A Game I’d Rather Not Play

Filed Under: Life

I did something this weekend that I rarely do – I stood up to my dad.

It’s not that I let my dad walk all over me, it’s that he’s usually too afraid of me to be an absolute ass in my general direction. I’ve never chased after him with a knife [though maybe he’s deserved that a time or two] so he’s not afraid of that. His fear is of losing my love because he has this almost creepy love for me that sometimes feels “wrong”.

Usually he’s a good boy and minds his manners. But this weekend he showed his ass.

Dad has convinced himself that his ex-wife cheated on him, got pregnant by another man, stole money from him, lied to his family and me…it goes on and on and none of it is true. I mean, it’s true in his fucked up mind but it’s not everyone else’s reality – just his.

Since we’ve finally settled on a date for Ollie’s one year birthday party, I figured that I’d invite Dad.

I gave him the details over the phone and before we ended to call, I told him that I had invited my ex-step-mom and my brothers and sisters to Oliver’s party.

Dad left out a sigh and he didn’t even have to say anything for me to know that we were about to have some issues.

I asked Dad to set aside his feelings for an hour. One hour so that he could see his only grandson turn one. Of course Dad assured me that he could do that and then in the next breath, he told me that he shouldn’t have to put aside his hurt feelings because of HER.

[I almost don’t want to finish this now. Not because it goes horribly bad from here but because recounting my dad’s craziness just makes me so damn tired.]

I pointed out to Dad that he had contradicted himself in under fifteen seconds and he started trying to come up with some kind of lie to cover up his misstep. Then, it was almost like he just gave up because anger entered his voice and a bit of craziness and he asked me if I understood why he didn’t want to be in the same room as my ex-step-mom. He detailed every reason that he’s made up in his head and by the end of it, his tone held the edge of an ultimatum.

I don’t do well with ultimatums and definitely not from him.

I had listened to him rage and rant and I was quiet through it all. Once he was finished, my voice dropped a bit lower than normal [the voice I use when I chew the dog’s ass for shitting on the carpet] and I warned him that it wouldn’t be wise for him to make me chose.

I told him that I would not allow him to put me in the same position that I’ve been put in with my mom and him – stuck in the middle and constantly being told to chose.

He started to interject some brand of craziness and I cut him off.

“If I hear that you have told her [my ex-step-mom] that she is not welcome at MY SON’S party or that she should not show up, YOU AND I WILL HAVE ISSUES. Is that clear?”

My voice had changed just a bit to the voice that I use when Cara has earned a good talking to. Not shrill but stern. And, as is often the case, I had taken on the role of parent and he had wrapped that old coat of lost little boy around himself and my stomach churned because I was/am so tired of the game. It’s always a game with him.

He tried to protest again and again I cut him off.

“This is MY SON’S birthday party. I decide who is welcome, NOT YOU. If you can not put your feelings aside for ONE HOUR then I don’t want you there. I would hope that your hurt feelings rank several levels below the happiness of your only grandchildren.”

Then, before he could grovel and prostrate, I told him in a very calm, neutral voice that I was very angry with him at that moment and that once I was not as angry, I would call him.

When I clicked my phone closed, I was almost shaking with the adrenaline. Usually I just avoid him and his insanity. Usually I keep our conversations to safe things like horses and farming. Usually, I would have hung up on him long before the completion of the conversation.

I looked at Tucker, who was sitting the car seat next to me, and he gave me a high five [no. really.] and I knew that Tucker was proud of me for standing up to my dad. Hell. I was proud of me.

The next day, Dad called about something [I don’t remember what since it was just an excuse to call] and I didn’t bring up the previous day’s conversation. Neither did he.

That’s how it always is with him.

Image|nestor galina