Still wanting more
What is one to do if the dynamics are still the same, even after all these years?
I was not feeling well and was on the phone with my dad and told him so. Usually somewhat distant, or really self involved, he said he would call me up over the next two days to see how I was. I don't expect much from him but this was a nice gesture.
The first day I didn't hear from him nor the second day up until the afternoon. Then I called him and he said he was preparing his taxes and was preoccupied. I said couldn't you just leave a note on the refrigerator to give me a quick call. He said he was doing the best he could and started as he often does to get defensive. Something in me was angered and I wouldn't let go. I was disappointed. Once again I wanted what wasn't there. I know he is very elderly but this was nothing new and buttons were pushed and I wasn't able to be above it. Like it or not, sometimes our patience is just not there.
So what was one to do? Nothing has changed. My dad never was held responsible for his actions. Everything could be rationalized away. If I accepted this without judgment it just builds. It is hard to give this a 'pass' once again. On the other hand I know my actions, right or wrong, somehow pressure him and also seem unfair. But that is the larger picture, and in the here and now I occupy my shoes.
I could be polite and mannered with him while being distant for a time. Silence works for a while but is still drastic and leaves a bad taste. This would hurt his sense of the family being ok. The resultant void would cause some pain but not really resolve things. Lessons I have observed aren't really learned this way. The only plus with this approach is that for a time there is a lack of irritation.
So both paths don't really work. What is really needed is to thread the needle, intricately moment by moment responding accurately to what is called for. I can do this for a time, but I can't hold it. Instead of my core being rock like solid, it's raw innards become exposed. Time handles many things but hasn't handled this of of yet. Emotions easily bully the light of stillness and peace and calm. I'll just have to wait and let things settle into some kind of larger knowing.