My father had a stroke yesterday morning. I didn’t find out until today.
I got home from having another good productive day, exhausted. I walked in and told my husband I needed to lay down.
He came to me and sat down and said, “I know you’re tired but I have to talk to you.” He took my hand and looked serious. I thought my god, my dad died. He wasn’t dead and in fact is already out of the hospital and doing quite well. But it scared me and I cried .
I’ve been out of touch with my dad because after spending three one week stints with him last year and getting yelled at by him I regressed back to sixteen and hated his guts again. He was my abuser as a child and caused me a lot of trauma. Before visiting him repeatedly in the last couple of years—for necessary things like him almost dying due to a heart attack and having to care for him and then moving him to my sister’s town and then staying with him while I spent time with my dying brother—before all that I thought I had let go of all my hurt, pain and anger towards him. I used to call him once a week and we would talk mostly about food us being both foodies and good cooks. I often called him to ask for suggestions while cooking too.
In any case, he opened up all the wounds when for no good reason he screamed at me on a few occasions while I stayed with him and I pulled back when I returned home I stopped calling him. The withdrawals made me emotionally delicate and being drugged and numbed out from the tender age of 19 meant I never really dealt with all the pain he caused me with his abuse. So I just didn’t want to deal with him anymore.
Now I have to rethink things. I’ve called him twice today. He was happy to hear from me. He sounds good and he may be fine for another little while, but he has heart disease, COPD, emphysema, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, he smokes and does not exercise and he’s 80. Chances are he won’t be around too much longer.
I’m not sure what to do with this reality. My brother died just a few months ago–I am not in the least bit at peace with death.
I will start calling him weekly again. When I thought he was dead today I was mortified and I wept. I was greatly relieved when I found out he was going to be okay.
I can’t travel to see him. I’m too ill and really I don’t want to see him, but I do want to find some peace with him. I love him, in spite of everything. I don’t understand why I love him, but I do.