In the back of my mind I remember my dad is an alcoholic; It's not really something you can forget even if you've tried your whole life. The past few years it's been OK, meaning he hasn't made any of his drunken calls expressing his love for me and for the most part he doesn't even drink when I'm around. I know it's not a cure but him drinking less sometimes is the straw that doesn't break the camel's back. Some things you learn to accept either because you have no choice or you've thrown away so much time and energy trying to change them that there just isn't enough fight left in you to do anything else. So, there I was not even thinking about my dad's disease and he calls me - drunk. Even though it's been at least 2 years since he's done that, the old familiar sickness in the pit of my stomach came rushing back as if it was just moments ago. My dad means well, he calls to tell me he loves me when he's sober too (which lately has been more often than not), but for some reason he doesn't get it. Love means nothing to me when it's being recited through an alcoholic channel. I stop listening. I stop wanting to exist in the same realm. Basically I run and hide inside myself because in there, the world is much safer.
If I were twenty, I'd call my dad up and chew him out for putting me through that again, but I'm forty now. At forty, my days of preaching seem to be far behind. I keep wondering at what age his disease will stop bothering me? At what age will I stop rationalizing his 'moment of weakness' up against the ones where he fails miserably? At what age will I just stop expecting him to be any different than I know he is? Maybe that age has passed and I forgot to take note of it. Maybe it will never come.
Have you ever wondered why you don't need to teach a child how to forgive? It's like they are born with that ability automatically. I'm not sure that's actually a good thing because there are some things that just don't deserve forgiveness, but still, I've wondered at what age, at what point, do we learn not to forgive. I've held my fair share of grudges, even against myself. I've gone years holding on to pain because I just couldn't bring myself to forgive a wrong committed against me. I can't even remember when I learned the difference between forgiveness and acceptance which incidentally are not the same thing. There are many things I've just accepted but when I really am honest with myself, I know the forgiveness part, well that's something all together different.
I want to teach my kids about forgiveness, not so they'll know how to do it but so they'll know how to give it when it's deserved, when it's needed, when forgiving someone is just as much for you as it is for the person receiving it. I'm not sure how I'll go about teaching this lesson. Maybe I'll tell them all the things I wish I would have forgiven a long time ago. The things that ended up being the very same things I needed to forgive myself for.
Forgiveness. It's still something I struggle with, but I've learned to accept that.
I've blogged about my step dad before; he has Alzheimer's. Of course he's worse than the last time I wrote about him, people with that disease don't get better. But his body, it's gotten stronger. It's like some cruel trick that life plays on you...as your mind gets weaker your body tries to make up for the difference by getting stronger. It's not fair really, because who wants to be healthy when you don't have the sense to enjoy it? Of course that actually describes a heck of a lot of people doesn't it? How often do we wake up and thank the heavens that we feel great? Usually the only time anyone in the heavens hears us is when we have something to complain about. But my step dad...he's so lost. His body wants to go one way and his mind another leaving him walking in circles trying to find some compromise between the two. I'm not sure there is a compromise, at least not for him. For us it's the small moments of recognition that flicker in his eyes. We hold on to those moments because they are all he has to offer. Sometimes it amazes me how little we're willing to accept to make us feel better about something we're surely losing. I have to wonder, what makes him feel better? Does he feel anything other than pain? Does he remember that he used to be whole? I want to believe that he doesn't because to me, remembering what you used to have is much worse than forgetting it.
I got in trouble yesterday at work. I'm not the type to deny making mistakes but this time I was the scapegoat for someone else screwing up. Apparently someone more important than me so you know how it goes...Shiest always rolls down hill right? So anyway while I'm in my bosses' office and he's telling me what I did wrong he also tells me what a fabulous job I've done the past year. As he's telling me that he has to write me up I ask him if he's also going to write me up for the compliment he just gave me and put that in my file too. I'm cursed with the smart arse jean! But really, why is it that you can do a stellar job and no one ever comes to you and pats you on the back but you screw up one time in 4 years and they are on you like a fly on...well you know! As a parent I make it a point of telling my kids how well they do at lots of things because I don't ever want them to think that I only notice the bad stuff but in reality the world just doesn't work that way. We remember the bad things people say about us, not the compliments. Why is that? Don't people realize that the more you focus on the negative, the more negative a situation becomes? I guess that accentuating the positive just isn't the way we work is it?
Well I don't want to be that way so right now I'm making a point to focus on the positive...even though it's raining cats and dogs outside and I'm really pissed off at my boss...here it goes:
It's raining...but at least the salt and grime got washed off my car this morning on my way to work.
I'm tired, but at least it's Tuesday and not Monday which means I only have 3 more days to go until it's the weekend.
I got in trouble at work, but at least my boss thinks I do a great job otherwise.
That person that played CYA by blaming their mistake on me...well they'll probably lay in bed tonight with guilt plaguing their shallow soul. (oops that didn't sound so positive).
Ok that's enough because honestly at the moment I'm not feeling all that positive. I get points for trying though right?
I've been away for awhile. I thought about coming back so many times but I've been so busy with life that every time I started to write something, something else got in the way. Have you ever been there before, when the biggest thing standing in your way, is yourself? Well, it's another year and I'm another year older (I just turned 40 on Jan. 2nd) so I've decided to step aside and get on with myself.
My birthday kind of sucks. Not only is everyone usually broke and hung over, I also get to make new years resolutions and then turn a year older right after them. This year was a little harder, leaving my 30's trailing behind. Everyone makes such a big deal about turning 40 that I sort of psyched myself up to feel horrible so when it actually got here, I didn't feel much of anything. I'm really good at that ya know...not feeling anything. It's this bad habit I've learned to perfect in the last 40 years. Maybe I'll spend the next 40 years trying to break it.
So, a new year's resolution for me is that I am going to start blogging again. I've missed my blogger friends. Hell, I've missed myself. You know when I sit back and think about my life I'm pretty damn lucky. My kids are healthy, I bought a new house a few months back, my husband is pretty decent (hee hee), and 40 is supposed to be the start of the best years of my life. Well, we'll see.
I hope you all had wonderful holidays. I'm here now...and I'm staying. Kick my butt if I waiver on that one OK? I've discovered that everyone needs a good butt kicking every once in awhile.