Awake for Five Hours Last Night
Lately, I've been waking up at 2 or 3 am in the morning and laying wide awake with nothing going through my head. Last night, I feel like I had a 5 hour therapy session in my head.
When I woke up at 3 am, I was thinking about my Dad and how I felt about him. He was a reserved, British to the core man with silly Brit humour, and an unshakeable honesty and integrity that would put most men in my life to shame. We didn't talk much, because we were both so reserved. Although he was a workaholic through the week, he spent a lot of time with me on weekends. I felt like my older sister got my Mom and I got my Dad.
My Mom was very outgoing (still alive but Alzheimers so not so outgoing now). I craved her attention but she kept pushing me to my Dad. She said "You're so much like him", which I took to mean "Self conscious, shy, reserved" so I took it as a huge put-down. I didn't appreciate my Dad's finer qualities until I married his antithesis.
Looking back, I hardly did anything with my Mom, other than being dragged around on errands with her. I especially remember her leaving me in the car for what felt like forever while she went into the liquor store and the post office (I must have been pre-school, otherwise my sister would have been with us). To this day, even though I've not lived in that town since grade 3 and I have a horrible sense of direction, I know exactly where the liquor store and post office are!
When I tried to express my sadness and loneliness to my Mom as a kid, she'd say quick one liners like "Well dear, at least you have your health" or "Don't be so self conscious" or she'd just completely brush off my feelings altogether. Wow, how could such an outgoing, dramatic, musical party girl with so many friends be so heartless to her own daughter?
I didn't feel like talking about that stuff to my Dad. Although we didn't really speak much other than joking around, we did lots of stuff together. We skiid together alot (imagine a 6' 2" man sharing a T-bar with a 4 year old - I think the bar was behind his knees - yah, the good old days - no chairlifts, lace up boots and 50 pound skiis). I skiid with him on his very last run, I can't remember how old I was - but he was getting up there. I flew on ahead and he didn't show up for an hour or so. Somehow he made it down after really badly injuring his ankle. That cost him a lot later. I think it's what eventually killed him because he could barely walk in his late 70's, and I often feel bad about that (he lived to 82 though).
He took us out snowmobiling on the frozen lake, and through the bushes. He let me ride on his back swimming in the lake. He let me ride on his shoulders, he let me push the large mole on his forehead to "make" his tongue come out. He took us to lots of shows - circuses, ice capades, ballet and other stuff. We drove to Winnipeg from Toronto together when I was in grade 9 (a 3 day drive) when we moved to Winnipeg. My Mom and sister took the plane. I later found out he never wanted my sister and I on the same plane together in case the plane went down. I guess he was a pretty darn good Dad.
So I can't figure out why I was so angry at my parents. Could be my memory is wrong. I went to psychotherapy when I was 17 and I remember the therapist pointing out a particular page of my diary in which I was expressing rage at my parents. So that's what I seem to be remembering. But I think most of the time I was angry, I mean REALLY, REALLY angry with my Mom and not so much with my Dad. He didn't help me out with my emotional problems but I didn't call upon him because he was so reserved. My Mom however was just so dismissive, so distant and she obviously adored my sister and heaped praise on her but not on me. (Everybody thinks she's such a lovely lady by the way, so I was the only one who got to see that other side of her).
But this blog is really about my Dad. Because I think every time I talk about him, my therapist says, "How does that make you feel about me?" which I think is a trick therapists use to get you to think of them as your Dad. Can somebody tell me, is every male therapist supposed to be your Dad? Think I'll go ask that in a forum, or maybe I'll just ask him. Anyway, not before I purposely talk about my Dad and listen for the question, because I'll bet you anything he's going to ask it again.
Anyway, last time he asked, it was in relation to something I disagree with Freud on. I told him simply, "I don't think of my father in an erotic way. In fact, the word that comes to mind is YUCK". In my head, I was also thinking "I DO NOT desire my father! No freakin way. You will not convince me in a million years that I wanted to have sex with him, or am envious of his penis or something ridiculous like that. And you will not convince me you are my father either." So after the YUCK comment, that's where my therapist jumped in with his question, "Is that how you feel about me?" Well not wanting to get into all the past E-transference that's been going on, I simply said "No".
Then last night I thought "Suppose he's supposed to be my father", then what? Well that would certainly kill off any remaining romantic feelings I have for my therapist. Perhaps I have been resisting that flip over to my father. Although I tried to kill off the E-transference because I hated myself after talking about it with him, I think part of me still wanted to have a bit of fun with it in my head, after a pretty passionless (at least from my standpoint) 20 year marriage. But I don't think that's what my therapy is about. The marriage was definitely damaging but I had problems before that which caused me to say "yes" to my ex in the first place. And the "AHA" is the observation that I probably have to let go of the romantic feelings if I am to move on in the therapeutic process and let him be my father, if that's what's supposed to happen.
If I'm right about this, I'm hoping my insomnia will go away.
Well, that's pretty much my five hours, at least what I remember now. By next session I'll probably forget most of it. Hence the blog.
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