No, really, I actively avoid your calls because you don’t know me — don’t try to know me — not really. “Don’t waste your PhD, like your mother wasted her degree,” he said. You don’t know me. You’re living with my grandmother — I talk to her, not you.
That talk at Christmas was a gift — acting as if anything — some semblance of a relationship was there — Here’s who I am and what I’m doing, but you don’t deserve that.
“I wasn’t always a good father — but I loved you — I tried harder than my dad.” Trying to be someone isn’t enough — you need a plan. You don’t know me because I won’t let you in — again, after watching you pretend everything was normal. I’d like to pull out the slideshow sometime:
This is me, hiding in my room — this is you, yelling at mom, her crying, you screaming accusations — needed her to be someone other than who she is. This is me distancing myself; this is you hugging me as I recoil slightly. This is me, watching, waiting, wondering how you don’t recognize your dad in you.
You don’t know how hard I’ve worked to shake off the fear, the memories of silence intermingled with strings of obscenities reverberating in my mind. You don’t know the adult me, who feels like she’s constantly piecing herself back together, returning to the present. Reminding herself that you’re not an authority on anything — then feeling the sadness in that absence.
I don’t trust you to know me. What would you do with me? As I become myself, I’m distancing myself from you, not knowing what you could do to find space in my life — not wanting you in my space — Mine! My quiet, my people, my time; no longer waiting for you to decide what we do with our paper doll family.
I don’t know if you ever knew me — you knew the cutout paper version of me — still and quiet, waiting for you to leave — surprised at the quiet.
This is what I need now — to see you as a horrible person with no place in my life — in the stark black-and-white, no grey — we’ve tried grey. I’ve seen you in the familial tragedy and saddened adolescent self — BUT you can’t see me! Maybe you don’t want to — I suppose you’d realize what a shitty father you’d been if you did.
In the conversations I’ve been there to repair, in the sads and that would hurt — but I need you to see that, to recognize who you’ve become, if inadvertently — not so far away from the man who’s alienated his sons, and screams at cows. The one whom you’ve avoided across holidays.
I suppose you know what this feels like — to hide and mourn — then pause, to feel stuck — but you’ve distanced yourself from that experience.
You’re too far away to see me.