Rage at father


Hi Brooke and coaches. Ugh. I’m mad. So I’m grateful y’all are out there to show me how I’m creating this anger myself and how it’s only causing me to suffer.

Here’s the situation. Every year, my husband and I schlep our family (two kids now, including a baby) from California to the east coast for the winter holidays. We see my dad, my high school friends and my mom’s family (my mom died in 1997, parents were already divorced). Then we drive 1.5 hours to see and stay with my husband’s parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. We want our kids to have relationships with their extended family. And it makes us feel good to show up for big family celebrations. So we’re looking at tickets now, and my dad tells me we shouldn’t count on staying at his house because he’s going through a divorce/separation with wife #2, and isn’t sure where they’ll be in the process. Immediately, I am angry. And a flood of hurt from my parents’ divorce, my mom’s death and my dad’s second wife come back.

Some unintentional thoughts:
T: My mom’s life insurance bought that house that my dad and his wife live/d in, how is that even actually the wife’s?
T: How can he keep prioritizing someone he hasn’t even liked or loved for the past 20 years (his words about the wife) over me, who has worked hard to have a relationship with him?
T: Why am I always the one to do the work?
T: Trips out east are so expensive and draining, I should just keep my family away, as my brother does with his, and stop trying to have a relationship.
T: Why doesn’t he care about his grandchildren?
T: He got the chance my mother never had and he’s blowing it.

I am making this mean that he doesn’t love or prioritize me or his grandchildren enough. And as a result, I am hurt, disappointed and resentful, which I have worked hard on to not be in my relationship with him. I want him to follow the manual I have for him!

I’d like to believe he is doing his best. That he is going through a tough time. That he’ll show up however he can around the holidays and that my job is just to love him as he is. I’d like to believe that we can spend the whole time with my husband’s family if need be, and the kids will still have a blast. But my overarching feeling is fuck my dad. Why can’t he try harder. If not for me, then for his grandchildren.