Sunday, June 08, 2008

My Really Insecure (Adoptive) Father

For reasons I can't fully explain, I just needed to stop thinking of myself as an adopted person.

After coming to grips with decades of denial, and thinking about it 24/7, I kind of overdosed.

My adoptive mother is ten years dead. At 81, my adoptive father is growing weaker as Lewy Body dementia continues to destroy his body and mind.

There's also something slightly silly about being middle aged and thinking of yourself as an adopted child. So I've put it aside. As some of you know, I've shifted to blogging about dealing with narcissistic parents.

But last night, adoption as an issue resurfaced.

N-Dad (narcissistic dad) has taken to reminding me, daily, that father's day is coming up.

Yes, I know, I said.

Then we had a replay of the conversation that we've had for as long as I could remember....when he was of sound mind, if you overlook the narcissistic part.

"Well, you better not foget about it," he warned me.

"Have I ever forgotten?" I ask.

"No," he reluctantly admits. "And you better not this year."

"I won't," I promise.

"I'm your father you know," he says.

"Yes. I know," I admit reluctantly.

"I'm your father and don't you forget it," he concludes aggresively.

What he's really thinking (I suspect) is that he's not my biological father and that there's some man running around out there who is, technically. And it makes him angry and he has to take it out on me. The few times I did ask what he knew about this mystery man, n-dad referred to him, creepily, as "the man who made you."

What I'm thinking not my father. I've never had one. I may have got stuck with you and I may have acted as your mother and daughter, but you've never acted like a real father. Real fathers don't act like children and make their only kid an emotional caretaker.

I, by the way, have RARELY mentioned my adoption at all to my adoptive parents. No surprise, considering the reaction my basic questions got.

Apparently, n-dad still has some major insecurities and, apparently, it's my job to reassure him that he is who he says he is. I can't imagine my husband every saying anything so bizarrely obvious to my daughters.