There was a time when I hated my parents.
Then, for the longest time, I was indifferent.
Now, all I feel for them is pity …
and a great deal of nothing.
In recent email with Ed concerning my sister’s current crisis, I have realized a few things – and when I say realized, I mean not only a certain recognition, but also a deep understanding …
He has no idea how to be a father.
I don’t even think he knows what it means to be a father.
He does things – always the wrong things, that would never even occur to me … or anyone else who has even the most basic idea of how this, I am a parent, thing works.
When Rhonda emailed him several years ago, during my emotional breakdown, to let him know not only that I was very sick, but that it was all his fault (along with Pat) I was sick, he did not respond in any way; no call, no visit, no email reply. Nothing.
When told Elizabeth was ill, his response has been two fold; “I hope Pat does something to help her.” was his first response …
and it was followed by his telling me that if she is a threat to herself or others, I can call Adult Protective Services. He then explained that because he has had no contact with his daughter himself, he cannot make this call.
Seriously, I just had to shake my head.
His child is sick, and in crisis, and he knows exactly why she is sick … knows and acknowledges that his abuse (along with Pat’s) when she was a child is to blame for her state of mental health, and what does he do?
He sends her an email! He hasn’t seen her in more that thirty five years, she is mentally ill and in crisis, and he emails her!
When I pointed out that this might not have been the best way to approach her, he agreed with me.
If it weren’t so damn tragic, it would be funny. How can anyone be this daft?
It is his mess.
She is his child.
And still he does not take responsibility …
still he refuses to fix, or even attempt to fix, what he broke.
He lives in a world where nothing that happened prior to his marrying Marie matters;
nothing before 1985 is relevant:
Ed did not abuse his children.
Ed did not rape his daughter’s fourteen year old friend.
Ed did not fail to live up to even the most basic of obligations to his children.
He has hidden and lied for so long he actually believes he is good.
His children create cognitive dissonance – we are a stark, cold reality – a reminder that he isn’t who and what he believes himself to be.
I get it. I do.
As sick as he made his children …
he has made himself even sicker.