Realizations from a Trip Down Memory Lane

I spent two days more or less reading my old journal for the entire last year we lived in London. From the moment I got there and Papa began reneging the offer he had made to his son and the family fought and turned against one another, sometimes changing sides several times in a day. It was a true nightmare. Near then end I spoke of suicide endlessly.

I was getting over the hysterectomy I had had in Portland and wasn’t at full strength. But what’s full strength when you weight close to 300 pounds, your knees ache, and you have constant stress migraines?

To say that entire year was Shakespearian is a huge understatement. I could barely keep track of the drama and I was the one who lived it and wrote it. But the primary thing I saw was that there came a time when my husband really could no longer be civil to me and of course he simply blamed me for his actions.

There were tremendous fights, some of them physical, once when he held a knife over my foot in a fit of rage, telling me to “stomp your foot one more time. Just one more time.” I had been sitting on the edge of the bed, unaware at all that I had stomped my bare feet on a carpeted floor — never could figure out why of all things to focus on that’s what he focused on. But everything stopped while I looked at that knife in his hands and realized if he stabbed me, it would not just be my foot. He was truly at a breaking point. And I was there reminding him just by my sheer presence that he had failed me again and we were finally completely out of money and options.

His family had screwed us over AGAIN.

I probably wrote a half a dozen times in that journal, that at least I knew he loved me. At least I knew that. Even though he was cruel to me, he did love me.

But he showed me when we returned to the U.S.A. that he didn’t, really. In fact, he felt more or less nothing for me by then. I take that back he did feel something, he seemed to be repulsed by me.

So I was wrong about that. He didn’t love me. He was barely able to conceal his hatred of me. All because he felt like an utter failure.

I was reminded over and over again at the weird and horrible way his dad is threatened by him, and even by me to a lesser extent. To see a father, and sometimes a mother treat their only son that way was inexplicable to me. At the same time I knew he used the exact same language with them as he did with me which was vile and cruel.

The worst part was the threats, veiled and otherwise, that they made to one another to report them to this and that agency. This, again, is inconceivable to me, no wonder there’s no trust there. It’s as though they are all still in the Middle East and threatening to tell on their neighbors. It’s a threat culture that I have no experience with. Thank god.

I sort of wish I hadn’t read all that. At the same time I’m okay. In a way it’s shown me quite clearly that our separation and eventual divorce was inevitable.

I know without a doubt that I will not go into business with him when the money comes, if it comes. But I won’t tell him that until I have my hands on the money.

My father got a disc in the mail yesterday from the school he retired from over a year ago. It was a video they had made and promised him a copy long ago. The whole school plus teachers lip synced to “Call Me Maybe” as a farewell to him and it was adorable. I was there at the school when they played it for him.

But him watching it yesterday made him cry. I’ve never seen my father cry in my entire life. He tried to explain to mom and I how it made him feel. How he wanted to go back and be there every day.

What can you say to a man who now relies on oxygen most of his day? That “your days of working are over now, dad”? When working has been your entire existence. My heart simply broke for him. I walked to him and tried to comfort him. I rubbed his shoulder and back a bit. My mom came over and tried to comfort him.

He said he needed to get over there more, and go to see the kids at lunch time when school is back in. We said, yes, you should do that. But even that will be hard for him. He’s now having a harder time walking even with his oxygen, and he would never use that in front of the kids and teachers.

I can only imagine how helpless he feels, and hopeless. If I can possibly get a business going I’ll give him some responsibility so that he knows he’s needed. People give up when they don’t feel they have worth. He has a ton of worth to the entire family. To be honest he’s the rock of the family. When he is gone we’ll have a hard time being a family at all.

My heart is simply breaking for him.

And it’s breaking for my brother whose mentally ill ex-wife has used every penny of the hundreds of thousands he gave to her and he has no more to give. And his younger daughter, equally as ill, hating him and blaming him for everything. For my sister, stuck in Louisiana because she won’t leave her grandchild and her drug addicted son. And for my daughter who is stuck in a job she can’t get out of and a boyfriend who won’t commit to her. My young, handsome family is no more.

And the patriarch of the family is slowly dying. I cry just typing that. I pray he lives for years more. I pray. My mother, who isn’t very kind to him, will be a basket case when he’s gone. She’ll lean on me so badly. I need to have a business in place so that I can help out for fuck’s sake. If I don’t have a purpose to my life by then we will be at one another’s throats. I have to be working or in a business of my own. Period.

The other interesting part about reading all that is it is very obvious to me that I am emotionally and physically much more healthy now than I was that last year in London. I need to remember that and be proud.

Yes, I am gimpy with aches and pains, but they are fairly easy to ignore. I have energy and drive now and if I could just have a little luck by getting this money, I have a chance to turn my life around, and also help my family. So much rides on this.

My parents were young when they had us. We were always a handsome and young family. I used to think we must be related to the Kennedys.

Now we’re not young and not handsome. But I’ll be damned if I’ll let us go down without a fight.

Progress has been made. It’s true that I may never fuck anyone ever again. I may never live with another man again. But if I have any say over it, I will help my mother, father and daughter to get back on our feet and have some quality of life.



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