Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The next step

I've been all over the place emotionally the past week or so. My dad got in touch with me and we're going to be spending some time together this weekend. Just the two of us. To talk. Alone. 
 
My sister and my mom, both of whom I trust without any reservations, have apparently been having some tough talks with him and it seems like he might be ready to talk more directly about our relationship, but it's got me really anxious.
 
I've been thinking about the time years ago when he actually apologized for mistreating me for having the audacity to be gay. (Wow. Can you hear the edge in my voice there?) I'm trying to curb the bitterness I still feel inside without going into some kind of pretending mode. I just don't want to get some hope and then see it dashed all over again.
 
I've been through this before with him so I know he's capable of making the effort. I just don't know if he's capable of making it stick long term. I've been disappointed before and it always feels like my emotions break into a thousand pieces when that happens.
 
So I'm going in there to see how he wants to do this. I'll try to be open to hearing what he has to say, but I'm not going to take every word at face value. We have a history together and that's part of the mix, so it's a lot.
 
I don't want to get my defenses up too high, but they need to be there to protect the part of my heart that feels fragile.
 
I'm also trying not to get my expectations too high, but I don't want to go in there with no hope at all.
 
I'm mainly trying to remind myself that he is who he is, and I am who I am. Maybe he's changed. Maybe he's ready for the next step.
 
I'm also trying to remind myself that I've grown a lot over the years and have become stronger. That doesn't mean I don't have any fragile parts, because I do. I'm trying really hard to trust that I know how to do this, if he's serious.
 
Who know? Maybe I'm in a better place now and I'm as ready to have this talk as I'll ever be. Just wanted to put this out there in case I need to follow up with you guys next week. You've always been here for me, and your support means a lot.

26 comments:

  1. Your dad made the first move and that's a promising thing. But I've think you've got the right idea. Go into it with a bit of hope, a bit of defenses, and be ready to listen. Hear what he has to say and don't be afraid to tell him that you need to take some time with it all afterwards, if you do.

    Big hugs, Brad. I'll be thinking of you and sending supportive thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brad, you humble me with your bravery and your perception of this. Like Kris said, you've got it all covered. You are stronger now and he may finally realize that you are not him or an extension of him. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a more positive experience than in the past. However it ends up you tell him this - "I'm an amazing person and it's up to you whether you're going to enjoy it or not." You shouldn't be the only one to walk away with something to think about. Love and ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
  3. Best of luck with it! I'd be nervous too, but it's good that he wants to talk. At this point, it's not like he's going to be telling you to be someone different, so that's a positive! Be as honest as possible and don't worry about saying something "wrong." You have a strong, solid family (and army!) whether he's part of that or not, so you are really in the position of power here. Keep that in mind while you're talking. And kudos to your Mom & sisters for not just accepting him "as is" and ignoring what an ass he's been to you :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awww...Brad. <3 It's completely understandable that you're all over the place about this. And, from what you've said here, it sounds like you've put all the thought into it, and really looked at it from every angle. You've put your protections in place, to safeguard your heart...yet, you're open to the possibilities of the good turns the conversation could take... You are fantastic, and smart, and loving, and you're going to be fine no matter how the talk goes!! But, just know that if it doesn't go well it is in NO WAY a reflection on you. And, we're absolutely here for you!! I have a feeling it's going to go really well though. :) *HUGS* <3 - Jules

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Brad.

    At least there seems (emphasis on seems) to be some movement on your Dad's part. But as you say, it remains to be seen how sincere he actually is.

    With respect to my dad, I was never able to make it to first base. More like I never got out of the batter's box.

    One bit of warning, it would always seem that when dad and I had one of these "talks", we always ended up reverting back to our old roles. His as a wise, all knowing Daddy and mine as being a helpless 6 year old child who knew nothing.

    I did not seem to be very good at combating that. All my father wanted to do was talk, but never listen. Hopefully, you will have much more success that I did..

    Andy

    ReplyDelete
  6. *hugs* Brad. You've got a good mindset going into this, and that'll go a long way to getting the best results from your talk with your Dad. At the very least it's an opportunity to see how things stand, where it's likely to go and what you need to do once armed with that information, even if it means distancing yourself from him. Most likely you will see some growth in your Dad and his attitude and treatment towards you, even if it sometimes feels like two steps forward and one step back, rinse and repeat a few times. At best (and fingers crossed), the talks your mum and sister have had with him have given him a new perspective and he's realised that his past behaviour has been unacceptable and hurtful and he's ready to go forward with re-building a better relationship with you. Whatever happens, you are an amazing person just the way you, so don't forget that. Best of luck <3

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good Luck, Brad. I hope both of you get something positive out of this talk.

    Andy's right about how easy it is to fall back into old roles, I've experienced that. One way to avoid it is to watch your body posture, keep your neck long and your body upright, this keeps your mood from getting defensive and also will subconsciously signal to your Dad that you are a man to take seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Even if things don't go exactly how you hope they will, keep in mind that deep down he must care for you, or he wouldn't bother trying at all. Stand tall. Be proud of who you are. If he can't see your worth, it doesn't mean you're not worthy. It means he's blinded by his own prejudice. I really hope you can help him see past those prejudices, but if you can't, it is his failure, not yours. Kudos for giving it another try at the risk of being hurt and disappointed yet again. People can change. Have faith in that. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wish I knew some words of wisdom to say to you, but I don't. I've never had this kind of problem with my parents. But....I do know that when talking to a parent when your an adult, you must stand your ground. No yelling, no shouting. Talk calmly & also listen. It's very hard for them to see you as a grown-up. All they see is the 2 year old that still needs guidance & they alone have the wisdom. But hopefully he will see the man that you've become...that your smart and loving and a good person. Your in a healthy relationship with someone who loves you dearly & whom you love. You have friends that love you and have your back. Hopefully he has made this gesture to talk to you because he wants a relationship with you. Good for your Mom & sisters for telling him to get with the program, btw. :) I guess the main thing is....be prepared...for anything. Remember...Matty loves you. You have a good life with him. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of. You've done nothing wrong. Don't let your Dad make you feel as if you have. No one can make you feel bad unless you let them.
    You're stronger than you think you are. No matter what happens, Matty is waiting for you.....
    With much love,
    Lis Craig

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nothing like a backhanded apology to put you on edge. It's a fine line to walk between being hopeful and open , and realistically protecting your heart. I'd be a nervous wreck as well. The most stress inducing four words "We have to talk." Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am so proud of you Brad. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself in a position to be vulnerable. You have to remember that he no longer has any power over you. You are a man with family and friends who love and support you. His love would be nice to have, but you don't need it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hope it goes well for you, Brad

    ReplyDelete
  13. Based on what you've said about your dad's track record, you're right not to get your hopes up too high Brad. It's possible that he's finally "seen the light", but not probable. If i were your dad and had finally accepted you as you are, one of the very first things i'd do at the meeting is apologize for all my past mistakes. Apologize contritely, unreservedly and ask for your forgiveness. If that doesn't happen, you probably shouldn't get your hopes up too high about any promises he makes about improving your relationship. Regardless, like everyone else, i hope he's finally going to accept you & love you as the great son that you are.

    ReplyDelete
  14. All the best to you, Brad. I think you already said it and understand that you guys are two different people. He's the one with the "issue," not you so try to keep Matt's love wrapped around you like a thicken, woolen blanket when you meet with your dad and remember that you are important and special and nothing he does or says will change that. I hope he has changed, but you have no control over him so just let it be and see where it all goes. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm glad he's reached out to you, but with the history there, let him prove to you why you need him in your life. Biological doesn't cut it, not by itself.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have no words of wisdom here that haven't been said by yourself (you seem to me to be going about this with the right attitude) or anyone else that has commented,
    For your sake, I hope your talk goes in a positive direction with your Dad, but if not, I hope you know that you have a ton of people in your corner who love and support you.
    Big hugs to you Brad :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. It seems that you have thought out what you consider to be all of the possible scenarios of what could happen at/as a result of this meeting. Well, whenever I feel confident that I'm ready for what is coming, that's when I get surprised. So instead of preplanning for scenarios, Brad, trust that you have grown enough as a person since last time you "went there" with your dad to deal with whatever comes your way. You can simply deal with it, cope even, when you are face-to-face with him, as there is really no right or wrong way for you to respond. This is about feelings. But you are one who needs to take what happens to you and your response to it apart when you have the time to spend alone. And then you will share it with Matt and us if you need some input or opinion. So trust that you can handle it- but try not to imagine too much what "It" will be. I truly believe that you will handle this the right way for YOU.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Good luck, Brad.
    You can do this. Maybe this time will be better.
    No matter what happens, you're a great person and loved.
    :)
    ~Whitley

    ReplyDelete
  19. Good luck Brad, I hope he surprises you! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good luck with the meeting, Brad. I hope he can finally see what an amazing person you are and what he misses out on by not knowing you for who you are.

    <3

    ReplyDelete
  21. I wish you luck Brad. Your dad will either come around or not just remember at the end of the day you're the important one, at some point we need to stop making allowances for our parents just because they are our parents. It's your life be happy. {{{Hugs Brad}}}

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hoping for the best for you, Brad
    .

    ReplyDelete
  23. Brad, I am glad that your dad is trying a little bit and I give you a lot of credit for having the strength to meet with him. I hope it goes well and that you can find common ground. But if it doesn't for some reason don't feel bad if you need to walk away, sometimes that is the best thing for everyone. Just keep in mind that we are all here to support you if you need it. I will be sending positive thoughts. I wish you much happiness.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This really touched my heart, Brad. Everyone has vulnerable parts, that's human nature, but I think you are so strong. Hang in there and see what he has to say. It may finally be that he has realized what a wonderful, caring and loving man you are. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and sneak in a little prayer, too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Big huge hugs, Brad! I think deep down inside we all want our parents' unconditional love and approval. It doesn't always happen that way. Please keep in mind that when you see your Dad, we're all there with you and love you for exactly who you are. Best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Stay strong, Brad! I'll pray things go well. :)
    hugs to you!! <3

    ReplyDelete