I’ve realized lately just how toxic my father is. As soon as he enters the room you can feel the negativity and anger coming off of him. I sometimes wonder if this is part of my Conversion Disorder. I have always remembered my dad as being an honorable good man. I know he has his faults but nothing major.
My sister said lately that the reason she doesn’t like coming to our house is that when you walk in you feel all of dad’s gloom and doom. She’s right. And he has been like that since we were small. He fought hard to give us smiles and laughter. I never realized how hard until he stopped all together. I am now a ball of anxiety waiting for the other shoe to drop.
All of his bitterness, all of his sorrow, is on display. I love him and I want to howl in rage that a man like him is suffering. He thinks I don’t know how much he wants to be with my mom. I can tell by what he does. His actions say it all.
He isn’t finishing his dialysis sessions. The number of pigeons he has increases steadily. He isn’t following the kidney diet. He isn’t sleeping. He is easily angered and doing stuff outside that you would mostly see men in their 20’s do. He thinks it’s a victory when he survives and brags about it. I get pissed when I see him trailing blood in to the house.
Then he spends hours online trying to sell his clocks. He doesn’t know how to type and is somewhat dyslexic. He hasn’t admitted that to many people. The way he abuses that tablet I’m surprised he hasn’t punched through it yet. He becomes so obsessed that he tunes everyone out. With his horrible hearing it’s easy to do.
I wanted to show him one thing yesterday. I tried for 15 minutes to get him to focus. I finally gave up. My sister didn’t have time either she was volunteering at her kid’s school. She had told me she would be home after their lunch. I had planned to drop off some hair products and stuff for the kids. She didn’t answer the phone the rest of the day.
I’ve only had Dutch (my Chihuahua) settled under my left arm for the last two days. He doesn’t talk much but knows when I’m not feeling well. When my eyes fill up he tilts his head back and sniffs at my eyes. He’ll keep doing it until he catches a tear. Then he rubs his face against mine. Without that I would have nothing.
For once I tried to do something charitable that didn’t benefit me. I failed. It’s a feeling I’m used to. I try not to get my hopes up ever for anything. Our family motto is “If something bad is going to happen it’s going to be to us”. Recently finding out my mom’s maiden name actually meant “dark stranger” or “sinister” in some translations didn’t surprise me at all. My mom couldn’t just get Lung Cancer. She had Cervical Cancer while pregnant with twins and had to have an emergency hysterectomy after we were born. Years later she then was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. Of course that isn’t what killed her, Congestive Heart Failure did several agonizing years later.
My father has 9 lives. I’m afraid they’re almost used up. From saving the kids stuck on the railroad tracks and almost getting himself killed, the Portuguese Man Of War, 2 bouts of Peritonitis, a Quadruple Bypass, Lyme Disease 2 times, ran over his foot with the lawn mower, a rare virus that destroyed his kidneys putting him on dialysis, Temporal Arteritis that they caught minutes before he stroked out, bursting his eardrum 4 times, Aortic Aneurysm, I’m pretty sure I’m missing stuff but you get the point. And you might have guessed he hates to go to the Doctor and waits until the last minute.
I’ve never won at Bingo, scratch cards, or any contests. The one contest I won was rigged so that everyone won. So I was excited for exactly one minute.
I wanted the Janie’s Got A Fund Fundraiser to work because I know it’s legit, it’s something I’ve experienced, it’s needed, and important.
It bothers me that so many in my family didn’t take me seriously or care. My sister was busy at the beach and then going to a concert and after party because her husband of course knew the band. He used to be in a side project with one of the women in the band. They were going to be hanging out in Newport for the entire day and night. I’m not sure if anyone knows much about Newport, R.I. but where they were going is pretty high end. It isn’t jealousy, it’s pain. A lot of pain. I bought some new colored pencils yesterday. That was my big day. And I actually washed my hair.
The first pic is my Dad with Nixon, the next is him probably getting his first bout of peritonitis in the Navy, and then my sweet beautiful mom. I’ve probably shown these before but I miss her unconditional love and his smile that disappeared with her. He used to make me laugh even when I didn’t want to. Now it’s mostly yelling and tears.
When I woke up this morning and made my way down the stairs I saw a shape on the hardwood floor. I didn’t have my contacts in so it didn’t hit me right away. Then I could slowly make out the color red. I fell on my knees and didn’t care about the blood that had pooled around his beautiful head. I cradled him in my arms. He had been gone for maybe 45 minutes to an hour. He was 14 years old with a heart murmur. I loved him more than most humans. His name was JoJo. My mom named him that because she had the Beatles song in her head when we got him and his sister Gigi.
Jo was always skittish and only really liked my Dad. He sat in my dad’s lap for years and only slept with him. Gigi was friendly with everyone. She passed away at 6 when my mom who was heavily medicated at the time due to Lung Cancer accidentally let her out one night and she was hit by a drunk driver. How do I know he was drunk? He came back to our house to apologize after switching places with his wife. The police had shown up because I was screaming so loud. She was still considered on our property when he hit her. If he hadn’t been speeding and swerving so bad he never would have. My poor mom didn’t know what was going on. She would be put into a medically induced coma a few days later. (My mom not Gigi).
Yesterday I had to take my Dad to the Emergency Room because he was having tremendous head pain, vomiting and diarrhea. He has Temporal Arteritis. An immune disease that could have killed him. Watching him lying there weak and helpless was scary. It made me realize how alone I am. My sister came and of course tried to take over and criticized every question or comment I made. This morning she told me I make everything worse. I guess I do. I feel deeper, I cry harder, I hurt more than anyone will ever know. Sometimes things hurt me so much I want to rip my own heart out. I want to have so much shock therapy that I no longer know my own name. I want to forget everything that has ever made me sad. Because I’m tired. I just want to sit and smile without a care in the world. Without a thought in my head. I want to be as selfish as everyone else is.
I feel the same way I used to feel when I was younger. Without my Bipolar Medications working it all comes back. I’m back to the worthless piece of shit I always thought I was. Only this time I’m skinny instead of fat. I still hear their insults in my head though. “Fat f*cking c*nt”, “Fat cow”, “Hope you never get pregnant because no one would ever know” (the entire room laughs). Elephant noises being made at me at parties, being spit on, and then when they were drunk enough and no one was around it would be the opposite and I couldn’t say anything. I always kept my mouth shut. Most of the time. Until I started drinking heavily and could say what I actually felt. I kind of miss that. I hate this quivering, cowardly, scared, person I am all the time.
When you are constantly having every bad, horrible thing ever done or said to you in your lifetime spinning through your head it’s hard to live.
There are days of manicness mixed in. Days I think I know things and I’m smart. But something or someone always reminds me I’m not. Days I spend large amounts of money on things I don’t need when I have a pile of medical bills. I think of drinking more and more lately. I feel I might not have much time left and I should just have fun while I can. No one is helping me. No one wants to help me. A person shouldn’t have a body temperature of 93 degrees and NOT be in the hospital. Yet I was dismissed. I shouldn’t be down to 119 pounds at 5’6″. I shouldn’t have blurry vision, trouble breathing, red urine, pain in my sides and back, headaches that are from pressure or fluid in my brain, and fatigue while taking Adderall. It’s all in black and white in my file. Things I was never told. I have Diabetes and Hypothyroidism. No one ever told me. No one has told me YET! I went to 2 new Doctors that asked “So I see you Type 2 Diabetes and Hypothyroidism.” My response was “I do?”. Nice of someone to tell me.
I am constantly obsessing over the past. The people I hurt. Did I do enough for my mom when she was alive? Did she know I loved her more than anything in the world? Was my brother in law right? Do I not take ownership of the things I’ve done. Am I just lazy? Did I deserve everything that has happened to me? Do I deserve to live? I’ve actually been told by a few people that I do not. Then I was locked in a Bathroom with a knife and told to kill myself. I was extremely drunk at the time. I believed what they were saying. So I started cutting. Of course I didn’t do it the right way and they laughed at me. One said “You can’t even do that right you stupid bitch”. I believed all of this. Sometimes 20 years later I still do.
Sometimes I wake up and think I’m back at that place and I’m drunk. It is the most horrible feeling in the world. I’m so relieved when I realize I’m home and I don’t live like that anymore. It was worse than I’ll ever really admit.
If my family knew everything I don’t know how they would react. What they do know is sometimes used against me in arguments. That hurts. I drank to feel like a “normal” person. I drank so I could talk to people, so I didn’t always feel like I was outside looking in. To throw it in my face after almost 7 years of sobriety is hurtful.
I don’t know how all of this is going to go. I’m trying to hang in there. I did call a Nephrologist today and called my Urologist to tell them how crappy Mass General went. So I’m still fighting. That has to say something.
My father casually told me he has a tumor in his chest this morning. He doesn’t know if he will get a scan to see if it is cancerous. He says it’s because of the copay. He already pays 20% three times a week for his dialysis. He then went outside to try to catch a baby bird that got loose. But not before slamming cupboards and complaining about the shopping.
I had just started to make a Smores pie (Gluten Free). Everything overwhelmed me at once. I don’t quite remember all of it. I know I was crying and stuttering while talking to myself. I don’t know what I was saying. When my dad came back in the house I had a knife in my hand and was walking in a circle while crying, stuttering, and talking to myself. He couldn’t get my attention. I just kept going in a circle.
He said all he could make out was that I wanted my mom, that everything was my fault, and I asked where Pookie was. We had to euthanize him recently. I also kept saying I wanted to go home.
My dad took the knife from me and got a towel with cold water and wiped my face. It calmed me down. I was exhausted and left the kitchen a mess to lie down on the couch. It took an hour to feel somewhat normal. I apologized to my dad and asked if he still loved me. He said he always will no matter what.
Something has to give. The doctors need to figure out what’s wrong with my kidneys and the problems I’m having with my blood. If it’s interfering with my meds. I can’t take much more of this. I don’t think my dad can either. I’m thinking of bypassing the R.I. doctors and going to Boston. If 4 of the best in R.I. are stumped why am I still wasting my time with more of them? Maybe I’m just too scared.