well, that was a close shave

Fortunately for my general peace of mind and ability to cultivate contentment where I am, my father returned to his usual form in spectacular style over the breakfast table today.

I had almost gotten through this entire Texas visit with the happy illusion that it would be possible for me to live in this neck of the woods and continue in my pursuit of maturity and health-- spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

But after this morning, I can return to Virginia with the same eager anticipation and the same thought that accompanies me every time I return to Virginia from an extended visit with my family: why would I risk anything less than 1,200 miles between me and his harrowing, unrelenting, joy killing infantilization?

Is it any wonder the neither I nor my sister were really able to relinquish our passive aggression until we left home? Or that there are days when passive aggression is the only way my mom can function?

Is 1,200 miles even enough? Maybe we should do some long term mission work in, like, outer Mongolia or something.

Gah.

3 comments:

Kimberly said...

As my husband said, when I read him your post, "That must have been some breakfast!"

Eggs and toast with a side of sarcasm and paternalism?

Patricia said...

Back when the earth's crust was cooling and I was still living at home, and even a bit later, when I was in the mode of "going home" to visit Mom and Dad, I was struck by the arguments/fights that we would have right before I left to go on a trip or to return to my own life.

Though we always fought the same old fight, it was never really about those things. The really point was I was leaving. Again. And my mom would pick a fight. I think it was her way of coping with the leaving. Having a fight made it possible to be glad I was leaving. And being angry was ever so much better than feeling sad or lonely.

Things didn't really change until she launched enough children to figure out a different coping style. But understanding did help me.

Understanding doesn't make it pleasant, though, does it?

Sherri E. said...

You know, you may be on to something. As long as he's in infantilize mode, he can think of me as his little girl, over whom he ought to have some measure of control, and whom he can thus protect.

So much of it is about fear.