Dear Dad

Relationships

Dear Dad,

I’ve spent the last hour silently crying as J sleeps.  I suppose that means it’s time.  It’s time I take the advice of my counselor and others who have urged me to start working through this pain I’ve carried for 19 years.

I was thinking maybe I should talk to you, but someone said I should write instead, so you don’t feel like you’re backed into a corner.  So you can have time to think before you react.  Honestly, though, I don’t know if I am brave enough to give this letter to you.

You’ve been a really good dad.  When my big brother was little, you led his boy scouts troop.  During my big sister’s formative years, you made a special effort to spend time with her…to pay attention to her…because you heard that middle children often feel neglected.  You’ve invested your life into being a good dad and husband for your new family.  And now that your other kids are teenagers, you’ve made a point to support them in their hobbies and extra-curricular activities, even going so far as to drive to another state to watch them compete.  You’re a good man, and you’ve been a good dad. …to all of your kids but me.

Nineteen years ago this month, when I needed you most, you left.  You abandoned me.  You betrayed me.  You lied to me.  My brother was married and my sister was away at college, so that left 13-year-old me to be the adult when mom fell to pieces.  Ever since then, I’ve tried to fill the hole you left in my life by adopting other father figures.  My music director.  My youth group leader.  And countless others over the years: professors, pastors, even my husband.  But as much as I love and admire these amazing men, no one can fill your shoes.

The thing that hurts the most is that I was the one who defended you when my older siblings shut you out of their lives.  How long did my sister avoid you after you chose S and her unborn daughter over us?  And hasn’t it only been in the past couple years that my brother finally started speaking to you again?  But I stuck by you as best as I could.  I fought to maintain a relationship with you and your new family even when I got heat from everyone else.  I finally gave up when I realized you wouldn’t reciprocate the effort.  You don’t call.  You don’t email.  You don’t visit.  When I fly out for a weekend, your weekly small group is a bigger priority for you than me, your daughter who can barely afford to visit once a year.  When I brought O with me last time, you were thrilled to see her, yet you barely even spoke to me.  Did you know that I wept in the car as I drove away that night?

I remember the moment when I realized that your new daughter is now older than I was when you left…that she’s had a dad longer than I ever did.  I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.  I still do.

Why did you check out when I came along?  Why were you there for J and J when they were growing up, but you weren’t there for me?  Why are you so attentive to L and B, but you won’t so much as text me?  Why do you withhold your love from me, when you so freely give it to your other children?

It’s not fair Dad.  I tried so hard to be good enough for you…to earn your love.  But it’s no good, and I can’t do it any more.  Love me or don’t.  I’ve got nothing left.

And yet….  Still…

I love you.

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Sophie Seeks Spokane’s Security in the Financial and Familial Fronts

Goals

I might need to change my blog title, because J and I are seriously talking about moving across the state. In my opinion, though, “Sophie in Spokane” doesn’t sound as nice as “Sophie in Seattle.” It does still have alliteration, though, so I guess it’ll do. Most likely, the big move won’t happen for a few years. We own a condo, and we’re profoundly underwater. My hope is that the market will pick up and that our home value will rise enough for us to break even.

Why do we want to move? Two reasons: family and finances. (More alliteration!)

Family:
The only family members we have in the Seattle area are…difficult. I mentioned J’s “cousin-in-law” in a previous post – I think I mentioned that she unfriended me on Facebook and has ignored all my overtures of friendship. And then there’s J’s aunt who is a piece of work. She is by far the most judgmental and grudge-holding woman I’ve ever met. The men in the family are all right, but I wish they’d take a stand and get their women in line. (…that might be sexist of me… My feminist friends would disown me if they knew… Which is why this is a secret blog. If someone I knew read this, then I probably wouldn’t be nearly this authentic about the controversial things.) Anyway, so since the dynamic of family we do have here is so strained, it would probably be more healthy to pursue the family that does want us around. Thus, the move to Spokane.

Finances:
In our little suburb of Seattle, we bought our townhouse for $203,000. It’s now worth half of that, but that’s beside the point. In Spokane, we could buy a NICE house for that. …and, even better, it looks like J would be able to keep his Seattle pay rate and work from home in Spokane. We’d live like kings….or more accurately, we’d live extremely comfortably. We might even be able to afford to have kids. (Assuming, of course, we could get the sex drama figured out.)

…So… That’s the hope anyway. …now we just need to be able to sell our townhouse…

Love and Loss, or Longing for Long Ago

Relationships

I miss my family. Yes, I miss my family members who are in their own corners of the world, but what I really mean by that statement is that I miss how things used to be when we were a whole family unit. Dad, mom, brother, sister, me: a family.

My brother married the love of his life in 1994. She is a very private person and they retreated into their own lives. I think I’m possibly my brother’s biggest fan, but I have very little contact with him, and I miss having a big brother to watch over me.

Then my dad left us in 1995 for his lover. They started a new family, and he’s a really great dad to his new kids…very involved in their lives. It hurts to see how there he is for them when he wasn’t for me, but they’re fantastic kids and I’m glad they have a present and loving father.

My mom has dementia and is a completely different person than she once was. I still try to see her as often as possible, but it is hard to afford the airfare. …and it hurts so much to see her. So much.

My sister is now my best friend, but she lives far, far away, and I miss her terribly. When I visit, I miss her within minutes of leaving. I call her “my person.” The one person who will always be there. My one person in the world. If I were to do something terrible, she’d be the one to visit me in jail. Even if J and I don’t work out, she’d still be there for me….albeit in another state. Miss her so much….

I miss my family. I miss being in a family. I miss what we used to have. We weren’t perfect, but it was good… Now J and I are our own little family. We love each other, and things are getting better, but it is still very lonely. It’s not the same.

I am so glad I have him, though. So thankful for that.

My Illogical Feelings and My Excessive Use of Ellipses

Brokenness, Musings, Work

So much has happened in the past few months. So many times I have thought that I should write about this or that. Visiting my mom… Spending time with my sister and brother… Interviewing at the nonprofit and the disappointment of not being awarded the job… Interviewing at the real estate firm and the joy of being offered (and accepting) the position… The strange dream that seemed so profound, but oh so confusing at the same time… My birthday and the perplexing cocktail of disappointment and happiness that surround all my recent birthdays…

So many things I could have written about, but the moments all seemed to slip by. My life is slipping by.

And now here I am, finally writing, and I don’t know where to start. All I know is that I feel sad. Lonely. …and I don’t know why. I have been shown so much love recently, so my feelings are not justified. And yet, it IS how I feel. I want to analyze my feelings away, but I can’t because there’s no logic behind it all. It just is this way… I just feel this way… I just am this way… Without explanation. And why am I finally writing now when I should have written all those other times when I actually had something to say?

(Aside: I like to analyze my feelings when I’m low because, I think, I’m more comfortable in my cerebral mode than in my feelings. I may have already blogged about this. It’s been so long, and I just don’t remember.)

So there you go. I’m sad. For no apparent reason. (Yes, I know. “Feelings are not right or wrong; they just are.”)