I want to thank all of you for your wonderful support here.
i know i am late replying ... i felt really embarrassed by the whole incident. Even after i saw my therapist, who also said i was not
being infantile but that dad was being insensitive.
He feels my parents have a limited capacity for empathy. I have thought that about each of them at different times, but they are quite distinct. I believe my mother is capable
of empathy, and actually has a great deal of it, but unfortunately she has overwhelming difficulty expressing it, or even expressing positive feelings. she even has trouble accepting compliments.
My dad on the other hand can seem like a an incredible sweetheart, really charming, magnanimous, and indeed a saint at times. Then, at other times (say, if you cross him, challenge something, or ... not sure of all the logic here) he can get really nasty. I've seen him get mean with my mom too. I think it doesn't seem as bad to her, because she grew up with much worse, and in that day it was commonplace.
I used to think it was just when he drank, but now i know that it is not, since he doesn't really drink any more (thank goodness). He actually seems to have a real Jekyll/Hyde dealy going on. Most often we see the Jekyll. However, it seems the Hyde is always there, always lurking - and it is indeed hydeous
forgive the pun. I don't think he is a bad person, but despite the fact that he yells less and seems more convivial than my mother, and more often, i believe he is damaged in a way that makes him more hurtful than my mother, and even potentially dangerous, if "only" to my psyche.
I want to come back to answer some of your specific posts... a few of you made some very acute comments, that were - and will be - very helpful to me.
For now, i just want to say, that mom actually helped me out here with this situation.
the following day there was a ruccus between them over dad's meds and finding a box of stuff he does not usually take. my mom had a possible explanation (leftover) but he kept insisting someone had made a mistake... he always needs someone to blame... yadayada... and i order his meds most of the time... erhemm. as it was, i had ordered some minutes earlier, because he was out. so i go into his room and lay a high-on-my-horse statement including the words "infantile, kindergarten, incompetent" (referring to self), said meds were ordered and told him he was welcome to do the pick up, verification of med scripted, verification of exemption, purchase, and verification of package handed to him, himself... later, tomorrow, or next week... yes i was mad.
ok mom... well when she came into the living room i blew gaskets about his and my conversation the day before which she had not heard about. her reaction was very goodnatured. for one, she brought me her sockies to show me they were not deformed, and assured me no harm would come to them. she acknowledged seeing that i was upset when i first saw him wearing them but she thought it would be ok because it was only a temporary thing. then without further ado, she found some jars, and broke out some of the goodies i had bought, and set them out where we have the fruit. she tried to give me an explanation why they weren't opened. in any case she didn't trivialize my feelings or my case or anything. she just did some things to show that what i did mattered after all, which i thought was really nice. this is her way of being empathetic. she is not someone who gives hugs, says i'm sorry, or i love you. but it was clear she "heard" me, and responded with reassuring actions.
after that, i felt better. however i am still at odds with my dad. i got a bit obsessed ... which is a problem i have, i know. but i also keep thinking back
to the huge altercation he and i had in september... i am starting to realize some things about my dad that i had not before.
again, thank you all so much.
i am so grateful for all of you. you all keep me afloat when i give up swimming.
~ waves ~ who has got rid of today's migraine and, hoping it won't return, is off to watch Poirot! (oh cool! they have the English audio this time! YIPPEE!