Feb 5, 2011

Other Side Of The World

The last few weeks have been considerably tougher for me than usual. Not in a health sense but in an emotional one. My father, who lives on the other side of the world, contacted me recently. He has essentially been a stranger to me for the past twenty years. I finally decided to "do the right thing" and write him back even after a lifetime of no effort on his behalf. Although I felt and still feel that it is too late to salvage any sort of a real relationship, I wrote him the letter. And writing it proved to be somewhat therapeutic for me. I did not resort to using profanity or overt insults like I wanted to, but I did give him a piece of my mind in a very direct yet tactful way. I received his response via snail mail and it did not contain any shocking surprises, just tired excuses. It was clear by reading his letter that he is every bit as self-centered as I had imagined, inquiring very little about me or my situation in life. He is clearly very focused on himself and always has been. The one good thing that has come out of this whole communicating-with-the-estranged-father-thing is that I finally learned a little bit more about my health history on that side of the family. He does not know how sick I have been for the past three years and how hard his sudden decision to contact me out of the blue has been on me. When I was a child, he was always out of sight and out of my mind. He admits in his letter that I was probably better off without him growing up. And he is probably right. Throughout my childhood I kept hoping to witness the slightest ounce of effort on his part. No birthday cards, no Christmas cards, year after year. Absence.

So its no surprise that lately I have been questioning a lot of things in my life, including the impact that his absence has had on me as a person. He certainly made life more difficult for my mother and I both financially and emotionally, and when I really think about it, I realize how lucky I am to have turned out as normal and well-adjusted as I have (although I certainly still have my issues, who doesn't?) His leaving at such an early age left me with very limited faith in relationships and marriage, and makes me very skeptical of any guy who tries to enter my life.

Over the last few weeks I have decided that I need a change in my life. A big one. A change of scenery, a move. I want to move to the other side of the water (about an hour away) to be closer to my family I have here in the states, the only family I have ever known. I also need to be somewhere that is more centrally located, so living near a ferry is a prerequisite, as is being within walking distance to a business/retail district where I can take care of light shopping and errands without always having to drive for miles. Ideally I will find a place that is newer construction but still has character, and also a separate space I can designate for my home office. Although I love my new job working from home, there are many elements of working in a conventional office environment that I really miss--especially the social aspect of always having coworkers nearby. By the time I finish my full-time work for the week, I am usually exhausted, my eyes hurt from staring at the computer screen all day, and the last thing I feel like doing is going out. But yet I miss it so much. I think living in a new place would provide a nice change of pace, and being closer to things would enable me to at least leave the house on lunch breaks with more minimal effort. Where I currently live, I am too far away from most places, and the fact that I can't drive very far due to dysautonomia makes me feel trapped in a tiny bubble that I am ready to escape from. I am sure many of us have felt that way at times, but lately I just can't shake it. I haven't felt like myself. Sometimes I wonder if I may even be a little depressed. However, this time I don't think it's anything therapy sessions can cure. So it's time to take matters into my own hands and make a sensible change to snap myself out of this rut.

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