Curve balls in my inbox
Warning: This post is rated R. I cuss a lot in it. Well, more than normal. If you are offended by bad language, are an in-law of mine or have an ounce of class, I apologize. This is just how my brain works.
It has been a week since I’ve blogged, thanks to poor Simon coming down with RSV and a double ear infection, which followed Paul having bronchitis, blah blah, and I have had like 9 posts in my head but none of them have come to fruition. I was going to bitch about Declan’s school Valentine’s party and the metric ton of CRAP he came home with, while I was the ONLY MOM who didn’t send candy or toys BECAUSE THEY HAD A PARTY WITH CANDY AND COOKIES, but like 40 other bloggers said it better than I could, so I’ll be lazy and just say: Ditto.
Simon, like I said, was so sick. I actually considered that he might have whooping cough for like 3 seconds and made the COLOSSAL mistake of Googling “whooping cough sound clip” and convinced myself he had it and was probably dying. I NEVER do that, and I will never do it again. Anyway, RSV is no walk in the park, but he’s fine now and I didn’t even need an iron lung.
I had this whole post planned out in my head about the ups and downs of the past few days, because it seems like there have been a lot. But before I could put fingers to keys with the post I had in mind, something different came up. And I can’t ignore it.
I’m learning as I go that while I intended for this blog to be a place where I make stupid jokes at my expense (mainly) all in the name of telling the truth about motherhood, it’s turning into more than that. It’s becoming a place where I tell the truth about me, funny or not, in the hopes that by sharing my journey, others will relate, laugh, argue or think. And in order to stay truthful, I can’t avoid writing about topics that arise just because it isn’t funny or cute or irreverent.
So what popped up? A message from my father.
I haven’t heard from him directly in over 7 years. And literally out of NOWHERE, on Tuesday night, I get a Facebook message from him. Isn’t technology awkward? It really provides the most bizarre opportunities. His note said that he is away on business and while running on the treadmill in the hotel, he watched my husband “kick ass” on Jeopardy and it was cool. And that he hopes I am doing well. Or we are doing well. I can’t remember. And he signed it with his first name.
I started laughing.
Of course. Of course you are emailing me to tell me you caught a rerun of a game show featuring my husband, whom you’ve never met, (for those that don’t know, Paul was a 4-day champ on Jeopardy! last February) a year after it happened. Of course.
I was cracking up. I read it and reread it and then called Paul into the room. He read it and laughed. Then he asked if I was ok. The good news was, I was totally ok. There was a time in my life that seeing his name in my inbox would have sent me into a near panic. My stomach would tighten, my face would get hot. After reading, I would shake and have cold, sweaty palms. I’d get angry and then get upset and more than likely have nightmares for the next few days. Yea, stability isn’t my strong suit.
But none of those things happened. No knots, no tension. Just an eyeroll.
Then I realized I had to figure out how to respond. Because no matter WHAT I do or don’t do, it sends a message, and the message I want to make crystal clear is that he does not affect me any more. And because I don’t know what his motive was in doing this. Was it truly just his asinine thinking that after years of silence, it’s perfectly normal to drop me a line like that? Or was this bait to see if I would communicate back? Did he have more he wanted to say? And if so, did I want to hear it?
Since I can’t speak for him, I only focused on my response. Ignoring it was my first thought. But doesn’t saying nothing say SO MUCH? To me, it does, and Paul agreed. So I handled it the way I would if anyone I hadn’t seen nor spoken to in years wrote me a short, random note. I responded with an equally short response. “Thanks, it was cool.”
Shew. OK, that wasn’t so bad.
Except it’s not that easy. It’s never that easy.
Even though I fully believe that I am in a good place and I fully believe that I have healed from everything my family estrangement did to me, all those scars still exist. And this small note, this message typed out on a SmartPhone over Facebook, acted like a sharp blade to those scars. It didn’t rip them open, but it nicked the surface. And it still hurt.
The next day, my brain was going 90 miles an hour. Why now? What does he want? What will I do if he wants to meet up, to talk? What if he adds me on Facebook? Could I handle him knowing my business? I know a lot of his, he’s the vice mayor, plus for some reason, people love to tell me stories about their run-ins with him. (People, if you know someone has suffered a painful experience, don’t bring it up every time you see them, ok? Seriously.) I figured by me writing him back, I was opening the floodgates, and I had no clue what to expect.
As the day turned into the evening and I hadn’t heard anything back, it dawned on me that it would be just like him to write me that note and leave it at that. Just randomly drop back into my life just long enough to make sure I know that he can contact me at any time, and 99.9% of the time, he chooses not to. And then I got angry. I got angry for remembering how it felt to know for 100% fact that your own father wants nothing to do with his only child. I got angry when I remembered all the years I wasted thinking how fucked up I had to be for an almost entire family to cut me out of their lives, how bad it hurt to be cussed out by an aunt and have already-purchased Christmas presents left on my doorstep by my grandmother and to realize that no, actually, no one was inviting me to Thanksgiving.
And then, WHOO BOY. I got REALLY ANGRY. I had a thought out of nowhere in my brain about 10:30 last night that went something like this: I wonder why he didn’t email me last year when Jeopardy! was all over the local news… WAIT JUST A GAHT-DAMB MINUTE! WHY IS HE EMAILING ABOUT THIS, PERIOD?????? I wasn’t even on the damn show! My husband was!
I got really really angry that over the past 12 years, my birthday*, all holidays, my college graduation, my wedding and the birth of my sons have earned zero reaction from him. But a rerun of my HUSBAND on a game show? THAT deserves a mention?
* full disclosure: the first birthday after my parents split, my dad called me drunk and crying. And then a year and a half later, after he had told me he didn’t want anything else to do with me, he randomly called me to tell me that he would be attending my college graduation. It was meant as a punishment, not as an honor. I had made it through all this shit and was graduating despite what had happened, and he wanted to rain on my parade. I sat through my graduation so drunk from the night before I almost vomited in the bushes on the way in. He never showed.
Oh wow, I was HOT. Red hot. FIRED UP. EXCUSE ME? EXCUSE THE FUCK OUT OF ME? You are going to sit there and ignore my ENTIRE EXISTENCE and then give me a “kudos” for something you caught while jogging in the New Orleans Hilton? OhnoIdon’tthinkso. That is NOT how we do things.
So yea, after a good freak out last night, I realized how insane this whole thing was. How psychotic, really. On what planet is that acceptable behavior? None. That’s what. So he can email or not, he can ignore me or not, it doesn’t matter. This sums up why my life is better off without him in it. This kind of madness doesn’t fly with me. Not any more.