Recently, my father and I made peace. This brought more than two decades of animosity between me and my father to a close.
Up until now, this was the most defining element of my life. I’m glad I was able to tell my father that I loved him while I still had the chance, and while I feel that something has been lifted, I’m at a loss, trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do now.
Michigan may have been where everything peaked out; dodging lengthy prison sentences and nearly being killed a couple of times made me realize that I wasn’t going to live forever. But in my self-destructive anger, I pushed away a lot of people whose only mistake was trying to love me.
I’m tired of shoving people away. My problem is that I like people just fine, but I don’t trust them at all.
Not everyone is bad, and I’m blessed to know some very good people. But if you want to find out who your friends are, see them in a life-or-death situation…or put them in a position of power. Both allow you to see people as they really are, with no inhibitions or deceptions. You’d be surprised (horrified) by what you’d learn.
My problem is this; I’m inclined to believe the worst in people, and so I keep them away, and the good ones I find I’m terrified of losing, so I keep them away.
Hell of a way to live, I know, but it makes me good at my job; I’m at my best with people who will never know who I really am.
This is why I rarely try to write towards other people.
Lately, as the anger subsides, something else has come to light; people have tried to reach out to me, and being my usual self, I’ve resisted at most opportunities. I turn down rides to and from work despite hard rain or blistering heat. I had no idea how to react when referred to as someone’s friend.
Still, what I’m facing now is easier than what I just came from.
I’m free from the rage that stayed with me for so long. I’m free from hating my father, from the past I held onto for so long. My head’s a holy mess right now, but I’ll figure it out, I always do.
I have good people seeing me through it. I’ll meet more along the way.
This was my Independence Day.
I hope you enjoyed yours.
Maybe next time, I’ll accept that ride home.
(c) Avery K. Tingle for Akting Out LLC
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