top of page

Let me count the ways.....

Wow! Right now that picture really captures the best of how I feel about my Dad. In a good way, people! Not all stabby or anything! But warm, comfortable, learning, making, strong, dependable. Dependable. That's the one word that sums up my first instinct when I look at this picture. And that's my Dad. 'Course, you can depend on him to stick his foot in it as well, but that wasn't the 'dependable' I picture here. This is the good kind of dependable, like a warm blanket and a safe haven.

Except he isn't always. And right now, I'm struggling with a letter I want to write him about how he hurt me deeply before Christmas.

I want to note that this is a free-fall evening of writing while under the influence of 10mg of a gummy edible and two glasses of wine. I took the edible about an hour ago and it should only take me about 45 minutes to reach 'high'. I was feeling weird earlier, like something bad was going to happen. Or my blood sugar was low. And I'd avoided my Dad's phone calls. SO, why not take an edible? That'll really make things right!? Or maybe I thought, 'I need to be happy right now!'.

Actually, I think I may actually be improving, despite having had a Black Christmas (dunh, dunh, dunh, dah!). Signs of improvement: drinking less, buying less liquor, swimming again regularly, eating well, getting things done, tidying up my studio which is now ready for anything I want to start on! That last one is huge because as people who know people who are depressed know.....being tidy ain't at the top of the list y'all! It ain't even near the middle! I wonder if everyone has a person in their life who facially disapproves of the state of your living space? Yeah, well fuck you, you stone cold bitch! I'm thinking of someone specific but there are actually at least two.

Any way! So, maybe I should set the scene that precipitated my 'Black Christmas'...… There was something before even that, wasn't there? Well, actually there's something before everything isn't there? I mean, how much of what any human feels isn't the result of a culmination of things that have occurred before and up to and including that moment of feeling that we are focussing on and feeling right now? I always do that....go all micro/macro on you/me......yin/yang? It's the pot. I know I'm high when I go all yin/yang on every little thing. It's Trudeau. (Love you Trevor Noah!)

Oh, yeah, (I'm gonna need to take a dance break before my booh gets back or maybe MOMD, or both), so, any way! Well, I'll just start with what my brain keeps retracing in my mind at the moment.....(why I am going with what my 'brain' says means I can't focus and I don't want to lose my train of thought OR take a long lapse in time before I finish this entry!)........So...... My Dad answered his phone, and I knew right away that he was drunk. I was calling for my daughter who needs special reassurance when she is away from me and wanted me to call while she was visiting my Dad (about 3 hours away, there and back).

My Dad says, "I'm glad I've got you, I've got something to say to you". I knew this was going to be good. And when I say 'good' I mean, I know that its going to be really, really awful. He says, "I want to invite (your ex) to Christmas and I guess you're just going to have to be okay with that". Uh hunh. Well, I'm not coming then. Literally. Drunk response: "You're not coming, You're not coming!! (read: Of course you're not coming! read: Of course, because you're such a bitch and you can't get over this 'break-up' and how long is it going to take? and when will you ever be "normal"?) Well, that's what I hear.

And then I say: "You've always been on his side, you've never supported me, you think I did something wrong to make him leave!" Drunk response: "Bullshit! Bullshit!" And I can hear a voice calling his name, calling him back from the brink, a voice that belongs to that stone-cold bitch I was talking about earlier. See? No one is all bad. (Then I asked for my daughter and the phone was handed over---did I mention that this conversation occurred in front of my daughter? Bothersome.)

Maybe I haven't talked about my ex much? I think I may have mentioned him. Broke my heart. Shattered into tiny little pieces that makes me dead inside? That one? So my dad and he get along great. Like he did nothing wrong. I'm so sick of men getting away with cheating like its just 'boys being boys'--like it's nothing---like its acceptable. It's not okay to cheat. It's not okay to break a trust and commit such a grievous betrayal. It shouldn't be called 'cheating'---that makes it sound cool, like its only a minor infraction, like cheating on an exam takes gumption and 'that' should be rewarded. No. NO! NO MORE! It's like pretending that everything is okay between mom and dad so the children still feel safe! NO! That's dishonesty! That's a lie! I think it's far more important to teach our children about the REAL world and not try to present some 'idyllic' world. That's a lie! If you want them to live in the real world and face real problems, then no more fairy-tale representation of 'real' life! Prepare them for the bad as well as the good! So when they experience heartbreak, they'll know what it is and might not be so destroyed by it. You know how in the movies, whether it be a horror or a thriller or even a drama, there's a hero/ine that really could have used that piece of information that a loved one or a key witness or a detective could have told them earlier, which would have prevented said heroine from being vulnerable to unknown danger or villain? Like the loved one who doesn't reveal to the heroine that her great-great grandmother had the same dream.....Or, like the key witness doesn't reveal the odd phrase that the asylum inmate kept repeating over and over before they escaped.....Or the detective who is not sure what of what he knows about this serial criminal is he/she allowed to tell this almost victim, and so he/she doesn't tell them the one thing that could have saved them in the end. All I'm saying is, I don't think we should protect our children from the ordinary monsters of life, just the extraordinary (war, murder, bombs). I think if my daughter is prepared for the vagaries of humanity, she won't get as hurt when someone lies to her or betrays her. I'm not saying she won't get hurt just not as hurt. Betrayal hurts, no matter what.

Hilarious. This brings me right back to my Dad again. Betrayal. A huge betrayal on his part. He's MY dad. He's supposed to have MY back and support ME. I don't care if he has a relationship with my ex. In fact, he must have a relationship with my ex because 'it' is the father of my daughter, his grandchild. But how can he not know how much I am hurting from that betrayal?? Is it just because he's 'old school' and there should be some kind of expiration date on my grief?? Why is his time-line more important than mine??

Well, it's not. When I am healed is when I will be healed. I ain't on any body else's schedule. I allow myself this right even though the 'general society' might project a more instantaneous return to 'normalcy' as being the acceptable time-frame. Nope. Fuck off.

And so what ensued after that telephone exchange was.... not... an apology.

No. And that hurts. No, what followed was a sort of "baring of his jugular" kind of behaviour---acting submissive and apologetic without actually saying, 'I'm sorry.' Which is what actually counts, the actual verbalizing of the sentiment. Like what I was saying before, no more getting away with "boys will be boys"---just because my Dad is an old man and 'he's old', so he gets a pass kind of mentality. How many passes is the limit?? When do you say, 'no more!'?

I think that's what's happened with women now. It's just come to a head, a most ridiculous out-of-this-world insane "pass" as in IMPASSE. Except it has happened before. "Things are gonna change! Equal rights! Finally!" And then we get lulled into complacency, and things only change fractionally, until we reach another boiling point! And another! And another! At least each 'leap' we think we're making forward is at least, going forward, marginally. Not backwards. At least not backwards. Right??

So....I avoided my dad's phone calls tonight but my daughter, the little angel/demon herself, decides she's going to answer the phone and make me talk to him! After all, most of the mind-fuck is happening on my side anyway so its not fair to be silent like that is it? SO! My dad, in true my dad form, is calling about telling me that I must RUSH to complete the assignment he is tasking me with (it's URGENT!), which is to find out 'when I could retire and how much would I get' so that he can complete his 'last will and testament' with the 'lawyer on the clock' he has hired before his kidney cancer surgery!!!!! Masterful! He is quite awesome at that. Maybe all parents are. Which means all people are. We are so fucked.

I think this might be why I was avoiding his phone calls today. I haven't avoided them previously, even though I felt I did have reason to. Maybe I wasn't ready before Bryony broke the ice and made it funny the third time. And now I'm writing about it. Before, I was thinking about writing about it.

What I was thinking about writing about is telling or reminding my dad about how much my ex hurt me and how he keeps hurting me everyday since. Like, sometimes, it can take my ex up to 5 days before he contacts his daughter---that's five days of I don't hear anything from him at all (like; 'I'm not available or how's she doing or would she like to see me?). NOTHING. I can't relate to you how much anger that boils up in me---but its catastrophic. I don't feel this particular anger until I realize 5 days have passed and he hasn't done ANY parenting. When I realize it, it makes me realize why I am feeling tired and frazzled and angry---I just felt like I was starting to go crazy! And that makes me angry! How dare he make me go crazy because he is such a sorry excuse for a parent and an even sorrier excuse for a husband! Still not over it, clearly.

Everything that he does reminds me that I'm not over it, that I might never get over it. I thought I had found the love of my life and we were growing old together and raising our daughter together. Now none of that is true. And maybe it shouldn't be and was never meant to be, but I haven't quite got there yet. And then he does stuff like says 'I'm not available' on such and such dates/times and TELLS me he is taking the one night a week I have asked for, for myself, for my own time and self-care, that he is taking that night for something he has to do. And he can NEVER talk normally, as in how people talk to each other 'normally', as in they say "I need Friday off so I can go to my friend's bachelor party'; or 'I need Friday off so I can study for an exam because I am trying to get a better job'; or some other HONEST reply. I'd be angry if he told me he wanted my night off to shag his new girlfriend but then who wouldn't?? I mean it's my ONE night off from being a single parent for maybe 4 hours and you want it to shag your new girlfriend???!!!! Pick another night dude! Or give a totally good reason in a lie, but don't be vague and cryptic about it. He can never talk normally, he has to lie by omission and be completely vague about his reasons. Obscurantism. Narcissism.

When my daughter has a tough day and I've had a tough day, I have no one to lean on. Reminder. When that happens from morning 'til night with no relief for days on end.....reminder. I need alone time. I get re-energized by being alone and feeding my soul with art or the like. I get super drained by constant drama and negativity. I need to escape. Too much stress, too relentless. Reminder: I am alone. I have no one to lean on.

And then my dad says ' I want to invite the shithead who destroyed your life to participate in the family Christmas activities so that you have to be in close personal contact with the one person who makes you truly miserable, for at least 4 to 6 hours'. And 'you will just have to be okay with that' because MY feelings and wishes are much more important than yours! In fact, I don't really care about your feelings at all and never have!'. Thanks. Dad.

I don't have any control over how much time my daughter gets with her dad. I only have control over how I handle not having enough time to myself to just not have to deal with anyone else's anxiety other than my own---and I'm not always that great at handling my own anxiety. So, fuck you and your selfishness in wanting to invite my personal demon to your party just so you can include him at my expense??!! Where is the line? Where is the line that you won't cross? I believe there is a "father and daughter code", just like the 'bro-code' and when you cross it, you are no longer in the 'bro-zone' or 'father-daughter zone' and you shouldn't be surprised if your daughter retreats to somewhere safe, where you are not.

So I didn't go out to my dad's for Christmas. And as it happens, my job kept me from the other family Christmas get together, so I spent Christmas with my daughter who is the only other person I can trust in my life and even she can hurt me unwittingly. So, it was not a terrible Christmas. In fact it was kind of a nice quiet no stress Christmas, which is kind of a great Christmas when you really think about it. It still made me sad when my sister came into town and didn't even try to see her niece or myself.... but that's another long tale and not a good one. Please gawd, don't let me become my mother who always catastrophized everything in her life, a 'woe is me' kind of attitude! I know I did do this, but once aware of it I was hoping I might have put a slow death to it? Just a slump maybe? It's the depression talking?

La la la! Happiness and fairy-tales! La la la! Smiley emoji.

bottom of page