Day 20: When to Let Go


We all have that family member that brings negative emotions to our lives.  In truth, we must acknowledge that we are that person for someone else.  In some cases, this person shows emotions of anger or unhappiness when everyone else is laughing.  In my case, this person leaves the room and isolates himself when everyone else is happy and having a great time.  This person is my dad.  Our entire family can be together for holidays or dinner and he sits in front of his own television, in his own living room and watches videos on his iPad. 

Since 2006, I have tried to be closer to a person that I no longer feel I need his approval or validation.  I started sending ‘good morning’ every morning to his phone and about 25% of the time I would get a reply back.  It still hurts my feelings to this day but I am learning the process of letting go.  This also frees me to go on my own path.  I still have a duty to my father and the family business that he created.  For those that think this is disrespectful of my father, please know that I respect this man probably more than any other person on the planet.

There lies my conflict.  I can’t blame myself or him for our broken relationship.  Nor, is It right or wrong how we handle our relationship.  I can’t talk to him because it turns into him saying numerous negative things about himself and slinging insults in my direction.  I used to be so fearful of him and now I just empathize for him.  His own childhood must have been rough given the few stories he has told me.  However, it is my job to make sure that the cycle stops with me.  

This is probably why I have an outpouring of love for people because I feel so desperately deprived of love from my dad, the person I look up to more than anyone.  One of the areas I look forward to changing in my life is to not be my dad’s employee and solely be his son.  At this point, I don’t think I would ever see him.  It is unhealthy for me to keep where I am just because I am fearful that my relationship with my dad would cease to exist.  Family business is hard but I’m not willing to deny myself of a relationship with my dad for a paycheck. 

My letting go of the pain that this relationship has caused me is not letting his feelings or actions affect me in a negative way.  When he talks about my other family members, it doesn’t stick.  I am no longer the pillar that people can run to when everyone is mad at each other.  When he is quiet and distant, that is how he deals with things.  Like I said, it is not right or wrong, it is what it is.  The best part is that I can love my dad and accept all the parts that make him who he is.  It doesn’t have to have any bearing on my life whatsoever.  

While it may seem that I’m publicly trying to shame my dad, please know that I am not.  Maybe this will other gay kids out there so they don’t feel all alone and that these feelings are completely normal.  I truly believe that I would not say anything that I would say to him or her.  Everything in this post has been said to his face at one point.  I love my dad.

I chose to talk about a relationship close to me, but we have these types of relatoinships at all levels in our lives.  It is ok to not want to be around negativity anymore.  It is ok to detach from anything that causes you pain.  It is ok to leave a situation for a positive outcome for yourself.  It is ok to tell people that you are unhappy with a relationship.  It is ok to let go.