My Father Part 3

April 17, 2015

The next phone call I had with my father was very interesting. He mentioned a woman who lives in his apartment complex. Mind you…he had only been in that complex a few days. This woman has a job that takes her from place to place. She stays about 2-3 months in each place. He told me that he had been showing her around the town and that “it helps”. The impression I got, and I could be wrong, is that he had been showing her around for a couple weeks or so.

His ex was still refusing to talk to him or tell him what he did or said in anger that he does not remember that caused her to divorce him. He also said that sometimes we just need to know when to let go…which, of course, was a flag waving to me. “When to let go”? His stated reason for staying where he is rather than moving to be with family or friends is to keep trying to reach his ex. If he lets her go, is he considering moving near us?

Hubby’s concern is that he will move here, become disabled and then I would be expected to care for him. Each person in our home has health issues already…including me.

Four months after my mother died, he remarried. Four months after his second wife filed for divorce (a couple of days before it became final), we talked on the phone. Pattern? I cannot replace my mother or his second wife. He is going to have to turn to G-d to fill that hole he may be feeling.

And, of course, everything he says is suspect. He has not proven himself to be trustworthy for all these years. I am not going to presume he is now. Yes, I do believe I heard a broken man on the phone. Yes, he did apologize. I am not, by any means, discounting those things. But as I wrote to him, things were a certain way all these years and now suddenly it is different? I need time to adjust…a LOT of time. I need to take things very, very slowly.

My parents were in the release category of forgiveness. My father has been bumped up to forbearance. For me, exoneration is not even on the horizon. Am I categorically ruling it out? Never. G-d can do what only He can do. He can change my heart. He can allow my father to prove his trustworthiness. I am open.

I wrote my father an email, openly cc’d to my hubby, explaining where I stand. I have set clear boundaries by phone and by email. He knows that, should he decide to move, I am not comfortable with his moving here. He knows that I am open to changes in our relationship but that it will take a lot of time. He knows he is in the forbearance category…trust, but verify and forgive, but don’t forget. There are safety issues involved here.

In the meantime, I am going to remove all personal materials that I would not want him to see from the office where he will be sleeping. They will be tucked away someplace where he cannot find them. And he will not be alone in the house, either. He wants to share some personal things face to face. I have already told him that I don’t want to get into anything deep because this will be my son’s weekend. Also, I will most likely be drained by all the goings on.

I spoke with my former therapist yesterday. Talk about perfect timing. There were two major things to discuss…my father being one of them. She was very pleased with how I am handling it all…with the openness and the caution, with the boundary setting and involving hubby completely. She is amazed and said that she never thought we would be having that particular phone call. I never thought we would, either.

So, there you have it…for now. I am feeling unwell and must end this here. Part 4 is coming.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

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