There it is again, quote:

FOOT SURGERY [The First Surgery Part II]

I had barely calmed down from the sawing when I saw blood. I thought he had cut me open and immediately became hysterical. The orderly remained calm and tried his best to reassure me by saying, “It’s ok! It’s old blood – from your surgery – you’re not bleeding now! You’re ok!” My dad was getting angrier by the second. “Quit crying! Stop behaving like a baby! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?” he said.

Chapter 18

My Dad turned to the physiotherapist and blurted out, “My God! Is that as good as she will be?” The physiotherapist was taken aback by Dad’s panic. Calmly she answered, “She’s still got a long way to go and I’m sure she will continue to improve.”

Dad responded, “I was hoping that this surgery would give Penny proper mobility and that she would be normal afterward.”

That was it. I had heard enough. I turned to him and let him have it. “WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? You don’t know what that girl has been through, and you don’t know what her situation was before the surgery. What the hell is normal anyway? All I’m concerned about is getting rid of the pain. I’ve walked after every other surgery, and I don’t anticipate this one being any different from all of the others. No one knows for sure how this will turn out for me but I’m going to try to be optimistic.”

Dad was immediately angry and after a brief retort, told Mom they were leaving and stomped out of the room. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths, shook my head, and turned to speak to the physiotherapist who was standing beside the bed, eyes wide and mouth open in astonishment. “You handled that really well,” she said. “I’m going to leave now. I’ll see you again after the surgery.”

COMMENT: On the Contrary (to the physiotherapist), you actually handled that exchange in adulthood the same way that your father handled a similar exchange with you in childhood --- even with the same words that I capitalized above so many years apart. The child became father to the man. But not a very empathetic "father". The phenomenon is called learned patterns of dealing with stress.

But we can unlearn patterns, as long as we "examine them and ourselves", which is why Socrates said that: "The unexamined life is not worth living." It's good to see someone taking Socrates' advice. Keep writing and examining. But don't forget that tendency to gravitate toward weaker males than your father.

Unfortunately that Malis woman came on stronger in criticizing you after my posts about her becoming your friend and you reading the full medical blurb as to the number of months of a study. That was disappointing. People should be friends.


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