What if he doesn't want me?
It's been almost a year since I telepathically heard the sirens that announced my Dad's ride to the hospital after he had his first stroke (click here to read that diary entry). He's back in the hospital after having two more strokes. This time my intuitive senses didn't pick up on anything out of the ordinary. When I received the text about what happened, the wave of emotion that followed felt manageable. It was a night and day difference from the tidal wave of emotion that crashed over me last November. Initially, I felt like the lack of emotional reaction was confirmation that I've healed my dad wounds, but I'm quickly learning that there's still more inner work to be done.
My dad and I live in opposite corners of the country. It doesn't surprise me that we live as far away from each other as possible while still calling the same country home. You know how magnets that are the same push each other away? We're kinda like that. I feel like we've both been distancing ourselves from the pain and struggle of certain areas of our lives for decades. I've been running from judgment, fear, and places where I feel like I don't belong. Him, well, actually I guess I don't really know anymore. I don't really know who he is as a person these days. My memory of him became spotty after I moved away for college and we stopped talking outside of the obligatory happy holiday messages.
Now I feel like Spirit is once again encouraging me to see him before it's too late. The spiritual side of me says I need to continue clearing any karma while we're both still in this lifetime. It was that part of me that extended an olive branch of explanation and forgiveness on Father's Day this year. That step in my healing journey was huge and it was a big part of why I felt like my inner work on this relationship was nearly complete.
Spirit knows me better than I know myself and she's making it clear that there is still more inner work to be done. Her guidance is showing up in nudges from loved ones who are not letting me avoid what is happening with my dad right now. They ask me when I'm going to see him and I've been responding with as soon as I can. That kinda is and isn't a lie. I haven't admitted that "as soon as I can" includes hesitation on whether I'm emotionally ready to go.
The idea of going to see him because he's fighting for his life right now feels like the thing I'm supposed to do. To be honest, I'm a little terrified of going. I can't even figure out what to say to him in a text right now. What am I supposed to do when I get there if I already have nothing to say? Talk about embarrassment for me and discomfort for him and his wife! They don't need to deal with a socially awkward person hanging around when all of their energy and focus should be on dad and his recovery.
I don't want to waste either of our time or resources to check some box that says I was a good daughter, and I showed up when I was supposed to. He didn't show up for me when I needed him in my 20s and 30s. Granted, I didn't tell him I needed him because I couldn't. I was too busy proving to him that my choice to go to college instead of joining the family business was the right choice. How can you ask someone for help and support when they told you the thing your doing was going to be a complete waste of time and money?
I have people in my life that lovingly say I need to go visit, so I don't have any regrets if he passes, but what if I regret going? What if he doesn't want me there? What if I get all the way there only to find out that he never wanted me in his life at all?
Well there it is.
That last sentence is the real fear that is keeping me from going. I didn't realize it until it was written and now I'm practically immobilized. The only thing breaking my current stare off with that brutal inner truth are the big fat tears that are blurring my vision and threatening my electronics. What I really want to do right now is close my laptop and pretend I never wrote this, but I can't unsee or unfeel those words.
I'm terrified to open my heart and have it be crushed again. Wouldn't it just be better to leave things the way they are? I'm already familiar with this level of pain and separation. I already know how to be the black sheep of the family. I know that I created this separation for myself the day I decided to go away to college, but what if I open the door to communication and connection and no one answers? What if it's too late to fix the thing I broke with my teenage determination?
And I know you're probably thinking I'll never know until I try. But what if I try and fail? What if it's even worse to reopen the wound only to realize it's beyond repair? Or even more unfortunate, what if everything goes great and then he dies? What if I suddenly realize having a relationship with him is the best thing in the world and then I don't get to experience it because he's gone? Then I'll have to carry the guilt and shame of not doing something sooner for the rest of my life.
My inner spiritual life coach is trying to rescue me. She's trying to wipe away the tears and ask me to look at this from another perspective. What else could be possible? What's the story that my heart wants to tell? What's the experience I want to create for myself? What would love do?
To be honest, I appreciate the hopefulness but there's a part of me that just needs to be human for a little bit longer. Screw the limitless potential and creating my reality. Save the love and light for another day. Right now I don't want to figure out another story to tell. The wounded part of me that has revealed a couple of deep inner secrets needs my time and attention. I need to hold space for the little girl inside of me that's terrified that she might not be lovable or that she really fucked this up and might not be able to fix it. She's not ready to be convinced that she's lovable yet, she needs to be accepted because she might not be.
This my friend, is the real work. Sitting with these uncomfortable questions and allowing myself to experience the waves of emotions is the process. I know there is a way through this that is full of compassion and when I'm ready, I know I'll have access to it. Until then, please know that if your experiencing challenges in your life that it's ok to feel the feelings. It's ok to be scared and not know what to do. And it's super important to ask for help and support when you need it. We are not meant to go through this life alone.
P.S. If you've ever wondered what a dark night of the soul looks like, stay tuned. I have a feeling that this is only the beginning.