Date: November 09, 2017 09:04AM
Thanks for the kind words, everyone.
No one but your father can say how he defines love.
What you can do, is know the difference between truth and a lie by observing behavior.
"Do his words match his actions?"
My father was a very passionate guy, no matter what he was doing, an all or nothing sort. I also suspect that he was deeply depressed most of his life. He was the unquestionable authority figure. Slept like a log.
My mother seemed to get upset at very little, except displeasing my father. She displayed no gushing emotion, but never stopped working unti she dropped from exhaustion, and even then, was a very light sleeper.
They were born during the great depression, and both lost a parent at young ages. My dad's dad died when my dad was 12, in the 1940s. My mom's mom died when my mom was 16, also in the 1940s.
Then, both of them grew up during WWII.
Their levels of numbness toward their children were huge. They mostly ignored us, except when being abusively punished by dad. I think they had no idea what they were doing when they started having kids in their early 20s, and always regretted it. It was what they were supposed to do, so they did it. I think they also had very little respect for each other, but stayed married, because they were supposed to.
They would occassionaly make general statements about loving their family, but I think it was out of obligation. It was a part of the package of being a parent, something they said because it was expected of them.
Also, coming from the times and circumstances that they did, expressing emotion was a back-burner, mamby-pamby "weakling" thing. Don't whine. Buck up. Do your job. No excuses. Work, work, work. And never, ever, ...ever, cry.
They were born into numbness, and the events and circumstances of their lives never, ever released its grip on them. They had no wherewithal on which to draw, no emotional base or freedom from which to "explore their feelings."
I was born in the very early 1960s. Flower power, Vietnam, civil rights and moon shots*. Then, bra burning and free love. Hippies and hard rock, all asking how, demanding, that we "know ourselves."
Different worlds. I was an alien thing to my parents.
Was it fair to demand that they express their love for me, on my terms?
Was abuse the only way they knew how to get what they wanted?
Did their hard work and ignorance of their children create my freedom to live and love more freely, than lack of freedom had given them?
The point of this is that they could only communicate from within their own binds. Whenever they spoke of love, it did not match my idea of it, nor their behavior. Maybe they loved me, in that capacity and from the binds which defined their lives, but it never felt like love to me. Their binds crippled their capacity to love, and that was my reality.
They would each say, "Of course we loved you!"
I would say, "You never showed it."
Each of us is "right," and each of us is "wrong.." There are no absolutes; statements of love are relative to the speaker, not the listener. Only the speaker can "know" what he or she means by "love." It is not for anyone else to define for the speaker; each speaker has the right and responsibility to define it for him or herself.
Does your dad love you, badass? Only he can say what he means by it, and it is up to you to accept or reject that (those) definition(s).
My parents were not the same people in the 90s that they had been in the 60s, nor was I. They had "softened," and I was beginning to "harden." Things can change, and so can people.
Like a liquid or gas, we fill the shapes of our containers, each of us, in our own skins.
That's plenty enough for me.
moon shots - I don't know if today, that's some type of alcoholic drink or slang for a sexual activity, but here, it refers to the space missle program of the 60s.