Monday, May 9, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  It was a day full of emotions for me and my husband.  He's going away for most of the week on a business trip.  We don't have kids together.  I have none and his two have disowned him, but we were determined to have a nice day.

Mother's Day got off to a good start.  We had breakfast and my husband's mom called us.  We had a good chat.  Later, my husband did some rudimentary research and found out that his ex and her wayward clan had moved clear across the country.  That revelation sparked some spirited conversation, mainly because my husband's ex wife makes me sick for holding her kids hostage and using them to fight her battles.  Ex is evidently now in the same time zone as we are, which is a little spooky.

After that, I gave my mom a call.  She was not in the best of moods.  She hasn't been feeling well and she's dealing with my dad, who is an alcoholic with dementia.  She lives in an assisted living community now and has help with him, but I know she's worried about him dying soon.

I told my mom there was a chance my husband and  I might be coming up to the area where she lives; my husband has a business trip up there.  Naturally, if I'm in the area, I'll come by for a visit.  But somehow in the course of the conversation, my mom got the idea that I didn't want to visit my dad.

The truth is, I don't really want to see him.  The last time I visited, my dad pretty much ignored me.  He talked to my mom and my husband, but I was like a big blob in the room.  He spoke to me only to tell me that I'm too fat and called me by my sister's name.

Besides, my dad and I have never had the best relationship.  He was around when I was growing up because he had retired from the military and started his own business.  Consequently, I was subjected to a lot of alcoholic rants, the occasional beating, and plenty of mean remarks.  By the time I graduated high school, I was pretty angry and depressed.  It took a good ten years for me to get straightened out.

I lived with my parents for two years in the late 1990s, while I was trying to get launched.  While I was living with my parents, I got therapy and took antidepressants, which led me to make some positive changes in my life.

I've been feeling much better lately, but I find that I have to limit my time with my immediate family.  I don't do gatherings anymore because I usually leave them feeling like shit.  However, my family seems to think that I'm wrong for protecting myself.  They think I'm either overstating things or just plain wrong about my feelings.  My mom told me she wanted me to "put aside" my anger and subject myself to another visit with my dad.

So... I called my mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day and it turned into an unpleasant conversation about how I'm not doing my duty as my dad's daughter and submitting to more abuse from him.  And I should be willing and eager to submit to his verbal assaults because he's dying and, don'tcha know, he's not going to be around much longer to kick me around.

I got off the phone with mom and immediately had a meltdown.  My sweet husband was there to talk to me, which was a real blessing.  He's so good to me and he really seems to get how I feel about this situation.  I had good intentions when I called my mom, but it ended up being a bad idea.   No good deed goes unpunished.

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