First, update on Mom’s deathiversary: M ended up not coming up. She and dad got into a fight about her behavior of late and dad didn’t bring her. All the better for me, which I later told him. It was upsetting me way too much. And for those who think I’m over-reacting to the idea of dad dating, I would like you to take the time to actually read this blog. See that dad has dated before and I’ve had no issue with it. The issue with this was not dad dating, it was M coming up here ON THAT PARTICULAR DAY. Pretty much anyone that has heard mention of her coming up here that day has said how rude and inconsiderate it was, including people known for telling me the God’s honest truth.
What behavior caused the fight? Her using dad as her errand boy, when he lives 25 miles one way from her. And then? She asked him if there was the possibility of them getting married! After only “not dating” for a month, max. He said if there was, it would be at least a year. Come to find out, she’d already started making plans for an August wedding AND INVITING PEOPLE! Seriously? This is adolescent behavior, the shit we do as teenagers when we’re “head over heels” in love with our crushes. We doodle hearts and our names with theirs on notebooks, plan what a wedding might look like, think about our future lives. We don’t, however, plan the wedding and invite people before even being asked. THAT’S the sign of a person with some serious attachment issues, imo. And after the fight? She texted ME the next morning (the morning of Mom’s death, mind you) to ask me to apologize to my dad on her behalf and tell him how sorry she was for her behavior. Grow up, woman. Do your own work. (I did pass on the message, for what it’s worth.)
And now the reason for this post:
Yesterday I talked to dad to see if he’d talked to M since their fight, so I’d know if I could expect more text messages. If they did, and it was no good, I was going to delete her from my phone. If they didn’t, because he wasn’t planning on it, same thing. But they did, so I get to leave her. He was telling me, however, what happened on Tuesday. He took her to a doc appt about…70 miles away, maybe? While she was there, she took a med for her pain. 3 hours later, she took 2 more of a different drug (which she claimed to me today was for a migraine, but research says it’s what I thought – a anti-anxiety similar to xan.ax*). It caused her to slur her words and behave in a manner similar to how mom used to behave when she was on these meds as she was dying. Dad, quite naturally, isn’t willing to tolerate that. We discussed PTSD, how it happens not just with vets (which he is) but also with anyone who has had a traumatic experience (such as being there, mostly alone, for every moment that your wife spent dying over a course of 14 months). I told him that not being willing to tolerate that behavior from anyone else, drug-related or not, was perfectly acceptable and understandable. I also tried to explain drug dishabituation** to him, but I’m not sure he understood. He said he’d have M call me.
At any rate, while I was at the store today, I got a message from M asking if she could call and talk to me. Three minutes later, another one came in saying she’d talk to me later. I left the store and called her to find out what was up. She acted all high and mighty about her behavior with dad, how she knows what she’s doing, she took the second meds because she had a migraine, she’s a trained pharmacologist, blah blah blah. I was trying to explain to dad, not her, so I don’t care. If she’s trained, she should have known better! I told her dad doesn’t understand sick and pain, because he’s rarely sick and almost never in pain. He doesn’t understand illness. Mom’s cancer freaked him right the fuck out, because he didn’t know what to DO with it. He couldn’t fix it, he didn’t understand it, and it was always changing, morphing his wife into someone he didn’t know and who, at times, didn’t know him. I tried to explain to her what I’d told dad about the PTSD – she asked me if dad needed therapy! That tells me how little she knows about dad. He would never, ever do therapy and to suggest it would be anathema. He would view it as weakness. I know my parents went through some counseling while mom was sick the first time and dad made a bad decision, but…that’s the only time, and only because mom pushed him into it. He knew it was that or they were done for.
While talking to her, she then proceeded to tell me how mean mom was to dad, how nothing was ever good enough for her. No matter how much dad worked or how much money he brought home or what he did, it was never enough. I shared one of mom’s “secrets” – that mom had MPD the whole time I was growing up, something M never knew. Something MOST people didn’t know. I didn’t know until well after I was out of the house and mom apologized for my life growing up with that. I didn’t notice, I didn’t know anything was out of the ordinary that wasn’t just severe mood swings, but it explains a lot of things when I look back. So no, mom wasn’t perfect but you know what? Neither was dad. I also got to tell M about a fight mom and dad had once. Mom was upset about something that happened with one of her friends and dad, finally frustrated with her emotions (another thing he doesn’t deal well with) said “Have you ever seen your best friend blown up in front of you? No? Then you have nothing to be upset about!” and walked off. So go ahead, M. Tell me how mean my mom was to my dad. Tell me again how perfect my dad is and I will proceed to burst that balloon time and time again. I have examples that you can’t begin to know. I lived in that house. I know my parents. I know that there are things I don’t know, but I do know this: they were good to each other and to me. I had good parents – strict at times, but good. They had their fair share of problems – they almost divorced when I was 11 – but what married couple doesn’t?
I stopped her mid-rant and was like “listen, no, just stop. Do NOT disparage my mother to me ever, ever again. I will not tolerate it, do you understand? She is my MOTHER.” She kept trying to interrupt me with “no just listen, listen, listen…no, listen”. Like hell, lady. I will not listen idly while you tell me how horrible you think my mother was. No. Just no. She finally says “Listen, she was my best friend. She was always there when I needed her, I just had to pick up the phone. I know you were close to your mother like I was to mine, but mine was horrible, just horrible, to my father and I vowed I would never let anyone put their mother on a pedestal.” Don’t EVEN put your issues with your family onto mine, lady. Don’t EVEN. I don’t put my mother on a pedestal, but don’t pretend you know everything that happened. My family was/is private (I am far less so, obviously) and things that happened didn’t get talked about to many. Mom’s friend S probably knows just about everything that has ever happened – she and mom were kindred spirits – but I doubt anyone else does.
And then? To top it off, while I was talking to her I was walking in the house with my groceries and the child when one of the bags broke and my pickles crashed to the ground and shattered. Pickles I don’t buy very often because they are expensive but they were on sale. I cussed, like I do, and she was all “J****!(I LOATHE that name, btw) You swore! I didn’t know you swore! How long have you sworn?” I was like…since I was 13? I cuss like a sailor! Inside I’m thinking “you didn’t know I swear because you don’t know a god damn thing about me, so stop pretending like you do.” I’m not the “girl” she knew, I’m an adult. An adult who is going to be having a talk with her dad later this evening about the conversation today. I am done. Dad can keep her in his life if he wishes but I will not allow her into mine. There are red flags all over the place and I won’t have it. Her behavior is unacceptable to me and he needs to know that. He’s an adult who can make his own decisions, yes, but I feel that I should be able to weigh in on this.
Sorry this is so long. This took place over a 5-minute conversation. So much happened and I need to get it out of my head so that I can be civil when I talk to dad later. Thank you for reading, and for leaving a comment in advance!
* Yes, I know, not all meds are used for the purposes they are originally set for. I take plenty of those, ones not approved by the FDA for the uses I am taking them for. Still not the point.
** A single introduction of a different stimulus late in the habituation procedure when responding to the eliciting stimulus has declined can cause an increase in the habituated response. This increase in responding is temporary and is called “dishabituation” and always occurs to the original eliciting stimulus (not to the added stimulus). Researchers also use evidence of dishabituation to rule out sensory adaptation and fatigue as alternative explanations of the habituation process.