The best surprises are when people you love do something totally and completely unexpected. Do something that totally reinforces you and your personhood on every level.
I called my family tonight. We're talking again. It's tense, but we'll figure it out. Still I wanted to clear some of the air.
During the conversation, the fact came up that dad had called my therapist. Without asking or even notifying me. Of course she could not call him back without consulting me first. I in no way, shape or form gave her permission to talk to him. No way, no how. Not now, not never.
Tonight we talked about that. About why I felt that he had intruded on the one place that was safe and mine only. **FIRST NAME** is mine." Then I paused. "I should call her *** Dr. LAST NAME. It's disrespectful not to give her that status. I guess I'm too familiar."
And my dad responded. "Yes, **Dr. LAST NAME**. I didn't even know her name until I looked her up on the internet. She has quite the degrees. And some well-respected publishings."
"Yes, I know. She's a smart cookie. "
"And quite attractive too."
"She sure is. But don't get any ideas, dad. She's married." I laughed softly, trying to reduce the tension.
"Oh. I didn't think she was. I mean, um, she didn't look to me like, um, the kind of woman who, um, would get married."
"You thought she was a lesbian?"
"Yes, I guess I did."
"Jeez, I wish. But no, she's married."
"Wait. What? You wish?"
"Yeah, dad. You said it yourself. She's very smart and she's quite attractive. Duh."
"Oh." pause. "Okay then. Fair enough."
Okay, so it wasn't a ringing endorsement. I don't think dad is ready to know the ins and outs of my personal or intimate life. I sure shootin don't think he's gonna run out and march in a PFLAG parade. But he also didn't freak out. And that surprised me in a really, really good way.