If I were to come across him in life, I would walk the other way - he has no redeeming qualities that I can see. He is a taker not a giver. He talks at you and not with you. He struts like a peacock never asking how or what you are doing in your life. He treats women with disrespect. And above all, he is perfect - just ask him - he will tell you so.
He must at one time had some redeeming qualities or my mother would not have married him. And of course without him, I would not exist. But I can not call this man father and not have contempt under my breath.
This is not a new thing, I begged my mother to leave him when I was about 8 years old, she finally did when I was 11. It was the best thing she could have done. My step-father is a wonderful man and I am so glad that my mother has him in her life. I think if she was still with my father - well she would probably be in jail as she would have killed him.
There were a few years when my father and I were estranged, but then I had his grandchildren and felt bad not allowing him to be in their lives. Mind you, it was always on my terms and he knew that if he did anything wrong around them he would be out of my life (and theirs) for good. Part of the strategy of having him in our lives was limiting the times we saw him, maybe 2 or 3 times a year. He has a wonderful women who lives with him, she has been a great influence in my children's lives, especially my sons. How she stays with him, I don't know. I suppose there is security in being there. I suppose there are times when he is on his best behaviour. But he treats her like a servant, she runs to his beck and call. He also was relatively well behaved every time we visited while the kids were younger.
However, a few years ago, he chose to move away from Perth to the country. He thought he would have a jolly old life down there, with all his Perth-based friends and family coming to visit. But it backfired big time, I think everyone drew a sigh of relief, and so visits have been few and far between. So he is now lonely and I think a little bitter. Because - he is perfect, just ask him.
When you go to visit, it is a nightmare, between the two of them they talk over each other, to talk at you, although his partner, does try to talk to and with you, but he just doesn't allow that to happen easily. You need to take someone with you, to share the pressure. You leave exhausted, but feeling you have done your dues. Writing that down makes me feel bad, but it is the truth.
A few years ago when they came up to Perth, we took them out to dinner, and he yelled at a waitress for making too much noise clearing a nearby table while he was trying to talk. But of course, he is perfect, just ask him.
The final straw was this week, when they came to spend the night with us. It ended in tears, I have never seen my hubby so angry. He has never spoken to anyone the way he spoke to my father. My father deserved it, but still the emotional toll it has taken on me is amazing. That night I slept for no more then 2-3 hours tops. My shoulders, neck and back ended up in spasm and I have felt sick for days.
I am mad at myself, that I did not do the normal thing when he is pontificating on something - normally I just agree even when I know he is wrong. But his night I told him he was wrong and things escalated from there. Because he is always right - right? Of course he is, just ask him.
I am mad at myself because my grand-daughter ended up in tears - it broke my heart that she had to see her Grumpy get so angry at my father.
I am angry at myself because my hubby feels so bad about what happened.
I am angry that all this was over a DVD player's volume.
But the thing that I am really struggling with, the thing that floors me is that I still allow him to have power over me. I thought I was beyond being hurt by him ... it seems not.
It will be some time, if ever, before he sees us again.
Trouble his, he can not see that he was in the wrong. For as he said on leaving the following morning ... He is always right - make sure I tell my hubby that! Then he yelled abuse at his partner as she was trying to tell him to let it go, then got in the car and drove away. I then drove to work in tears. I am still in tears on and off. Because he is family ... he is my father ... and somehow I need to reconcile that ... because I am the only child of his that now talks to him, my brother and his family have not spoken to him in over 8 years. I just can't let him die alone ... and so somehow I have to build up the walls around my heart again, and above all, remember ... he is always right, and it is better not to tell him how wrong he is about that, for I am the only one who will cry.