Friday, July 2, 2010

Confront, don't cope

Brian sent my parents a message telling them about my situation and asked for their support. My mom called me this evening, not knowing if I knew Brian sent her the email. She was just feeling me out to see if I'd talk.

I did. Boy did I. And I probably pissed her off, but I had 12-15 years worth of stuff to say. RFor the first time I said what I REALLY meant. Not examples, not scenarios, but real issues. Most of it was about my dad. No big surprise there. It wasn't stuff like, "I'm mad dad grounded me for a school year," or, "he hurt my feelings." Once I got rolling, I couldn't stop. It was like my eating only it was words coming out, not food going in.

I told her to stop defending things my dad did to hurt me or my sister. I told her to stop defending what he did to her (mom). Its not appropriate for only his feelings, opinions, values, etc., to matter. I told her it saddened and hurt me to see my sister and mom be taken advantage of by him. She continued to defend him and justify all of his actions. I really feel bad that I had to do it but I reminded her of the day Grampy, her father was buried. I didn't want to hurt her by bringing it up but I had to show her what I was talking about.

I just looked back and can't find a post about it. I guess I spared my dad's reputation in case family was reading it. As you'll read later, I don't care anymore.


August 27, 2008

We buried my grandfather in the morning. As the ceremony ended, my mom grabbed on to me and told me she wanted to go with him to be with him and her mother. (Grandma Jeannie dies when my mom was 16.) I had to drag her away whispering in her ear that she needed to stay with us for me and my sister and Brian's kids and my sisters future kids. My mom was a mess. After going to the luncheon my parents, Brian and I went to my parents house. We were spent. It was a long few days for Brian and I, and an eternity for my mom after caring for Grampy for so long. We changed clothes--actually maybe we didn't even get that far. We were sitting in the living room when I heard my dad ask Brian if he'd drive him to this town 30 minutes or so away. Brian dutifully said yes. My father then started spouting off to my mom, "where's the title? I need it now. I can't get a replacement now and I need it to get the other bike."

I'm sorry. What?

Yes, a bike. As in Harley-Davidson. Right now. Three hours after burying her father, my mom is crying and scurrying around the house looking for the title to a Harley that "needed" to be traded in so the new one could be picked up. Today.

Pardon my French: "Are you fucking kidding me?"

My mom does what he asks....sometimes with an attitude but she does it. She searched all over three floors of the house for the title while he sat in his chair fiddling on the laptop. I lost it. I went off on him about how she just buried her father, says she wants to go with him and be with her parents. As her HUSBAND, all he is concerned about a fucking motorcycle. I can't remember exact words but I want to say he made some comment to the likings of, "are we going to sit around here all day? We aren't doing anything else." Its justified in his head.

He left. Mom and I napped. A few hours later he returned with a new white Harley. One, we found out, he didn't even like the ride of because it vibrated a lot. He didn't know this because in the fury of his hasty purchase to have the new best thing he never took it for a test drive. Oh, and did I mention this purchase was made in the amount of time it took my mom to snoop around the ladies section at the Harley shop? She came to meet back up with him and thats when she found out he bought the new bike. I guess when you're making a purchase that fast---before your wife is finished trying on some leather chaps or whatever it is you get at a Harley store, you wouldn't have time to go for a test drive.


So, I pulled that card on my mom. I didn't want to hurt her but I had to do something to her to make her realize, if even for a second, how he hurts people to gain self-righteousness. Now, maybe I wouldn't be all that upset the day I bury my dad, but if the day I bury my mom Brian says to me, "Sarah, I'll be back, I'm going to go pick up a new truck," Shelley better have her spare bed made up because he won't be living in my house any longer.

She started crying and said she understood. She stopped defending him. She couldn't talk bad about him, although I heard her say a few, "yeah that hurt my feelings." I'm not asking her to talk bad about him. I don't expect her to stop defending him.

Actually, I'm not asking her to do anything other than for that moment in time to take a step back and acknowledge that she defends him and that he hurts people. That and when she defends him it hurts my feelings because I don't understand its okay to defend him and his actions but talk shit about me when I confront him. I don't expect her to stop. I just need HER to understand why I can't be involved with him anymore.

My family is all about protecting or avoiding confrontation with one person. He knows that. That gives him the power he wants. I told her I'd love to tell everything face to face to my dad. I really would. But I really have to weigh out the benefit vs. the frustration of it all. He wouldn't listen. He wouldn't admit he has faults. Nothing would change.

My mom told me she supports me and wants me to do what I have to do to get better. I told her that may mean cutting all but a thread of ties to my dad. She told me to do what I have to do to make me better. She knows I have to do it. It hurts me, but I have to do it.

Sometimes you just gotta stand up for you. Who cares if feelings get hurt? No one thought about that before they hurt yours.

I wrote that on my facebook page the day I found out my dad wanted to hire my ex-husband without talking to me about it first. Initially it was just a comment venting my feelings. Now I'm starting to think of it as a motto. I'm not saying I'm going to go around and be a feelings squasher, LOL. But, I can't keep letting certain people hurt me and get away with it. They don't care about my feelings and how their actions affect others? Then, I'm done worrying about protecting yours and hoping you'll change.

I'd like to think I'm sorry to come to that conclusion. Instead, I feel some relief.


Rebecca Palm* Gallimaufry Photography* said...

Good for you! That had to be cathartic. I am sorry you had to grow up with a man like that for a father. I have known a few narcissists in my life, but thankfully none were family.

bird said...

I saw this quote and just wanted to share it with you.

You'll never know how strong you are....until being strong is the only choice you have.