Skip to content

Strangely Un-selfaware

June 18, 2018

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

I shouldn’t care. Well, I care, but I should be okay with it.

Normally I’m pretty self aware. By that I mean I understand why I do things. I understand why kids leaving my handtools out annoys me. I understand why I’m okay with cleaning the kitchen, but not the stove. I understand why I hate needles.

I never make a decision at work without having thought through the implications. If you try to play office politics with me, you’ll lose. Because, you can’t get me out of my head. I see everything.

It’s why I hate Father’s Day.

Sure, that’s a terrible thing to say. I have 13 children. THIRTEEN. And six grandkids. And Sunday they spoiled me. My daughter invited me to her house on Saturday for smoked BBQ ribs, and gave me a fantastic gift. It’s a new door handle for my front door. The “long” kind that has a lever you push down with your thumb. My old one broke and my door has had a round doorknob on it for the past few months.

Then, Sunday, I had a wonderful meal with my lovely wife’s homemade potato salad. My son came to hang out and we talked until 1:00AM. (So happy, he’s turned into a man I can be friends with.) The kids at home surprised me by landscaping the area around our trees. It was exactly what I wanted.

Perfect day, right?

No. And I’m not entirely sure why.

I have multiple fathers. I have a birth father and I have an adopted father. I actually chose my adopted father when I was 14. He was married to my mother and I decided I wanted to be adopted. I didn’t hate my birth dad. But, I was also a 14 year old kid. I didn’t know anything.

I’m happy I was adopted and for reasons that remain unclear to the 50+ year old version of myself, I kept my birth father from being a part of my life.

You might think that sounds cruel. And for you it would be. Some of you might think that sounds fantastic. For me it was. . .simpler.

My adopted father was never comfortable with Father’s day. I dreaded, we both dreaded the obligatory phone call on Father’s day. While I loved him, Father’s Day was a strain for us both. After he passed away nine years ago last week (yes, he died the week before Father’s Day) things got easier on Father’s Day.

A few months ago, my birth father had cancer. It was serious, and given his age, his odds of not making it were scary. I had to decide what to do?

I finally wrote him a letter. The first one in 40 years. He wrote back. We exchanged multiple letters. Finally last month, I was in Idaho and made the 6 hour round trip to visit him in Central Washington.

We had a great visit. We reconnected. Maybe I was selfish for asking him to stay out of my life for decades. He missed watching me grow up. He missed getting to know grandchildren.

Was I cruel? I don’t think so. I certainly wasn’t intentionally being cruel. Just as going to see him was not designed to be magnanimous. In fact, when it comes to him, I’m not sure why I do what I do. And for someone who prides himself on being self-aware, that scares me.

When I talke to him I feel like I’m 14 years old again. But, it’s not anything he does. It’s me and my psychosis. It’s not right. It’s probably not healthy. It confuses me.

And I even know that it’s not him, it’s me. But, just knowing you have an irrational fear of ladders doesn’t mean you don’t have a fear of ladders. It just means you know it’s irrational. That’s how I feel, or don’t feel about him.

So, Father’s Day was going great until I realized that there was a text to send. . .again.

I don’t even know what it is about the entire situation that throws me off my game. The one thing I do know is that it’s not him or anything he’s said or done. No, I know this is entirely in my head.

Knowing doesn’t help.

Hope your Father’s Day was better than mine.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

Advertisements
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: