Today something strange happened.
And it brought me so much peace
If I could go back in time for you I would probably choose the day you went to the hospital for the last time. We took the bus, you were still strong enough to walk until the bus station and the hospital was close. I remember looking at when you were not seeing me. I could not believe my eyes: this old and frail person was the man I was so afraid of when I was a kid?
You caught me looking at you and smiled shyly. It was so much vulnerability in your eyes. You were scared. And powerless. I knew you were waiting for an answer. For connection. Maybe a smile.
I looked away: I did not want any connection. I was not ready to forget or forgive. It was too much pain in me.
Then everything went fast-forward — in two weeks you were gone. I thought I wouldn’t shed a tear at your funeral but I could not stop crying. Not really for you — for our family, for mom, for us. All the hate I felt, the absurdity of everything… I was like a broken record playing the same questions again and again.
“Why was he hating us so much? We were not bad kids. We were good at school, we had good grades, we went to University — the only kids from our street… Yes, I was the rebel one, but even my rebellion was a mild one. And mom was a good, decent woman. She was working hard, the house was clean and the food was good… what was eating you inside, where your fury was coming from?
For a long time had no answers. Then one day in the bookstore, searching for a SF book I picked “Speaker for the Dead” — Orson Scott Card. Oddly enough that book was the first step in a long and slow healing process. It was like Ender was speaking for you too. You were just longing for respect. And some gratitude. OK, cut the word ”just”. I do not want you to think it was no big deal. Or that you were right. It was a big deal. And there is nothing right in beating little kinds and abusing their mom. I just want you to know that I understand where your frustration was coming from.
I was almost like I could hear your thoughts:
“They do not know how is to grow without a father. They do not know how hard I am working. They do not respect me.”
This was true. I did not know. I could not know. After all, I was just a child. We lack critical thinking (most of the adults lack it also). And it is very hard for a child to respect and love the one who beats his mother.
The good part about practicing empathy toward you it was that it gave me clarity. The bad part… I start to think a lot about that moment in the bus. I found myself wishing to chose differently. To smile back. To show you some compassion. If not for you, for me — I knew that this will help me to heal.
Today something strange happened. I met a man who triggered me so much — it was almost like he brought you in the room with him. I felt anxious. And furious. I found myself treating him as an enemy.
It was ridiculous. I wanted to scream at him. I did in my head.
My mind was screaming “What the f#@k is wrong with you?” But that was sounding crazy — I could put that question to myself. If something was wrong, that was my reaction. I did not know that man. He was not doing anything — just resembling one of your corporal postures.
So I stayed with my feelings. I put better questions. I am a Tantra therapist now. Yes, that Tantra. Yes, back in time I would be shamed for my path. The things are different now. People are striving to heal. For better or worse your world is (almost) gone. For you Tantra is something about sex. For me is about Truth and Unconditional Love. I know, big words. I am still not there, I admit.
It is even hard to conceptualise it. What do I mean by unconditional?
Maybe Unconditional Compassion is easier to swallow. Like no matter what, nobody benefits for holding resentment for decades. What do I mean by ”no matter what?” Exactly this: no matter what.
Remember Games of Thrones? Silly me, of course not, you were gone when it was a thing. It is a TV series. I love it, at least the first seasons. And there is this guy — Theon Greyjoy. He was awful. I hated him. Everyone hated Theon because the dark path he took in the first seasons. You would hate him too.
But then he lost his luck and I felt compassion for him. And not just me.
”I don't care what he did” people said. ”No one deserves that.”
If I feel compassion for him, I should feel the same for you. I mean…what's the point of compassion if it is just a virtual one?
Or, if we speak about real people, how in the world can I talk about unconditional love and reject you in the same time? It is like I can forget everyone except you because you hurt me not somebody else. Not so spiritual I would say.
I know that I cannot go back in time. And that you will never read this letter.
This is OK — I am writing it for me. You know what makes me so happy about writing it? I started with the words ”dear father”. Funny. I should write ”dear dad” but It was to hard. It was too… personal? Too loving? So I made it more abstract. Like I was writing to the role of the Father, not really to you. But the word ”dear” was coming from my truth. I never thought I will be able to do this.
It is so good to be at peace.😊