Friday, October 16, 2009

one year.

this week has been a weird one. 

it has been a week of emotional ping-pong: joy, detachment, loss, amazement, deja vu, grief.
monday, matt & my 7th wedding anniversary.
tuesday, my dad's 61st birthday.
and today, which marks one year since the whole world changed for my family. 

last october 16th is the day that my dad walked away from my mom, his four children, and the majority of the people that comprised his world. he chose not to be honest with us about living a second life. 

i do not pretend to understand the angst and buried pain my dad presumably experienced trying to wrestle with his identity, with living two opposing existences, or with lying so much for so long. i can only imagine the internal war that has been waging inside of him for years, and it grieves me to think that he had to resort to deception & betrayal to find some outlet for his battles. i do think that in the year since we confronted my dad in love, he could have chosen to own his failings and the wounds he inflicted with integrity. he hasn't.

often people ask me if i have seen or spoken to my dad lately. 

it feels weird to say no.

i don't tell people all of the reasons why i have chosen to cut off contact- meaning, i don't tell people how bad it really was when everything went down last year. maybe the fact that i haven't seen, spoke, or interacted with my dad in an entire year seems dramatic. 

most people know my dad to be this laughing & outgoing dad/husband figure who publicly raved about his wife and kids. so, to say that i want no contact with him sounds, well, kind of awful. 

it feels weird to recognize that i am estranged from him. we occupy the same geography more or less, as he lives one mile from me, and yet our lives no longer intersect. 

it feels weird to realize that i no longer really have a dad, or at least a relationship with my dad. 

it feels weird that little m only has three grandparents, even though all four- matt's parents and my parents- are living. 

it feels weird that when i caught a glimpse of my dad last saturday in a public place, that my heart fell into the pit of my stomach and i instantly turned and walked in the other direction. 

it feels weird that someone who i once respected is now toxic to me. 

it feels weird that it has been a year since i last looked into my dad's eyes. he looked back at me with such hatred and anger. i will never forget that look; it is seared into my memory. somehow, the look in my dad's eyes seemed more real and true that anything i'd experienced from my dad in a long time.

i try to live the way jesus lived. jesus taught that we are to love our enemies. jesus hung out with the despised: the liars, cheats, whores and destitute, and he loved them. i admit that i am not there yet. honestly, to love my dad like that doesn't feel safe or even possible. i feel like the times i extended grace and love to my dad he just stomped on it. i want to be able love this man in the way of jesus, but right now my heart starts racing and i walk in the other direction. 

for some reason i always remember this sermon my dad preached a few years ago, when he was still a pastor, long before any of this happened. he said that faith was hope standing on tiptoe, as if you are peeking over a fence at something in the distance. you can see it, but it isn't quite in your grasp. so for now, i have hope & faith. faith that someday my dad will no longer be my enemy. that he will find some peace. and rest. and grace. and authenticity.

hope. faith. love.


  1. Thank you for sharing your heart and your life!!
    Love you sooo much
    Mom Prinz

  2. My heart is heavy for you...

  3. was thinking of you this week, susannah ... and thinking how odd that l's birthday now has another painful anniversary that coincides with it. thinking about all the pain & the rippling circles of hurt that move outwards from deceptions and lies in relationships, but also about the real possibility of healing, with time ... the thing is, we can't make it happen alone. i sometimes wonder exactly what it means that Jesus loved everyone, even those who reviled him, spit on him, tortured him to death. Did he sit down to a meal with them? Share his life with them in the small intimate daily acts of living? Is such love on one side enough to fix what is broken. Or is there something that is just beyond our comprehension, and even human ability, in the love of Jesus. Is it possible to love someone while also acknowledging anger and betrayal. Trust is both strong and fragile.

    You are wise, real and compassionate in all of this and your instincts are healthy.

    sending you lots of warm thoughts & love.


  4. your boldness and authenticity are inspiring. thank you for being real. i hope for you too.

  5. I have thought of you and your family often in the last week and I have prayed for you whenever you crossed my mind. You are one of the wisest women I know and yet so young. God has gifted you with an ability to communicate. Too bad your dad didn't do that earlier. Dr. Phil say "children would rather be from a broken home than live in one." Hopefully you did not know how broken your family was while growing up. I grieve with you over the loss of your father. I am so amazed with your little girl though and how God has blessed her with hearing. Your mom has enough love for two grandparents, so little M and Becca's little girl are very blessed children. Much love.

  6. Sooz,

    This morning i cried. First because I decided to make your onion tart for my sister-in-law's shower today- all those onions! Then again as I was scrolling to the recipe, i read this post. So beautiful and heart-wrenching. My heart is heavy for you and yet reading the last few posts all at once, seeing your unsuppressable joy at life around you brings me around to the hope.

    love to hear about little M and the joys and sorrows. Thank you for putting your life out there.

    back to the crust!!



  7. oh and then a little tear of jealousy that you got to see the best band EVER...


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