Sunday, December 07, 2008
It has been 28 years since my father died. It was probably the most life-altering event of my life. Before his death, I was his daughter. That was my identity, despite the fact that I was married with two children. Everything I did was influenced by my perception of his reaction to it. Every thought was measured by what he would think, whether he would approve or disapprove. I twisted myself inside out trying to anticipate how to please him, to make him happy and proud of me.
When he was no longer there, I had to invent myself. It was a difficult searching, trying to find out if there was an independent being lurking somewhere that I had not noticed. I had trouble, trying on different persona's to see if they fit. As I remember it, most of them were unpleasantly hostile. My mother suffered the brunt of my instability, never knowing what to expect from an angry and indifferent daughter. I made many bad decisions that I remember with increasing regret as time separates me from them.
I think that eventually I invented a person I can accept as being "me."