Saturday, April 04, 2015

Father figures

Some months ago, my Al Anon/AA sponsor fired me and, he said, all of his sponsees, needing to focus on himself.  Which is cool, I get that.

And yet, some months later, he seems unwilling to actually engage me in any real way.  After today's meeting, in which I had identified particularly with what he shared, I went up to him to tell him that, and he basically looked past me and moved on to speak to someone else.  Which is pretty odd.

But the main thing I have to admit to myself is that, 2 years to the week after my dad's death, I am still excessively dependent on substitute father figures.  I have had a bunch in my life:  my high school soccer coach and my wife'd dad stand out in particular.  In the absence of a good one, I easily substitute whoever is my boss at a given moment.  For example, my current boss, who shares many character traits with my dad, some positive, some negative.  I certainly lay myself open to being too dependent on his approval.  In the absence of it, I feel fear.  Of course, with a boss, you do kind of need their approval.  The key thing is not to over-cathect it.

At some level, my basic situation is ridiculous.  Everybody's father dies at some point in time.  Mine, in particular, was less than ideally available when he was alive, but so are a lot of dads.  So we have to learn to live without them.  On the other hand, it's pretty normal.  As we age, we learn that there are really no grown ups, there are just those to play the role better.

And today, one day after her 77th birthday, I should well and truly give thanks for having an awesome mom. She has her quirks, and she herself grew from a problematic relationship with her own parents, but she is always there for me.

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