therapy 101

OK, the other day I had a little [spelled b.i.g.] moment with my brain and heart. I was minding my own business, typing a post and in the middle of it I thought to myself, I just want a husband just like my dad. I actually stopped typing and said out loud, “No that can’t be right. Where the cow did that come from?”

Because, you know, I am nearly in a straight jacket because of my [perceived] relationship with my dad. OK, maybe it’s not actually a straight jacket. But it’s at least a crooked one. Let’s say a ninety-degree jacket. I never felt any love from him. Oh sure. He pretty much did all the things that should have showed me love if I had been even the tiniest bit plugged into that channel. But he was, like KSL, and I was something more like KCPX.

Stay with me, here.

I think in a lot of ways he was amazing. He worked like crazy keeping three families afloat. He took care of the neighborhood [even flooded the park each winter and had a garage full of ice skates all arranged from the biggest to the smallest for every kid in the neighborhood.] He did all the shopping. He kept the cars in good repair, gassed them up every Saturday morning, mowed, trimmed and sprayed three yards. Shopped for his mother and three elderly aunts across the street. He was the bishop. He did his home teaching and he did other’s home teaching if every family in the ward didn’t get a visit. He helped us all with college funding. Even helped my sweet cousin. He took care of the church building. He paid for way more than his share when we built a new one.

I can see all that [and I’m pretty sure that’s where the I want a husband just like my dad part came in.]

But I needed more.

I needed hugs and acknowledgement. I needed to feel his love. I needed to know he knew I was there and thought I was adorable. I needed to not feel like I was just one of the kids, smack dab in the middle of the nine of us, lost and overlooked and invisible. I wanted to feel that wonderful feeling that happens when a dad is proud. Sort of the feelings I see every time I visit Tracy’s house and I watch Richard interact with his children. I swear, he is the most amazing dad in the world. He totally enjoys and adores his children. He chuckles at every single thing they do or say. He has complete enjoyment and JOY with his children.

I wanted to feel that.

I see it with Scott and Andie, too. Scott adores his daughter. He would do anything for her. He is a different kind of dad than Richard, but she has never doubted his love for her. He would move heaven and hell [excuse] for her. He’s a fierce warrior for her. He is her protector and advocate. She is his whole life.

I wanted to feel that.

I felt neglected, ignored, underappreciated, pretty much unloved, invisible, lost, unimportant and unnecessary.

Odd thing is . . .  I did get all that. I did get that part of my dad in a husband. I feel neglected, ignored, underappreciated, pretty much unloved, invisible, lost, unimportant and unnecessary.

The Lesson: be more specific when asking for a husband just like your dad.

Another Lesson: I’m actually the common denominator in both of these equations. Maybe it’s me that’s broken. [gee, ya think, Dorothy?] I’m the one who is emotionally unavailable. I’m just like my own dad.

Lesson #3: Get over it and get on with it. [Working on it!]

If he would just wrap me in his arms and kiss me and say these magical words, “You are everything I’ve always wanted, and more!”

Seriously, is that too much?

To be somebody’s everything?

3 thoughts on “therapy 101

  1. tracy

    Wowsers. This is huge! Such a powerful insight.

    I know it’s not enough, but you are your grandchildren’s favorite person. They adore you and have been SO blessed by your love for them and commitment to them.

  2. Sue

    I’ve done a lot of searching inward, too, for the last year especially and have found out some interesting things. I didn’t just feel neglected, ignored, underappreciated, pretty much unloved, invisible, lost, unimportant and unnecessary. I actually was. As an adult I have felt so different from my sisters and have always felt that I didn’t fit in and really wasn’t wanted anyway and wouldn’t be missed. Unfortunately, I have found that is true as well. My heart aches for you, Dorothy. I wish I knew how to put one of these on the web as I would love to have a place to write my feelings and insights. I have always thought you beautiful, intelligent, fun and special.

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