Family Ties

Monday, January 16, 2012
I cried today.  Not in a good way but because of my family.  You see, last week I had a birthday.  And, until today, I had not received a card or a phone call from my father.  Not really surprising, he's late every year, and every year it upsets me. 

You should know that my parents are divorced.  It was not amicable, especially in the first years following the divorce and my parents do not speak to one another.  When my father does "call", its my stepmother who telephones and then, after we chat a few minutes, passes me on to my dad.  I'm a bit surprised that my parents can't at least be civil to one another, saying a couple of sentences "Hello / Is Karen there? / just a minute, I'll go get her / thanks" but I'm willing to get past that considering the reasons for the animosity between them (I'm not going to get into it).  It could be a lot worse, I suppose.  At least I'm getting that phone call, even if it is late.

This year, it bothered me yet again that I didn't get that once per year call on my actual birthday so I wrote on Facebook how it bothered me.  Well, not even 5 minutes later, the phone rings.  Its my stepsister who lives with my dad and stepmom.  She's clearly a bit annoyed.  A quick "Dad asked me to call you" and she passes me along.  Dad's even more annoyed and accuses me of slamming him on Facebook.  I should be more considerate of the fact that my stepmom was out of town for the past week and he's been working nights. "So there's your birthday phone call".  Suddenly, I'm the one who's done something wrong and is getting in trouble for it, feeling like I'm 5 years old again.  We exchanged small talk for a few minutes and I gave him my toll free work number; he can call me during the daytime to make things easier and avoid my mother altogether.

I get that birthdays at my age maybe aren't all that important to a parent.  But how am I supposed to feel when the only reason I get a call four days after my birthday is because someone told my father what I wrote on FB?  It would have meant a lot more if he'd actually planned on calling tonight rather than because he was angry at me.

Every year I tell myself next year I won't care.  And every year, I shed yet more tears over a stupid fucking phone call that never comes when it should.


Wandering Coyote said...

Hey, you did nothing wrong here and you have nothing to feel bad about.

Your dad clearly isn't taking any responsibility here and that's the main issue. He knows it means a lot to you - and there is nothing wrong with that no matter how old you are! - and he's ignoring that part of your relationship. I can get that he doesn't want to call & risk possibly talking with your mom - my parents are the same way. But, there are ways he could get around this. He could at the very least send a farking card! No risk there!

Your step sister should have stayed out of it. Period.

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