My father and I always had a tumultuous relationship. A lot of it was due to his drinking, which eventually snowballed and killed him.
While he was dying and for many years afterward, I carried a lot of animosity toward him.
He actually apologized a few days before he passed, and if I could ever take a life moment back, it’s how I responded:
Almost 10 years later, I recognize that all he wanted was understanding. But at that time, I couldn’t grasp how he could put a loved one through hell for years and expect two simple words (I’m sorry) to make it “all good” again.
Now, after battling my own mental issues, I recognize that his alcoholism was a lot like my bipolar disorder. They’re both diseases that cannot be controlled without proper support—something my dad never had. His ego precluded him from admitting that he desperately needed help in the first place.
Looking at his behavior through this lens softens and empowers me. Anger transitions to acceptance. Bitterness to peace.
I accept your apology, dad. I hope you accept mine, wherever you are.
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