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.