Monday, August 20, 2007

Carlson vs. Carlson.

Well, it finally happened. The long overdue conversation with my Dad took place this afternoon. And, to put it mildly, it wasn’t warm and fuzzy.

I made a resolve last month to continue to maintain contact with Dad despite the bad feelings which emerged during his June/July visit. After the no-holds-barred letter I wrote him before he left for home on July 15th, we never discussed the content. I did call him the following week to check in but I just got his voice mail.

So this afternoon I decided to try him again. This time he picked up. The first few minutes were pretty benign, talking about such things as the weather, my job status, etc.

But then the flood gates opened. He came at me with “I got your voice mail on the Sunday I left but given what you wrote in your letter I figured you didn’t want to see me so I said ‘F*** it, I’ll go home early!’”

Since the conversation lasted the better part of 60 minutes, I don’t want to rehash the entire dialogue exchanged. In summary, Dad assumed the victim role and accused me of turning “the whole family” against him with all of the frustrations I’ve conveyed to others. He also informed me that I have my head so far up my a** that I can’t think rationally anymore.

The majority of our talk was counterproductive because it always wound up at “That’s right, Bradley. You’re 100% right and I’m 100% wrong.” Bottom line: I was unable to rationalize with the irrational.

In the end, I finally got what I wanted all along: A stand.

Dad wrapped up our exchange with the following:

“Bradley, I’m 63-years old and I’ve never been one for heart-to-heart talks. That’s not going to change.”


I now feel liberated!! I no longer have to pursue an endeavor (in this case, a meaningful relationship with Dad) that has caused nothing but anguish and frustration for many years now.

Don’t get me wrong. I would have preferred that Dad & I came to a peaceful reconciliation and moved ahead from there. Sadly, he chose the other extreme. But I can honestly say it is a relief that we are no longer straddling the fence.

This exercise in futility has long last come to a welcome conclusion!



Leo Pusateri said...

Peace, buddy.

Uncle Ben said...

Ouf. It might be a welcome end, but it still sounds like a kick in the gut. But what else can you do? Sounds like you've done what you could.

Brad Carlson said...

During the big showdown, I took 100% responsibility in the fact that I should have said something 10 years ago. Admittedly I didn’t convey my frustrations with the utmost dignity simply because I let these emotions fester for so long.

Aside from that, I did not (and will not) apologize one iota for what I said to my Dad in the letter I wrote him. He took great umbrage with a lot of what was written which tells me he had a guilty conscience. Not that he’ll ever man up, which is what I told him. And boy did I get an earful after I made that that statement. But by that time there wasn’t a whole lot he could do or say to shake my tree, so it wasn’t a problem.