It’s Father’s Day.
I forgot how much you don’t like Father’s Day until I was sitting in church this morning and something reminded me of you. Something reminded me of the Father’s Day years ago when I was sitting in a different church and you texted me that it was Father’s day, I typed, “Yes?” and you replied, “I hate this day.”
This morning, I felt your pain again. I’m sorry that you hate this day. You deserved a dad who acted like your dad. You deserved a dad who showed his love to you, who taught you how to be wise, who shared your humor, and who was there for you. And your mom deserved to have help; she deserved to not have to be both parents. Though I will say I always loved how you celebrated her both on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Today – and this is kind of a long shot – but today, I bet you felt those same feelings but they were matched with feelings of fear. Today, I bet you felt inadequate. Today, I bet you hoped desperately that you will be the father to your son that you needed.
Don’t worry too much about it, okay? Because you will be. You’ll do whatever you can for him. You’ll love him and teach him and, goodness knows, you’ll get him rolling his eyes very early with all of your dad jokes. You are loving and caring and gentle. You will show him what it’s like to be human in this crazy world and you will absolutely fail sometimes. But that’s okay. Because you can teach him that failing is okay, humbleness is necessary, and you move forward and learn from your mistakes.
I am sorry if you’ve felt pain and fear today. I hope you’ve also experienced joy and love. You deserve joy and love.
Happy first Father’s Day to you my brother.
I do much better in the daylight.
But it was dark. And cold. All the curtains were drawn so that no one could see in. It was meant to keep them out. But I was kept in. And I was very aware of my heartbeat.
Calm down. You’re fine.
I was fine. I’m fine. I. am. fine. My breath though… it was more shallow than normal. My heart rate was speeding up.
Would you stop? You’re fine.
Yes, I had to stop. But my head felt funny. I couldn’t think straight. Why couldn’t I breathe like a normal person? Why could I feel my heartbeat so clearly? Am I okay? What should I do? I can’t sit hear anymore. Pacing. No stop. I’m fine. Am I safe here? I can’t stand anymore. Sitting. The floor.
For goodness sake. You’re fine. You know you’re fine. You’re being dramatic. Just breathe.
Just breathe… I can’t! I can’t get enough air. Why is my breath so shallow? Aren’t I breathing? My chest hurts. Should I… call someone? Text someone? What would I even sa–
No! You are fine. You are in control. You do not need to get a hold of anyone. No one would be able to do anything anyway. And you know that it’s no big deal! You’re working yourself up for nothing! It’s all in your head. You are fine! Pull yourself together. Why are you so dramatic?! Just breathe like a normal person!
How do I calm down? I want something… comforting. Something warm.
Tea… Tea. Do I have tea? Why didn’t I bring tea! Why didn’t I bring enough of anything?! I’m supposed to be more prepared than this!
Your backpack. Are there still some tea bags in your backpack?
Backpack…. Yes! There’s tea. Lemon.
Good. Go make it and calm down.
You know what absolutely sucks? Leaving bad things behind.
It’s not that part that sucks, really. It’s the fact that when you leave bad things behind, you inevitably leave good things behind too. And the good things.. let’s be honest- not things, people. When you leave the good people behind, they don’t really know why you left. They don’t know how much the bad things hurt you or how much it hurts to leave the good people. They don’t understand the pain that fills you when you think about going back. They don’t know you can’t let yourself think about them because it hurts much too much to do so. They don’t know how much you had to fake it or the kind of front you put up just so you’d survive.
And then you feel bad because you left them behind. And you know, you know, you know, you know, that you can’t go back. And you can’t do that again. And it’s the reason part of you is dead. It’s a piece of you that your body literally would do better without because it’s trying to infect the parts of you that are still alive. But still. You feel bad. Because you were good. You just had to be so freaking good to some people that now that you’re gone, they miss you. And leaving people like that really isn’t in your job description because you know what it’s like. And you want to be there for everyone if only they weren’t there. You know, that place you can’t go because… well you don’t know why.
But you know that you have to go back soon and the thought strikes you with fear and makes you crazy. Because why would you want to return to a place that saw so much of your pain? Why would you want to return to a place that stole hours and hours and hours from you that you’ll never get back? A place filled with emotion and pain and hurt but also with comfort because, hell! it’s all you knew for four years of your life. But at some point, a home turned into a prison and, for crying out loud, you still can’t figure out which one is it.
You just feel bad because you left all the good things along with all of the bad things. And you just wonder how long they’re going to keep hurting you.
There’s a part of me- I don’t know how large or strong- that wants desperately to go into hiding. I can just picture myself scrambling to secure walls I’ve set in place and make them stronger, higher, thicker than they’ve been before.
Because I’m scared. I’m absolutely terrified of what the future will bring. I don’t know how to move forward and yet, daily I have to. I can relate to those people that are too scared to leave their house. Because why would you want to face the day? Why would you want to roam about in a world where pain sits in eager expectation around every corner?
I’m afraid of myself, of who I could become. I’m afraid of the pride that wells within me, it’s back to feelings of unworthiness growing just as high. I’m afraid of the tendencies that I have. I’m afraid of my laziness. Of my compassion. Of my stubbornness. My mistrust. My inadequacies. My self consciousness. My obnoxiousness. My ability to go unseen. My inability to hide.
The other part if me- oh how it competes with the first part- wants nothing more than to embrace everything. This part of me is fearless. It longs for the walls I have to fall and crumble beneath my feet. It wants to live each day without a care in the world. I’m excited to see the world. I’m excited to take new steps. I’m excited to learn new things. To except more responsibility. To be on my own. To have no one responsible for me. To not need to worry about anyone else when I make a descision.
But what if I don’t get to see the world? But what if these new steps destroy me? What if the new things I learn don’t stick? What if more responsibility crushes me? What if I can never be on my own? What if it’s worse to not have someone responsible for me? What if I can never make a decision for me alone?
I’m afraid fear will paralyze me.