My father and I are fighting. Actually that is a gross mis-statement. He is being a passive aggressive douchebag and I am pretending that I don't care and getting more and more worked up about it. It is our pattern--one that I like to think that we have worked through and changed. Every time it pops up I remember that you don't ever really work through these things. You have to keep trying all of the time.
My father has been proud of me exactly two times in my life. The day I gave birth to my daughter and the day I got a big promotion at my last job. Now I know I am lucky to have a father--one that is my friend most of the time--but it is hard for me that all of the other good things that I have done and are a part of who I am don't mean anything to him. He was not proud all of the many (all) times I made honor roll in school, of the scholarships I won or the other awards. He wasn't proud when I graduated high school or massage school or got married. He wasn't proud when I bought my first house or the second house. He wasn't proud when I found jobs in tough markets and got promotions. Or when I quit a job that was really hurting my family and got brave enough to do something else.
My father and I fought for years. Most of the years that I was teenager and a couple after. And then we realized that we could try to get along or lose each other forever. I am very proud of us that we work so hard to be friends. My father thinks he shouldn't have to work so hard to get along with his daughter.
He's mad at me because he feels guilty about my grandpa and everything he doesn't like about me are things he doesn't really like about himself. I know that. I also know that he is worried about money, and other family members and other shit and it is easier to be mean to me than it is to deal with that stuff.
I know all this and I accept all of this and I can't help but be angry with myself. Because after thirty-one years of us doing this to each other you would think I would know how to deal with it. To not crave his approval.
His approval isn't coming. And that really IS ok. Because I am proud of the person that I have become and all that I do.
I just need to accept that no, he will never feel the same way.