I just finished watching a vlog by Gabrielle Bernstein (whom I love love love), which couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. (The video is here, in case you want to check it out). In it, Gabby is speaking about being authentic and true to yourself. I haven’t been the most laid back person lately and it’s made me feel very uncomfortable and icky. In other words, I haven’t been very authentic. When I’m not being my true self, I get very anxious and easily agitated and the past few weeks, I’ve found myself getting angry at the drop of a hat. Last night I got into an argument with my dad, which culminated in me waking up this morning feeling especially anxious and agitated. I hadn’t meditated in a while and knew I desperately needed to get centered and figure out why I was acting so out of character.
My relationship with my father has never been normal. I’ve always been fiercely protective of him and done everything in my power to make sure he’s safe and happy. I put my own wants and needs on the back burner for him. When my stepmom left and I was suddenly expected to take on the role of the female of the household, it made our relationship even more complex. I could spend days dissecting and explaining the different aspects of our relationship and how it’s shaped me to be who I am today, but I don’t have the energy and you don’t have the patience nor the time. So lets just say that somewhere along the way, our roles reversed and it’s as if I’m the parent, and he’s the child.
He’s hurt me in ways that a decent father shouldn’t. He’s put me through situations that a loving father would have tried to protect his child from. I had to grow up being my own parent and still have trouble understanding what a healthy father-daughter relationship is. When I moved out for the first time, I felt at peace. Living on my own felt normal and safe. I never really felt safe or protected by my dad, because it was always me protecting and taking care of him. For the first time, I could breathe and live my own life. And yet, when my dad calls me now, saying he needs me, I’m like a puppy just waiting for the command to fetch, dropping everything else to run to him.
After taking a big deep breath and just sitting in silence this morning, I realized that I’ve been putting my life on hold and taking out my anger at myself, on others. I’ve been so concerned with helping those around me (not only my father), taking care of them and being at their beck and call, that I forgot to live my life.
My relationship with my father isn’t healthy and it’s time for me to draw a line in the sand and have healthy boundaries. It’s important that I shed the mothering role I took on a long time ago. I’m learning to balance things and to live my life for me. My dad and I are both adults and we should act as such. I’m learning to relinquish control and remind myself that my dad can take care of himself; it isn’t my duty to save him.
But it is my duty to live my life. No one can take care of me, but me. No one can live my life for me. Only I can do that. And I need to start. Now, this very moment. Because I’ve wasted too much precious time already.
I’ve been so afraid to live. To breathe and focus on what’s happening in front of my eyes; to go for my dreams and to take care of myself. I can’t be a shell of myself. It isn’t healthy and you can’t fully love a person who is only half there. I have all ten fingers and toes. I have all my arms and legs. I have my eyes to see and my mouth to speak. I have everything I truly need. It’s time to live to my full potential. I need to love myself enough to live my life the way I deem and let myself be happy. I love my dad, but he’s my dad, not my son and I’m his daughter, not his mom. So I’m taking back my life and letting go of the need to save his. I want my life to be amazing. And I’m intent on making it so.
NOTE: This isn’t a rant about my father. I’m not trying to cast a negative shadow onto him. He has a good heart and many good qualities as a person. This is simply a post to shed light on the dynamics of our relationship. There are many reasons for why he is the way he is and I love my dad very much. 🙂