I’m coming out because of my dad. It took me a few days to see that, but I’ll cop to it now that I do. Of all the things he could be trying to teach me as an adult (Hey, lose some weight/treat your body better, or stay current on your job skills so you don’t get locked out due to the whole 10 year SAHM sabbatical, or let’s talk about financial planning) this is the stumbling block we keep coming back to, lo these past five years.
My grandfather died after a long illness. I saw him in the hospital a year before he died. He said, “Finish your degree, so I can die happy.”
I was late twenties then, way past the age of magical thinking. But I still thought, “No way am I going to do something that gives you the OK to give up.” Even knowing magical thinking was bullshit, and even being a grown up, I still dawdled the shit out of my degree until he died and broke our agreement.
It feels weird to not feel the same about my dad. I don’t believe that by not learning how to be Anne, I can keep him around and in his right mind, preternaturaly driven by his obligation to parent me. Like always, he will slip right by with his ‘take it or leave it,’ attitude whether I learn this lesson or not.
I think, “What if there is another lesson after this, and I never hear it because I can’t get past this one?”
I think, “Is this me being an asshole again – bending over backwards to get his approval? Because if that’s what we’re doing here, Anne, that is pretty much pissing in the holy water of this lesson about being yourself despite what other people think, FYI.”
But mostly, I think this is not about him at all, at least not in the sense of making him happy. I’m terrified that if he dies/loses his mind before I figure this out, I will be trapped in this place forever. I know from past experience that when bad stuff happens, part of me gets frozen at the age I was when it happened. I so badly do not want him to die while I’m stuck here, afraid to be who I want to be.
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