Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My father...

OK, so I thought of something I wanted to say, or type, whatever...This has been bothering me for a while but since I always feel like I'm complaining or being negative, I've just let it go. I am on the eve of yet another day that should be special to me that my father has decided, once again, to blow me off and pretend that I don't exist.

My parents had long since been divorced when my mom died. My dad left on Christmas day when I was 11 years old to be with another man. Yes, my father is gay, which is not something I'm ashamed of, its the manner in which he does things that bothers me. To say that my mom disliked the man would, I think, be putting it mildly, although she never did say bad things about him, the disappointment was obvious. They built a life together on nothing but lies. He left her with three kids and little to no support going forward. She had been a stay at home mom, so she was forced to join the working world with little or no experience and no car. We moved into our summer home, which he made her buy from him. Then, he moved into the house I grew up in, changed it completely and the partying started. He became a crack addict...which I think he started in order to keep up with his younger boyfriends who were never more than 5 years older than me...I'm telling you all of this to give you a picture, my fathers M.O.

When my mother died, my father, who really enjoys attention, started causing a ruckus wondering where his place was in all of this, should he go to the funeral etc....***note: if you have to question on whether or not you should go to a funeral, you probably shouldn't go***. So he called me (the sensible honest one) and we discussed it and I very delicately told him it wasn't a good idea, but it was appreciated. I considered myself closest to dad, when she died I called him and he came up and spent the day with me, when his partner died I spent many a day driving to Chicago with Maddie just to be with him. But, my mother simply wouldn't have wanted him there, and this day was about her. He continued to carry on like we hadn't even had our discussion to the point that his brothers and sisters (who all came to the funeral) were starting to get upset. Well of course, this was a bad time for us so we stopped talking to him. My brother, who works with him and loves to manipulate and play games, made his life a living hell. Instead of talking to him and letting him know what was bothering him just ignored him...which interfered with work. My sister also ignored him, easier for her because of the distance. He didn't call me until Christmas Eve. Now, I am a confronter, I would rather deal with an issue than ignore it, so naturally I picked up the phone and we talked it out. After that, he called my sister and they worked it out. My brother continued to torment him and actually got in my face one day and called me the "weakest link", saying he knew I'd crack. This was the beginning of the end of my relationship with my brother and sister.

Now to spare you all an even longer post, I'll save that rift between siblings for another time. About 2 months after my mom died we were at her house going through her things which she wanted divided equally among the three of us. In short, my sister took her appointment as executor to mean that she decided who could have what and was actually meeting my brother without me, splitting with him and leaving me what they didn't want....remember, I'm a confronter and I was dealing with 2 very big non-confronters....basically I was banished from the estate and what they didn't want sold in a garage sale...assholes? Yes. My sister also released my mothers ashes without me, didn't bother to call me. She sent me a hate letter (certified) that basically said, I cared more about my dog then my mother, my life sucked and my daughter didn't belong at moms funeral (abridged version). This is troubling in itself but since I'm posting about my dad, I'll get back to him. Where was dad through all of this? No where! He stood by and let them treat me like this...My dad when given the choice between what is easiest and what is right will take the easy path 99.9% of the time...the king of denial...example: to this day my dad will say that he and my mom had problems in their marriage because my MOM was not a good communicator and he even tried to come back after he left but she wouldn't let him. He will disregard your comments that she didn't want him back because he was gay...because he does not take responsibility for his actions. I do understand that people are like this, it is a lot easier to blame someone else than to take responsibility. I've left him a small window in my percentage because I'm sure he's chosen do to whats right at least once, although I cant think of an example. In the end, my dad could not easily manage to ride the fence between the three of us, so I walked away. He admits he's afraid of them. He stutters when he's around them (not me) and my brother actually said he felt like he was getting the short end of the stick because mom died and not dad. I find this appalling.

I don't always agree with my dad, but I love and respect him because he is my father. I'm disgusted at the way I've been treated and how my daughter has been treated. What kind of grudge do you hold against a three or four year old? This is bothersome to me, because as a parent, I could not possibly imagine treating my Maddie this way. My mother (also very confrontational) would have never tolerated such behavior no matter how old we've gotten. When holidays and birthdays roll around I find myself feeling upset all over again and more alone than ever. Sorry to unload, I feel better now.


karengberger said...

Dear Mags,
I am glad that your writer's block broke open, so you could post this and begin to feel better. How terribly, awfully painful these memories are. How horrible to feel that you cannot trust those people with whom you share your family background...the memories and good times that you could be sharing with them, sound as if they are eclipsed by the harsh words and actions in one of the worst times of your life.
I am so glad that you have loving memories of your mother and her strength of character to hold onto and identify with, as you raise Maddie with love.
Just so you won't feel alone, my friend Diane (a gifted pediatrician with a great practice over 25+ years), used to say, "All families are dysfunctional." Mine was, in some ways, too, and I know that the passing of a significant relative can bring out the worst in people. Good for you, for naming your truth!

suz said...

I agree with all that Karen Said.
I feel for you. You have been handed the short end of the crap stick in this situation.
How sad for your Brother and Sister to not have you in their life, especially since you have Maddie to share with them.
They are cold and callus. I am guessing they are not living a very nice life because of this. You seem so openminded about your Dad, since he treated you and your mom unfairly. Good for you. having and holding grudges only fills our hearts with pain. I have a small grudge....It is easing up over the years. (has to do w/ my Dad's 3rd wife)
Just try to live your life with maddie in mind, which I am sure you do. you won't make the same mistakes that you have already seen.
Take care...It is good to vent.
I do it all the time.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

I'm sure it was painful and cathartic at the same time to get all this out.
You were definitely dealt a VERY crappy hand, and you have chosen to move FORWARD and create a new and GOOD life with your daughter. I applaud you for that.
We can't control what other people do to us in this world, all we can control is what WE do, going forward, and I think you deserve a standing ovation for all you've gone through but remained strong and continued on.

Take care, lean on God (and not on your own understanding).... he will give you strength and wisdom when you feel you just can't go on.

Blessings and love to you and your daughter.

Smileygirl said...

I am sorry to read this Mags. You and Maddie deserve to be loved and treated with respect but sometimes family is not always on that same wavelength. Or they just have extremely skewed ways of showing these things.

Hugs and happiness to you both. You guys are amazing.

lizziebelle said...


i dont even know what to say.

i am so sorry.