Had my first appt with Dr Jerry today in 3 weeks… I actually called to cancel, then had second thoughts, and called to uncancel. I’m glad I did. And it was good, I think, that it was just me today, since Bobby’s in Beaufort. I didn’t tell guilty for monopolizing the entire session – just talked and talked about Mama. Talking through this time last year, knowing that Sept 17th is an inevitable date that will arrive and pass just like any other day.
Realized that this coming anniversary is exacerbating certain feelings that are at the best of times irrational, and are now becoming a driving force. I’m angry at Daddy. I want him to try – at least TRY – to be more than he is. He’s slipping into his old habits, his previous disposition, when his narrow vision is the most important thing… more important that his children, his grandchildren, his entire life. He’s so inconvenienced by us – there’s a constant feeling of edginess in him that’s tense and uncomfortable. He has a plan, a structure for every process no matter how small, and becomes very irate and irritable if it’s changed for any reason. So frustrating because we saw what it could be like if he just let go a little. He loosened and let us in for the 6-9 months following Mama’s death. But now, in the last 2 months, he’s closing up again, becoming the father that raised us as children that we avoided whenever possible. Growing up, he was so unaffectionate, so analytical and insensitive and unemotional. When Maggie was born, it seemed that he might use his grandchildren as his second chance – his chance to see all the details, the little things, that he missed in the childhoods of his own children. But he’s begun slipping back into this old self – so irritable when we ask him to do something. So irritated when Maggie cries. So bothered when Jen and I asked him to watch Maggie for an hour or so when we were in the attic this past week. Why would it hurt him to play with his granddaughter for an hour? He was so annoyed, huffing and puffing in that irritable way, and making comments about how he had phone calls to make and things to do, and he didn’t have time for this.
He is who he is. Profound, huh? He’s always been this person – cold, odd, completely self-absorbed, with brief glimpses of love, compassion, grief, happiness. It would be so much easier if I could just accept him for what he is. Accept that he’s not going to change because he CAN’T change. It’s not a choice he’s making, it’s his actual personality that we’re talking about – can’t exactly have a personality transplant. I think that seeing his irritation and impatience with us and with Maggie is emphasizing the difference between what we have and what we want. We want Mama. We have Daddy. That’s harsh. I know.
Dr Jerry says I need to be honest. I’m not so sure. I wonder if maybe I’m just being a little bit over the top right now, and it’ll level out as time goes on. Maybe after Sept 17th? Maybe not?