A trip to remember

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

2 weeks sober.

This weekend saw my dad and I go on our first trip together.

Just as some background information to this; this is a big step. My dad and I don’t hang out much or have much to say to each other.

Recently I wrote him a very honest email (only way to contact him) and instead of making the email about our relationship, I made it about me and my flaws and why I behave the way I do. My dad has a lot of pride and can’t take any criticism, so if he got any hint of ‘you weren’t there for me as a father’ he wouldn’t have taken it in the way he did.

Since the email things have improved. I feel a whole lot calmer around him and I feel as though I have laid my flaws out so that they can no longer be held against me and I have vowed to start making small improvements.

Anyway, getting back to the trip. We drove to Germany in a group of car lovers to a race track. Most of the trip was spent travelling.

On the first day we ate at the most wonderful restaurant where they served champagne on arrival (successfully avoided it) and then wine with every course and the waiter poured mine without asking, which usually I would find charming but this made me slightly awkward.

My dad sat next to me and said ‘you have to try the wine, this is not wine that you find anywhere else, it is very special wine’

So I took one sip politely. And didn’t have anymore.

I feel as though I gave in, but admittedly it was very nice wine and I only had a sip.

At dinner I ordered sparkling water and the french lady asked me if I wanted ANYTHING else; espresso martini, gin and tonic, amaretto? whatever I wanted, she could get me. I politely declined and she assumed that it was because I was with my dad. I didn’t agree or disagree. Let people assume, it saves making up an excuse.

The man who sat with us was less assuming. He LOVED his red wine. Dad made me take a sip again, as once again it was very special wine. Even as a non drinker, I could appreciate the quality, but the thought of having more scared me. I looked around at everyone getting drunk. The conversation got more and more self indulgent as peoples confidence increased. I remained the same, and the fact that I wasn’t losing control of myself made me feel very calm and at ease (for once).

My dad stepped out for five minutes and left me and the heavy wine drinker alone.

‘You’re too sensible for a 24 year old, you’re too calm’

I laughed at him. If only he knew. It took me a while to reply because I knew this was a slight goad. The underlying message was either that he wanted me to relax onto his level or he was curious as to how a person could evert self control in this excessive, exuberant environment.

‘I didn’t used to be’ was my reply and I smiled a smile only someone who had made endless amounts of mistakes and was now making a change could smile.

We went on to discuss other things such as university and wild people. It was nice to be on a level with a commercial director of a luxury brand of cars. It was proof to me that everyone is human after all.

I told my dad the next day about my discussion with the man. It was a way to try and broach deeper subjects (mainly our email exchange), I threw him a conversational branch by saying ‘he thought I was calm, isn’t that funny? I remember a time when I was so irrational! If only he knew, eh?’

My dad didn’t find this so funny, and he didn’t take the bait in the way I wanted.

He just talked about how to change your life is to properly plan for everything and being in the right frame of mind. He was so vague and irritating.

He was almost lecturing me without acknowledgement of the fact that I hadn’t drank, that I had become a lot calmer and I was making these positive changes. In the mean time he proceeded to get terrible road rage, was speeding (which he tells me off for) and he drank too much the night before, despite having a full day planned the next day.

He was telling me how to live my life as he continued to make mistakes. He bases his measure of success on what car you drive, how much money you make and how well you continue through life without admitting to having problems. As far as he is concerned he doesn’t have any form of weakness.

And yet here he has a daughter who struggles to control her drink and his answer is ‘you don’t have a problem, just don’t drink shots.’

A daughter who admitted her character flaws and makes a big effort to improve and he tells her that in order to improve problems is to pre plan.

I don’t hold this against him anymore. I just accepted that we had our first trip away together and I have let go of wanting a normal dad and instead I will pat myself on the back and reap the rewards that I can give myself from making changes and not drinking.

One day at a time.

  1. Great post and lovely to hear about your trip. On the whole, a big success so yay!

    We often expect a lot from those around us, we crave validation and being told we’re doing wonderful things. My partner demands a kind of support in his ongoing (and in a large part failing) battle against drink. Even I, as the only person that understands what he needs, still gets it totally wrong on occasion. There are many reasons for this.

    Still, it was pretty insensitive of your dad to encourage you to drink and not to acknowledge how big a deal it is for you to be two weeks sober (fab news by the way), but all I can say is be wary of looking for validation from someone who by your own admission you don’t have much to say to each other. Keep looking after yourself. =) x

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