January 09

I had rehearsed what I was going to say with my counselor and several other friends, but when the time actually came… I had no idea what to say. So I put aside all of my rehearsals and tried to tell the truth.

I started with me. I started with the abuse I had spent so many years blaming myself for, and how I brought the corresponding emotional issues into every other relationship I entered. I told him about the last man who broke my trust, and how this time I could tell that the hurt went deeper than ever because it was affecting more and more of my life and relationships. I explained this was why I initially started counselling sessions last fall… to address this mistrust, and that now it was time to uncover these effects on our relationship.

“Dad, I know you value truth and honesty in your marriage because you have a good one. Let me as you this: if you unintentionally hurt each other, and the other person doesn’t know, you would have to be honest and tell them about it, right?” I was trying to appeal to his sense of common sense. He thought I was looking for a way to place blame.

“Well, no… not always. Not if it would really hurt that person, then I wouldn’t tell them.” But I could tell he knew where I was coming from and so I continued.

“Dad, yes you would… you would because you share EVERYTHING, and you would not let any unresolved issue get in the way of your relationship. People who love each other are also bound to hurt each other and I just can’t imagine your reaction being to pretend that it didn’t happen!” And then a long pause… “right?”

“Right. Well I guess it would depend on the situation.” He looked open to hear my thoughts, however suspicious of my motive.

“I guess it would,” I said. “We’re going to hurt each other, Dad. I don’t want to hurt you, but because I love you, I know that it is going to happen. And I know that you will hurt me too, even though you don’t want to.” I may have touched on the example of the pink laptop case, and how such a silly thing hurt both of us, despite our best intentions. I just remember rambling for a long time…  “I need to trust you enough to be real with you and not be afraid to tell you how I feel, even if you might not understand or agree.”

“Do you think I don’t understand, is that the problem?” He was getting it, but still didn’t understand why I felt I could not trust him. So I kept rambling.

“Sometimes I’m afraid to tell you what I’m feeling, because you might take it personally and make me feel badly. Even though you don’t mean to! And when you do, it just makes it harder for me to tell you the next time and I can’t… we can’t…” My eyes started welling up with tears. “We don’t have time for me to not trust you. I know you keep saying the doctors don’t know what they’re seeing and not seeing and whatever, but we just… I just… I have to be…” I looked over to the right, hoping he wouldn’t see the tears now overtaking my eyes, threatening to escape with the next blink. Then I looked back at him. “I NEED TO BE REAL WITH YOU, DAD!” I blurted it out and let my head fall into my hands as I waited for the harsh (‘non-understanding’) reaction I had been expecting. Except it never came.

Instead he rose from his chair and walked to the other side of the kitchen table where I was sitting. He grabbed me from under the elbows and, pulling me up to a standing position, took me in his arms and said the most unexpected, magical words. “I love you, Lindsey. I have always loved you and I will always love you. No matter what. There’s nothing you could ever do to make me love you any more or less. My love for you will never change and all I want is for you to be real with me.”

I don’t remember what happened next; only that I stood there in his arms for a very long time, and cried and cried…

Photo: Father's Day 2009

Photo: Father’s Day 2009

~ by lindseywhitemusic on June 16, 2013.

One Response to ““Un-Father’s-Day””

  1. This is beautifully written and brought tears to my eyes. You’re in my heart and thoughts today LIndsey. Though time and our lives have kept us from reconnecting, you are in my prayers.

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