My visit with my Dad and Step-Mom went much better than expected. I am so relieved! For 95% of the visit my Dad was helpful and not controlling. We visited for a while, went to lunch, and then came back to my house and worked in the yard for a couple of hours,
Lunch went okay. I made it through without searching the menu for the lowest calorie items. I just ordered some things that sounded good. This was a huge step for me compared to the last three and a half weeks. Progress not perfection.
TRIGGER WARNING: Some people may be wondering why I am still in contact with my Dad if he caused a large portion of my trauma when I was a kid. I have just started addressing some of my trauma issues with a new therapist just recently (like within the last three months.) My Dad has admitted that he appears to meet the criteria for Bipolar 1 but has never take any meds other than Xanax. When I was a kid he would rage, be hypersexual, and then break down into tears and depressive episodes. The worst part though was that he was an absolute perfectionist and demanded perfection from me and my sisters. He would be controlling to a fault and create anxiety to the point of panic and anger in me as I was growing up. I have struggled with whether or not I should terminate my relationship with him since my mother passed away and have gone entire years without seeing my father and mother when first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder so that I could concentrate on myself and getting well enough to go back to work after a serious suicide attempt in March 2004. So for now I am still confused as to whether or not I should be or should not be in relationship with him. I guess as I work with this new Trauma therapist over time and we work towards the worst of my trauma memories (we are considering EMDR) that time will tell.
So overall a productive day and a win for recovery.