We conversed yesterday … well if you can call him talking and Me listening and getting pissed off, conversing; then yeah, thats what it was.
I’ve talked about this issue before: Father. And have said that we don’t know one another. In fact we may as well be called acquaintances who share the same blood / blood lines.
My father is in the country now, and has been for the past month or so. He wants to build a house on his mothers land.
Theres a few lengthy processes to go through for this to happen, and thats another post really. Suffice to say, I don’t agree with the impediments that the Crown have put in place over the past 150+ years, for Indigenous to build on their own land. It isn’t a straight forward deal.
Anyway, thats what he’s trying to do.
a. Not all of the land he’s intending to build on has even been succeeded in the Land Court yet. – Lengthy process Number 1.
b. His reasons are loosely based, well actually rooted in (but I’m unsure whether he’s actually grasped this or not), making peace with himself, his shit life and finding somewhere to belong.
I understand this. I don’t think he does really – or doesn’t want too? His father was a cruel man to him and his siblings. His mother sent him away when he was about 11, to his sister and her husband, only to find out the the husband was nearly as cruel as his own father. Our family trace their roots / lineage, through my fathers father. This is also a colonised why of doing things. The beef is, my father doesn’t really want anything to do with his father, or his land or any of the places he called ‘home’. I haven’t pointed out to my father yet, that while he thinks his mother protected him (to a certain extent she did), her form of protection included ostracising him from the family. She didn’t leave the husband. But I also understand for that era, leaving an abusive partner was nearly impossible.
So, back to the beef at hand.
My father is staying with his nephew and trying to sort land issues and get a house built on land he doesn’t actually own yet. Oh, btw, he’s also has heart problems and diabetes and a few other ailments he’s deeply in denial about. But who am I to point out the obvious?
I am his daughter. The eldest daughter by his loins. And then there are my 2 sisters. The blood related sister, is dead. The other is my fathers wifes daughter. She’s older than me. And as far as I knew, my father raised her on and off over the years as she went back and forth from her mother to her grandmother.
So, this conversation, my father asks me if I mind if he whangai’s (non-legal adoption recently recognised in the Maori Land Court) my elder sister.
My reply was short and simple, as usual: “I thought you already had”.
He then went on to explain my sisters horrendous life and his wifes horrendous life and how horrible her mother was and No he hadn’t technically adopted my sister … but would have if the grandmother hadn’t interfered. And how touched my sister was by this gesture and how she’d cried.
His point, was that my sister would be entitled to the Maori Land he has.
No shit sherlock.
My head started aching at this point. And there were many other moments – but it became glaringly obvious that his blind spots are massive.
Hello – Hello I’m here!!
Ignored for most of my life by him and his family, I’ve tried to keep a tentative connection there. But all of a sudden … well after my younger sisters death, I’m now the go-to leftover. But not to listen to … but to listen.
My younger sister, and the older, if truth be told – have gone about their lives and pretty much done what my father wants them to do. Well, at least, thats what they’ve told him. In reality, they’ve both lived lies and paid rather large consequences for those lies. Ones dead, the other needs to go back to rehab.
And here I am, listening to his bullshit, thinking – Am I just doing what they did?
After yesterdays convo, I’d say yes. Not for lack of trying – but I couldn’t get a fucking word in … and when I did – He didn’t listen.
And today, I wonder: Do I really have some kind of fear deep down that if I actually barrel him up and tell him what I want to say … I won’t see or hear from him again?
Now thats something I’ve told my own kids not to do – Not to be something they’re not – Not to shut their mouths when they need to say something – Just for the sake of Peace.