Saturday, August 05, 2006

In which I lament being the offspring of a big jerk

My father and I have always had a difficult relationship. He was distant and overly critical and mean to my mother while I was growing up. I really hated his guts during high school because of one particular time that he yelled at my mother and I overheard. Really. Hated him for years afterward- we barely spoke, though we lived in the same house. Then while I was in college, he was a huge asshole when I came out- I won't list off the many ways- I still had to live with him for a couple of months in there, and it's the only time I ever flunked school. Along the way, he's been a jerk in many other ways- trying to control the whole family with his money, treating my big sister like crap, being a jerk in general to my mother. We had a couple of ok years after he started to get over my coming out- we were healing a little, getting to know each other a little, he liked J. Then I got engaged to J, and at first he wasn't going to come to the wedding (this was a year ago). That was a big fight, but we hashed that out and he decided to come. Things were ok again until about a week ago.
My mother called me, upset that he'd stopped taking his anti-depressant again (he suffers from major depression and anxiety as well as social problems). He's generally nice when he's taking his meds and mean when he's not. So poor mom is at her wit's end. We all went to my sister's that Saturday, and he was making snipey, mean comments. Mom calls me again yesterday, this time in tears. Now, listen buster- I don't know who you think you're dealing with- nobody but nobody makes my mother cry! So I go over to see her and she's upset because of two things. First, she comes home from a meeting the other night to a "For Sale" sign in front of the house- dad in his manic state has suddenly decided that they must sell the house- immediately. So, having not been consulted about whether or not she wants to sell her home, she gets mad and they have a fight and now he's not speaking to her. Huh? Weren't you the one who picked a fight, mister? You don't get to be mad. Then, because he can't get his tires replaced right when he wants to (oh my gosh, he'll have to wait until Tuesday), he decides he wants to sell the car now. Hm, impulsive, alternately manic and depressed- bipolar anyone?) The second reason mom cried is that she found some kind of something- I don't know what- and she thinks he wants to divorce her, after 38 years of marriage. Which I would doubt, because he's certainly no prize (obviously) and I don't think he would survive without her, but she's upset. So, that's bad enough right?
Last night he calls to say I'd probably get something in the mail today from him, and that he wrote it when he was feeling bad and that "I shouldn't pay too much attention to it". I ask him if he wants me to just throw it away then (and I could- I have very good willpower about such things), but no he says to read it. And then immediately hangs up. WTF? So I get this letter, and read it (background note: when I was delegating duties for the wedding, I asked him to distribute our checks to vendors that day so we don't have to worry about it). "Kate, You should find someone else for your check distributions. My present state of mind does not permit me to participate. Perhaps my doctor's letter can explain my condition. Goodbye, Dad", attached to which is a doctor's note he just got from his psychiatrist to say he can't do jury duty. Do I have this right? My dad just gave me an effing doctor's note to get out of coming to my wedding. What the effing eff?! This is not the 8th grade! If you're not coming then just say so, you jerk! And don't excuse yourself on the basis of your "present state of mind"- you chose to feel this way when you chose not to take your meds anymore, so don't give me that bullshit! But that phone call- "don't pay too much attention to it". Does that mean he's coming? Or not, because he still told me to read it. And even if he is still coming- why the hell would he send me this stupid, hurtful letter less than a month before my wedding? He really is the most selfish person I've ever met. I've often thought, given the way he can't ever seem to respect anyone but himself, that he's stuck at the developmental stage where small children genuinely believe the world revolves around them. Sorry, for the rant, but whether he's coming or not- I'm really, really, really pissed. I'm going over there to find out right now.


Dis said...

Delurking for a moment here...
First (and most importantly) congrats on the impending nuptuals! Sounds like you gals are going to have a fabulous day!
Second, you and your poor fam dealing with your dad... jeez. Just a thought but it sounds like he needs a new doc. It's obvious to *anyone* reading that he's majorly BiPolar (type one). Dude needs on some serious Lithium or Depakote or something. Unfortunately he seems like the type to pull the "oh I'm feeling better I don't need my meds" crap.
I was diagnosed with depression and ADD for years before a PA diagnosed me with BiPolar (type two). I got it in my head to take my meds regularly when someone equated it to a diabetic taking their insulin. Same thing in regards to the fact that its a chemical imbalance.
Good luck with your dad and best of luck to poor J who seems to have been run through the gamut what wiht her friend and gram dying within such a short span! Happy calming vibes in your general direction!!

starevelina said...

Hey, thanks! I have lurkers- that's exciting. I think he seems pretty bipolar, too. He definitely needs better help than he's been getting. I'm going to check in on him today, as my mom is out of town- we need to hash out this wedding stuff anyway, and I hope we can talk rationally about his depression/meds. You're right about the diabetic/insulin thing- I keep saying that if he had an organ transplant, he couldn't just stop taking the med that keeps his body from rejecting it, just because he's "tired of taking meds". It's a chemical, physical problem. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! And for the well wishes. -Kate-