When My Widowed Dad Started Dating..
I wasn't sure I was ever going to bring myself to start writing about a topic so personal and something that I was still struggling with so much. But I figured- If I am struggling with it, maybe it could help someone else to realize that their feelings are normal and they too are having similar thoughts and feelings.
I never thought this would bother me. At least after so many years of my mom being gone and really wanting to see my dad happy. I always thought I would be okay with it. That I would even be happy about it. My dad deserved happiness again. He deserved to get out of the house and do things. Heck, maybe even it would make me feel a little better about having to leave him alone sometimes.
However, the way things appear in our head, aren't always the way that they happen. Actually, things usually happen in a WAY uglier manner than we think or expect.
And that's exactly what it was. A very ugly array of emotions and thoughts throwing me for a curveball that I was not ready for. It started with some REALLY ugly crying. To the point that I had to run upstairs to get my emotions out before I could even attempt to talk to him about how I was feeling or even putting words together.
Then came the grief. This part, I'm not sure has really gone away. Another reminder that my mom is NEVER coming back. She died and is gone and is never going to be present in our lives again. My dad is actually moving on. Not that he doesn't still have love for my mom, but she has been gone long enough that he is actually starting to be with someone that isn't her. Now that is just a whole other mess of emotions I can't wrap my head around.
I had never seen my parents with anyone else. Honestly, that is never something I would have even thought I'd ever have to think about. When my mom was alive, I just kind of figured they would always be together until they were really old and I was married with a family of my own.
And then came the crazy thoughts and the questions. What if my dad got married again? What if some strange woman who isn't my mom moves into our house? What if my dad and I can no longer do all of the stuff we've been doing together for the past years my mom has been going? Do we have to take the pictures of my mom down in the house? Does this mean that he doesn't love her anymore?
I don't think I could rationally address all of these questions if I tried. So it turned into a lot of crying, a lot of anger and resentment and somehow trying to throw all of these questions at my dad that I don't even think he was ready to process himself yet.
It's been a lot of conversations that have been uneasy, confusing and straight up difficult. For both of us, I think. It's been a lot of trying to understand the other person's views and experiences when the loss that we experienced was totally different.
And it's been complicated and confusing.... every single day since. I'm still not sure I've even started to process half of what I am feeling. Every day is an emotional rollercoaster for me. I cry a lot. I'm angry a lot. This has been the furthest thing from easy for me.
Sometimes I think I am being unfair to have these emotions. Sometimes I start to get angry at myself for handling this the way I am. But then I remember, I'm human. I have been through hell and back way younger than someone should ever have to and this is HARD. This is another transition and another difficulty that I need to overcome. Not for a second longer will I be hard on myself for these genuine, real, struggles that I am having.
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