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?