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My feelings

I've had some changes in the past year.  I've finished my Bachelor's degree.  I've started my first job in my field of study (and I'm really excited about it).  I'm also doing research to one day affect change in the world.  I still need money for that to happen, so we'll see where I go.

My dad didn't come to my university graduation because he was recovering from an operation.  His illness has recently gotten worse.  He's lost a significant amount of weight (so much so as I almost didn't recognize him when I saw him recently) and he seems to have let things go that were once ver near and dear to his heart.

I saw him recently because it's the end of his life.  To be honest, I miss the dad that I want him to be; however, he's the same charming self that he's been my entire life.  He seemed to miss me, though, and was really surprised to see me.

I'm feeling a lot of things right now.  A person to whom I should mean the world is dying, but he doesn't seem to have any interest in having a relationship with me.  Maybe he's in denial.  Maybe he's angry with himself.  Maybe he has something to prove to himself.  I will never know.

It wasn't until I was writing this blog that I realized that my feelings don't really have anything to do with me.  I'm not living a life of regret for leaving my family and never seeing my children.  I don't have anything to prove to anyone except myself.

I'm not going to say that I'm not angry because I am.  I can feel the energy in me.  Why I'm angry is something that I'm trying to resolve.  I don't feel anger towards my dad because he's living his own life and I'm living mine.  Quite frankly, I really don't care what he does with his life because I'm happy with where I've gotten so far, although I hope to really make a difference in the world some day.

I'm not sure what to feel right now.  Should I have these feelings of anger, anxiety, and depression now?  I'm trying to find a way to channel my energy into something positive.

Any advice would certainly be appreciated.


yes, your feelings of anger, anxiety and depression are NORMAL and ok... and perfectly understandable.  not being in your shoes, i can only guess at why you're feeling those things while facing the demise of your abuser :

ANGER - only about a thousand reasons why, like not having any interest in your life and future... or the courage to give you verification of what happened to the rest of your family.  you've stated in previous blogs "My dad never calls me just to ask me how I'm doing. I don't recall him doing so within the last few years" and "I used to feel anger towards my dad off and on as I was growing up. I would have fits and say horrible things to him and then get over it" and "I felt anger towards my dad because he never took care of me".  even if you've gotten over those, there's still a lot of rage inside - and now it's coming to a head, building up pressure until you feel like you'll explode...

you've got every RIGHT to be angry - and most of all, right now, you're probably frickin PISSED OFF because he's up and leaving this world and you behind AGAIN... without giving you any resolution (no matter how much healing and events you've put behind you) or the rest of the time you need to accomplish the things you feel have to be done.  taking one more choice away (even if he has no control over his declining health).

if you're looking for a good outlet for anger, i recommend working out - find yourself a gym with a nice big punching bag and just go nuts...  if that doesn't work for you, fill a durable bag or burlap sack with old clothes and make your own  :)  drag it out to a tree or up on the roof and scream out your anger to the world as you pound it - that helps !  after venting your anger, it'll be more managable - and you'll probably feel better too (maybe a bit silly, but hey - the world needs more silly and less serious stuff all the time).

ANXIETY - also normal, given the impending demise... say what you will about the man, he was instrumental in shaping you into who and what you are today.  the WORK was all you, but it's still built on a foundation of what happened in your life up until now.  and right now you're (metaphorically) staring at a cracked and crumbling foundation stone in your past and its making you nervous to think it'll be gone soon.  hell, that'd make anybody anxious - the unknown of when and how it'll occur, how you'll REALLY handle it when it happens, the funeral, the families AT the funeral, and on and on and on... you're probably thinking "i'm not READY for this" - when the truth is, nobody ever is  :)  however, you ARE a survivor, kiddo - and this you too will survive !

DEPRESSION - should be an old friend by now, because if you're like most of the sisters you've battled that demon for most of your lifetime.  sadly.  it's important to acknowledge that your depression hails from a mix of things - emotional overload, fears (even little ones add up), chemical/hormonal imbalances, anger and anxiety, family issues... just remember that you've beat this guy before, and if he's back for another asskicking then you're just the person to hand him one  :)  reach out to your closest friends, Art23 - let them help buoy your flagging spirits.  talk to your therapist about extra meds or a temporary dosage boost to get through the process - and above all, keep communicating !  from everything i've learned, the deepest and darkest depressions are when we shut off contact with the outside world - which is usually the worst thing to do when that happens.  search for positive, life affirming things on the 'net and use it as a sort of tonic or waypoints to guide you back into the light...

(( and if you need to chat, feel free to email me at malathonxx at gmail dot com ))

merry christmas, friend Art23 !!  and i hope you have a happy holiday season  :)

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.