“I’m not coping” My dad’s last words (275)
Men often don’t equip their children to talk from the heart in fearless transparency.
This morning I reflected on my dad’s last words to me when I was 31 years old, after an operation that didn’t fare well.
He said “I’m not coping!” Gasping for air with honest fear in his eyes.
I reacted harshly to him in disbelief that he was fading away within minutes. He died just like that and I missed out on so much about the real Dimitri Smilovitis.
I carried that anger with me for many years, dad survived hell, why couldn’t he just beat cancer.
Being raised by a man who coped with stress by not talking, or by winning every argument through intimidation, or being dismissive didn’t help me in my relationships that mattered most.
Don’t get me wrong, he was a brilliant father, I just never got to know the real man behind all that bravado.
I became brilliant at my work because I held my stress in. I used it to manipulate others, and unfortunately I developed an incredible ability to always get my way. Some call this leadership or an influencer. I’d suggest it was and is passive aggressive behaviour that made me very sick emotionally.
Stress always has to find an outlet!
The ones I hurt most were my family and loved ones. The best thing that ever happened to me was failure. I fell from my lofty self into the Grace of God some years back.
Don’t let stress ruin all your hard work and best intentions by not knowing how to communicate better with those we love.
What I would do just to have a drink with my dad and pick his brains about things that matter. Being open is not easy but it’s worth it’s weight in gold.