...Must Come Down
2003-06-28, 10:01 p.m.
Unless you have had a slowly dying father, you will want to skip this entry. I doubt the rest of you would understand. It's all the usual post-parental-visit crap anyway, I don't know why anyone even bothers to read these entries.
It never fails that when I go visit my parents for a weekend, the first two days are great, happy, why-donít-you-come-home-more-often bliss, and the third day makes me want to kill myself, them, or all of the above plus any nearby bystanders. My theory so far as to why this is is that the first two days of a visit, Iím new, Iím fresh, and everyoneís on ďhappy company manners,Ē so to speak. By the third day, theyíve grown accustomed to me and annoyed by me again, and feel free to heap on the unhappy.
Iím not saying that I donít deserve everything I got here. Because lord knows I most certainly do.
Sunday started out with me needing to take a shower. The only one in the house is in the parentsí bedroom. Mom had already come into my room and bugged me several hours previously. I walked in when they were both in the room and just headed to the shower.
ďYou didnít say good morning to your dad,Ē Mom griped.
ďI never say ďgood morningĒ to anyone in the morning, Mother. Iím barely awake.Ē Plus lord knows I ainít perky. I donít acknowledge anyoneís existence unless itís forced upon me, really.
ďYouíve been awake for hours.Ē
While I was in the shower, Dad started crying. I donít know if it was because of me or not. I walked out and found that. I just walked out of the room, having no idea how to react to this, as usual.
I went back into my room and Mom followed me in to give her usual talk on:
(a) Why canít you show love for your father to him?
(b) He Canít Help Being Like This.
(c) Heís still in there trying to get out.
I dread this conversation like nothing else, because it goes nowhere. I try to dissuade her from asking me once again why I canít do it, and this never works because she is undissuadeable. She asks me time and time again to explain to her how I could possibly act like this and feel this way, and as usual, I canít. I donít even understand it myself, and her demanding I try to explain again and again only makes things worse and makes her feel rotten in addition to me. All I know is that Iím furiously mad at him for getting sick and above all else, stupid. I can count to ten, fifteen, fifty, one hundred and I donít feel any better, or calmer, or able to deal. Saying, ďHE. CANíT. HELP. ITĒ to myself a billion times a day makes no difference in how I feel and that my feelings are wrong. It doesnít matter that he canít help it. The problem remains whether he brought it upon himself or not, ďHe Canít Help ItĒ only makes you feel even more guilt when youíre mad than you already did.
She always reminds me, like I donít know, that he doesnít have all that much time left and in a few years heíll be dead and Iíll be sooooo sorry and kicking myself for the rest of my life that I didnít have a relationship with him while heís like this.
Yeah. I know that. I already kick myself for it, and I still canít bring myself to show affection to my father beyond making the occasional joke to him. I canít even FAKE that I can do it well. I donít want to hug and kiss him and feel what the disease has done to him up close. Mom told me to close my eyes and picture him the way he used to be while doing it, but I literally canít when touching him. I canít stand it when he speaks because no matter how many times I watch his mouth and ask him to repeat it, I still have no idea what he is saying. I panic if Mom leaves me alone with him and he attempts to talk to me. He often ends up screaming in frustration. All I feel is sick and mad. I donít want to let HIM know that Iím mad and sick at him, so I avoid him so as to not burst out screaming how mad I am one day. Itís the best I can do. Of course, Mom doesnít get why Iíd react like that at all and why Iím such a heartless bitch. It doesnít feel like ďheís still in there,Ē or that he is a person separate from the disease at this point.
Heís not pleasant to be around, and I donít know how on earth Mom does it. I think she is a saint for it, and lord knows I donít think I could be nearly as good about it as she is if this ever happens with Dave (please, dear god, no). And even she was saying that she gets mad too, that sheís not nearly as good and patient and accepting of him ďas I should be- he canít help it.Ē Well, if sheís not, then whatís the hope for the rest of us?
She said that being home this week made her realize how very badly he needs her, and that she might have to quit work to take care of him. Oh god. I canít imagine her sanity would do very well not getting to ever get out without him or have any semblance of her own life. She gripes that I can escape this and have my own little life and avoid dealing, and thatís why I wonít come home enough. Canít argue with that.
The conversation varied with her as we had to speak around Dad again while we were in the car. She turned to a different mode of attack, one where she wanted to know why on earth I donít stand up for myself, or ever express my true feelings about anything, or donít want to debate anything, or why I wonít even try to suggest a restaurant for the three of us to eat at. Two hours of screaming match over that one. Literally, two hours straight of screaming. As usual, sheís not getting that why I donít want to engage myself in the usual futile battles is because where did I learn that they didnít work? At her feet. Of course, when she talks about standing up to other people, she means like Hill or someone instead of herself. And expressing my opinion on controversial issues is not only worthless, but gets me in troubles that I donít want to deal with. Then it went into how I donít want to deal with anyone being mad at me- how I should be jumping through their hoops to make them happy and anticipate what they want from me instead of just trying to avoid anyone thatís mad at me forevermore. In short, I donít Solve Problems with Decisive Action and Telling Someone What I Really Feel About Them.
I am so burned out on all of that that I no longer want to try any more. It doesnít make me happy, it makes me more unhappy than when I stifle it all down. Iím tired of dealing with other peopleís unhappiness with my actions. I donít feel like I can give enough satisfaction when I try. I still try, mind you, I just seem to find other ways to fuck up and make them mad at me instead.
By the end of the night, I was a surly, burnt-out shell who knew already that sheíd spend the rest of the week biting everyoneís head off. My tarot reading for the day was frighteningly accurate, eh?
About the only thing that made me feel better was reading Pamie's book, as coincidentally, I managed to uh, stumble across something I related to. You wouldn't have thought it would have helped, but it did. Hell, I'm about ready to write her a fan letter, except I know better than to write e-mail to famous net people unless they request that I do. They've already got thousands of e-mails they can't respond to, they certainly don't need me to add to their load.