So it’s not what I thought yesterday. It isn’t the grief. I assumed it was. This feeling is about my dad, that he is my dad, and I am not a psychopath. I am wired to want to have relationships with people. I am wired to care and to be attached, and yet my dad cannot be trusted. He is a deeply dangerous person to be around, and so I have to restrain that instinct to trust him. He will deceive me and I know it.

He is not like my mother—she is unpredictable and violent, but not deceptive. However twisted what she says, she is saying what she thinks. She is, in her way, relentlessly, frighteningly truthful. It’s just she thinks terrible things.

And my father is not like that. He is calculated. He plans. He might be angry, but he will save that anger up for a really good time to exact vengeance. Because of that, it is extremely dangerous to be lulled into trusting him.

At the same time, my dad was in many ways more interested in me as a human being. He asked me what I thought about things. He took an interest. My mother did not want to know what I thought. There was one possible opinion and it was usually hers or it was that of someone she held in high regard. I don’t know why he was more interested in me—if it fed his narcissistic needs to have an intelligent daughter or if he was just saving up material to hurt me with later. I don’t have the faintest idea. But it made a bond with him possible.

The fear I have of trusting people is that they will die. That is major. It is also about this need not to trust my father, and the learned sense that the desire to trust itself is deceptive.

Anyway, that is my thought this morning. My dad I need to grieve for, and the grief is complicated, because I am grieving who he is. I am grieving the impossibility of any relationship with him, and really I am not so much grieving for him now as remembering the grief I needed to feel when I was five or six and just beginning to understand this.

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