Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Father by name only

Just this morning, I was telling a coworker about my high school friend Heather's dad. About what a terrifying, mean, emotionally absusive man he was. About how much he fucked up Heather and her sisters.

I couldn't tell you the last time I thought about Heather's dad. He's always been my model of The Worst Man. The husband/father/boyfriend that I would never want. But I don't think of him often. And, on the one day that I do think of him, also happens to be the day that he dies.

Heather and I have had a rocky friendship. She hasn't always been the friend that I need her to be. We're in a good place now. But, during those times when our friendship wasn't so great, I forgot to take that into account. That she was emotionally abused by her father to such an enormous extent for such a long period of her life.

I probably should've given her more slack.

Her husband has a hard time understanding why she is estranged from her father. He didn't get why they didn't speak. He couldn't comprehend why she refused to invite him to the wedding. But it is impossible, honestly, to explain what a bad man he was with words. You had to have lived through it. You had to have seen him turn. You had to watch him control his wife. You needed to see how he broke the spirits of his daughters. There aren't words that do any of that justice.

All that man ever did was turn Heather's life upside down.

And now she has to clean up after his. He has no will. She's his next of kin. She got the phone calls. She's making hte arrangements. She's going to have to see the lawyers.

I just feel so, so sad for her. Not because her dad died. But because she didn't have a father worth being sad for.

2 comments:

Accidentally Me said...

Totally and completely get this. I was at least fortunate that he was never around to be an actively bad father...it was totally passive.

But the concept of a loss without any grief...that I can understand. And it gets weirder when you have to stand at a funeral or a wake and have people tell you how sorry they are, and really you just want to count the minutes until you can get out of there and stop pretending to care.

Please give her a hug for me:-)

girl from florida said...

That makes me really sad. She is lucky to have you- you don't realize how lucky! Just the fact that you recognize her history and the effect that abusive man had on her... that shows what a sensitive and perceptive friend you are. Not many girls have friends like you in their lives. I hope she is doing OK!

 
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