Difficult Daughter

Sunday, March 29, 2020

I happen to tell my dad during lunch today,

"I don't think we've spent so much time together since I was born."

A couple of hours later, my sister delivered the sermon to me: stay in your room and don't talk to people if you're going to hurt them.

Truth hurts, apparently.

My dad and I have a relationship where he's a secondary parent. Primary is my mom, who happens to occupy a more central role in my life. From academic to personal shit, she's been, my go-to person. I get it, why. The family histories for most people are complex and sensitive. I'm no different. My dad and I have a relationship, odd one at that. He's a man of few words and more actions. Genetically, he's passed a lot of that repressing bit to me. Neither of us talks about emotions or deal with them. We relate on a more superficial, interest-based interaction. That's possibly another reason I don't often bring him up in conversations, in writing or life.

If he were a friend, he'd be the kind I'd be hanging out within a large group with others who I'm close to and connect better with. He'd be a part of the group, much like me. We'd wish each other birthdays, hang socially, make plans to meet and play a game or two. Talk about sports, talk about politics and part ways. My mom, on the other hand, would definitely be the friend I'd talk a lot to and then argue over difficult conversations. Someone who calls me out on my shit a lot more than a regular friend. My dad and I? Not as much. I wouldn't take him seriously. It's a very peculiar family trait, one I've seen pass through generations. Something I was so sure wouldn't happen to me with my dad, but then it did, as I've been observing.

There are only a few times I've seen our relationship translate to that of a father-daughter. It's complicated, but he's been there, for better or for worse. It's also weird that our interactions have been so everyday-business casual that I feel we have grown up to be leading two very diverse lives. His understanding of me and mine is so thinly veiled with an abstraction of patience that tempers are now flying high. His inability to understand his child is apparent. My ability to gauge his bullshit and call him out on stuff is another cue for arguments.

He's been home for about a week now. We have our respective schedules and for close to 16 hours a day, we're in our respective rooms. Of which the remaining 8 hours that we spend in the company of one another, we spend about an hour in a day together, spread between two meals and a cup of tea.

That one hour is the reason why I'm being blamed for his mood swings and his ability to find the worst of the internet on the phone, as my kryptonite around him.

We can barely look at each other's face and we have a minimum of another fortnight to go.

Other relationships are tested as well. The men in the house against one another, the usual suspects when it's my mom and me, and then my sibling and I.

At this point of the other four members of the house, I'm in good terms with one and that's a record.

About a few days ago, my friend Boss Music 911 pointed this out. Families will have trouble, kids will be made, divorces will happen amongst others. People with secret families will have issues, people with spouses will undergo problems and then there's those of us with our families, dealing with them and realizations of how far apart we all are despite having lived together with each other all these years.

I've no wise words, wisecracks or solutions or even an end to this. This is only the beginning of a dystopian reality. One that tests personal relationships more than any television drama, conceivable by the human mind or person has ever reached.

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