Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's hard to empathize

The relationship between Alison Bechdel and her father is complicated to say the least. I wish there were more to read, I plan on rushing out to get the book as soon as I finish this blog. Knowing her father was a closeted homosexual and herself being a lesbian I feel her writing must have so much more to tell about her life growing up. But the story of her father is tragic, it seems as though his only way of expressing himself openly is through his interior design. Which was so important to him because it was all he had. Which might also be why he was incredibly defensive of it. And why when he felt it were distrurbed by his children playing or moving things he took it incredibly seriously because he felt as though it were himself that was not being taken seriously. It felt to him as an attack on the only part of his truth that he could show. I wonder about his wife because to the reader and his daughter if seems so obvious that something is amiss and yet they had three children together, was she just content to be married, did she live her own secret live of desires. We don't know much about her from this expert but she seems understanding of her husband. Understanding that he's sensitive, that he needs control and that he needed his space. She seemed like she understood enough but I guess once I read the book I'll know more about her. It's sad that she felt the loss of her father before he was gone. I have a difficult time ever relating to people with displaced parents. I didn't have a perfect childhood but even when I talk with my husband, his father had chosen drugs over them when he was a child and spent most of their lives battling his addictions before eventually losing a couple years ago. And I love my husband so dearly yet that's something I really can't empathize with. My parents have always been there for me and my sisters. They stayed married my entire childhood, and still are and were both active in their parenting roles. So I have a difficult time understanding what it would feel like to have a father that isn't really there, a parent you don't really have a relationship with. It's tragic and I feel bad for them but beyond that I don't really understand what that would be like. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you the on part about trying to identify with a parent who is a closet gay. I think it happened more than you may realize though. When I was growing up (late sixties and seventies) no one that I knew openly discussed homosexuality. There were aunts or uncles or old family friends who just never married. I suppose that may have been why. And some people married because they couldn't be honest about their sexuality. It was considered morally wrong. Our thinking and understanding has come a long way-people can now write about it and talk openly about sexuality