My Conundrum

Yesterday, my father had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his prostate.
I haven’t spoken to my dad (other than briefly at my sister’s wedding) since last summer, after coming to the understanding that we have differing views, priorities, and values. He can overlook the differences, but I cannot. He is willing to sweep it all under the rug, but I am not. He wants to start over, and that is one thing I AM willing to do, but there needs to be progress and growth achieved in the process.
I insist upon it.
I demand it.
I demand that he look at himself – past and present – and truly think about how he has treated people, and realize that you (generally) can’t treat people that way. And then I demand that he actually do something to keep himself from treating people that way in the future. You can’t lie and manipulate and gossip and embellish and false-alarm people for very long, before they become wise to the fact that they’re being treated poorly. It’s an easy thing to see. I demand that he sees that.
He wants to skip that part. He just wants to start over.
It seems like he is trying to be the bigger person, and it makes sense why everyone would believe what he says about me holding a grudge. After all, I am not exactly out there campaigning my side of the story. The truth is, I don’t care to. I don’t care if everyone I know is under the wrong impression of me, because I have yet to hear anyone approach me about it. Perhaps it is because they, like I, respect that this is none of their business.
After years of false claims and scares perpetrated on his family, my father was diagnosed with stage 3 prostate cancer.
He has never taken care of himself, so this was no surprise. One cannot exist in the “I’m gonna live forever” mindset forever. Your body truly is your temple, and you get what you give it. My dad’s body is giving back in the form of cancer.
He will be fine, and I have full faith in the science behind the surgery, as well as the robot that performed it. He will live longer than anyone has yet predicted, so I guess that’s a win, being that we all thought he wouldn’t live to see 60 (a product of the many times he told us he was sick or dying, only for him to be completely fine).
I thought about calling him, to tell him that I hope his surgery goes well, but I already knew it would be fine. No good could come from my call, because it would only serve to convince him that I have swept everything under the rug.
There is no rug anymore.
It got too dirty, from sweeping things under it. The threads fell apart, and the color disintegrated, and it had to be burned because it smelled like shit.
I can’t even call my dad the day after his cancer surgery, because he will use it as a way to reconcile without doing the essential hard work that is necessary for OUR wound to begin healing.
I love my dad, and I hope for only good things in the future. But I don’t want those things bad enough to enable him to get away with hurting people. I know I’m right in feeling this way, because I have already lived the life where I just look past everything he does, and I know I don’t want it.
We can’t always hold others accountable; sometimes we just need to hold ourselves accountable, and hope that others will do the same.
Reflection. Atonement. Commitment.
I don’t know why I started writing this. I haven’t written anything in a while, and have been in a writer’s block slump from hell. I have plenty of thoughts and feelings to convey, but so many things come with consequences, judgments, and overreactions. I have been feeling guilty about certain things, and tortured in other things, but perhaps I will feel some clarity soon, and finish my book.
Wish me luck.

-jg