- Related Words
- breakdown, decay, decomposition, disintegration, dissolution
- Part Two
- After my dad left us, my mom was having trouble making ends meet. Her job at the bank didn’t pay much, and dad wasn’t contributing much in the way of child support. He claimed he couldn’t afford to give her very much money for us kids. So mom and us girls had to move into a rental house. It was much smaller, but okay. It was still in the general area of the big house, but not in the “elite” section. I couldn’t care less. All I remember about that time was hating school…. I couldn’t concentrate and just didn’t care about learning. My head was still spinning from the split between my parents. I was living in a daze.
- They eventually set up “visitation” times, so that my sister and I could have contact once a week with my dad. He was a completely different person. He was very distant, didn’t have alot to say. Visitation time became a dreaded event. I hated it. This man was not my dad. He was someone else, an impostor. I got these “vibes” from him right away….I felt I had to be on my best behavior and act like everything was great. It was like walking a tightrope at age 11-12 years old. I could not upset my dad, at any cost. I had to keep my pain, my confusion, and my rage inside of me. I couldn’t risk what might happen if I took off my mask and revealed the truth of how the break up of our family had really affected me. He didn’t want to hear it.
- Now that I look back, seeing all of that from an adult perspective, I realize….my dad was drowning in guilt every time he saw me. He knew what immense damage he had done, and continued to do. He knew. But he was not equipped to deal with it. He was not equipped to talk to me and let me know that he still loved me and was sorry. We never spoke of the divorce, why it happened, or anything. He just came once a week to pick me and my sister up, take us out to a nice restaurant, eat dinner, then to his house for about 30 minutes to watch television, then he’d take us back home and drive away.
- After a short time, he got married again (not to the woman he had been seeing when my parents broke up, this was a new gal). Her name was Laura. I hated her with a passion. I never gave her a chance. Laura was the enemy. She was living with my dad, when he should be living with us, his REAL family. Laura tried to connect with my sister and I during our “visitation times” which she now joined. My sister responded. I did not. It took me several years before the ice began to melt and I finally realized she was a nice enough lady. It still was like a punch in the gut though, every time my sis and I went over to their house to visit. It just felt all wrong. I was so mixed up emotionally. But I knew, instinctively, I must not ever speak of problems, or my emotional pain, or the split between him and my mom…..never speak of any negativity. Only happiness. Only smiles. Never pain. Ever. I knew instinctively that my dad could not handle my speaking of anything less than good stuff. So I smiled and smiled. While inside of me, my guts were churning every moment we were together.
- Christmas time became a horrible time for me. My sister and I spent Christmas eve with my mother, and opened our gifts with her at our house. Then we were carted off to dad’s house to spend a few hours there. Laura prepared a big feast, then we would open our fancy, expensive gifts and we would sit around the tree and drink hot chocolate, just like a real family. I wanted to puke. I hated those Christmas’s….every year it was like a nightmare from hell. But I had to paste on my smile and act happy to be there and grateful for the gifts. I couldn’t wait to get back home and tear off my fancy Christmas clothes and slam the door to my room. Of course, once we got home, my mother would quiz us for an hour, about what we ate, what we talked about, etc. etc. I felt like a liaison for my mother. She wanted to know every detail of our visit. I just wanted to forget it.
- During those days, my mom, in an effort to try and bring me and my dad together if even for a few minutes, would drive me down to the gas station that my dad owned, so we could say hello to each other. I remember one day, my dad walked over to the passenger side window, said a quick hello and threw a $20 bill at me. I wanted to take it and throw it back out the window. He had no clue what to do with me, so he threw money in my face. As if that would be enough to make me love him. As if that would be enough to make up for all the hurt.
- About the time I turned 13 years old, things really began to escalate with me. I began to actively rebel against all things to do with family. I hated my mom. I hated my dad. I felt nothing for my sister. I felt nothing for myself. I just wanted to disappear.
- I started hanging out with other messed up kids I met in school. One thing led to another and a close friend of mine and I began hitch-hiking to another small town on the weekends where there were a lot of party people, many of them much older than myself. I went to rock concerts, hung out with my new friends for days without telling my mom where I was, and doing lots of drugs. I was spiraling out of control and couldn’t care less. My rage was coming to the surface and I numbed it all with the drugs. It didn’t matter what drug it was, I would take it. I didn’t care if I lived or died.
- When my mother would confront me about my behavior, I was smug and cold. My dad didn’t seem all that interested, most of the time. He rarely intervened. My mom still was working a full time job so was unable to try to control me. But she was not a strong personality, and had no effect on me whatsoever. I walked all over her. I did what I wanted, when I wanted. She felt completely powerless to do anything to stop me.
- Then I began dating a guy that was 22 years old. I think by that time I was 15. We would get together at his apartment on the way to high school (I would skip school and spend the day with him). One day, Mike and I were at mom’s house for a minute to pick something up…..next thing I knew my dad showed up, and started punching Mike all the way through the house and out the back door. Dad finally left after I threatened to call the police. Mike and I decided to press charges against my dad. I took Mike’s side and my Dad finally pleaded guilty to assault charges and paid a fine. Inside, I laughed at this small victory against my own father. For once, I made him hurt the way he had made me hurt. I didn’t bat an eye. It felt good to make him suffer the humiliation and the emotional pain of his oldest daughter turning on him. Especially when it involved a relationship with a guy. I thought, There ya go dad. An eye for an eye.
- Somehow, I managed to graduate high school. I was living the wild life. My mom was still working, trying to provide for my sister and I, but I nearly drove her crazy with worry. I was out of control. My mission was to hurt my parents the way they had hurt me. And to numb my pain by any means necessary. I was promiscuous. I had no self respect or regard for my self image. I felt insignificant and worthless. Even the empty relationships I had with my so-called friends were better than my train wreck of a family.
- To Be Continued……