It’s been almost two weeks since my dad left, and they’ve been the most positive two weeks I’ve had in a long time.
My mom is SO happy. In the last few years she has gone from someone who fixes problems to someone who cries at any sign of trouble. She went from someone who loved being creative with meals and making dinner for the family to someone who just didn’t eat. She went from loving to paint with all the windows open and music loud to mostly spending her days in her dark room with Netflix. She stopped enjoying going out of the house with me. I always assumed it was the uterine cancer she had in 2011 that literally almost killed her. I just thought the fact that she went through so much had just completely broken her down. This was around the same time she received her Lupus diagnosis as well, so until recently, that seemed like a likely reason for my mom to become this person.
Except… it was all my dad. It was my mom’s constant fear of her efforts still not being good enough to make him happy. It was the constant guilt she felt for enjoying herself when he was always in the other room, angry about something. It was from constantly feeling small because she kept having to ask her children for money just to live. He was always complaining about dinner (“Chicken for the second night in a row?” “How is this a meal? There’s no meat.”), so of course she stopped caring about cooking. She couldn’t enjoy her time out with me because he literally yelled at her for feeling happy when he noticed she did. I feel so guilty that I have looked down on my mom and lost respect for her because of the way she began moping around our lives – I never once considered it was the man who I looked up to SO much causing it all.
My mom spent the entire weekend helping me paint and decorate my room. She painted a dresser for me, took multiple long shopping trips picking out paint and decorations and sheets. She stayed up past midnight two nights in a row helping me. I convinced her to buy hot pink sheets for her room because she actually felt excited about them. She bought burgundy hair dye. She has enough food in her house to last her the entire month. The house isn’t dark all the time anymore, there’s no tension just wafting through the air.
I love my dad so much. But I can’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth. I wish he didn’t leave her this way – there are ways to end a marriage that don’t result in hurting everyone around you and causing chaos wherever you go. He could have talked it all out and we would have helped him find a place in town and get a job or budget and do whatever he needed to do. My mom even told him she’d help him get everything he needed to rent a studio apartment. Nothing is good enough for him though.
He’s across the country now with his sister and I mostly just feel relieved that he can’t come back all the sudden. He texts me once a day to tell me he loves me, so I know he’s alive. I don’t really care to know much more than that, though.
On a different note – I go camping with Bear and his family this weekend and then he’s coming home with me! I AM SO EXCITED. He hasn’t been here since the beginning of December but I have visited him a couple of time since then (I think at the end of Jan and then mid March) for 3 days each. I’ve seen him only 6 days in the last like 4 months. I’m so happy he’s coming back. He doesn’t know the room has been redone so he’s going to be so surprised. There’s so much space for all his stuff now, there’s no way he won’t love it.
So, my dad took off on my family. Again. Let me start at the beginning.
Some years ago (like between 5-6 i think) my dad and my mom had a huge fight while I was at church, and my dad packed the car up and left. My dad at the time had a lot of anger issues but my parents were genuinely in love at this time and I was just a kid, and it was horrible. I cried so much. My heart was completely shattered. My dad ended up coming back that same day, he cried, he apologized. We found out he had depression issues he had felt too embarrassed about to say anything. We got him to the doctor and he got meds and things felt like they went back to normal for me.
March 2016 – My dad left suddenly again. I honestly believe my mind has protected me from some of this because I don’t remember how I found out. I just remember my heart broke, again. Bear was here with me. My dad claimed it was because we were poor all the time. He hadn’t been taking his meds correctly. My mom packed up all his things, my dad called me and told me he was going across the country to stay with his sister, who was messaging me on facebook telling me she wasn’t going to let him go. My dad was gone for a few days but when he left he took all the money with him. My mom had to scramble to figure out rent, and things were really really bad. My big brother stopped calling him dad after this. My dad came back a few days after he left but I could feel that things were not the same for my mom. My mom and I were the only two who wanted to let him come back. I was in denial. I wanted him back because I didn’t know how to deal with a reality where my parents were separated. This was an incredibly hard time. Nothing really went back to normal after this. My dad’s car got repossessed a few weeks after he came back. My mom became quiet and just got sicker and sicker (she has lupus, that’s what happens when she gets stressed). As the year went on bills started struggling more and more, and I was going broke every month paying bills for them.
March 2017, what just happened – I was watching a movie with Bear (he’s 3 hours away at home) when my dad comes in and tells me he’s leaving. I had known for a couple of months this was coming. He stopped taking his meds again. He started getting angry at nothing. He said some really shitty things to me a couple of weeks ago about how Bear doesn’t love me. My mom told me a couple weeks ago that she had a feeling that he was going to leave when they got paid in April. I knew she was right but I was scared. So anyway, he sat on my bed and told me he’s leaving because he isn’t happy. and that he’s tired of spending all his money every month making everyone else happy. He eventually left. I cried all night. He came back later that night, drunk, and demanded he stay the night because it was too cold for him to sleep in the car and that he didn’t have money to leave for like 5 days. The next day my big brother got him a motel room and came over and told him to go (he was nice about it, but again, they haven’t gotten along since he left in 2016). We spent Friday morning sorting out bills, trying to take his name off things and budget so we could figure out how to help my mom cover it. All the bills were days away from being shut off – he hadn’t paid most of them in months. We found out the trash bill was $75/three months, but he told us it was $75 a month. He was pocketing money from the three of us (my little brother and big sister and me) every single month telling us he couldn’t pay that bill. He was going broke every month but not paying the electricity or gas. I WAS GIVING HIM MONEY CONSTANTLY FOR IT. They were going without food even though I was giving them money all the time. I have no idea what he was using all the money for. I had to go see my dad Friday because he demanded money from me, saying he had no food and no gas for the car and no money. I brought him $40 even though I couldn’t really afford it. He told me my mom kicked him out, which no, he left and came back and so we got him a motel. that’s not kicking anyone out? But anyway he told me he went broke every month paying bills and that’s why he was leaving. BUT HE WASN’T PAYING THE BILLS. My mind was scrambled. I got home and found out he came by the house and demanded $40 out of my little brother right before I brought him money, so he told me he had none even though my little brother JUST GAVE HIM MONEY.
He isn’t coming back this time but everything sucks so bad. To think my dad has been intentionally lying and taking money from me so long… then says he’s leaving because he never has money… it’s horrible. I have no idea how to process ANY of this. My dad has some mental issues, that’s obvious to me, but could it really be to the point where he’s really this bad person and doesn’t remember being that way? I have no clue.