Friday, November 14, 2008

Memories

My father and I have had some volatile fights. Two in particular stand out in my mind. I was talking to my co-worker and good friend today and it helped me to remember. The first, and really the beginning of the end in my mind... was on Mother's day when I was about 16 or 17 years old. Traditionally Mother's Day is known for being a total disaster in my house. Something awful always happens. I was cleaning for my mom and the vacuum broke. I asked my father to fix it and of course he ignored me. As he usually did. Something just snapped inside me and I starting just screaming at him... screaming like I have never done in my life. His lack of interest just broke my heart and infuriated me that he didn't love my mom enough to even help me so I could do something nice for her. My sister came down the stairs and saw me screaming and she immediately fell to the ground and blacked out. My dad just sat there on the couch, looking at me and laughing. Laughing. It was the first time I physically raised my hand at him.

The next big fight we had was at the dinner table. I asked him to stop slurping his soup and he refused. It's funny how I look back now and see how silly the action was. It is clear that my anger was built up from all the previous experiences seething at the top just waiting to boil over. He was laughing again. Always mocking me... so I screamed (again, like I always did) and told him I hated him and 'Fuck You' and ran out of the house. It was less than 30 degrees that night with 2 feet of snow on the ground. I just left... I didn't know where I was going I just knew that I couldn't stay there. He didn't go after me. I walked 2 miles in the snow with no coat before my mom and her friend found me. I was shivering, and crying and was turning blue at that point. We never talked about it again. He never so much as mentioned it to me. What I did was wrong and disrespectful... but in my mind he never deserved any respect and quite frankly I don't think he cared. What bothers me the most about that night is my 8 year old sister at the time sat outside talking to me begging me to come back inside because she thought I was hiding in the bushes afraid. That is just so fucked up. I apologize for the foul language, but how messed up is that? What kid should have to do that? I don't remember anything happening after that... we all just pretended like it never even happened.

When I was 16 my mom decided to have an intervention for my father. We had to meet with a councilor and write letters about the things my father had done to hurt us etc. because of the drinking. The people included my mom, my two sisters, my mom's parents, my dad's father and his oldest brother. The night before the intervention we all gathered at some cheap hotel to rehearse and review for the following day. **Insert a little about me. I am tough. I am the rock. I am the one who can and will do anything that needs to be done. I am the one who makes fun of you for all your icky feelings. I don't cry (in front of people). I have a hard exterior and like to make people think that nothing ever bothers me. I set myself up for disappointment so I am never actually disappointed.** In actuality that is such a load of BS. I am super sensitive, hurt easily and internalize almost everything. We all went around the room reading our letters. I hated my father and said it out loud at every opportunity. This was my revenge. This letter of all the ways he broke me. It came time for me to read my letter. I couldn't do it. I cried so hysterically the words would not even form. The next day my mom woke my father out of a drunken stupor early in the morning. He came downstairs to all of us sitting there in a circle. He was basically forced to listen to us and he was carted off to rehab where he stayed for three days and checked himself out. He disappeared for two weeks after that. He called my mom from somewhere in South Carolina... he was soul searching. He didn't know when he was coming back.
That was not the first time he abandoned us... and it certainly wouldn't be the last.

I don't know what made me share these stories... I guess I need to just start getting them out there one day at a time.

Have a great weekend everyone. Peace and Serenity.

Today I am grateful for:
Making it through
Alanon/ACOA
God

8 comments:

Syd said...

Kristen, that's some tough stuff that you wrote about. I also had a fight and words with my father. He hit me so I hit him back. I'm not proud of that. I thought that I hated him because of his drinking. I actually wanted him to die. But there was the flip side in which I loved him fiercely and never wanted anything to happen to him. When he died, I grieved a lot. We never had a really serious talk about much of anything. That's something that I regret. He didn't want to explore those feelings. He never wrote me a letter. I wish that he had. But I think that he knew that I loved him. And he was proud of me--he just showed that in his own way.

big Jenn said...

Thank you for telling that story. I grew up in insanity also. Today I know this for sure. I had to have those exact parents and circomstances to make me who I am today. I would never have survived till now. All the crazy stuff fits together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle right up to now. I wish I knew where the next piece went! jeNN

deanna said...

I can relate with everything you wrote. Oh, those fights we had were terrible and are painful to remember. I hated fighting, but the anger would boil over within me, and it was my only release sometimes. Of course, it accomplished nothing, but somehow it felt better than bottling it up inside. Thanks for sharing all of this.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Wow what a post, a lot of honesty and truth there...I applaud your courage and your posts!!

Thank you,
Gabi

Annette said...

Sad stuff. Alcoholism is truly a family disease that hurts everyone in its path. You are brave to face it and work your way through those feelings so you can be free from them once and for all.

Lou said...

The most telling part of this post is "we pretended it never happened"
How very sad! I can't & won't do that. Sometimes I think my family would like me to sweep things under the rug, but your post has further convinced me not to live like that.

Cat said...

Kristen,

Reading this made me see my son more clearly. The rage and anger taht bubbles to the top the need to get out and get away - regardless of the condition out doors - I totally see this and get this. It breaks my heart on one hand that you had to go through this, but on the other I am warmed at your thoughtful honesty here, and I have hope that some day my son will be able to talk about his ordeal as well.

Thank you for telling your story.

Cat

Pam said...

thank you for sharing all that sweet girl. i heard some of my own daughter in there....ouch.
but i'm glad you wrote it and I'm glad I read it.