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Daddy Issues

4 Jan

My dad is majorly fucked up.

I mean, I love him to bits – but the man has issues.

I think I’ve figured out why I want to leave the business so badly.

My father suffers from anxiety. He has his whole life, and he is very much open about it with me because he recognized the signs on me fairly early on.

But thank the big spaghetti monster in the sky for making me into a woman and giving me the mother that i have – otherwise I would be stuck in the same loop he is in.

My dad once told me that at the age of 30 he had a huge crisis, made a change, and hasn’t looked back since.

Familiar, right?

Here’s the kicker – and I honestly believe this. When I broke down I basically had two choices:

1) I work up the strength and the courage to face up to my problems and deal with them.

2) I say screw it all and detach myself emotionally completely.

I chose the former.

I honestly believe that at the age of thirty my father chose the latter.

My father is truly a genius. He has amazing ideas. So much so that I admit I’m often jealous of them.

On the other hand, since the day I was born my father has been a millionaire four times (I believe that’s the current count), and has been broke four times. That’s four times in thirty years. And I believe at least once more before I was born.

He builds things and then he tears them down. This is what he always does.

Being in the family business and finally getting some clarity – I realized that if I’m not careful he will drag me there right along with him.

My dad doesn’t believe in pills or therapy. He thinks they are bullshit (and that’s one of the many reasons he is the only member of my family that has NO CLUE about what’s going on with me right now).

He is incapable of self-reflection. When confronted with criticism, his usual response is to yell.

Sometimes he listens and acts accordingly, but most of the time, the man is a brick wall.

The funny thing is that now that I have some clarity I see how easily I could have gone down that path.

I honestly believe that my father does these things – well, everything really – from a place of fear, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

I think he is so scared of confronting his own shortcomings, mistakes, and feelings that he retreats into the macho yelling.

I think he destroys every wonderful thing that he creates from the same place that I was discussing the other day. Fear of true happiness.

I think that he believes that facing up to those emotions will literally kill him.

For example – he can’t deal with me crying. He usually yells.

When he’s sick – he becomes impossible to deal with.

When he’s stressed – he’s a nightmare. He spends days on end in bed depressed, and when not in bed – yelling and driving my mother (and these days me as well) up the wall.

He destroys what he can no longer handle and rebuilds from a place of fear. He has no concept of building on what he has already created. The result is a constant state of running and instability. A constant state of crisis – even when things are good (sound familiar?).

I sometimes wish I could slip him a xanax. Seriously.

However, I do have a plan.

After I give my notice (a plan is forming and will most likely be executed in the next few days), and put up with what I’m assuming will be several weeks of yelling, I have a little fantasy that I hope happens. I would like to share this fantasy with you, dear readers.

My dad and I are sitting on my parent’s porch having a heart to heart (rare but wonderful when they happen).

Dad: You know – you seem a heck of a lot calmer, happier and together in the last few months.

Me: Yep. Thank you. Do you want to know why?

Dad: sure.

I pull out my packet of zoloft, hold it out like a spokesmodel, and smile.

Man I hope that day will come.

I honestly believe that my father is – at his core – a loving and sensitive man. If he would just let himself stop for one second and confront the constant anxiety loop in his mind, I believe that he would become a much better man, father, and husband.

I honestly and truly hope that for him. But until that happens – I will not let myself go down with the ship!

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One Response to “Daddy Issues”

  1. rolig January 8, 2011 at 11:59 #

    I think you should tell him about it before the two months notice.
    It’s about being honest and giving him a chance to understand you (even thou he probably can’t).
    It’s the logical order of things.
    I wonder. What frighten you the most? Telling him your real emotional struggle or your resolutions from it.

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