Bitter, Old & Angry- Your Problem!

GrumpyOldManMy dad is an old bitter man with a ridiculously short temper, a fire hot anger and an inability to show or express affection. He has been like this all my life. Recently we found out that he is quite ill. We never knew about his condition even though we lived with him every day- I’ll come back to this later. He has diabetes (takes insulin twice a day), chronic kidney disease and a heart condition. Should either his kidneys fail, his heart fail or his sugar go too high/low, he will not survive it. He is also a cancer survivor.

Having said that- my father is still the same (bitter old) man he has been since I’ve have known him, basically all my life.

Recently he asked me for something. I’ve been super busy at work and so every day it slips my mind. His anger, of course, is the size of Africa. And forgetting something is just not acceptable. You must remember everything and you must have the answer to every question.

OhBoyI remember when I was a teenager and every time I answered a question with “I don’t know”, his retort would be, “what do you know?” or “you’re useless”.
Basic psychology would say that this reflects dissatisfaction with himself.

I do not know for certain what his beef with life is. His wife’s lack of love and affection, his unfulfilled career dreams, his lack of “the son he always wanted” or something far more deeper rooted somewhere in his childhood…
Or something.

I have seen much of the same man all my life. He has not changed in any hugely impactful ways. And this is what makes me sad. He is stagnant. He has not grown (at least not the way most people would change after been given a second lease on life).

I learnt a lesson this morning while talking to my insightful fiancé.

No AgencyI have dreams of my own that I would love to pursue. I haven’t yet. I lack an agency to make it happen.
I realised that with my dad there was no space to make a mistake, forget something or not know anything. If any of these happened- I’d have some kind of loud, dis-empowering reaction from my dad. The person that was ideally meant to nurture and empower me.
I think that this has grown a fear in me. A fear to be wrong, to forget something or to not know.

Life and mostly personal development has taught me that:

  • It’s ok to make mistakes- it’s how you learn and grow.
  • It’s ok to forget something- if it’s important it’ll come back to you.
  • It’s ok to not know something- again it’s how you learn and grow.

The challenge now is to overcome years’ worth of a fear and step toward and flow with mistakes, forgetfulness and the unknown.

Awareness of it all makes it easier to face the next big thing that potentially scares me.

In the famous words of Peter Shaw, “If its scary and exciting- Do it!”

Live your dreams… Not just your life.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heena Patel
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 06:55:01

    OMG!!!! That explains sooooo much!!!! It is amazing how a significant person in your life can shape you in such a profound way. Your words have got me thinking about my fears too … and I think it took root a very long time ago – when I was impressionable and looked up to the one person for guidance, love and empowerment and got none. Decisions were made and then actions taken and then you begin to stack experiences which then makes you totally unconscious to what is really going on…. and you become tooo afraid to take that step – the step that you know will lead you to success or even progress and growth! Self sabotage kicks in because those words are unconsciously still ringing in your ear – telling you you amount to nothing, fail, make mistakes …
    You opened yourself up, you were vulnerable and were betrayed, kicked down hurt … and that makes you hard, not take risks, become addicted to certainty so you keep playing safe, you remain stagnant.
    So, I pledge to you, my sweet little sis, let’s not remain stagnant and play it safe – now is the time to be vulnerable again (it is powerful), to grow and make progress!
    Now is the time to raise our standards and carpe diem – Seize the day!

    Thank you for YOU ❤


  2. Neena Rama
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 10:13:51

    Very insightful and life-changing.
    It is very useful to find key hooks like this inside of us……
    If we don’t, we project them onto our children in raising them.
    This is the gift of life… are given opportunity after opportunity to see what needs to be seen until you finally see it. And then if you fail to act on what you see, you meet it again and again, being given more opportunities to change your life.

    How abundant and graceful this gift is….


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