Like everyone who has ever breathed, I struggle. I struggle with decisions that many would presume to be an easy answer. I don’t know if this is because I have different values, or different ideas, or if I am just completely normal in my indecision. In order to solve struggles, I do one of two things: I ignore it or I write it out until I have an answer. I never find my answers in others, probably because I have an issue with trust, so I don’t even go down that path. Instead if I decide to confront the problem, which is not always the case, I do so by writing until an answer literally appears.
Today, the struggle is between loyalty and my own personality. I think our biggest struggles should come from our own personality; when things we know to be true about ourselves abut the decisions, the real life choices that we have to make. And while ignoring a problem is always, in my head, a viable option, there are times with I know that avoiding the truth isn’t always right. Since being diagnosed bi-polar and living through its destruction, one of the things I have always tried to do is what is right. Not what is easy, but what I know to be true. Even when everyone around me is rolling their eyes, finding my own peace is so important to the continued ability for me to simply exist. Ignoring my own heart, my own soul, and not demanding that I try to be good is a way I will fall faster than any other. And falling after one is caught in a web of lies, or after doing something so against every moral fiber of my being, is dangerous. The fall is so much more complete.
I have a Dad. An incredible Dad. The kind of Dad that literally drops everything to travel four hours in the car, to come to my rescue. The kind of Dad that can’t possibly understand me, but tries so hard to do so anyways.
I have a Dad. And he is kind of schmuck of a man. First off, he can’t keep it zipped – if you know what I mean. He is handsome, charismatic, and works out vigorously every day. He is tall, thin, and has all his teeth and hair. He also loves women. Young or old, thin or fat, he loves them. He treats them like they are sheer gold, like they literally are the answer to all his prayers. And then he either cheats on them (and often) or he walks away from them. He did this to my mother multiple times, and to every woman who has come into his life since then.
Let me stop and say, that at my age, I can understand that what he does with the women in his life has nothing to do with me as his daughter. He is literally two people: a man and a father. And those two people never mix. Ever. It took me a long time to understand there was a difference; that I could accept my father for who he was because while he loved women, he also always treated them wonderfully. He didn’t even break up with them harshly. He is simply too wonderful to them. This is not something my younger self could understand, and it took me years to be comfortable with the fact that who he was in bed (I assume) wasn’t who he was to me.
So the last “girlfriend” my father had and I got along. I don’t usually have much of a relationship with my Dad’s girlfriends. One I usually only meet them once, if ever. Two, they come and go so fast that I can never get a real sense of the person. And three, I understand in my heart that most of these woman don’t necessarily really like me, they just want to use me to gain points with my father.
But my father’s last girlfriend and I just clicked. We started a relationship over the phone and email shortly after we met. She is a wonderful person; compassionate, caring, and intelligent. She doesn’t try to be my mother, she doesn’t need me to be her friend, rather she wants me to be her friend. And I want to be her friend.
But the struggle lies in the truth that I am first and foremost a daughter in this dilema. My loyalty lies with my father, first. I do not necessarily require this woman to be my friend, certainly not as much as I need air or water. But I do sincerely like her. I do like listening to her, receiving books from her, and basically expanding who and what I am by knowing her. And while she is one who would never use her relationship or lack of relationship with my father against me, how would my Dad feel knowing I had this relationship? And do I have the energy or even the dexterity to navigate through the potential minefield that a relationship might create? But can I honestly turn down a friendship? Do I have the capability to do go against my own nature, to be friendly, by hurting someone who never did anything to me?
I suppose in the scheme of these things, I am making a much bigger deal out of this than is needed. But I struggle with these things. Most days I like to bury myself away from anything and anyone to avoid just these kind of struggles. In business and with my children, I make decisions easily. With my own world, I simply ignore everything until it goes away. Not the most mature of reactions, but often for me, the safest.
Ignoring this struggle would allow my heart to settle. It would allow me to breathe a deep breath, and it would allow me to not worry about who I am going to see in the mirror tonight. Ignoring this struggle will allow me to move on, not to think; to bury this struggle would allow me to once again take the easy route. I am almost sad – not really – to announce that I routinely take the easy way out. I like the easy way out. I like who and what I am when I am nothing at all; not a friend, not a lover, not a patient, not even a child. I like being nothing to no one; and although I would only keep my motherhood if given the choice, I don’t have that choice.
In order to live I do have to struggle. Everyone throughout today, tomorrow and of course, yesterday has struggled. It is part of the human condition. And while many people struggle for the simple enjoyment, or because they need some kind of personal acknowledgement of who and what they are through the struggle, I would rather just avoid the whole thing. I don’t like conflict, even in my own heart. I like simple answers, and if I can’t get them, I simply bury my head until the sand whisks me away.
What am I going to do here? Doesn’t really matter as if really only affects me. I am certainly not struggling with the idea of world peace, or even how to solve the latest economic downturn. Rather I am just struggling with the question of what is right for me? Not what is right for them, or for you, but what is right for me? And despite what I hoped in the beginning of this peace, today there are no answers.
I think you could keep the friendship providing that (a) your dad doesn’t mind and (b) the ex doesn’t expect you to talk or update her about him, otherwise she will probably understand if you want to edge away from her. Sad times, but these things are sent to try us.
Hope this helps x