food for thought

i really am trying to hit over the 50% mark with things that are non-related to internal strife.

i just read this post on the zorn blog today. it’s a column about what a good dad should be. father’s day is sunday, and zorn was just recently given an award by the illinois fatherhood initiative.

from zorn:

What should a good father be?

At chicagotribune.com/notebook, I posted the famous Boy Scout Law–A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent –and in advance of Father’s Day on Sunday asked readers for help assembling an analogous list of the top dozen adjectives for fathers and father figures.

Though I incorporated and was influenced by many of their suggestions, the words in the Dads Law and their ranking in order of importance reflect my subjective, debatable, yet award-winning opinion.

the rest you can read in the link above with his meanings for them, but the summary is here:

The Dads Law — A good dad should be sober, decent, supportive , patient, authoritative , playful, fair, exemplary, engaged and present.

again. painful and confusing feelings overtake me. right off the bat, my dad is down. he was/is not sober for my childhood/adulthood.

my dad was decent. he wouldn’t swear, and while growing up as little girls, he took care not to tell off color jokes in front of us.

i don’t know, using zorn’s definition that i would call my dad supportive. i don’t know where to go with that.

i also don’t think i would call my dad patient.

i don’t know what i think of authoritative. i think my dad was sometimes dictatorial.

my dad was not respectful. he mocked my mother and us often. he still does.

my dad was definitely playful. but it was tempered by what i think is now an untreated mood disorder. it was not always so.

i think my father is very fair.

my father was definitely affectionate. not so much so anymore.

exemplary. yes. my father DID lead the way. gave a good example, despite all i’ve said. he taught me how to laugh. how to be honest. how to stand up for what is right. how to work hard. how to be social.

engaged. hmm. i don’t know. sometimes, i think he was. really involved. taught me how to read and read with us and played with us. but again, as i look back, if he was in a ‘mood,’ then, not so much.

present. my dad was very sick for a lot of my childhood. literally. he was dying. his kidneys were failing him when he was in his early 30’s. i can’t imagine what that must have been like. so. it’s hard to say that he was present when he was in the hospital, and looking back as an adult, when he was trying just to stay alive.

if i go by these standards, my dad really wasn’t a very good father.

but i love him so much. and i know that he did the very best he could. and i know that he raised me up and gave me great morals and taught me well. i never lacked for food or clothing or shelter. i have two parents who love me very much. who care the world about me. and i think they did a very good job.

they did what they could with the knowledge they had and the skills they had.

i love them so much and i struggle so hard to show them that. sometimes, i feel like i’m just a million miles away and i’m whispering in a foreign language.

sometimes, i wonder how they ever got this kid. i want them to know i love them and i want them not to be disappointed in me. i want him to be proud of me and not think i’m stupid or a fuckup or a waste of time.

i’m his oldest daughter, and i just want to be perfect for him, and at the same time, i just want him to love me just exactly how i am today right now. with all my imperfections and with all my flaws and all the ways that i am. all my quirks. cause he helped make me who i am. his quirks and flaws are in me, too.

manic depressive alcoholic outgoing talk too much need to be center of attention too smart for my own good need to be right all the time. there’s a reason we sometimes can’t get along. we know each other too well.

we are one and the same. i just want him to say it’s okay. that we’re okay. that he loves me just how i am. and i’ll say: me, too.

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One thought on “food for thought

  1. I can relate…and there is a book out there specifically about being an adult daughter from an alcoholic family. I can loan it to you if you want.

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