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When A Father Attacks: Man At War

Part 3 of When A Father Attacks.

Anger can be a positive thing when it is used for good. It can motivate one to pursue excellence. It can also take a person to a place where they decide enough is enough.

It can also consume you.

As the date of my parents arrival continued to approach, the more agitated I became. My wife's attempts to appease me were in vain. My mother did her best to assure me my daughter would be fine. But this fell on deaf ears. Besides, she didn't need to convince me of what I already knew. My issue wasn't with her or my father. In the midst of it all I managed to maintain enough clarity to determine that I felt betrayed and alone. My mood worsened. Making matters worse, after about a week of me, my wife decided she was done catering to my bad attitude.

"If you don't want to spend time with me and we don't get to do anything together then fine! You stay here and be miserable on your own. I'll go where I'm going with or without you!"

My response can't be repeated here.

These exchanges went on for days --- through Father's Day and practically through my son's birthday. My parents' arrival brought about a temporary and brief ceasefire that lasted until they departed with my daughter.

Needless to say it wasn't an easy day for any of us, except for my father, who was filled with glee to have his grandbaby come home with him. My daughter, who my wife was certain would be oblivious to leaving us, was exactly the opposite. I was sad in a way I never thought possible. My wife was overcome with emotion and fled the scene.

I was alone. Again.

I walked away from the scene white hot with anger that formed a cuff around my neck and practically took my breath away. In a move completely contrary to how I felt I hugged my wife when I found her. She cried into my chest and told her all would be fine. I did this with the hope that tending to her would help me feel better.

It didn't.

Two days before all this transpired, I posted an entry on this blog about sending children away for the summer. It was my therapy and I was looking forward to sorting it all out online. A discussion began, but went awry when people who know me personally began to address me directly and not the question I was asking. I felt exposed in a way I never expected in the arena of anonymity that is the web. News of my post spread quickly and reached the ears of my wife (a subscriber to the blog). But because we weren't speaking, she saw my therapy online a smack in the face to her --- complete and total disrespect.

The day after my daughter went to Chicago, my wife called me on my job and demanded that I take the post and the poll that went along with it. Never one to not share her thoughts, she told me she wanted nothing to do with me and she didn't even want to look at me.

I was completely numb. So much so, I was slightly surprised she would believe I actually cared what she thought. I hung up without saying goodbye.

If I took down my post, the creative outlet that has become a very personally positive force in my life would be under her control. But in the name of diplomacy and doing unto others as I would have them do to me, I took down my post and my poll.

I stared at the white space on this blog that had once been filled with the poll: "How Young Is Too Young To Ship Your Kids Off For the Summer?"

Right then and there I had a moment of clarity. One that brought me peace.

...I decided I wasn't going home that night.

Part 4 of When A Father Attacks will post after the July 4th weekend. Have a safe and happy one!

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