So, I had a weird moment the other day that I can’t stop thinking about. I was on facebook and my dad messaged me. He asked me what was going on, so I answered him honestly-I had broken up with my boyfriend Phil the night before and I was upset about it. He asked me why (which I think he did so he wouldn’t come off as rude. My dad had never met Phil, so I don’t fully believe that he was genuinely interested). I explained that Phil had a lot of psychological issues that he had to work out and that I was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of care and worry I was putting into out relationship. I was thinking while I was telling him this that this sounded an awful lot like what had happened to my Mom and my Dad. At the time of my parents’ divorce, my dad was in serious need of some psychological help and needed to learn how to take care of himself, without my mom’s or anyone else’s help and the best thing for my mom to do was to cut herself off from him completely. Realizing this I instantly became curious what my Dad would say. To my surprise, he told me that I did the right thing. Then he asked more about him. I told him he was going into his 5th year at Uva. “5th?” he replied, “sounds like a career.”
And then I got really pissed. Sure there were some serious parallels between my parents and Phil and me, but Phil is NOT like my Dad. Sure it’ll take him more than 4 years to get his degree, but it’s a miracle that someone like Phil is even at Uva. Heck, at least he’s fucking trying instead of sitting around and getting high all the time like my deadbeat dad did. And Phil sees this breakup as a wakeup call and has told me that he’a going to start counseling on Friday. In fact, he even told me that he knows exactly what he an his counselor are going to work out and he’s looking forward to getting his life on track. During the divorce my Dad refused to get help. He thought that change would come to him. That everyone was wrong, and all he had to do was just assert himself more and people will eventually realize their mistake. My Dad never learned how to take care of himself. In fact, the only reason he’s doing well now is because his girlfriend is helping him out. I wonder what would happen if she ever comes to a similar realization to what my mom and I had..
I’m still staying broken up with Phil. This realization hasn’t changed my mind about that. What I have realized is that I am so glad that I know my Dad, if only so I can have a constant reminder of who I do NOT want to be like and do NOT want to be with someone like him.