Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Remembering who I am

Just wanted to give all of you a follow-up to my post from last week about meeting with my dad this weekend.
 
Even though I was extremely nervous driving over there, I was amazed at how calm I became once I got out of the car and walked to the door. Don't get me wrong. I was still nervous, but what I mean is I started going into this peaceful calm inside. It's really hard to describe but somehow I had convinced myself that I didn't need to obsess about every little thing I was going to say or worry about how I might answer any questions he might ask.
 
He was the one who asked if we could meet, so I was just going to be myself -- as best I could -- and hear him out.
 
Remember those three things I mentioned in my last post that I was going to keep in the forefront? I think I went over and over and over them so many times before Saturday that they got absorbed into my mind and in my heart. I'm so pleased with myself for taking those three things seriously because they sure paid off.
 
Just to recap, here's what I'm referring to:
 
1. I have my faults like everybody else, but at my core? I'm perfect just the way I am.

2. I don't need my dad's acceptance or approval. If I get it, fine. If I don't get it, fine. The only person who needs to accept and approve of me? Bradley.
 
3. I have an open mind and an open heart and I am strong enough to protect both. I have my faults like everybody else, but at my core? I'm perfect just the way I am.
 
I need just a little bit more time to sort through everything that happened, so I'll post something shortly about the details.
 
So just let me say briefly that we had a nice lunch together (he paid!), and then we went back to the house. It was pretty obvious he was extremely nervous, but I just sat back and let him do the talking since this was his idea. I got a little nervous at this point, but I remembered to just breathe and somehow I got myself calm.
 
I listened to everything he said and didn't interrupt. After he was finished, he asked if we could talk about the things he brought up, and I asked some questions. Then we had a pretty lengthy discussion that was civil and respectful -- on both sides.
 
When we got to the end, I simply said I appreciated what he had to say but needed a little time to take it all in. He nodded and said he understood. We didn't make any further plans beyond that, but it was pretty clear the next move will be mine. When I'm ready.
 
I would like to share some of the details and get everyone's feedback, but like I said, I just need a few more days to organize my thoughts.
 
The main thing that came out of this for me? Like the title of the post says, I remembered who I was. I didn't have anything to justify or prove. I kept an open mind and an open heart.
 
Oh, and maybe the most important thing was, I'm stronger than I was aware. And, at the risk of sounding like I'm bragging, I'm pretty damn proud of myself.

 

43 comments:

  1. You should be proud Brad! That's exactly how I hoped it would play out. And you're smart to take time to think about the next steps. After all, your relationship wasn't fractured overnight so it'll take more than overnight to fix. I am so proud of you for giving your dad this chance even though it was probably a scary idea at first. Keep going. You got this. Love & ((hugs))

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    1. Thanks, Mary. Yeah, I know it's going to take some time and even then there's nothing guaranteed. I'm trying to look at this realistically and just take the kind of steps I'm ready to take.

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  2. I'm pretty damn proud of you too Brad!
    It sounds like things went as good as they could have, I'm really happy for you.
    The ball is in your court now, and you can choose to do what's best for you.
    You know who you are and don't have to change for anyone.
    Have a wonderful day Mighty Bradley!

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    1. Thank you, Kelli. You have a wonderful day also! :)

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  3. What Mary said. Absolutely be proud of yourself. I'm certainly proud of you. And I'm glad to hear you're taking the necessary time to sort through everything. It sounds like it went pretty well. Take the time you need and take the next step when you're ready. Way to go, Mighty Bradley! Big hugs.

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    1. Thanks, Kris! I am feeling proud of myself. I'm starting to feel less of a little kid around him and more of an adult. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Carey. Thank you! That means a lot.

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  5. You did not give a lot of details, but it is my impression that your dad did not set up the meeting to put you down or be judgmental. He did not try to impose his will or bully you in any sense. Under those circumstances, with him being respectful and courteous, it would appear that you have some basis to patch up your relationship. As long as he remains that way, it could be worth a try. Also sounds like you handled yourself very well under such tense circumstances.

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    1. Thanks, Andy. I want to give some more details soon, but he didn't come across as judgmental or try to impose his will on me. I think it was a good first step. I was tense at first, but somehow sort of relaxed as things got under way. I think I did a pretty good job.

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  6. Chiming in that you absolutely SHOULD be proud of yourself! Sounds like you handled it very well and went into it with an open mind and enough self-protection in place to handle whatever came up. You're doing it right, Bradley! And I am SO proud of you :)

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  7. Everybody's already said it, so I'll just add "you did good, Brad", and although I don't know you I'm proud of you, as you should be proud of yourself. *hugs*

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    1. Thanks!! I felt those hugs, too!! :)

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  8. You're a good person and have every reason to be proud of yourself, your achievements and your self-growth. I'm proud of you, too. Big *hugs* :-)

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    1. Thank you, Aniko! It does feel like an achievement and growth.

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  9. So glad to hear even this much, Bradley. Thought of you all weekend and wondered how it all went. It sounds like you handled the situation in a way anyone would be proud of you, and I am—so very proud! Give yourself whatever time is necessary to digest it all and then decide the next best step for you. You showed strength and poise, and should be proud of yourself!

    Love and (((hugs)))

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    1. Thanks, Susan. I hadn't thought of that word "poise" until you mentioned it. I sorta like that. :)

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  10. Civil and respectful is OK, but reading between the lines, it was something short of loving and accepting. Maybe this is the best your dad can do right now, but I hope for your sake he does a lot better in the future. Best of luck Brad!

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    1. Thanks, gp. There's a lot of history between us and I think if there's any chance of working through it, it's going to take some time. Thanks for your support. :)

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  11. Good for you! Good for BOTH of you (because at least your dad is trying, which is more than a lot of parents do). I'm willing to bet you'll sort it all out. Take all the time you need, Bradley. Any understanding worth reaching cannot be forced.

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    1. Thanks, K.Z. That last sentence is sooo true. :)

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  12. So proud of you! Loving yourself comes first, Brad, and I'm so glad you're starting to see yourself the way we do, beautiful, just the way you are. :)

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    1. Thank you, Dianne! That means a lot. :)

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  13. Congratulations on remembering your three "things" and sticking to them. Whatever the details of the conversation are, Brad, the most important gain sounds like you remained yourself and never once felt the urge to apologize for that (none of us should ever think that way, in any case.) You have a lot to be proud of. :)

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    1. Thank you, Michael. It was truly wonderful to feel no need to apologize for anything.

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  14. I'm so glad you were both able to stay calm and things were discussed respectfully. And asking for time to consider what had been said was the perfect thing to do.

    You are strong, Brad. Well done!

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  15. Dear Brad, with every passing day you are getting stronger just by being yourself.
    I saw this quotation and it reminded me of you :)
    http://imgur.com/buAXN95

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    1. Oh wow, Ozly! I LOVE that quote!!! Thank you!

      In case that link doesn't work for everyone, this is what it says:

      "Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else."

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  16. Your post radiates positivism, which is great! You are right for being proud of yourself!

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  17. Very proud of you, Brad. And I am so glad that you remembered that you are perfect just the way you are. Because you are.

    *hugs*

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  18. You don't sound at all braggy . Hugs

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  19. I think the fact that you stayed cool and collected, and let him have his say speaks worlds about you and your maturity, and progression into realizing that yes, you are perfect just the way you are, and you are the only one whom you have to please. Be proud of yourself for this.

    One more thing...the fact your dad also stayed cool and collected and respectful probably says a lot about his journey, too! Keep that in mind.

    Coolness, Brad. You're doing a heck of a job keeping this thing called life in hand!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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  20. Brad- You did just perfectly, as I knew you would. You took it in, dealt with it rationally, and now you will sort it out. That is a sign of maturity and also, I think, of self-acceptance. His opinions are his-they will not make or break your life. You know who you are, and that is of the ultimate significance. So now, at your leisure, sort through this situation, keeping your mind open to ways in which this relationship could compliment your life.

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  21. I'm proud of you too, B.
    -Shell

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  22. You're inspirational. You should be proud!

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  23. It tears my heart out when I hear that some dads or mothers that disown and create so much hurt on the ones who are suppose to trust them for love and support.
    I would not turn my back or give an attitude to my kids or grandkids.
    I came out to them and they were cool with it. Why???????? would you jeopardize a relationship does not make sense

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