Daily Archives: June 17, 2018

Grief is a Blessing

There is something both beautiful and sorrowful when someone or something dies. Something spiritual lives on. Love persists and is a blessing. --Kitt O'Malley…

Happy Father’s Day to My Departed Father and to My Husband

Blessed with fond memories of my father, a loving father and grandfather. Grateful to have my husband, a loving and devoted father, by my side. That baby boy is now 6' tall!…

Cornered Animal

Not quite sure how to express my feelings at the moment except to liken them with a cornered animal. I want to lash out, hiss, claw. It’s not mature or rational but I guess my ego feels fragile (how is that possible,I barely have an ego left!) so fight or flight kicks in.

What sparked it was when my brother brought my kid home after church-and she informed me she made her ‘dad’ a card and a gift at church for Father’s Day. Now, we are coming up on the 7 year mark since that man snuck his stuff out of the house and announced his departure with a 20 second “Can’t do this anymore, not coming back” call. He smashed his phone and avoided all contact with us. It took four years and the court to force him to pay a cent on his kid. He’s never once asked to see her, shown her no interest the two times we’ve encountered him in public places…

I’ve been here the whole time, taking care of her, for better or worse. I’m mom and dad both. I am the good guy and the bad guy. I get the joy but I get the projectile vomiting, the hours of homework fights, the food pickiness, the “I hate you!” I get it all and he’s not stepped up once in 7 years and she’s not shown any interest in 7 years. Often, she’s said she’s glad she doesn’t have a dad because she likes it being just us girls.

So for her to come home, announce she’s made her ‘dad’a card and gift and asked stepgrandmonster to take it to him at his job at the gas station when they go there…

I am livid.

I was told they would only deliver it to the donor if I said it was okay.

Well, this puts me in a fucking bind. Because I am not okay with it. The man already abandoned her once. What’s to say he won’t do it again? Or flat reject her interest in seeing him? Or bring more trouble to the table?

THIS is my problem with organized religion, butting their ‘all families must be the same’ mindsets into our private lives. There was no need for this father’s day thing to be inflicted on my kid. And bitch of it is, she is so fickle and flighty, five minutes after they deliver this gift and open the can of worms called the donor…Spook will likely change her mind and say, “Na, I don’t wanna see him now, maybe next month.” And if she does that, then I will get the blame of “She’s keeping my kid away from me.”

He’s been playing that song for years to everyone who’ll listen and it was NEVER true. Can’t see your kid if you never come around, call, or even send a birthday gift. He had time for girlfriends and their kids, but not his own three kids. (Spook has a half sister and a half brother, much older than her by different moms, but half siblings just the same.) I don’t want to be sucked back into the drama, it is so toxic for my mental health.

But I can’t think of me. This is about my child. Yet it impacts me just the same.

So I feel cornered and it’s freaking me out.

I want more than anything to be the bigger person, to be secure in my relationship and bond with my daughter and not have any inkling she’d throw me under the bus cos daddy has more money or lets her run with sharp objects while he plays games on the computer. I WANT to be that person, the mature person who puts the child first. And after 7 years you’d think I’d be there. I have zero feelings for him that don’t equate with toxic waste, and most of that is linked to his habitual lies, self distortions, and the fact he abandoned all three of his kids. Not my ego, not that he broke my heart.

He just contaminates everything he touches, even worse than I do. At least I can maintain a relationship with my kid, he can’t even manage that much with any of his 3. And it’s always the moms’ faults, never his doing. He’s a born victim. And you come to realize that when dealing with born victims, you will never ever come out the better person because they will villfy you no matter how dignified you handle yourself. Still, knowing you’re the better person deep down, you know you kinda gotta bite the bullet and take one for the team. For the best interest of the child.

Except in my opinion, her best interests aren’t served by some religious organization forcefeeding ‘all families are the same, must make dad a card’ mentality down her throat. Making her feel bad when she said she didn’t see her dad and didn’t want to do it at first. That is such utter fucking bullshit. Religous types may mean well, but they’re ignorant and myopic. They don’t know our situation and they don’t know what kind of hornet’s nest this may stir up, especially for my kid, emotionally.

Best case scenario, he wants to see her and okay, we manage not to throttle each other on the rare occasion he can be bothered to play dad. And yeah, I mean PLAY because if you’re not present, you’re not being a dad. Or a mom or a parent. You gotta be there, in some capacity, not just when it suits your ego or boredom.

Worst case scenario, he doesn’t want to see her and she gets her little heart broken wondering why daddy is rejecting her again.

So, hey, society…butt out of people’s personal family matters. One size does not fit all and while your intentions may be good…my kid may pay the price in not good way and this cornered animal is not rertacting the claws.

Reaching Out and Reaching In

A lot has been said in recent days about reaching out when you’re in trouble psychologically. And that’s always a good idea. Reach out to your friends, your family, your therapist, your psychiatrist, your church or synagogue or temple.

hands people friends communication

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com  

Unfortunately, not everyone has those resources. And sometimes when you reach out to them, they do not reach back to you or even respond in hurtful ways.

Sometimes – many times – you’re just not able to reach out. That’s true of me, anyway. When major depression hits me like a truck, I get immobilized. Uncommunicative. Isolated. I usually have the wherewithal to get to my therapist, if my husband drives me, but not much more.

My family and friends can tell when I’m in trouble. And they do reach out, even when I don’t reach back.

My mother always knew when I hit a particularly bad spot because she could recognize it in my voice – it lacked animation, even if I was talking about something I loved. Not that I talked much or felt much. Depression can damp down all your feelings sometimes. You don’t cry, you don’t feel sad. You feel nothing. And it shows to someone who knows how to look and listen.

This is called “flat affect” by psychiatrists. The person’s face, voice, mannerisms do not reflect emotions, sometimes not even anxiety or despair. And sometimes people adopt a flat affect so as not to betray their inner turmoil. (It can still leak out around the eyes, even to relative strangers. And I don’t mean crying.)

My husband knows I’m depressed when I turn monosyllabic. Ordinarily, I enjoy talking to my husband about anything and nothing – things we’ve read or heard, what’s happening at work (his, mostly), funny things the cats did, and so forth. But when I stop responding and communicating, or respond only with “yeah,” “nah,” and “meh” sorts of answers, or don’t laugh or at least groan at his jokes, he knows I’m headed downward.

I stop communicating other ways, too. I don’t post on Facebook or only pass along the occasional pass-along. I skip commenting on posts regarding things I usually care about. I spend hours alone reading, if my sometimes-dubious powers of concentration let me. Or I sleep, and nap, then sleep some more. I certainly don’t leave the house or even make plans to go out. I don’t call friends. I isolate. I don’t reach out, like the memes say I’m supposed to.

I am fortunate to have friends that do reach out to me. John would lend me books, talk about them with me, and listen if I needed to vent. Peggy would call and invite me to visit, even when she knew I wasn’t leaving the house. Pete sometimes IM’s every day just to check in and JB assures me that when he IM’s and I don’t feel like chatting that’s still okay. Robbin calls me and tells me all about her life even when I can’t talk about mine, then says, “Let me know when you surface.” If she doesn’t hear from me for awhile, she calls again and reminds me that I can call her too. (She can also “read” my voice and knows when there’s some topic I’m avoiding.) My husband offers a hug or kisses me on the head. My mother prayed for me. I am fortunate indeed to have had people like these around me when I really need them.

Reaching out to others is good. So is reaching in to the suffering. Best is a combination of both. But that takes work and not everyone is able to do it.

If you can reach out, reach out.

If you can reach in, reach in.

If you’re lucky, you’ll meet in the middle, where hope lives.