It has been a long month and one of not really wanting to post. I have finally accepted the term “bipolar disorder,” the diagnosis and everything that comes along with it, PTSD, and ADHD. I have gotten bad enough that I have been put on the dreaded “L” word… lithium. It seems to be working, but I got a little freaked out when my psychiatrist prescribed it. Taking it day by day right now. I know that a lot of people have this problem but I don’t know any who do. I have this lack of control and want my life to be back. My psychiatrist says that I am coming to realizations in my life and having some inner struggles and when I figure out the answers, my manic/depressive episodes will lessen. I hope so. Things are certainly up in the air personally and professionally… so hard to make decisions when they affect your life. Fingers crossed.
Not so much to say today. I have had a mixed bag of emotions the past 6 days because of new medication. It is giving me hope and clearing my head – lifting me from depression. On the other hand, there is the “breaking in” period of getting used to the drug… the initial side effects that you have to deal with until the body adjusts. I am trying to be strong through this because I do feel the benefits of this medication.
As a child, you worked and got laid off more times than I can count. Mom worked her butt off. Summers that I remember you working, my brother and I either took care of ourselves or had a babysitter. Our town was small enough that you could bike from one end to the other with ease. We always had fun. We would ride for miles and miles out on country roads. I guess we would be what you call latch key kids? One summer, I got arrested for shop lifting at the general store because one of the boys pressured me into it… that was all I had to play with was boys. When you came home that night you had been drinking – as usual – and came up to talk to me…
Throughout high school you gave us everything we wanted. I will not deny that. If I wanted a new pair of track shoes or a special pair for hurdles, I would get what I wanted because it made me more competitive. I am not sure whether you did that for me or you. Was it guilt over how you treated us throughout the years, over the hell you put the family thorough? I’m sure it was for me, but I remember how disappointed you were during my senior year when I gave up hurdles. I just couldn’t do it anymore. Here’s why… by senior year, I was drinking heavily every weekend. I was maintaining my track practices, but I didn’t have the stamina that I once did. I started drinking here and there at 14. My friends and I used to steal your Crown Royal and then replace it with water mixed with vanilla extract. I don’t know how you didn’t notice. Things progressed through high school. I was the ultimate party girl – two mile road, friends houses… I was always there for a good time. By junior year of high school, my brother went to rehab. How could you not tell? I can only say that you learn what you see and we learned from the best.
You deprived us of so many good times. I can’t remember any with you… not one. Maybe there were when I was little, but my bad memories start when I was little, so how can it be that you left any good ones? All I can say is thank God for my mom’s Grandma and Grandpa – they were my escape. I look back and remember how many birthday’s you ruined because you went to a party the night before and got into a drunken fight and ended up in the hospital or ER because you broke a fist, jaw, etc. You poisoned our relationships with your side of the family because of your paranoid stories about how your mother hated you to the point where we were dis-invited from family functions. To this day, I have no idea who these people really are. These are things that you can never fix.
As I moved into adulthood and went to college, the partying continued so much so that I joined the military at the end of the semester because I knew if I didn’t something bad would happened. When I left for boot camp you were so proud. Throughout those four years, I did what I could to please you… like I was trying to earn your love. I had a baby and ended up alone in 1991 and in 1993 I had to go to Japan. You and my mom took care of my child while I was there. When I got back, you gave me a bill for taking care of her even though I gave you money every month. I couldn’t believe it. What a distasteful thing to do. Did you really hate me so much? So, here we go again… in my mind I am thinking, “what did I do to lose his love and respect?’.
When you medically retired in 1994, you just began sitting around the house. We knew you had a penchance for exaggerating your illnesses and getting unnecessary surgeries, so this was expected. You laid the burden of caring for the home and you squarely on mom. You mentally abused her for years and years. I truly hate you for that. She went through the same cycle as I did – or should I say I went through the same cycles as she did… try to make you love her; get the love; lose it; mourn the loss; repeat. Then you use this whole guilt trip to make us come back, “Oh, I’m sick,” “I need to go to the hospital,” “I really love you and don’t want you to leave” – it’s always been a big mind fuck with you. You lied to me when you were trying to make me go against mom on multiple occasions… telling a daughter things that should never be shared. You put your own spin on things and when the truth finally comes out, I know you have serious mental issues (100x worse than mine) and you will never, ever get help or get better. You have proven yourself to be a very sick man.
So many stupid stories of you flip flopping on me – giving and taking your love from me and me trying to prove myself. Twenty years of that as an adult. I finally graduated from college… COLLEGE… and you wouldn’t make the trip to see me graduate. I worked so hard to do that and you wouldn’t come. You made up this whole story about not being invited. Mom asked you if you were going to go with her (you were married) and told you that I wanted you both to come. Lies – all the time! The final straw for mom was when her dad died and you couldn’t even get up to go to the visiting or the funeral. We were all there mourning and you couldn’t get up and get dressed. After the funeral, mom told us all that she was leaving you. It was a month after that and she was gone. It was the proudest that I have ever been of her… leaving that home and the mess that you created in it – the hoard. Two and a half years later she was legally free of you and is working every day to be mentally free of you. I am so excited to meet the real mom that you deprived me of for 44 years.
The last straw for me was in December 2013. I had grown so weary of trying to gain daddy’s love. Your son told you he was in a bind, but didn’t ask you for anything. You had the audacity to call him back and tell him that you would not help him because he lived in a shit hole (which is ironic because until you met your sugar momma you were in a serious garbage filled place that we used to call home) and that the only was he would get assistance from you was if he moved back to the Midwest and into one of your girlfriend’s rental homes. After 43 years, you still haven’t learned that you can’t control everyone.
I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. The last nine months have been good for me. I have not had to worry about you calling me and telling me lies about anyone or telling me the same stories multiple times with something changed or new each time. I haven’t had to hear you whine about your health or the fact that you think you are going to die or who you want to be the executor of your will or what your funeral arrangements should be. What has all of this cost you? It cost you a relationship with your daughter and your grand daughters because they saw how you treated me. It has cost you all of the family you have – your brothers and sisters, your wife, your kids. But, according to you, none of this is your doing, it’s everyone else. Hell, you could never do anything wrong.
So, I end with this… I forgive you for all of the things you did to our family. I work hard every day to let go of the past and what it has done to me. The alcohol, the domestic violence, the multiple marriages – these are me! The first two were something that I thought were natural in a marriage which tells you why I had multiple marriages. I made my choices and am not blaming you entirely. I have accepted the blame for my actions and have paid a hefty price. As for you, I will never think about you again. This letter is the end of you in my life. You have caused me too much heartache, too much grief and too much anger. I have wasted too much time on someone who will not give me the love and respect that I deserve.
It has been 9 months since I told you that I never wanted to speak to you again and I have had to think about you recently because of your actions toward my brother. Your actions bring my mother into the mix because my brother has to tell her everything and then she needs someone to vent to. The way you treat your children dredges up feelings of guilt in her that tear her up. She will never forgive herself for not getting us all away from you long ago… out of your demented grip. Even after being divorced for a year and separated for over three, you are still haunting her.
There are so many things that I would love to tell you – in email, face to face, on the telephone, but I can’t risk getting sucked back in, so this letter to myself is going to have to be enough. It is said that one of the most difficult tasks in life is removing someone from your heart. I believe that to be true especially when they poison your very existence with each contact they make. Maybe this will set me free?
Where is the best place to start? Now? Childhood? I remember being a child and being beaten with a belt, wooden paddle, a hand because of things that children do. Mess up papers. Get in the way at a church meeting at the house. By far one of the most memorable of these was the time that I was 4 and was put in an upstairs bedroom with no bathroom close. After a dream (which I still have to this day) about big spiders that had blue and red veins on them being on the landing, I used a Folgers coffee can to urinate in and dumped it out the window. When that was found, I was not allowed to explain, I was just spanked for it and told that if I fought or cried it would only make it worse. Worse? You made my mother do it and when I fought you took over. My mother was never really one to hit us and what you did was despicable. What kind of experience was that really for a four year old to carry her entire life (I am 43 now)?
Let’s not forget the boozing and womanizing that was witnessed by my brother and I and in some way tolerated by our mother. In addition to that, she was emotionally and physically abused: A drunken night at the bar playing shuffleboard with the guys ended up at home with you yelling at our mother because she wouldn’t have sex with you or got upset because you were with another woman and the next day she would show up with bruises on her. She tried to hide these things from us, but we weren’t stupid. We had bedrooms on the same level as yours and my brother’s room was right next to yours… in fact, I believe there is still a hole in the door that he punched his fist through during one of your famous fits.
I have to write this in pieces because this literally makes me sick AND pissed off at the same time. So, to be continued.
I decided that I needed to blog to get some of the crazy thoughts of my past, present and sometimes future out of my head and on “paper”. I have lived a pretty dysfunctional life and feel like this may be a way for me to let loose of some of the hurt, resentment and frustrations that I have let build up over the last 40+ years of my life. My therapist will be so proud :)