Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ted part 2...

I'm standing in the elevator of the SBC building in downtown Spokane, I push the 4th floor button. Man I wished they had some music playing in the elevator. I had only been in this elevator one other time but can't remember why. I know it had something to do with Ted. Maybe to see his new office or to meet up for dinner or a hockey game. I dont know. My mind was clouded with thoughts of what I was supposed to say to Ted. The doors open to the fourth floor and I weave my way back through the hallways to his office. You have to ring a door bell and be let in. I could see into the office through the window next to the door. I saw him walking up to answer.

 I'm not even sure what I felt but to be honest as soon as the door opened I was numb. He was shorter or was I  taller. I don't know but it was clear that there was something physically different about him. I shock his hand as he tried to hug me. He acted like he didn't know who I was at first... like he didn't recognize me. Ya right! He took me on a tour of his office and we ended up in a conference room. He went and got a map and we started talking about my trip. He wanted to know what I was going to do for the winter. He started looking at freeways and highways, calculating miles (he is like a human calculator) telling me temperatures and whether conditions (he loves watching the weather channel). However I had no interest in his opinion on any of that. I wasn't there for advice, I was there to apologize. I have hated him for a long time and I had done things to hurt him...writing this I think I may be a revengeful person. I'm not sure, I'm going to have to think about that one. 

A few years back my mom and step dad split up; divorced/separated. Well...more like separated than anything else. It wasn't a clean brake though cause my mom had moved back in with him but it's not cause she loves him and wants to work it out. Anyway, my mom had asked me to help her move her things either back in or out of the house (I'm not sure which it was). While I was back at the house I saw a legal note pad sitting on the counter with 3 or 4 pages of his "thoughts"... like a journal. It was a set up! He wanted my mom to find it and to feel bad for him. He plays the victim card hard core. He can be a mean and angry person and then blame it on how his brother was a bully and his dad didn't love him. 

So I read what he wrote and then added my own personal notes... hurtful things. I knew it was wrong and childish at the time and I knew what buttons to push, so I did. Years before my parents split I had stopped talking to Ted and just saw him on holidays, If even that. I never ever told him how I felt and I had never planned on it. But reading those words I was just so ...there is not even a word for how I was feeling. Before i knew it I was writing hurtful stuff. Well as you can imagine, they cut him pretty deep. Side note, for about a year he thought my mom had wrote those comments. I can't for the life of me understand why! My hand writing was/is barely legible and I mis-spelled half the words. My mom's hand writing is AWSOME and she has her Masters Degree and I'm sure she would have sounded a lot more eloquent then I did. 

So we're sitting in the conference room and I finally tell him I'm not there for advice on my trip. I start to tell him I'm sorry for writing those hurtful things and for hating him. He replied with "ya, you hurt me a lot". I said "I know, that's exactly what I was trying to do" and he said "ya you really kicked a guy when he was down". I said "I know and I'm sorry". He started to try and say sorry for something and take responsibility. It was just like when we would all go to family counseling. He really wasn't sorry, it was just a learned response from all the years of counseling. It was something like "I'm sorry for not being a father but trying to be more of a friend". In my mind I was thinking, man this guy has just always been soooooo clueless. Then he started getting into stories about how he was raised and how his dad treated him and how his dad's dad treated his father the same way. 

Ok here's the thing. I consider myself very intuitive and able to see throught things straight up. So let me help you see what I was seeing. He was taking long pauses, trying to figure out how he could apply those stories to us. Seemed like he was making the whole thing up. His eyes darted around searching for a way to make his story fit our situation. He went on for about 10-15 minutes and at some point I just checked out. I honestly dismissed everything he said. But then it got really bad. After every apology I have ever heard him give, he always found a way to put it all back on the other person. He went into this whole thing about how I never let him be my father because I idolized my real father. Ok! Then I was all ears, getting very frustrated and angry. 

I'm going to take a brief moment to talk about my true dad/father. He is my idol in a lot of ways. He loved me. We just bonded and he always called me son. He took ownership of me, and I belonged to him. Before this very moment writing this post, I've never really thought about that. Side note/ little fact, I started this journey on May 2nd of this year. The 20 year anniversary of my fathers' death.  

To me he was so amazing! To everyone else, he was a bad guy. He was in and out of jail all the time and no one that I knew that new him ever talked well about him (including Ted). So you know how you can say what you want about your family but if someone else says anything you want to fight them? Well, Ted started talking about how my father would have let me down and he was not a great guy and just put him on blast. In my head I'm screaming the F word and I'm thinking "you really want to talk bad about my DEAD father!?!?!" The craziest thing is that my mom had given me the same exact speech earlier that week. They must have talked about it together in family counseling. Once It was my turn to talk I looked him square in the eyes and said "No! that's not it! I did try but in the end I was never safe with you and I never trusted you. You were an angry and mean person." He paused and said "you know, your mom says the same thing but I don't feel like I am". After that point, the conversation was over for me. I realized that there would never be any kind of understanding between us. 

I needed to get out of there so I said to him "look I didn't come here for this, I just wanted to say I'm sorry for trying to hurt you and for hating you. I don't want to waste anymore of my time/life hating you." In my head I was thinking, you are making that really hard to do. We said our good byes and he tried to hug me again. I didn't want him touching me. Just as we were leaving he said "I love you" and all I could think was "you don't love me, we never had a relationship, and you have no right to say that to me." 

I know 100% that I was supposed to have that conversation with Ted. I believe the Lord put it on my heart. Yet ever since, I've been struggling to see the point. Was that helpful to him? I sure don't believe I got anything out of it. I pray that God gives me clarity about this. I just want to be obedient. It's clear that I still have a lot of things I need to work through. In my mind this conversation was meant to bring closure and help us part ways peacefully. It didn't turn out that way I'd hoped and that bums me out. Honestly... it makes me wonder if there is something more I should do. 

Hebrews 12:14-15 says :

14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

This is the verse that lead me to all these conversations (Sarah, Kim, Ted) but I'm not sure that any of that was achieved with Ted or Kim. I want the door to be closed on this but maybe there's still some work to be done between us and that's not an exciting thought for me. 

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