I made the decision to follow through on the letter to my father and I wrote it exactly as planned. It was fairly short, simple, to the point. No wiggle room left for him to squeeze back into my life. I have to hope that when my nephew is older he will reach out to me or that I can reach him through his father. I will hold out hope that he will understand what happened and why I couldn’t fight harder for him. I hope more than anything that he can forgive me and let me be a part of his life someday.
It feels very odd knowing that I will never see or speak to my father again. It’s as if he has passed but with no memorial. It may always be that way. I suspect my sister may not notify me when he does pass. This is how it has to be though and I need to find a way to accept it and let go.
It’s been two weeks since I’ve written. I’ve been stressed out over a situation with my family that has simply consumed me. My father, who I had not spoken to for 7 months, called my husband and wanted to meet for lunch on his way through town over Thanksgiving. He was supposed to be bringing my nephew to his other grandparents. I can’t fix things with my father or my sister but after speaking with my therapist I had decided that I could try to manage a cordial relationship in order to have my nephew in my life and be a part of his. Apparently my father planned all of this behind my sister’s back though. He had sent me a birthday/Christmas wishlist from my nephew but I could afford almost none of the items on it. I emailed my sister some ideas looking for help. This is what I received in return: I would appreciate you not contacting me again. I do not want you involved in xxxxx’s life on any level. He will not be seeing you at Thanksgiving or Christmas and anything sent to the house will be returned to sender.
It doesn’t matter that last time we spoke and fought I was doing her a favor. It doesn’t matter that she’s the one who assaulted me that day. It doesn’t matter that she sent me two casual messages on Facebook after that as if nothing had happened. Now she has decided that I’m evil I guess. It’s always been about control for her. She controls the situation regardless of the circumstances. She controls my access to my nephew. I’m keeping that email in hopes that someday my nephew will understand I didn’t choose not to be in his life.
As devastated as I have been after receiving the email, I’m also extremely angry. I’m angry at my father for setting both me and my nephew up to get hurt again. I feel almost as if he used my nephew to manipulate me into speaking to him. I’m angry at my sister for being batsh*t crazy. I’m angry at my parents for making her this way. I’m angry at myself for not filing assault charges back in March.
I know it’s too soon and I’m too emotional to make a final decision on how to handle this. My gut reaction was to find a way to retaliate. To drive down there and file the assault charges, to call child protective services (I have before, completely warranted at the time but not now), to find a way to hurt her. The problem is, I know it won’t help. It won’t change anything. And I’m the type of person who would just feel guilty later and try to repent to her and start this vicious cycle all over again. I have to resist retaliation because I will only hurt myself in the end.
I do need to get this out of my life though. The one thing I am considering at this point is to mail my father a letter (they all live together). What I want is to include a copy of her email, an explanation of what happened and why I’m doing what I’m doing. I want to include my email address and ask him to give it to my nephew for when he gets older (he will be 10 in a month). I’m afraid once my father passes that my nephew would not have a way to find me. I know if my sister were to move that I would have no way of finding him. And I want to ask my father to cease calling my husband. All his calls have done is upset me every time, stir up drama, and allow him to know I’m okay. I don’t feel he has any right to know about my life anymore. And, yes, part of me wants him to feel even a tenth of the pain he has caused me.
It’s been nearly a week since I wrote here because I’ve just had too much swirling around in my head to make sense of any of it. Last week my father called my husband again and left another voicemail. This time it was to say that he was bringing my nephew up to his other grandparents for Thanksgiving (they live 2 hours from me and he has to pass through on the way there). He wanted to know if we could meet for lunch “so my nephew could see me”. I was immediately torn. It’s been over 6 months. Other issues came up for me. On one hand, I think he’s somewhat of a fool to ask when he has shown no sign of missing me, being sorry, or willingness to change. On the other, I almost want the opportunity to give him a piece of my mind in person. I was having a lot of trouble with this and I asked my husband to call and find out if his return trip was an option (because he had suggested a day we both have to work and I definitely need my husband there if I do this) and what my nephew wanted for his birthday. They played phone tag and it became apparent that my father is hiding the calls from my sister. I’m not sure how to explain how much or why that hurts. Except that the fight in March that led to this involved him choosing my sister. He watched her physically and verbally hurt me and stood there refusing to speak up though I begged him to. I feel like that’s the way my whole life has gone. I’ve always had to fight for the smallest bit of attention and it just hurts too much to feel like I was never wanted and it hurts now to think about being somewhere I’m not wanted. I’ve developed a defensive mechanism – I need people to come to me, I can’t reach out because I can’t handle more rejection. It’s destroying all kinds of relationships in my life. Anyway, my father finally called at a normal time of day and wasn’t able to give my husband any details about his travel plans other than a sob story about having to stay in a motel over Thanksgiving because he couldn’t make the drive up and back and up and back again so close. The truth is, he should have given up driving a while back and it scares me for him to be driving my nephew around every day. The truth is, my sister should be taking care of her own child. And yet one sob story that’s left on the voicemail every time is that “neither daughter is speaking to me”. What can I say? My sister has walked all over everyone her entire life and he refuses to stand up to her or to make her stand on her own two feet. They live together and he pays all the bills and provides all of the child care while she verbally abuses him day in and day out. I finally accepted that I can’t make either of them change a long time ago. I guess I had harbored some hope that walking out of my father’s live might be a tiny wake up call but I was wrong.
Combined with the stress the whole situation with my father brings, my husband and I were struggling too. He can be inconsiderate sometimes but there is one disagreement we have that never seems to stop. He cannot help around the house and he cannot pick up after himself. I wake up every day to a dirty house and it stresses me out. I know that I’m sensitive to it and I’ve tried explaining it to him. He always promises to do better but he never follows through for more than a day. He can’t seem to grasp that it makes me feel like he doesn’t care about me because he clearly doesn’t care about something that is important to me.
On Sunday things were starting to boil over. My husband asked me what was wrong and I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. I said this because I knew my bad mood was not all his fault and I was trying to move past it. He insisted on pushing me over and over again until it devolved into a fight. He just couldn’t give me a moment’s space and I ended up saying I didn’t want to go out with him that evening because I didn’t want to be around him. Later in the afternoon I asked him what he wanted to do and he blew me off. Normally I would have apologized and kissed his a$$ and made everything better but he’s been so irritable lately and he never apologizes, he never makes the first move to resolve a fight and I was frustrated and tired of feeling like I was the only one who wanted to fix things. So we stayed home. Later as we started bickering again he made it clear that he had really wanted to go and he was really mad about not going. I felt/feel horrible. I feel like I ruin everything for us. I fought off tears for hours before going to bed. This morning I woke up depressed. All I wanted was to reach out for him, to find some comfort, but I didn’t because I know he’s still mad. And I’m still fighting the tears.
Between the situation with my father, the situation with my husband, the ending of a long term friendship last week, and a stressful period at work, I just feel lost. I don’t know where I am or where I’m going. Unfortunately when the depression comes barreling in like this, I don’t necessarily care. I feel like staying lost.
My father called and left a voice mail on my husband’s phone last week and it has been bugging me ever since. All it said was “everything’s okay here, hope you guys are doing okay.” Pretty benign, right? I haven’t spoken to him since March 24th. I sent him a letter explaining why I had to walk away and the events of that day being the last straw for me and I received a couple of short letters from him. Never once has he said he was sorry or that he missed me or that anything could possibly be different. There is no willingness on his part whatsoever to fix things. I’m angry and I’m hurt. I think it’s obvious why I’m hurt by my father acting this way and I’ve talked about it several times here. But I didn’t realize I was so angry. Why doesn’t he care about me or how much he’s hurt me? Why doesn’t he miss me? I feel like I’m throwing a big temper tantrum but there’s no one listening. I don’t know how to let go of this so that I can move on.
On Tuesday I was talking about how I lashed out at a friend over email. Well his next email was worse, it felt like a personal attack on one hand but also a prime example of what I have been telling him I don’t like about our friendship on the other. I gave myself over two hours before I responded. And then I was brutally honest with my thoughts. I’ve felt for over 6 months that this friendship was coming to an end and I was ready to be done. We’ve both changed and in very different directions. I’ve even told him several times over the last few months how I felt and I didn’t know why we were still friends. That sounds harsh but I said it a little bit nicer. My brutal honestly made up for months of putting everything as nicely as possible. He chose to take something very personal and throw it back in my face. It confirmed to me that I was doing the right thing. I think I only held on so long because I don’t have very many friends and he is one of only two that I knew prior to my mother dying. I have to quit holding on to the past. It’s not like he ever even met her and we weren’t close yet when she died. He made a point then of dropping off a deli tray but only when he knew that no one would be there. I think I still resent that, that he couldn’t show more support than that. The other thing I really resent was a big letdown. We had just moved back and were staying an hour and a half from here but I had finally found a job here and he said I could sleep on his couch until I had the money to get an apartment. Then the day before I am to begin work, he calls and says I can’t stay there the first few nights because he has other company. I lost my trust then and I bounced around for a couple weeks before finding a room to sublet. He never could understand why it bothered me so much. The last few years we’ve seen each other less and less. He’s only met my husband twice in the 7 years we’ve been together. I finally realized that regardless of having been friends for that long, it wasn’t a healthy relationship. Sometimes it was even toxic. I can’t say that I don’t feel a void in my life but I don’t miss him either. I just miss having more people to talk to I think.
I talked to my therapist at yesterday’s appointment and she said something that really resonated with me. I’m going through a lot of changing and growing and it’s a lot like an earthquake. Things like this will happen the same way tremors and aftershocks happen. I have to be prepared for it and make my choices thoughtfully so that I don’t do something I regret. I’m glad I took a couple of hours to make such a big decision and I don’t regret it.
One of my new office mates that I know I’m cool with is out yesterday and today. The other, who I knew would be a small issue, is working my nerves already. She talks to herself all day long and then sometimes she actually expects me to answer instead of answering herself. I can’t tell the difference, she uses the same voice for everything. It takes her 5 minutes to say something that might take anyone else 1 minute because she has to stare at the ceiling in deep thought between her words. And then rephrase what she said just to make sure. The extra phone lines have not been moved yet and she kept picking up the phone while I was on it earlier trying to get someone to come give us some help mapping networks. She also tends to take advantage of anyone she can to do grunt work for her. I was warned about that when I took this job and, so far, have managed to stick to my own work. I will have to set the precedent all over again now that we’re sharing space. I don’t mind helping a coworker at all but she is the type who will ask you to sharpen her pencils for her (fortunately that happened to someone other than me). I think we’ll be fine once we settle in, it’s just a trying week here.
Unfortunately all of this has made me grumpy and I’m being snappy with friends instead of supportive. I usually am just honest with them but I don’t feel like I can be when I feel this way because I have a tendency to be more mean than honest. I just don’t have the energy to deal sometimes. I know, I’m a horrible friend. I try to be as supportive as I can but I often feel like I give more than I get and then I get tired of trying so hard. This is why I have so few friends now. And I avoid making new ones. I know I don’t have the capacity to be a good friend right now, I can’t even take care of myself. Most days I am just too worn down to care about myself so extending that to others just isn’t possible right now. I hope it will be someday though.
I’m looking forward to therapy Thursday. Not that it will be a necessarily positive session but a needed one. Truly, I probably need to go much more often than I do. The two nightmares I posted on here have been the absolute worst but it seems I’m having smaller scale nightmares most nights now and I’m exhausted. When I’m exhausted, I eat more and get even grumpier. I’m more emotional and snap easier. Like I just did with a friend on email. I read what he said and anger and disgust just overwhelmed me. I lashed out and hit send without thinking twice. Granted, when I feel this way, it often takes me hours to think twice.
Today I finally got fully moved into my new “corner”. I ended up having to move all of the computer equipment myself so my back is tight and throbbing. I had hoped to avoid this and take as few muscle relaxers as possible. Now, if my boss had told me I would be moving back when she decided instead of waiting until the last possible minute, this wouldn’t have been an issue. Now that I’m in here, I realize I will be spending tomorrow cleaning. It’s so dusty! I’m suddenly congested and my eyes are watering but it appears to only be the dust so it’s fixable. My office-mate is not here today or tomorrow so I have a little time to settle in on my own. Mexican food was provided for lunch so now I’m dealing with heartburn and upset stomach as well. So let’s review: felt pretty good this morning. Currently: back is throbbing, head is aching, nose is running, chest burns and stomach is doing somersaults. If ever there was a time I wish I could call in sick without getting in trouble!
So how do I know my boss decided I was moving well before she told me? We were in the main office last Thursday and she mentions that she had ordered the new chair especially for me since I was moving back. Well the orders take a least a week, then the chair has to be put together, and it had already been sitting there for several days and no one had said anything. I have one other problem with this chair. She ordered the “big & tall” chair. While I appreciate her trying to be thoughtful, it’s huge compared to the others so it’s embarrassing. I wasn’t having any problems with the others either. I’m kind of insulted and yet I don’t really understand why since obviously my weight is no secret. I guess maybe if she had said something first? I just don’t know. I made a point to thank her this morning to see what she would say (and because I really do appreciate the thought behind it) and she was very pleasant but just a little awkward. Oh well, life goes on and I see my therapist later this week.