Friday, May 13, 2005

My Family Is a Circus

Yesterday was shaping up to be a good day. We went to the park, had a little dinner, went driving through Mount Tabor Park, had a family board game night (in which both my kids beat Jonathan and I at Sorry!). I took cute photos, and was looking forward to a nice, relaxing evening at home.

And then I made a horrible mistake: I checked my email.

Now, you ZPT fans have heard me bitch and worry about my dad before. We have a VERY rocky relationship, but as of late, I've tried to get along with him because he doesn't have much longer to live. Doctors are now saying maybe a year or two...tops. And that's it. So I have swallowed my tongue and my pride, trying to have some sort of father-daughter relationship with the man.

And damned if he doesn't make it as hard as fucking possible to do.

Last week was my son's 12th birthday. For the second year in a row, my father forgot it entirely. No card, no call, no email. Nothing. This, despite the fact that I emailed him a reminder AND called him two weeks beforehand and told him about it.

I was angry and hurt...but decided to remain civil. I emailed him some photos of the birthday party and waited to see if he'd apologize.

That was four days ago. Yesterday, I finally got a reply:

"Thanks for the birthday pictures. Sorry I forgot Phoenix's birthday. My new wife will send a card. Be nice. Love, Dad."

His. New. Wife.

Yes, ZPT fans, he's done it again. My father has gotten married for the SEVENTH TIME. And for the second time in a row...he has failed to make any mention of any upcoming nuptials to me, his eldest child. This lovely email was the first mention of any wife to me.

Seven years ago, my mother died. Nearly two years later, my dad left my stepmonster (to whom he was married twice for a total of almost 18 years) for a woman he'd met on the Internet. They moved in together, and I had a few emails and phone conversations with her. I told my father that if he was happy, I would support him. I was as kind as I could be to the new woman in his life, and relieved that the stepmonster was gone. Then they got married...and never said one word about it to me.

And before you ask...nope, they didn't run off alone and elope. They took my sister & her husband, my other sister and her boyfriend, my aunt, uncle, nephew and three cousins with them. It had been planned for weeks. No one said anything about it to me...until FOUR WEEKS LATER, AT EASTER.

I was stunned and horrified. I had no idea how to respond. How could any parent do this to a child? Just not tell me at all, as if I didn't matter.

Several months into their marriage, I made a visit to Ohio and met the happy couple. I let them know, in no uncertain terms, how unhappy I was about their failure to inform me of their wedding. I let them both know how much it had hurt me. They apologized...and like the idiot I am, I believed my father was sincere.

Until yesterday, that is.

Dad's marriage to Internet Whore lasted less than a year. She took off...and took nearly $60,000 with her. Lovely woman.

My father was nearly suicidal over this woman and her betrayal. He drank constantly, and would call up his children (me included), upset and depressed.

A few months later, he was dating off the Internet again. The result this time? A woman I'll refer to as "Karen."

Dad was immediately smitten, and moved her and her elderly mother into his home. I was wary about this...after all, he barely knew her. He gave her my email address, and she began emailing me obnoxious little notes about how she wanted to "get to know me" and how much she loved my dad. I asked her a few questions about herself---her full name, where she was from, what she did for a living, had she ever been married. The woman completely flipped out. She refused to answer any of the questions, telling me I was "nosey" and "had a bad attitude."

That is the WRONG thing to say to me. Like a red flag in front of a bull...and like the famous quote in "The Breakfast Club," if you fuck with this bull, you'll get the horns every time. Idiot bitch. And oh, did I mention she was only a few years older than I am?

That relationship lasted a few months, and then poof! No more Karen. All Dad would say is that it "didn't work out." That was two years ago. I have heard rumors within the family that they had gotten married, but I don't know if that is true or not. Dad refused to speak about Karen, and I didn't want to force the issue.

Two weeks ago, my dad emailed me to tell me he was dating a "nice lady." I am assuming that this is the woman he married; but of course, I could be wrong.

There are not words to describe how very upset I am about this. My father is married...and I don't even know the woman's name! To top it all off, he presumably missed his oldest grandson's birthday because he was too wrapped up in this new lady...who is probably just as much of a shitpile as the others were. Well, I guess she couldn't be worse than wife number two...she shot him (stepmonster was wife #3&4).

To add insult to injury, we had just finalized plans to visit my dad in the fall. We're going to Ohio to see my in-laws, and Dad had convinced us to drive down to Florida from Ohio to see him and go to Disney with the kids. Now, Florida is WAY out of our way, but it sounded like fun and we agreed.

There is no way in hell I'm going now.

My kids won't miss out, though...we are going to take a southernly route home, and stop off at the Disney park in California.

In case anyone was interested in my response to the email, here it is:

"You got married AGAIN and didn't tell me and I am SUPPOSED TO BE NICE?

You can all go to hell."

A part of me feels very badly for talking to my dad like this...but I am just fed up. I am tired of him treating me as if I am not really a part of this family. If that's the way he wants it, fine. I'm done. Cut my branch off the family tree. I can't take the weight of it anymore.

5 Comments:

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Angel said...

Oh My God. ((((((Angel))))))) I think you were alot nicer, and HAVE been, than I ever could be. You're doing the right thing, but I'm so sorry :(

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

If people didn't find it so hard to let go of their family members, I'd say FUCK THAT ASSHOLE! Whether he's right or wrong to treat your siblings better than he treats you, there's no reason you should agree with his assessment. It sounds like it's already been sufficiently hurtful to you, and it will remain so.

It's probably way too easy to advise others that it's time to throw the horses overboard. Therefore, I am biting my tongue, starting now.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

I'm so sorry. These type of selfish people never cease to amaze me. I'm just sorry that you were hurt by him so many times. Your response was perfect.

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger Pixie LaRouge said...

Oh Angel honey (sorry, I call all friends "honey" so if you don't like it, tough, you're my friend and now you're stuck with me).

I would say I can't BELIEVE he would do that, but as he's proven, it's believable. Damnit. Families are so complicated. If only we didn't feel so obligated to love them, it'd be so much simpler to say "fuck off" to them.

Prayers for courage and healing to you

 
At 7:43 PM, Blogger Zen Angel said...

Thanks to everyone...for support, and letting me know it's normal to be pissed at this. Hugs to all of you.

 

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