Love/Dislike = Murder?

I have been thinking about father/daughter relationships lately.  This was brought to the forefront of my thought process today when I heard about a woman being investigated for the murder of her father because she admitted that she loved him, but didn’t always like him.  I can sympathize with that…

I love my father.  I am very proud of lots of his accomplishments.  However, I haven’t always liked my father… and getting older hasn’t changed that much.  There are still times when I dislike my father.  This doesn’t mean I love him any less or that the love I have is conditional.  It does mean that I’m human and my father is human.  Sometimes, we have personality conflicts.  In our case, our personalities are night and day.  This is bound to create friction from time to time.  (We won’t even get into the relationship between my father and older sister… all I can say about that is wow)

My father and I have had some serious shouting matches over the years.  While I wasn’t the most difficult child on the planet to raise, I was a teenage girl for the normal length of time.  I made some mistakes, broke a few rules, got grounded a few times and did things that irritated and disappointed my parents.  It happens.  My parents had very different discipline styles and that was fine.  My mother grounded me.  My father shouted at me.  Unfortunately for my father, I had a tendency to shout back at him (I’m sure I shouted at my mother a few times, but not often… if there was anyone on this planet that would have whipped my ass as a teen, it would have been my mother… I was afraid of her, it gave her more control).

The shouting matches are over.  I’ve grown past that and my aging has reduced my father’s need to shout at me.  We still butt heads over things from time to time.  We may not scream and shout any more, but we still get angry and in those moments, I can honestly say that I love him, but I don’t like him very much.  I’m also not always happy with his lifestyle choices.  My father has health problems and he doesn’t always address them in a timely manner.  This really irritates me.  I’m not ready for him to be gone from my life.  I’d like for him to stick around for a bit longer.  And in those moments, when I want to point out how much of an idiot he’s being, I don’t like him very much, but I’m angry because I love him.

However, the original introspective came from listening to other women talk about the relationships they had with their fathers.  I can gauge that my experiences with my own are fairly normal.  It is far less dysfunctional than some relationships and while it wasn’t crowded with hugs and kisses (we’re just not that type of family), I’ve never believed that my father didn’t love me (even when I was positive he didn’t exactly like me at the time).  When my parents divorced, I didn’t blame myself.  As a child, I sometimes wondered if I was playing second fiddle to whatever was going on in his life and as an adult, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my father always had too much to do and not enough time.  He is still that way.  I don’t let that damage our relationship.  I cherish the time I do get to spend with him a little more because of it.

Just an FYI, the woman being investigated didn’t commit patricide.  He was killed by the neighbor, because the neighbor just lost it.

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