Sunday, January 11, 2009

Doing Things One Wants to Do and Yet Doesn't Want to Do

So, in just bit I'll be off to journey to BD's to see him. I was supposed to go yesterday, but there was Weather, and so I postponed one day. I don't know, really, what I expect it to be like, but I know that if I weren't to go that I'd feel bad about it later. So on the one hand I totally do not want to be doing this today, but on the other hand, I do want to - not out of a sense of obligation or something but because I feel like it's an important part of moving through this whole thing for me.

That said, I also feel really, really resentful. I resent that I'm going out of my way for him. When my parents divorced, my father moved approximately 30 minutes away from where I lived. That's when he stopped with seeing me regularly. Because, you know, 30 minutes away is like living on Mars. And so yes. I resent that I'll be in the car 8 hours today on this errand. I resent that I feel like I don't have a right to "impose" on his current life - a feeling that comes directly out of the fact that he set it up so that I am imposing. But so yeah. I resent a lot of things. And I'm scared and sad and angry and just generally upset. Awesome.

And attempting to prepare myself for this, and attempting to process it, along with some other things that have been going on, has made me realize how closed off I can be about things that affect me most deeply. It's not that I don't express emotions - I express a ton of emotions. The thing is, though, when it comes to the really deep stuff, that gets locked up and put in a box, and I don't typically say a whole lot about those things. So sure, I'll freak out about some inconsequential thing, but when it comes to real stuff? I don't want people to worry about me, or I don't want to bother anybody.... And so I've noticed that in trying to be open about this, well, that I've been sort of fucked up about it. Like I'll say nothing and then I'll explode, or I'll feel like I have to force myself to talk about it, which feels totally alien. For a long time I've had a narrative about my dad that kind of resembles the two-minute version of your dissertation that you're supposed to have for job interviews and conferences - a version that doesn't really tell the half of it, but that does offer a basic, fuzzy picture. The thing is, that's typically as much as I ever say to 99% of the people in my life. Typically, I change the subject after offering the 2-minute version. I mean, who wants to talk about that?

And if I'm honest, most people are still getting the 2-minute version. I don't want to get into it anymore than that. It just sucks too much. But I think I've also realized that with some people it's not really fair to give them that version, and so I've been trying to be actually open about what is actually going on with me. Trying is exhausting, and I've fucked up more than once in this area. That said, some people are untiringly patient with me, and that is not something I take for granted.

Ok, enough. I need to jump in the shower and to hit the road. Sigh.


JaneB said...

It still surprises me how hard and tiring this sort of emotional work can be, but it is - maybe it's a good thing that you've set looking after yourself as a top priority, because you need nurturing with all this stuff going one (perhaps you need to make more healthy cookies, though - cookies and (skim) milk are very self-nuturing!)

Anonymous said...

my dad pulled the whole "I can't afford gas to drive across town and pick you up" thing. So I feel you on the resentment. That would piss me off.

take care of yourself.

GradGrrrl said...

I understand your frustration. Hopefully this will make you feel better. I received one of those blog awards and am passing it on to you!

Susan said...

I hope the day has gone well. . . But you know, I think it's good to have a two minute version of stuff with your father. The people who need the 4 hour version will get it, but the rest -- they don't need to know more than that it's a difficult relationship.

Having had my own difficult times with my father, I offer you my sympathies. And it's good to know that you are doing this for you, so that you can be free of some of what you carry.