty ways he could be viewing this...and as he is making no effort to phone you or your sister, it's hard not to take personal...yet it just may be that the only thing he can think about is how to get your Mother back...and his concentration on anything else, is utterly worthless...which can make you feel like a real knob...so i wouldn't take too much of that to heart.....

He is ALWAYS gonna be your Father Forever.  There is no changing that....he can get a new wife and your Mother can get a new husband, but they can't ever replace you...not even with step children.

He's just not gonna be fun to be around...sounds like he wasn't most of the time anyway...so if i were you, i wouldn't stop the fucking press to check in on the ol' codger, so maybe every other weekend, give him a ring, ask him how he is (even though you already know his griping spirit) and listen if he has something he want's to moan about...and if it keeps on with the inside information and scoop about your Mother...just tell him that it's his and your Mother's affair and that it's making you feel really uncomfortable.  Ask him if there is anything you can do for him...as there probably won't be....and you yourself accept it.

Sounds like your Mother is the one you should train your eye on a little more...she'll need your support after such a major decision and it may kind of feel at times like you are playing good guy/bad guy but yer not...yer in the middle and you have to deal with each parent separately now and on different levels of need or non need...but it really is important for you to get behind your Mom on this decision...he may be your dad, but she's the one who had to kiss and fuck him...and if she don't want no more of that gig...right on then.....Your Mom is a person first, then your Mom, not the other way around....and she is also your friend....so make sure you do lunch from time to time and go shopping for nice things when you can...just get out and be together.....

Your dad will eventually come to terms with his current situation, find his footing and rise to the challenge and begin to take care of himself....or he won't and perhaps he'll try to write you off, literally...he could even begrudge your Mother and maybe the lot of you....fuck it, it's out of your hands....each family member has their own life to lead...while yer dad is still fixated on having a Unit to protect and provide for, etc.....there is a small chance that your dad could get wise and learn how to be your Mother's friend now (not like close pals, but a kindness and an adult quality of being decent towards one another, even though they are seperated/divorced)...instead of just being her shitty room mate until the grave swallows them whole...to just let her live the remainder of her life as she so chooses and sees fit as he finds something to do with the remainder of his....it doesn't have to be ugly....

If he doesn't come around...then the years will pass and it will fade....all the pain...all the....everything....and

Above all things....this ISN'T yours to FIX.  So don't lose sleep over it or sweat your balls off racking your brain over things that just are not yours to repair....

Stand by your Mother on her decision...help her to be strong....and if your dad keeps on being a curmudgeon...call him a pussy and tell him to buck the fuck up, big boy!

To remain in an unhappy marriage because you wrote your name on a piece of paper and promised a nice person who quickly turned into a fucking pain in the fucking soul, doesn't mean it was all in vain unless you let yourself waste away your entire life inside of that pact.  Word to yer Mother* Love.

It's all sad...i agree....i wish we could all turn back the hands of time and repair the damages...and be better than we were at times...but alas....it cannot be undone...and we are rolling just to keep on rollin'*

it's yer new life too....*

iAN


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYADuqozGLk