Father in Surgery: Have Not Spoken in Five Years

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Father in Surgery: Have Not Spoken in Five Years

Postby Data » February 20th, 2014, 9:17 am

I could really really use some feedback on this one.

My Biological Father who I have not spoken with for over five years broke his hip and is now going into surgery. I got a text early this morning from my sister who kept in contact with him. I texted her back and asked what happened, but she didn't respond. I don't feel she needs to either. She has been the one who has stuck by him through all of his mental illness, and the abuses that come from it. However, I am now struggling with what will happen if he doesn't come out from this. I haven't had contact with him in a long time. I don't know what state of health he is in. For all I know this broken hip is just the latest of his health concerns and he could be dying.

It doesn't help that a week ago I had this dream that my sister arrived with my father in the back of her car dead. I cried in the dream and just kept saying "What is the matter with him? What is the matter with him?" That nightmare haunted me for days. Now I feel as if that nightmare is coming true. For a long time I thought if he died I wouldn't feel anything, now I am realizing that if he dies I am going to feel a LOT.

I don't know what to do. Should I try to contact him? We have never had a good relationship, and I am afraid if I contact him it will not do any of us any good. It may actually impeded his recovery for all I know. And maybe I don't have the right to be in contact with him. I haven't been the one to stick by him. We abandoned each other. Do either of us have the right to re-unite just because death maybe at the door? I don't know. I just don't know.

For anyone who has decided to cut contact with a family member who has later died, please, I need to know what it was like for you. I need to know what is coming. Any input is appreciated.
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Re: Father in Surgery: Have Not Spoken in Five Years

Postby weary » February 20th, 2014, 11:44 am

I'm really sorry to hear that you are so distressed about this. I don't really have any good advice, but I relate to your feelings and fears. I am estranged from my father as are my sisters, and he had a bout with cancer that avoided two surgeries after the estrangement started but before we stopped speaking to each other completely. I just talked to my sister the other night and she was having similar fears to the ones that you expressed, right down to having a dream that he died and nobody told us until after the funeral. It has pushed a lot of buttons for me, because I have a hurt associated with the estrangement that I have dealt with by shoving it down and avoiding it, and I can't do that forever.

I guess all that I can say is maybe you need to think of what the things are that you would like to say to him if you did contact him. Maybe think about what you would hope to hear from him, but also not necessarily count on the fact that you would expect to hear them. Maybe write the things you want to say to him down. At least to collect your thoughts. And then that might help you decide what course of action to take.

From what you've written, I don't understand what the details of the estrangement are, but I would say under any circumstances, you do have a right to contact him. Whether or not it is a good or bad thing for him is impossible for you to determine, but you can try to figure out if it is a good or bad thing for you. I hope that he gets through the surgery ok and I hope that you get through this ok too.
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Re: Father in Surgery: Have Not Spoken in Five Years

Postby Cinnamon » February 22nd, 2014, 1:09 pm

It is always right to reach out - to express your sincere (and hopefully you can be sincere) hopes that the surgery and healing go well, that he gets thru this and that, though it is very complicated, you wish him well and send him wishes of peace.
No need to go to details, to explain, to excuse, ty. to express the existing ambiguity. you do care....you wouldn't be upset about it otherwise.

Even the best relationships have moments of regret and things said or unsaid that are painful to remember after one person dies. It always hurts. but to the extent, human to human, you can express a sincere hope for healing, you will feel better that you ended it by expressions of compassion, even if not as a child.
And if he dies or not, the relationship with him remains, just as in not speaking, your relationship with him remains - though it is a mental or emotiona one and not one of interaction - you will think about, feel about, worry about and regret the way things were, the way he was or you were at any time, and as life goes on, your understanding will deepen of yourself, maybe of him and its all a path, it doesn't end with death.
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Re: Father in Surgery: Have Not Spoken in Five Years

Postby Data » February 23rd, 2014, 3:54 pm

Thanks for the response. I ended up not contacting him. One of the reasons I decided not to call him was what you said Weary, that I needed to think about what things I would like to say to him. I ended up trying to write something down that I would like to say to him. I couldn't think of anything I wanted to say to him, and there is nothing that I wanted to hear from him. I didn't experience a feeling of anger or hatred when I thought of this like I would have a few years ago. I guess the closest feeling I could get to it was a feeling of grief.

I think what this has revealed for me is that I really need to process our relationship more than I have. I have done a lot of thinking and a lot of emotions have been spent on the loss I have felt that I didn't have a Father. However, I think I need to actually grieve the man who was my biological father and come to some peace about him. He is a man consumed by his sickness, who made the unfortunate action to neglect, abuse, and manipulate his own son. I guess I haven't fully addressed the fact that at some point in my childhood I did love him and that is why the way he has treated me throughout my life has hurt me so much. Like you said Cinnamon no matter how it ends he will always be a part of my life.

I had to wait two days to find out if he was alright. He ended up pulling through fine. It was an accident that happened at work and isn't related to him being physically ill. However, I didn't know this for two days and I still decided not to call him. I am glad this happened. It revealed to me that I need to really think about this.

What I did instead of calling him was smoke a cigarette in my car. I never smoke cigarettes in my car because I love the interior of my car more than my own lungs, but when I was a kid he used to smoke in his truck when he took me places. I remember laying against the torn up tobacco stained stained seats and looking up at his rough fingers on the steering wheel and smelling the air filled with that thick bitter scent I actually felt love for him. I know this is terrible, and even more terrible was that he always told me not to tell other people because he knew it was bad. Yet, smoking that cigarette in my car I realized this was probably one of the few moments I felt love for my father. Yeaaah and now I'm choked up. That is good though. I am glad. This is probably the first step towards really grieving my father.
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