Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fourth Step

I missed home tonight
Laying in my apartment deck straining to see tiny pin pricks of stars
Competing with restless city lights.
Longing for the vast ocean of fields and pastures waving like proverbial prairie waves.
I always thought how soft the grasses looked
Until I laid down and felt the scratching against my bare arms and legs.
"Remember us when you are grown.
Remember us when you are gone."
The crisp stillness pillowed on humid summer air.
Calves murmur bedtime protests to their mothers
While locusts hum midnight lullabies.
And the hardwood underneath me tugs my heart strings back down,
Down to urban loneliness.
I looked to find myself in a new place, a new country, aspirations attained
But I still feel like a child when my father texted me to say that he went to AA last night.
That he has renewed his commitment to the Lord and that his pastor believes God will use his testimony.
That God will restore his marriage with my stepmother
Besides the fourteen months of probation and domestic violence classes.
I wanted to ask him how the fourth step would go,
When he must inventory the hurts and make amends.
His daughter, at the other end of the state,
Going to graduate school, traveling the world, jn a good relationship and working.
I wonder if he thinks I'm fine in true denial fashion.
Because it hurts me when I think about how I want to tell him that God wants him to make amends with his daughter
And that sobriety, not his estranged second wife should be the focus.
Someone I think I know that he'll never truly tell me he's sorry, holding a list in his hands with tears streaming down his face.
It could have been worse but it hurt enough
Enough to make my heart twinge a bit when we talk.
Enough to make me sad in my hotel in Berlin that he doesn't know I'm there because we haven't talked in a month and a half.
Enough that I wish he'd ask me about my boyfriend and how well it's going
Or my internship and the things that I hear that make me wonder at the depth of human suffering and resiliency.
I want him to do the fourth step.
I want him to know it hurt.
But when I tell him I have some unresolved feelings he tells me that he's sorry and he hasn't been perfect but he did his best
And I can't hate him because it's true,
But it can still hurt
And I can still feel alone in my hurt
And lay on my deck wishing I could just rest in the serenity of a night at home.


  1. I feel your pain, darling. I am reaching my arms out to you and wrapping you in a warm embrace. That hurt, it really hurts, and you so don't deserve to be feeling that. Can you write to him? Put all of your feelings down in a letter, get it out of your system. You don't even have to give it to him, but just try to release all of that hurt so it's not dwelling inside of you.

    You're in my thoughts and prayers, always xoxo

  2. My father never got as far as AA (because he would never acknowledge that he had a problem). Then he died.

    Speak to you father, write him a letter, but don't let him not hear what you need to say.

    1. I've kind of spoken to him, over the Fourth of July, and it kept coming back to my stepmom that he's never going to get back, so I told him finally, you know, you should focus on the woman in your life who's always been there before you don't even know who she is anymore. He somehow managed to bring it back to her and I was astonished at that skill of denial. He didn't mention AA either, but apparently he's getting a motorcycle when it's all said and done.

  3. There are some people who can't face what they've done...

    1. No, and you know, he's not the worst father out there. He was absent even though he was there, he was hard on me, rigidly religious, and not fully a nice person, but I know he learned being a parent from his alcoholic father so what kind of model is that? I just think, listen, we're both adults now. I'm not a child. I have things I'm doing with my life and I can't tell you I'm leaving the country without a lecture on money. I can't talk about college without him bringing up my student loans and how degrees don't even really get you good jobs he claimed one what reality do you live in? I want him to know my bf, which we're extremely serious. I want him to ask about my internship and career plans. Nope. Just concerned about my step mother. It's just bogus I guess.

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    3. He can't get out of that rut.
      If he conceded he'd probably die.
      That sounds dramatic but its like pulling a thread. The whole garment could just unravel.

      You're a different cloth. You face your mistakes.

      I just feel sorry for those people now. Well 80% of the time I do. 5% of the time I cry. The rest is grumbling and complaing....well I'm only human ;)

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