I was facilitating at a seminar today. When it was over, I received a text message from my father. My father is the last man on earth who I would ever think I'd receive a text message from, but there it was. I also had a voicemail from him. He's in the hospital ... again. He goes in practically yearly with bowel problems I'd rather not discuss. Backtracking, he had a stroke about 23 years ago and the doctors gave him five years to live. He's still kicking and still a horrible father. To type that, I feel bad. See, I forgave my father some time ago, but because it is not healthy for me to have him in my life, I don't speak to him. I do call him every time he lands in the hospital because I just feel bad for the bastard. He has never known love. Not in his own childhood, and not now. I picture him lying there in the hospital, all alone and confused, with a possibility of dying and I end up calling him (he lives in Utah).
I didn't call him today, though. I cringed when I read that text. If I reply to him via text, he will text me for the rest of my life (or his). I'll never get away from him contacting me. He is like that, and with my 13 year old little brother currently in the custody of my older sister, I can only imagine the text messages my father will send me every time he is cursing her out on the phone and she hangs up on him.
He will never learn and will never change. Vicious, manipulative, emotionally and verbally abusive... Even his voicemail was filled with him trying to make me feel bad so I would call him. He told me that I am the only one that calls him, that I am the only one he can talk to because my older sister and younger brother will only text him. Well, they did call once and my sister did stop by the hospital once, but I'm the only one he can talk to. What in the world he's talking about is beyond me because I NEVER call him. Not on his birthday, not on holidays, and when he calls me on my birthday, I don't answer the phone. He is just the same man trying to make me feel bad, trying to manipulate me into calling him.
I may have called him if he didn't leave such a ridiculous voicemail, but I just can't have that in my life anymore. I refuse to let anyone treat me the way he has always treated my sisters, my mother, and my little brother. There is no hatred in me. The anger and bitterness is gone and for that I can only thank God (and the Beth Moore bible study "Breaking Free"). It was clearly the grace of God that freed me from the bondage I was in because of my father. I saw him for the broken man he is and my heart changed, but today I am ambivalent. I'm sooo very tired of having to play the good daughter and call him every stinking time he lands in the hospital just in case he dies and I end up regretting my decision not to call him.
I know these are horrible things to verbalize, especially in a public blog, but why blog or even write if we can't learn and grow from one another? I've been through a lot in my life, but I've also come a long way to get here and I'm not afraid to share who I am, even if it's the ugly parts in me. We all have ugly stuff and I don't have the energy or desire anymore to wear a happy mask and pretend I'm not struggling. I did that for years and I was miserable (I feel pretty darn good about my life right now, I might add). I want to be transparent enough to one day help someone else who goes through what I've gone through. Everyday after breakthrough healings isn't going to be peachy and today is one of those days as I wonder if I should call my father and if that makes me a horrible daughter.