Monday, October 5, 2015

Pain Demands to be felt

SAT Sept 12, 2015

"That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt." 

When I think of my dad, I think "Indestructible." He was never sick, at 74 he didn't have any grey hair, as a matter of fact, he had ALL his hair, he once dove in to a baby pool head first and recovered like nothing, he would get a cut from working on something... a fan, cars, mower and he would just wrap it, but you could clearly see he needed stitches. So when my uncle texted me to let me know my dad had passed away, I didn't know what to feel. How do you mourn some one you had a complicated relationship with and believed would live to be 120 years old?

I hadn't seen my father in a long time, but I knew he was alive somewhere. That's how he was - pop in and out of our lives. My brother found him living in Honduras this past year and that he had throat cancer but that he was doing really well. Just like Carole Popperton-Schrading described her father, "My father was an alcoholic. He was very intelligent and high functioning, to borrow a term from AA." 

My family has about 80 percent bad memories of him and 20 percent good memories of my dad.
Good memories...his pig roasts, teaching me how to make fried shrimp, my dad had me and my brother sit at the kitchen table and pretended he was a french waiter. He had the napkin over his arm and He was taking our order in french- really it was gibberish. On the menu was hot dogs with the ends cut so they would curl up like flowers or when my mom let some Jehovah's witnesses in the house and my dad started laundry, slamming the washer lid, turned up the t.v., talked really loud, and we could see that he was making himself laugh from his antics - it made us laugh too - No disrespect to Jehovah's Witnesses.

Then there were the not so good memories...drinking, manipulating, gas lighting, causing trouble, police, joking one day, upset another, did I say police?
I couldn't help but to laugh when my my mom would ask him, "And who are you today? Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?" in her Spanish accent. Writing this right now, I'm laughing inside. We were so damn dysfunctional.

I had no ill feelings towards him. I accepted and was at peace that he was the way he was and the limited relationship was a good thing. Even with all his non sense, I learned a lot from him.  I knew what kind of parent I did NOT want to be, how exactly I would allow someone to treat me, how to discern situations pretty fast, which ways NOT to cope with life, how to read people...

So back to processing all this - Anger I know very well how to feel. Frustration and disappointment too, but sadness I had no point of reference. I kept trying to analyze and figure out what I was feeling, but I just made myself exhausted. So when I found this quote from 
Leonardo DaVinci, 
"Tears come from the heart and not from the brain." 

It gave me a little peace.  Sometimes I just won't  end up "figuring out" all my feelings. 
Some times I'm just going to have to allow myself to feel it, not rush through it so I can "get over it" and allow paint to be felt.

Thank you to all of you who supported me and was a shoulder to cry on during this time in my life.

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