E-mail from Father

I just left my mentor’s surprise birthday party. It was a pretty good do. I isolated a bit while I was there, which was interesting as I was surrounded by friends at the same time.

Anyway, shortly before I left, I got the following message from my father:

Just a quick note to wish you a happy Memorial Day and since you don’t do well on holidays – before you do anything stupid, please think of someone besides yourself. If you think you are fucked up, think about what you are doing to [your kids]. To celebrate the weekend (and the rest of your life),why don’t you dump all your contacts of anyone that you think of as “friends” that you also know only through rehab and/or your drug induced stupors. If you keep in contact with idiots, you will quickly become one also. Don’t tell me that you can’t help yourself because you are “addicted” and it is a disease. It was your idea and yours alone the first time that you took a drug and there was zero addiction involved. Your addiction is something you have spawned and cultivated for you and only you. I think it is time for you to think of other people that matter – not your rehab buddies or fellow “addicts”- but your children and those who care about you not as an “addict” but as a person.
I have agonized over writing this to you, but I feel that it cannot hurt because the worst you can do is write me off – again. I love you and am saying this out of this love. I used to think you were one of the most intelligent people I had ever known. I still believe that you are intelligent, but now I know that you are also the most egotistical and self-centered person I have ever known. Use your brain (and please don’t insult me by saying you can’t control your “lizard” brain) and put a stop to this continuing stupidity. No one can constantly obsess over anything without it becoming a self-fulfilling wish. If you continually think about and talk about drugs, eating, etc. then that becomes who you are. It is not something you HAVE to do. As a matter of fact many people with considerably less intelligence have been able to get clean – not by always telling everyone how addicted and messed up they are but by STOPPING the bad behavior.
Please understand that I love you and I hope you love [your kids] and don’t want to see them grow up as messed up as you are – please use this holidays as an excuse – not to glorify your problems, but to stop them.

I’m hurt. And confused. And angry. And all sorts of other not very pleasant emotions.

My gut instinct was to block him everywhere… phone, gmail, Facebook. I spoke with my Buddhist Refuge Recovery mates and they pointed out that he was also suffering and acting unskillful. I backed off, a bit, and left him blocked only on my phone.

I almost called him today, just to check in and see how he was doing. I don’t know if I wouldn’t receive that e-mail, if I had. Probably. Though there’s a good chance I would’ve gotten ripped into verbally instead.

I thought our relationship was slowly mending. I guess I was wrong. It will be a long time, if ever, before I speak to him again. He’s getting up there in age and my life expectancy won’t be fantastic, if I relapse. Maybe, we’re just done, first.

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