Either I have had some slight glimpse into the future or jinxed myself. Most likely jinxed myself because I sometimes give myself more credit than I deserve.
The past week I’ve made mention of further ‘testing’ being due in my life and feeling ‘off.’ Well I think the test has come, well the beginning of anyway.
It begun yesterday morning when Bella displayed behaviour (verbally) that I never thought any child of mine would. Then came the small omission of the truth from Glen. Both of which I can take with a grain of salt. But combined with finding out that my grandmother, whom I have chosen not to have any contact with, was admitted to the intensive care ward in hospital with the mention of a possible ‘allergic reaction.’ Seems funny however that she felt the need to address her will the day prior.
And then there was the 174 minutes and 22 seconds I spent on the phone with my father.
Emotionally I am being tested by my children and husband. Physically I am being tested by my own self. I’m torn almost between my family, my house and my personal goals. None of which I’ve been able to focus all of my attentions on. Morally I am being tested, do I give in a make contact with someone I’ve chosen not to because of their health condition? I’m a sensible type person I knew this would come, I’m not ignorant. Do I stand up for what I belive in or do I give in?
A little bit of history; My father inherited the business he nows runs from his own father who passed away in 1992, he and my grandmother built it from the ground up. In 2000 instead of starting to wrap up the business and retire early to spend more time with his wife -my mother- and children he took on a dealership which meant longer hours to put in and being away from his family even more. My mother then began taking ‘something’ and lost a lot of weight, she turned up for ‘work’ more and more often to the ‘family’ business. In the end she told my father “I feel 18 again, and your too old for me.” She then took up ‘relations’…or continued them….with a married father of 2 who happened to be employed by my father.
He left the business and walked out. For 12 months he was lost in some limbo type place the only thing that made him reappear was his new-found friend; smoking the happy plant. For the next 12 months he stayed at home, looked after us kids who mum had given up to dad. Nicole was 13, Matt just 8. I’d been put in youth housing at the age of 13 almost 14, and had chosen to live with dad as I was pregnant with Bella.
Whilst away from the business ‘others’ I won’t say who took over. In my opinion they were ignorant and had no idea how to run a business, dad thinks it was all done on purpose as when he walked back into the business it was almost bankrupt. He was left to dig himself out of a 3 quarters of a million dollar debt. That was 10 years ago this October coming.
The day he walked back into that business we lost our father. He lost himself. He was so hell-bent on proving everyone wrong, that he could fix things and they hadn’t ‘won.’ He feels like the world is out to get him.
In our conversation he said of my mother; “She was my anchor and she raped me.” He admitted to me that he suffers from manic depression, which was totally obvious. His body language screams depression. He cannot handle any kind of social situations. When at work, he is in control and has direction, the moment he steps out he is lost and wandering aimlessly.
He told me how there were many a morning where he’d woken to be consumed with the desire to hang himself. But something within him, a ‘core’ he called it was the only thing that made him keep going. In our talks I can say he has a total hatred for my mother and those who did wrong by him, he has strived and worked to prove to them…that he is better than that. But it has consumed him. He’d rather keep going….even ten years after the fact just to prove them wrong…just to ‘stick it to them.’
I have never had such and open honest conversation with him. He was brutally honest and so was I. I didn’t get emotional like I usually do. I kept strong and made my points. Asked the things I’ve always wanted, told him things I felt he needed to hear.
I asked him “When will this end? When will you walk away? You’ve missed the chance to give your own children piggy backs and play ball. Are you going to miss out on your grandchildren too?”
All of which he couldn’t answer….there was a little hope occasionally. But then he’d clam up again and the blame game again begun. He blames my mother for everything. The way it all turned out. I could hear the spite, the anger, the hurt in his voice.
He is a strong man, but his core is fractured.
I also told him that it is a hard thing to live with the knowledge that he is working for ‘us.’ US being his children. I mean this man does not stop. He suffers severe depression because of this ‘business’ he smokes too much, drinks too much. Is alone too much. And he is doing it all for us? Because of us? Hard to live with. I told him that each of us, Nicole, Matt and myself are all living our own lives, we all are providing for ourself, we don’t ask him for help or handouts, we are living our ‘future’ the one he is preparing for, right now.
He mentioned that “you all think I’m some wealthy asshole with too much money to poke a stick at.” My reply was that if he went bankrupt or sold everything and gave the proceeds to charity tomorrow that I would STILL call him the very next day and want to talk to him. That I would still want my kids to hear the made up stories he once upon a time would tell his own little people. I would still want him to be a part of our lives.
It is the only medicine that can help him now. The giggles of innocent kids.
But I think the guilt of using us as an excuse for the entirety of OUR lives would make him feel a lot of pressure. What was it all for? If only he’d stop being so stupid and arrogant.
He’s working himself into a grave.
Because he’s to scared of what to do other than that.
I did tell him about mum, in hopes that perhaps he wouldn’t feel like the only ‘ruined’ one, perhaps it was wrong perhaps I was angry at her too. I told him “She’s a drunk. If she isn’t drunk, she’s in bed until she is well enough to get up and drink again. She goes to work, and rushes through her job so she can get to that beer she’s got in the back seat of her car waiting for her. She has no food, she begins drinking and forgets to eat, passes out and does it all over again. She’s selling her house, her only asset to pay out her multitude of bills and debts. Plans to buy a caravan and travel around fruit picking. It will break down somewhere and she won’t have the funds to get it fixed. She’ll spend the rest of her life in a caravan where ever it may stay, just like her mother before her. You know the last time she spoke to me? She sent me a text requesting me to call her. So I did. She then proceeded to tell me that she had debt collectors threatening to take legal action if she didn’t pay $800 by the end of the week. This money was owed by my brother however who’d gotten a mobile phone and mum had gone guarantor for him as he was under 18 years old at the time. She then told me that if I could not help her by paying the $800 her only other option was to claim Matt had forged her signature and sue him for fraud. If I am not the one to make contact with her, then we’d never speak again. She is too concerned with when her next drink will be that she couldn’t be bothered. She is my mother, and brought me into this world and I will ALWAYS be there for her. But it doesn’t mean I respect her way of living.”
(I spoke to Matt, unlike she did and he sorted it out himself. He is a good, responsible young man, and I’d do anything to avoid him having his life ruined before it even began. Especially by his own mother. And she may read this, she asks her the women she cleans houses for to check out my blog. She likes to take all the credit for me and my family and all my personal successes. Yet won’t call on my birthday???)
He probably got some morbid enjoyment out of hearing that.
My dad…well the man who helped create me….is like a cold grey cement box. I’d feel like he’d opened up a little and through the cracks I could see this glimmer of hope beam out, only to have him slam it shut in my face. One step forward with him then two steps back.
And then the mind games begin to ‘test my character’ I have no idea what he thinks of me, if he respects me, cares for me…but there were 3 things I got loud and clear from our conversation.
1. He loves me
2. I am alone
3. I will never be good enough
And I can accept that. Today I was meant to drive the hour to Emerald and do our grocery shopping. I just couldn’t. It felt like such a pointless, meaningless thing to do. Try and make small talk with strangers like it was important. Try to smile and keep up this ‘gig’.
All I wanted to do was drive and cry. So I drove. And cried.
And thought far too much.
I felt the need to sit by the ocean and have the powerful voice of the sea remind me that my problems and worries where nothing. That I am such an insignificant entity in the scheme of things. I needed it to remind me of my tiny unimportant place within the universe.
The big dam just out of Emerald was the next best thing. But for some reason the murky chocolate waters did nothing but invite me in to swirl and make me feel worse. As vast as those waters are….well it just didn’t cut it.
So I kept driving. I kept crying. It felt nice to allow myself for just a little while to think that I could run from myself, that I could in my sorrow; hide from my thoughts.
Felt nice to just cry and feel human and weak and ok with it happening.
I felt like my core, which I must have apparently inherited from my father was being cracked, or cooling. It usually is this golden warm molten centre. Strong and positive, not just for me but others around me. This never-ending pool of warmth. But today it was close to becoming cold and solid. Grey and ugly.
And if it did I am not sure if I could ever melt it again. Or even where I’d begin.
Everyday I feel like I make the difficult choice between positive and negative. My father’s chosen negative and I don’t want to give in to that.
Even if it is easier.
So I fight it.
Everyday I decide. Not out of strength but out of fear I guess, of not knowing what my opposite self would be like.
By midday, my tears dried. I stopped and turned around about 20 kms out of Capella.
Strangely….on the way back a little black car over took me. It’s number plate said ‘live.’
Maybe it was a sign, maybe not. But something inside me said; in the words of my father “Fuck it.”
Giving up is not who I am. I am stronger than this. I feel hard done by, being this pillar of strength for my alcoholic mother, for my sister and brother who I hold dearly and very close to me, for my children who are my world and for my husband Glen. I am always the one to dust of broken and lost souls and place them perkily back out there. I just wonder how come I am the one who has to dust off my own. Theres nothing for me. I can have my very being torn to shreds, blow after blow. It would be nice, but I guess not necessary, to have someone pick me up, dust me off.
Each time it gets harder and harder to just suck it up and keep on going. I do know it’s possible but it isn’t easy.
And some day I hope I don’t pick easy.
I’m tired of fighting for my very existence, tired of having to be the one everyone turns to.
But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop.
It doesn’t mean I’m quitting. It means I am learning.
I choose to “live.”
Our phone called occurred on the full moon which means a lot to me. Dad did ask me to look at my moon, as he gazed at his. His was clear and bright. Mine cloudy and shaded. This was symbolic perhaps of what we are gaining from each other.
I feel like the more of myself I give the clearer things become for others, yet the darker it becomes for me. I felt like in that moment he was trying to reach me, trying to make some connection. To feel that we were in the same little pocket of time and space.
Yet again quickly there was this wall thrown up.
I feel that there is hope.
He can get better. He can get out of this place he feels he needs to be. This hole he’s created full of swarming hatred, what if’s and regret and he has far too much time to dwell.
I have decided to accept the responsiblity of him. As I always have felt compelled to do. Even as a little girl when he and mum would argue and ask me to pick my ‘favorite’ parent, I always chose him, not because he WAS my favorite but I felt he needed to be ‘looked’ after. One particular time, she took off with my sister and brother and left me there with him. I cooked him a meal and placed it down in front of him. He pushed it away, slumped in his depressive manner which is the only one he now has, without a word. I was 12. It was a low blow for me.
I will take the mind games, as I think I’m becoming immune to them now anyway, and his emotional/mental taunts he throws into the mix occasionally. I did say to him ‘you feel guilty for not doing, being and saying enough in the past, so you want to make me feel bad. It’s ok, I get it. But I won’t let it get to me.”
It gives me piece of mind to know that I am giving some old bastard some small glimmer of hope, some bright shining beacon to look toward.
So he doesn’t feel so alone as I sometimes do.
Trying to decipher my own thoughts and motives as to why I’m doing this, because I’ve been there and done it before. It’s not easy. It’s a difficult thing for me to do. I’m not sure why.
I hope this phase passes soon. I have proved to no one if not myself that I am strong enough. I can handle this tough time. I can move on from it with yet more lessons learned notched into my belt. I accept the challenge and know that I’ll be the one better for it on the other side.
I mean really universe? Must I prove it time and time again?
I am worthy of what you’re trying to tell me or show me…
So let’s get this done with, once and for all.