Saturday, April 18, 2009

Productive Hissy Fitting at 2 am...

I've had it with the rhetoric, with the self-justification, the ego involvement, the guilt tripping, and being bullied into silence. 

*screams as loud as possible* 

Just writing those words feels better.

He's gone to bed now. 

I don't have to lie, here. I don't have to sit for an hour at a time, listening to the same stuff over and over. I don't have to smile, or "be nice", or swallow every word whole to gain acceptance. Tonight, mom and Lucas went to bed and left my dad and I here alone. Within two minutes we switched from discussing movies (movies! a subject we agree on! something fun and lighthearted!) to discussing "rights" and how the ERA is unconstitutional.  Or, no. WE did not switch topics. He made the unilateral decision to lecture me. For a seemingly endless amount of time. Before, the family was happy and laughing, we were playing scrabble one minute and then WHAM!

If his lecture one enough, he has to bolster his opinions  with a variation of "with God on our side" thing. I was like take the ERA, take the ban on prop 8, take the whole thing. Just leave God out of your ugly words. Don't tack on my God's approval to your hatred! As much as I believe that Jesus wanted justice on earth, I also know He was no more a liberal than a conservative. He's apolitical, the purple-party. 

Everything is about "rights" with my dad. If only this were hyperbole. Nearly everything, everything he talks about, is about his "rights". 

"Obama is taking them away", "the queers are taking them away", "the blacks are taking them away!"  And don't get him started on those uppity women demanding extra legislation. How dare we!!!

And people wonder why feminists are so "angry"? Oppression still exists. If it exists in the living room of the most patriotic, freedom loving American in the United States, we're all screwed... 

The irony is, that in his crusading, he robs me my right to independent thought, to the respect granted to another human being to be listened to and actually HEARD. 

But, of course, it's not about politics. It never was. 

It has always been an argument for worth and value. He believes that if I don't agree with him, he's failed as a dad. If I don't agree, then he is completely insignificant as a human being. And, "if my daddy doesn't care about how I feel, he implies (nonverbally of course) that I'm insignificant", too. 

I am a cracked mirror, a disobedient shadow. And that hurts to know that is effectively all I am to him. 

Maybe it's not "factual", but it feels true. It's all ego; his reaction to what he assumes is a communist loyalty, and mine to what I assume is male privilege and arrogance. 

We're both wrong, the truth somewhere between "us/them" or "me/him"; we're both boxing at the air. 

Even knowing all this, I'm angry.

I'm angry, because it is still unbearably hurtful to know all this ranting and raving political ideology is ultimitely more important to him than I am. People say "he loves you. he's just bad at showing it." He loves me. As much as he can. I believe he can't help the verbal diarrhea. You can't deny a drowning man oxygen. He desperately NEEDS to be right just like I desperately need to be heard, loved, and understood. 

In a weird way, I can empathize. Right now, I'm drowning too.  

I am the daughter he supposedly loves and would do anything for. I wish, instead of battling the communists or protecting the country or "walking through fire" for his family, he would just shut the fuck up and be my dad.  

This would be the time to ask WWSD (what would Seligman do? Positive psych). Would he march into the bedroom and try to talk or...

Dammit. And there God comes again (Ironic turn of phrase, there).  

I'm going to pray for him. 

Then, tomorrow, a cue from Jesus and positive psychology, I will inform him that we will no longer be discussing politics. At least not for the next twenty years. Or until he learns how to play fair. 

It's a "victim-y" word, but this is what you call re-victimization. The neural path down this dark road is well worn, a land mine of triggers. It has got to end. Now. Or I can't talk to him again. It's not worth it anymore. 

*takes a deep breath* 


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