Processing Things with My Dad

I got into a fight with my dad on Monday. Originally I made a note of it on my weekly assessment and intended to leave it at that but… I’m still finding myself trying to process it so I guess I’ll move the note over here.

So I ran a bunch of errands on Monday morning. I went first over to the mental health hospital in person hoping to get a physical copy of Little Bear’s records because the school was still saying they hadn’t received them. Apparently that’s not how it works. The front desk at the pediatric wing gave me the number for the records office to call to make the arrangements. Then I went over to my apartment to check my phone messages and make phone calls. The neuropsych clinic had called just last Friday saying there was an opening for Little Bear but when I called, the lady wasn’t in for the day. I called again yesterday too and she still wasn’t in so I asked about it with the lady that answered. Apparently it was for a call in they were hoping I would be willing to fill. I would be willing depending on how much notice they give me. Their clinic is roughly 2 hours away from us. Not sure if we can do a same day fill in, but I didn’t tell them that. I’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Any way, on Monday I get back to my parents and Mom gives me the third degree about whether I had an appointment that day and where I’ve been because there had been a phone call. It was the pre-registration call the mental health hospital does one or two days in advance for every appointment to make sure their records are correct. Bleh, it’s annoying but whatever.

Mom goes to work and that’s when Dad starts in. Going about my lack of motivation, lack of follow through with my boys, and how I do nothing – all of which was supposedly coming from Mom. And yea, I haven’t missed the fact the two of them haven’t really been getting along the past few days. Is this connected somehow? I don’t know but it sure feels like it. Somehow I get dragged into the middle every time and this time I didn’t take Mom’s side with the damn table she wants to keep that Dad wants to burn. Seriously. If it were me instead of my dad, this table would have been chopped up and burned in effigy not argued about.

See now I know you are all dying to hear the story about this table. Long story short? She had an affair and got said table as a gift. She wants to continue to keep said table in the house. She doesn’t seem to understand why this is a serious problem. No, not a problem but a crisis and an insult. And I got fucking dragged into it. When I last moved out she told me I had to take this table. I was given the impression I would be in deep shit if I didn’t because Dad wanted to burn it. I needed a table, Dad wanted the damn thing out of the house, so fine. Now I am in the process of moving back in. Dad does not want it back in the house. Period. I don’t blame him. I know how it feels. I understand. He told me he doesn’t want it back in here and I told him okay, no problem. I also told him I’m tired of being dragged into the middle of this shit. Sunday night Mom was being weird with her nit picky shit. I made the mistake of asking about it, which triggered Dad with his string of shit on me. The problem is everything he brought up isn’t the stuff Mom typically attacks.

Like the computer… he directly hits on my computer use, claiming all I do is play games (just like your mother) without any idea of what I actually do on the computer. It made me feel like my writing all over again and I made the mistake of mentioning how he never wanted me to write. Big fucking explosion about how he was tired of being accused of ruining my life all the time (excuse me what?). Which far as I know I have never addressed this in person to him ever, or if I had it was back in high school. One time he brought it up directly to me after my middle son was born, asking why I stopped writing and I tried to dodge the bullet. I remember that conversation too how hard he tried to explain himself and how weird it was. But he really carried on with this, so I asked him to clarify then what he meant by blogging being a bad idea because bad people would find me if I did. He told me to shut the fuck up because he was done talking about it and walked away.

So I don’t think I imagined any of this concerning my writing like he tried to suggest.

Oh and it was brought up somewhere in all of this that maybe I shouldn’t live here. So that is the second time that this has been mentioned. Plus he made it clear they have the right to parent my children if they feel I’m not doing it. I have a different parenting style yes, but that doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything with my kids. My rules are different, not non-existent.

So I have resumed with greater vigor looking for a new apartment. Although I’m not sure how that’s going to work out with the limited income I have.

Because like with the chores, no I’m not volunteering shit. I’ve seen what they did with my sister-in-law and I know from experience first-hand what they are like. You volunteer and suddenly you are taking over their fucking house. You did the wrong thing at the wrong time. You didn’t do it right. Something is fucking wrong in some fucking way. I’m not kidding. They drove this so damn hard that my sister-in-law completely quit trying. Now suddenly as far as they were concerned she was lazy as shit and good for nothing. YOU CAN’T WIN.

So when Mom sat down with me about the chores I told her to give me a list for what they wanted me and the boys to do. I’m still waiting for the list. Dad was like, “You can’t dump it all on your mother.” I told him I wasn’t dumping anything on anyone. She asked me what I thought about the division of the chores and I told her to just give me a list of what she wanted for us to handle and I would take it from there but I’m not volunteering for anything. Dad is one that will expect more and more. Even now he expects my baby brother to come over and work around the house like it is his right to expect that. My brother doesn’t even live here anymore. He has his own family to take care of now. But Dad acts like your time belongs to him and only him. And he gets ugly if you say no or if you can’t. So yea, he was pissed with my response and told me to take it up with my mother. Said he wasn’t getting involved. Seems like he already had.

Yesterday Dad acted like nothing happened except any time I used the computer he would either ask me what I was doing (working on the request formal letter for special education services and coordinating with the support group on who I was suppose to be speaking with, giving the letter to, etc. since this time around I’m the case manager) or if I had finished reading the book I had been reading (I’ve been reading the Giver quartet, currently on the last book “Son”).

I almost wonder if he took it seriously when I said he had no idea what I actually do on this computer, he wasn’t around when I explained to someone in another support group a medication and it’s side effects and how she should be advocating for herself with the doctor about dosage because of a side effect she was complaining about. It’s interesting to note that both my parents are completely fine with me reading a book all day but God forbid if I touch the damn computer. Aren’t I essentially still doing nothing?

I could argue that by not being on the computer I’m doing less. I’m not helping anyone. I’m giving no advice. I’m not learning about medications, diets, therapies, or disorders – anything. I’m not even communicating with my children’s teachers who never seem to be available for the phone anymore. It seems that it’s more reliable to communicate by email – plus there is the added benefit of now having it on record. I can print it out and put it on file, which is important when you have children with special needs. You can then bring it in for clinic appointments or meetings or whatever and say “These are the behaviors or concerns that are going on and this is how long that they’ve been going on.” And now no one can say, “I never said that.” Including you by the way. Keeps every one honest, well at least it keeps every one on the same page and in agreement of what has been said.

At least yesterday I got the formal letter requesting an IEP evalution written for Little Bear and hand delivered to the school. I also sent a digital copy of the letter to his teacher, the principal, and the special education teacher. Monday I had the hospital fax his records again and got confirmation that they were received. I’m done with be yes’d to death and watching nothing happening. I don’t understand how I can verbally request virtually anything at the middle school for my Autistic son and have it happen within a week but the elementary school are sticks in the mud. So fine, I’ll start writing formal letters with digital back ups.

In the end, what exactly about all this is bothering me? His reaction mostly. And partly wondering why I even brought up the writing in the first place. I know that I wasn’t trying nor intending to set him off. If I had wanted to do that I would have targeted any number of other things. After it was brought up I did intentionally bring up the blogging thing to make my point and to counter his rant. I know he specifically had stated that it was a bad idea for me to start blogging. I remember with clarity how he went into this long warning about how dangerous it was, about how I would give up my location, about how people with bad intentions could then find me and do whatever bad things they wanted. He went on for quite some time that day about it. I remember asking him how was it any different than being a journalist for a newspaper and him getting upset with me and not really having an answer other than more people can read a blog than a local paper. So what the hell was that Monday? And why do I even care? Maybe I asked him about the writing because I wanted to know if the intent behind the computers was the same.

And no, I don’t think I have ever accused anyone of ruining my life after the drama of being a teen. I think every teenager does that at some point and I’m pretty sure I did at least once. But after that? No. Not even after my life went south at 19 while living in Texas. In fact I still find it odd that Mom blames her sisters (and to some extent Dad) for all that. None of them made me move down there. None of them made me stay down there. I chose all that. All of the choices I have made are mine. Yes, many of them were pretty wacked out thanks to Bipolar or due to the heavy influence of someone else but they are still mine.

He kept saying back then that I needed another job while writing. To some extent yes, but what many people don’t understand is that it’s incredibly challenging to earn money writing if you are already working at another job. What was frustrating though was that I was also being strongly encouraged to go to college for this said other job to earn even more money. In order to achieve that, as I discovered, meant giving up writing completely. Is this my father’s fault? No. It’s the choice I made. I do enjoy the food industry as well. I enjoy the nuances of business.

However, I didn’t know about me being Bipolar. I wasn’t aware that I was burning myself out at both ends and in the middle while in college. I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t sense it. I was on top of my game back then. Then I had that psychotic break and my brain changed. It’s not the same anymore. It doesn’t work the same way anymore. I’m not the same anymore. I can’t go back to the old me that my parents keep talking about. It’s just not physically possible. I don’t know what happened or why. I’m not a neuroscientist. I can’t fully explain it other that to say it’s happened. I just know that old me is gone forever. And yelling at me about my lack of motivation isn’t going to change that. Yelling at me about how I supposedly don’t care about whatever it is won’t change anything either other than make me feel like shit.

But no. My life isn’t ruined. It never was. I’m insulted that was even suggested. My life is different. My life is challenging. It’s an every day battle.

There is only one person in this world who came close to claiming the title of “Ruiner of my Life” and it sure as hell isn’t you, Dad. That man took the power of choice from me. That man made me honestly fear for my life. And it haunts me every day, some times more than others. That is something you have never done. So no, you have not ruined my life when the best that man could do was wrinkle it. I’m still standing here today because YOU raised me. I AM STILL HERE. Think about that. Let that sink in.

How can you possibly think you ruined my life? And do you really think I still need speeches about motivation?

14 thoughts on “Processing Things with My Dad

  1. You are definatly nicer than me šŸ™‚ I would break the table accidentally on purpose. Have you ever heard of a program called booksmart? It’s a free download it come with two programs. One for online one for offline. It’s a book format and when you are done you can or ger a copy of your book for about 30$. Maybe less depending on how many pages if it’s a hard cover if it’s a small book. Some are less. Either way maybe your parents would be more supportive if they had a book to brag to their friend about. Then they could not possibly say your doing nothing because then they could hold your writings in their hand. This phone I’m holding can never take the place in my heart that books hold. Don’t give up and be strong. You help others everytime you write. : )

    • I love that phrase “accidentally on purpose” and I use it often. It’s lovely and fun, isn’t it? But yes, if I was in my father’s shoes that’s exactly what I would have done. But alas, I was stuck in the middle. I was stuck trying not to make my mother mad and also stuck not pissing off my father back then. And here I am now stuck right back in the same spot, only this time I picked a side. I suppose I should be ashamed of myself but I know there is no way I can pick a neutral path in this one other than to tell my mother to find someone else to give the table to. But it just cannot come back into this house without unleashing unholy hell. I would rather take it upon myself to find it a new safe home for than watch my parents go through another epic fight. The thing that gets me is they are each fighting over two completely different things. My mother just sees this completely solid carved wood table – it needs to be refinished but it’s good craftsmanship. My dad sees only what it represents – the past that broke his heart. Honestly I’m kind of wishing my children had wrecked this table the way they tend to wreck all of my furniture so that this argument wouldn’t even be an issue. Instead my parents would just be pissed at me for allowing my children to wreck the furniture like they always do. They could then say “We didn’t give it to you, we lent it to you so why didn’t you take care of it better?” kind of thing and both be on the same side. But no, this damn huge table is sturdy as hell and truthfully is part of the reason I accepted it. Whether it survived or not, I figured it was a win at the time. I didn’t expect to be moving back in so I didn’t have any advanced plans on how I was going to handle this current issue. However thinking about it now, finding it a new home would be better than making my mother watch it burn. Less fighting about it later down the road.

      As for my writing and computer use, I have no plans to give it up. Based on how my parents still respond to me, I’m guessing that I’m just as willful and free thinking today as I was in childhood. I admit though I am filled with more doubt now than I was back then but still… I can’t help but feel like there is something important waiting for me. Not important in the historical or famous sense, but just important to me. And maybe all that there is to find is my true self and allow it to be free for once. I know I’m very tired now of trying to figure out who I’m expected to be when all I have ever wanted was to just be myself.

      As for publication… first I must actually finish writing a book all the way to the end! I plan to participate in NanoWriMo next month. If I can get myself to actually finish a first draft without starting the book over mid-way, then I will work on revisions and consider the possibilities of publication. But not before. One step at a time. šŸ˜‰

      • I have a crazy idea about the table. Ok the leg furthest away from the door in the room. You could loosen the bolt enough to where if it falls it will break but not to much that it’s really noticeable. Do this when they are gone. Go to the store buy a bunch of groceries and stuff. Make sure the kids have backpacks and stuff. When you come in trow it all on the table they will be noisy and come see what all the noise is. When no one is really looking push the table with your hip in the opposite corner causing the table to crash to the floor and the leg to tragically break. Thats if it makes it to their house. Under normal circumstances I would never be party do the destruction of good craftsmanship. However I feel your father’s pain. Oh Or you could get friend to help move it and the strap could come undone and the table could fall off the truck. By the time you notice it was gone someone had picked it up off the side of the road. Just some ideas. It could also be stolen from your apartment along with some other stuff you don’t really like. I’m only devious for a good cause hahaa.

      • This table is huge. There is no way anyone could steal it from the second floor without anyone noticing I would think. Same thing with it falling off a truck. It would be immediately noticed.

        No, I just HAVE to find it a new home somehow. And done in a way that my mom can’t get it back. Like sell it or something.

        But those are funny ideas. lol

      • It’s okay, I haven’t tried it either. I was just looking at their requirements. WordPress allows you o earn money too, but requires you to have a domain name mapped out and a purchased package of some kind I think. After that the process is similar from what I understand but they don’t declare how many visits you need precisely. So again, it’s not worth signing up for until your blog is a high traffic site.

    • No worries, nothing is ever perfect the first time through. First drafts of any book is always like that. The polish always comes after. <3 This is why authors often times will have many drafts before their book is ever seen by anyone, much less an editor, and then published.

      • I have a head full of stories. I just don’t write. I’m a photographer and many other things but not a writer. I started writing a book once. I let someone read just the very first jotted down copy. I even told him that. It was just the outlined idea so I didden’t forget. So I let him read it, I thought my soul was going to suffocate and I was going to have a heart attack and die to when he looked at me and asked (Have you ever even read a book? Then went on about the puncuation.). I have never been so insulted in all my life. I still have it, but I don’t write. I got this page because I have something to share. The reason I haven’t done it is reguardless of what anyone else says or what I tell myself I don’t have the courage to share. I’m stuck in self limbo. See people expect everyone to little miss sunshine all the damn time. Life is not all sunshine and rainbows. Drop the mask tell the truth that’s how it should be. People should not be shunned for doing what others don’t have the courage to do. The only people who don’t want the truth to be spoken are either the abuser or they are abused and to afraid to speak out. Not wanting anyone else to speak out or bring light upon the subject. Don’t anyone let you feel anything other than accomplished and courageous for being able to speak up and giving other the courage to do the same. : ) Keep being you cause your awesome.

      • I stopped writing for a long time because I did allow my inner critic to silence me. In my creative writing what would get attacked the most often was description. My biggest pet peeve is putting the story on hold just to describe the setting when 90% of the story is happening in the character’s head. If the character isn’t paying attention enough for the reader to be told, then that is telling the reader something about the character. But I have had too many critics fail to understand that. Punctuation and grammar in the first draft is nothing. The first draft is just to get the ideas out on the paper. That is the only goal of the first draft. After you have your first draft, you work on plot holes and characters and fleshing out the body of the book. The nitty gritty of grammar and punctuation doesn’t come in until you are done working on the story. I am sure there will come a time where you can put your inner critic on hold long enough to write again.

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