it's been a minute, but not as long as before, so that's good. it's been a crazy couple of weeks since i last wrote. i saw my dad for the first time in almost exactly a year. for being so similar, we haven't had what i'd classify as a close relationship in years. a really long time. but i was set to visit and even though i thought it might be overly optimistic, given that he, more than my mom, seems to be aging at a more rapid rate... i was hopeful that somehow we'd be able to connect and have a meaningful conversation in person. i wasn't fully holding my breath on that one, but i was optimistic. there is only so much time in this world and i've found my voice to at least be able to ask for things like time. cheap and easy things to ask for all things considered, but surprisingly not valued sometimes by many.
first event of my arrival was a dinner slated with my aunt and uncle who have previously professed their strong dislike for my dad's wife. which is sort of amazing really given how often they've had to interact, but i really appreciate their honesty. at least with me. i held my breath and expected fireworks. a real shit show. but dad picked me up alone. no wife. a convenient excuse, but i wasn't buying it--i was by the coast and things smelled a little fishy. i thought perhaps my uncle had something in the past--wouldnt' put it past him--unlike my family he's not one to hold his tongue or his opinions. but apparently that wasn't it. there was an intimacy with them that i haven't felt before with my dad--always with my mom. they invited us to israel next year and i loved the idea. LOVED the idea. dad even seemed game. didn't think of any other parties and how that might be. loved the idea of going there with my dad. and showing him what i've seen etc.
we were too full for dessert, but the drive home proved to have it's own serving of bittersweetness. there were many, many things about this trip that took me back and caused me reflection etc. the drive from ft lauderdale to jupiter--about an hour ended up being one of those cases. my father has a history (and my friend too) of telling me intimate and potentially stress-inducing news in the car. it's a situation where you don't have to look one another in the eye, and where you can't get away. taxi cab confessions exists for a reason. going on the name--never seen the show. so on the way back he relays that he and wife are having issues. big issues. anxiety floods me and i'm not sure what to expect, but suddenly the big change in vacation plans--a boat trip to "mechanical issues." seems to be less off putting and annoying to me personally and make a whole lot more sense all around. he didn't want to to tell me before i came down as he didn't want to stress me out.
things during the next 6 days are a little bit of a blur in sequence of what happened when and what was disclosed in sequence of things, but basically the end result is/was this:
my dad's wife had slipped deep into a sea of alcoholism. she wasn't living in the condo, but at first i thought it was just for my visit--found out later it was part of the 30 day ultimatum. so many feelings flooded me on this information. not and never have been a big fan of hers. he cheated for at least 2 years before leaving my mom. my mom after 27 years of marriage was devastated to figure all this out. became a drunk (thankfully not now). and he told me he was moving out as he picked me up from the airport from a college visit in boston. dad of the year award. husband of the year award. for sure. it was a close race. i had no idea until recently how traumatic this was for me given that they were such a good match overall and that i'd only ever heard them fight/shout once and it was right before. after he told me about a family friend blanking on 2 years of her life pretty much i realized that really...i'd done the same for at least almost a years worth of time. i've never held really good self-soothing techniques and there were a lot of ways it wasn't handled well in regards to not being able to say anything to people we knew etc. i blocked a lot of it out because it was so upsetting. i know that now. but it's weird to not remember a lot of a time in your life. one thing that proved that was a picture of a play i was in my senior year--resurfaced last week or so and i don't remember the wearing the dress at all. i'm a visual person. i could tell you at that time and probably now what i wore to the doctor's office a year ago. this dress: nothing. weird. fact.
so anyhow, i got time with my dad. alone. talking. expressive. it'd be wonderful but at the same time i felt terrible. i could tell, unlike with my mom, that he'd tried. a lot. and she's really alienated people around them. and embarrassed him in so many ways. and i have all kinds of feelings on it. why was i treated the way i was around her? it was like a total 180 without her. and i was still around her some--we were nice to each other. civil. conversational. but i realized without her (and not being a scapegoat) how many of our issues were because of her. and because of distance.
so i got my wish. and i had these really amazing conversations that were totally open and honest and emotional. with my dad. but unfortunately(?) for the wrong reasons. and he seemed so decided, but now i'm not sure. i can't tell if he's in love with her still...scared to be alone...or scared to bear the mark of shame of another divorce given that he didn't try with my mom. so he's trying. everything.
he didn't respond to two of my calls last week. which was a bummer, but given all the stuff going on i wanted to give him an out and be understanding. her 30 day ulitimatum ends friday on the 27th. she has to be checked into rehab. have a counselor he can talk to. and be on hormone therapy. nothing has happened so far.
i called him last night and he told me he's doing an intervention thursday morning. his final attempt. i'm so full of mixed feelings on the whole affair. for my dad. for me. for my mom. it's hard. i want him to be happy, but everythign aside i don't see that happening with her. and success rates are low. and it's sad. and it's made me think a lot about relationships, my dad, alcohol, expressing feelings. and i just don't know what to expect, but to try to not expect anything until there is an outcome. he's trying. will she?
it's weird to root for things not to work out, but also want the best for someone. it seems wrong. but right.
the hardest part i think is not being able to be open with my mom about it. but i'm really proud of myself for respecting his privacy. and trying to strengthen our relationship and trust. and i admire him if nothing else for trying to damn hard.
i just hope it works out for the best...for everyone.

previous next

When you wish upon a star... - 01.02.20
Reunited. CFT - 08.11.15
i wear my heart under sleeves. - 03.24.15
what happens in jupiter, stays in jupiter. - 02.23.15
i'm leaving this thought so that i can leave this feeling behind. - 02.08.15

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