Some background is necessary. I went to a fairly prestigious college for two years, failed one class the first year, failed two more the second year, and decided that I was emotionally unequipped to graduate from that school. I transferred to a MUCH less prestigious school for a year, failed three more classes, and decided that I was wasting a large amount of money without getting anything out of it, and quit.
Except... That isn't the way my father remembers things. He thinks that he cut off my funds, which is why I dropped out. Now, he may have THOUGHT about cutting off the money; he may have even decided to do so. But he never TOLD me any of this, and I announced that I was done with college before he ever needed to.
There are a couple of key points here. One is that, even though my father remembers cutting me off, it is highly questionable that he would have been able to do so if I had made a sincere plea to the contrary (particularly once my mother got involved); he is, ultimately, a soft touch.
Second, and more disturbing, my father's memory obliterates the second really major adult decision of my life. I have always known that he pretty much spaced the first such incident (for details, see here: http://unclehyena.livejournal.com/292943.html ), both because there was no evidence and because he would have had no clue of what to do if he HAD felt a need to react. But this means that he was one step further removed from having any clue of who I really am.
The realization hurt, at the time. I have gotten into the habit of thinking of my father as my friend, more or less, and it stung to be reminded so graphically that he is not. The mask that I wear around him has become so habitual that it is almost comfortable. But it is jarring to realize that he doesn't even see the mask clearly.
He is my father, and I love him. Every now and then I am reminded that he has no clue who I really am, and never will, and it hurts.