So the travel back to MA was challenging. The most challenging part was dynamics with my father. In general in the past 2 years I have been learning to appreciate parts of my father that I had not appreciated before. I started to understand more of where is outbursts of seeming rage and anger were coming from. We have been able to have more conversations about our emotions and we have been having fun doing projects together.
In fact I had been planning to write him a letter about how much I had been appreciating him and our growing understanding of one another. When I got the message on my answering machine from my mom to call her back immediately when Sue died and the phone was ringing which seemed like forever, I felt convinced that she was going to tell me the my dad had a heart attack and died this time. I immediately felt regret that I hadn't written this letter to him before he died. When it did not turn out to be my dad who died I promised myself that I would write that letter. I still haven't.
Anyway, clearly my parents have been under extreme stress. My father seems to pride himself on being a problem solver. On this journey, there are no solutions that are in his control. It has been a huge huge thing for him to realize and become humbled to the ways of nature.
Anyway, back to the car trip, there were a few times when my dad slipped into patterns that I cannot handle. My whole life these patterns have resulted in me internalizing the emotions and holding them in my digestive system. I don't think that now after all the personal growth work that I have been doing that it was that much different. One difference is that my mom, sister, and I all respond differently than we did when I was a kid. Instead of just going to fear and trying to disappear, or responding in ways the exacerbate the problem, my mom learned that there is pretty much nothing she can say that will help the issue and so silence is a better option, my sister can raise the energy to match my father and use some of his tactics back on him, I tried to use my best non-violent communication but also am in the now powerful position of being bale to just say, "No, this has to stop immediately," and can get some piece of that to happen.
The point is, is was super hard. Everyone is aware of how stress and cancer are best friends and this led to a lot of pressure on people who are already in a lot of distress.
The morning after we arrived in MA, my mom told me that she and my father have decided that they really do need to get some help to deal with their emotions. If this is true and they really do find help it will be the answer to my biggest wish throughout this process.
The following post will be an exercise in releasing fury, anger, and pain in a way I have not done much before....writing. I imagine it might be hard for my father to read. Keep in mind that things seem to be going better and have some promise and that I think he is doing his best now. Fury, and anger have notoriously been hard emotions for me to express.