For the last few nights, I have been having different variations of the same dream. I am standing in my father's family house (where everyone lives) and I'm trying to get their attention, and everyone is pretending like I'm not even there. My grandparents, my father, my cousins, and aunts are ignoring me. Sometimes I simply want to hang out with them, but other times the house is on fire and no one will listen to me. The first time I had this dream, I woke up and thought it was just a strange dream. But the more I thought about, I realized it wasn't strange at all. Haven't they ignored me? Don't they behave like I don't exist? Didn't they ignore my wedding and everything important in my life for the last 14 years even though I have continuously tried to make it work for us?
Most of the time, I'm fine and I feel like I have totally put the pain behind me. I was at a friend's wedding recently and for the first time I watched her dance with her father, and I wasn't silently overcome with grief. And I can look at others wedding pictures and not hurt anymore. But sometimes I'm not fine with it. Sometimes I torture myself with a barrage of what if questions. What could I have done differently? Why don't they love me? What didn't my father give my wedding pictures after he told me he loved and was sorry for everything he ever did? Why do I even care? Will I ever 100% move on from it? How can my favorite cousin have a baby and never even tell me about it? For the record, I know in my head I did nothing wrong, but sometimes its hard to tell my heart that.
I just wonder if it will ever officially stop. When will I stop being the girl/the teenager/the adult that just wants her Dad to be there for her? I don't say "love her." Because in a weird way that I can't explain to others, I do believe that he loves me and wants a relationship with me. I just believe he can't allow himself to do that, he can't stop sabotaging himself. He is a very miserable and unhappy man. But at the same time I know I can't keep putting my hand in the fire for his benefit. And I never will again. Now if he ever came to me (which has about a .01% chance of happening), I might consider it. Because it would show some change and growth.
But on the more optimistic side of things, I am one of those warm, fuzzy, annoying people who believe everything works together for good. I believe the whole wedding picture disaster happened so I could finally give myself the permission to let go. To stop trying. To accept he wouldn't change. And truthfully, although I'm still hurting, I've grown so much because of it. And I believe the whole trauma of my childhood is what turned me into an understanding, empathic person which is just going to make me a better counselor. And maybe just maybe I will never stop caring completely and that is OK. Because if I stopped caring about my TERRIBLE family, although I shouldn't care at all, I would be a little less like myself.