I try to see my Poppy (aka Dad) at least once a week.
This is a challenge because the man is constantly traveling or insanely busy with work, but there are some rare occasions where we will get together and have a super awesome, non-business interrupted time.
We used to have breakfast at a local spot that I could walk to when Ryan and I lived at our townhouse, which was absolutely perfect and convenient for both of us, but when I started having earlier hours at work, it was no longer a feasible option.
We then switched to Trivia/ dinner Wednesday nights with a few other members of our family, but the “season” ended and we never really got to visit and catch up anyway.
He has now found a new location that is quiet, on his way home from the dealership and great for a relaxing evening, so last Thursday Ryan and I were excited to hear he actually had time to fit us in his busy schedule, and we jumped at the opportunity to meet him for what we both thought would be a fairly quick meal before he got tired and called it a night…BUT we were pleasantly surprised to have nearly 2.5 hours of Poppy time!
And this was not the typical talk about sports, politics, and jobs, type gathering. A very important conversation occurred that for me, was much much needed.
We somehow started discussing the relationship he had with his father and how although he wanted his acceptance growing up, he realized his wife’s father’s approval (he grew up living next door to his wife and her family so they were always very close) was almost “more important.”
He obviously didn’t mean that he didn’t love his dad or value his opinion, but I understood his situation and applied it to my own pretty perfectly.
My biological father contacted me two summers ago when I was in a residential treatment facility in Tenessee. It was the first time we ever acknowledged our connection even though we live in the same town, belonged to the same country club, and were in the same place at the same time more instances than I can count. After I turned 18, was close with my Poppy and was taken in as if I were his own, I kind of wrote John (bio-dad) off.
Having a relationship with John really didn’t cross my mind, but then I got his first letter about two weeks into my duration at Focus and had no idea how to take it.
Um? I am 22 years old and NOW you want to contact me. This way? While I am in a facility where I cannot use the phone, am here for two months and this could have been done abagillion better ways?
I read the letter; processed it, talked about it in therapy, etc. and then decided, since he continued to write weekly at minimum, that when I got home a face to face meeting would be appropriate.
Long story short; we met up twice and then I never again heard from him.
I actually don’t think I care.
I am more impacted by what Poppy does and thinks than I ever was about John’s absence.
I constantly strive for more, work harder, try to be the best, because those are things Poppy values.
I want him to think I am a good daughter, a contributor to society, and worthy of the gift he gave me. I want him to love me and not leave or abandon me because we have no blood between us.
I am terrified that this would/will happen.
But back to our Thursday dinner…
He was explaining himself and I stopped him.
“Don’t you see Dad? That’s the way I feel about you. John’s existence does not phase me one way or another, but I want you to love me.”
I sound so whiny and pathetic, don’t I?
He apologized for not being around as much, distracted, and distant, but I know that’s who he is. He doesn’t mean me harm by being aloof or removed; it is who HE is.
Honestly, I think I just needed assurance of his love; of anyone’s love.
My insecurities are horrible and rampant; one of the great many things I need to work on, but I have an immense fear that everyone I love will leave.
So I push. I test the limits; see how much I can do to make people leave, because as I have said before, it is easier to deal with me making someone go, then having them disappear because I am worthless.
I felt a strange sense of comfort after our dinner; like for the first time he understood why I try so hard to please him.
Maybe that isn’t right and shouldn’t really matter, buy it is what I needed.
It certainly was a great way to start the weekend.