I wish we could have healed our relationship before you passed away but I wasn't willing back then and I didn't know how. I'm not even sure you realized that I never felt loved by you. You said the words every once in a while, but the energy behind your words was incongruent. I certainly felt your criticism, judgment and condemnation. There was never any doubt in my mind or my heart that I wasn't living up to your expectations, no matter how hard I tried. It took many years for me to understand why you were so mean, and to learn how to forgive you.
I'm not sure if you knew this or not, but once, when I was only six years old, Granddad beat me until I peed my pants. We were all out at the beach at the cottage having breakfast and to this day, I have no idea what it was I said or did that set him off. He grabbed my little arm, his grip pinching the skin so tight it hurt, and he just hit me over and over over again. In my mind's eye, I can still see the horror in everyone's eyes as they watched this unfold, powerless to stop him. Finally, when he was finished, Grandma took me into the bedroom to clean me up and get me out of my pee soaked pants. "There, there child" she said. "It's all over now". I was hysterical. I couldn't stop crying and I kept asking her what I did wrong. She never answered me.
That memory was buried so deep in my subconscious it didn't surface until many years later. I was seeing a psychologist who convinced me to try hypnotherapy in an attempt to release the emotional trauma we suspected was behind a phobia. Instead, this memory surfaced and a wound I didn't know I had was about to heal.
I realized after that session that you learned to be mean from him. Of course my intellectual brain knew abuse is an ancestral pattern, but I didn't understand it in my heart. You didn't beat us kids like he did you, but you also didn't understand that the fear of physical punishment combined with your harsh criticism and judgments inflicted emotional pain.
I know you did the best you could and I also know that it was no accident that I was adopted into your family. There is a reason for everything dad, and I'm grateful for the years we had together.
Happy Father's Day Dad! Thanks for teaching me how to be independent. Thanks for teaching me how to be capable. Thanks for teaching me to never give up. Thanks for teaching me how to cook, and most of all - thanks for teaching me to think!
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