Tuesday, January 22, 2008

when do you stop caring about your parents?

when i saw my dad in tahoe before my wedding, he made several references to me being an "adult" now. or me being a "grown up." it was as if to say that since i was an "adult" i shouldn't be bothered by what he has done. that his actions shouldn't affect me at all.

realistically, should i be unaffected that he's a cheating bastard with no moral compass and a complete and total coward because i'm an adult? oh, now that i'm a grown up with a family of my own, i shouldn't care that he left my mom for another woman? who thinks like this? who realistically thinks that their child won't be affected by their actions? my father i suppose. someone who makes excuses for his behavior to be okay. someone who twists everything around so he is never at fault. someone who manipulates the truth so he doesn't have to live with any guilt.

i just want to say that if my parents had split up when i was younger... if my dad had cheated on my mom and left her when i was a teenager, i would have been devastated then as well. and i'm sure it would have shaped me and i'd be a slightly different person who was most likely less trusting of men and probably more jaded and bitter. i can only imagine what it would have been like to have to deal with that at that age.

but the flip side is that i grew up for most of my life thinking my parents had a certain kind of relationship. thinking my father was a certain type of person. assuming he was a certain type of man. so finding out as an adult that he is none of things you thought he was, is possibly even more devastating. learning certain things that makes you think you never even knew the man at all.... he was never what he seemed to be. how can he tell me that i shouldn't be affected? because i'm not a kid anymore? well i'm still HIS kid. he is still my father. the only father i have ever known and had in my life.

why am i making excuses or trying to justify why i feel bad? i have the fucking right to feel bad. i have every right to feel bad. every right to think he sucks and this sucks- it's just that him acting and telling me that it shouldn't bother me... is well.. BOTHERING ME. and that alone bothers me. i pretty much think that if i was 50 and he had done this, i would still be affected. i can't stop caring about what my parents do to eachother just because i don't live in their house with them anymore. just because their decisions don't affect where i'm going to school, or where i'm going to live, etc... as a basic human being and their child- what they do will always affect me. especially if it's mean. especially if it's hurtful. especially if it sucks. how could anyone ever think otherwise?


Becky said...

i agree. when i found out after i was married and already moved away additional things that my dad had done to my mom...it still pissed me the F off even though it happened 20 years ago. i didn't care. i still called him on it. i'm the same way jenn.

Don Mills Diva said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. It hurts no matter how old you are. My parents had problems when I was in my 20s and I felt like I couldn't breathe it was so painful,

Kristen said...

my dad was an asshole even when he was dying of cancer.

i tried, but an asshole is an asshole.

there's only so many times you can get hurt before you realize that enough is enough.

family or not.

Badness Jones said...

I'm sorry honey. I don't think that you will ever stop caring. Or should ever stop caring. I know that I don't think my job as mom will ever be over, no matter how old my children are. You shouldn't feel guilty for being hurt and upset.

Karen said...

I am so sorry that you are feeling bad. But I think the fact that you care makes you a normal, moral, mature adult. Only someone who was "off" would be uneffected by the situation.

lisa mulvey said...

Wow. I could have written this. I'm going through something similar with my dad and I just don't know how to feel. All my life my dad was my hero and now I feel like I don't know him. How can he be such a stranger and how can the man I love so much be such an asshole to his family? I still care about him on some level but I'm so hurt and angry at what he's done to my mom. I keep wishing I would wake up from this horrible nightmare

mothergoosemouse said...

Why is he *just now* (or last year, but you know what I mean) calling you an adult? Because it fits his agenda now?

And even so, it's completely illogical to expect you to give him a pass just because you're on equal footing. Both of you being adults doesn't absolve him of responsibility for his behavior, nor does it negate your feelings about what he did.

Chelle519314 said...

Hello sister- we must be talking about the same father! WTF I can't believe the exact situation happens to so many people! I am sorry you are going through it.

Stephanie A. said...

*hugs* I think the parent/child relationship is so much more complicated as adults. I'm reading up on it right now, actually. Just know that you are valid in your feelings and just because he can turn off emotions or change doesn't mean that he can expect that of you as an adult.