I had the toughest conversation I never thought I would be able to have with my father this morning. We had planned to do the last lesson in our emotionally healthy relationships program today. He called me on FaceTime and I answered. We talked about what’s new and what is going on here and there. It was fine. I had my prepared notes ready and in front of me. He bent down to get a video started and I interrupted him.
“Can we have a clean fight right now? There’s something I would like to talk to you about.”
He said sure and sat down in a comfortable spot. And I started in with what I had written down. I made it through all of it without crying, which felt like a miracle because I sobbed heavily while writing it. I said everything I really needed to say and got it all out at once. I told him about how his actions and words hurt me badly and how he kept bringing it up, hurting me. (The explanation of what happened way back when is here.)
His hands were shaking as he started talking slowly. All I really wanted was him to take responsibility for what he said and did to me in the past with all this. He did. He really did. He apologized, expanding on how wrong he was to say and do all of those hurtful things. He acknowledged the pain he caused me and that he put himself over me and didn’t handle himself in a way that was respectful to me. He wished he had reacted much differently and he explained how he wished he had reacted, which would’ve preserved the positive relationship we had up until that point.
The tears just started flowing as he talked, because the relief inside of me was that overwhelming. All these years of resentment, anger, pain, and wondering if we could ever get past this are over. He really apologized and said he was wrong. He really moved past this and so did I. It was surreal as it was happening and it still feels surreal now. It’s really over. We made it to the other side.
We also discussed the tremendous amount of pressure he was under at the time, and he even said that was no excuse for how he treated me. I didn’t understand what he was going through back then either. He felt insecure in his job all the time and was always giving so much to his work. Even with some validation from outside sources, he still felt insecure. I feel like he’s mostly insecure, but he struts around like a peacock to hide that insecurity. He repeatedly points out his accomplishments like he wants all this attention. But maybe it all stems from insecurity inside him.
I just feel so proud of the effort he and I have put into this. That effort shows in that I was able to bring up this piece of ancient history between us and actually resolve it without an actual fight or any negative interactions. I never wanted to bring it up to him because the potential for pain was too high. But not today. Today we resolved it!!!
Everything isn’t magically better, but this huge roadblock has been removed now. I can start trusting him again. And with that, things should naturally improve with my mom and maybe she and I can talk through some of our stuff too. Or maybe not. But I feel that I may be able to stand stronger and more easily to work on things with her now. This all just feels unbelievable to me.