Monday, December 15, 2008

Your Time is Gonna Come

It is incredibly windy here in Detroit today.  So windy, the dog poop shovel (no lightweight shovel as my dog weighs 120 pounds-for those with more sane methods of measurement, about 55 kg) blew across the backyard.  Maybe I'll buy my son a backhoe for doggie-do management this year.  There are very few critters to be seen outside today.  The temperature has dropped from a high of 52 degrees this morning to 27 degrees by noon.  Brrr.  Wish I didn't have to go out to work tonight.

Lately, I don't know what's gotten into me.  Ordinarily, I'm not one to suffer fools easily.  Like the gas station owners who advertised gas on the signs for $1.65 a gallon but when I got to the pump, they were charging $1.75 a gallon.  I guess if it hadn't been raining, I'd have gone inside to give them a piece of my mind.  I'm sure it isn't legal either.  I put 5 gallons in anyways and drove away without speaking out.  I didn't want to run out in the middle of a bad area or worse, the middle of nowhere.

My ex is on this list of people who have been annoying of late but I find myself not saying a word.  He always was a bit of a cruel person-one whose tongue is so sharp, he needs no knife to cut his food.  Heads up fool!  It's not good to mess with a mother bear.  She'll defend her offspring to the death.  It's not likely he'll ever see this warning here but perhaps, others will let him know that when he picks on someone, he should pick someone his own size, age, gender and level of pickling.  It wouldn't be wise to keep on this course of  mean spiritedness and expect no repercussions.  A day of reckoning is coming.

Now, except for about 6 words we exchanged at a funeral 4 years ago, I've not spoken a complete sentence to this man (I use that term loosely) in 12 years.  In fact, at that time, it was my husband who did most of the talking, yelling, swearing and threatening during that conversation while I kept saying, "hang up the phone-you're arguing with a drunk."  Whew.  I heard creative words that day, the likes of which would make a sailor blush.  I'm ever so close to breaking my promise to myself that I'd never speak to him again.  He has been harsh, cruel, unfair and punitive to my daughter.  He was always this way to me, but this is my baby we're talking about and I'm not going to tolerate it much longer.  What is it with people like this?  He never confronts anyone unless his tank is at least half full of 80 proof liquid courage.  He drunk dials and blubbers the worst imaginable things to his kids.  Not all of his kids.  My kid.  It's me he hates and he takes it out on her.  How can an adult behave in such a manner?  The old adage sticks and stones isn't really true.  Words do hurt and we should always try hard to use them with care.

Over the years, I chose my words carefully when she had questions about her father.  Why didn't he call or visit?  Why did he take her for the weekend and dump her at grandma's?  Why did he drink so much?  Why did he move 2,000 miles away, doesn't he love me?  Why did he dress up in Ugg boots, santa hat, no underwear and cut offs so short his kibbles and bits showed at family Christmas parties?  Well sweetie, that was the alcohol talking-though I'm not so sure that was the case with the Christmas get ups.  Thank God I never had to look at that!  I never denigrated her father, choosing instead, to allow her to make up her own mind.  Perhaps, this was a mistake.  The only thing I ever told her was that if he'd been drinking, I didn't want her to get in a car with him that he was driving.  Boy, did I get my arse chewed out over that one! Maybe I should have pressed her harder to attend Al Anon meetings for teens with drunk parents.  I thought, mistakenly, that the stability in our home could make up for his shortcomings.

Time and again, I've seen the sickest relationships in families with drunks.  I've heard other nurses wonder why families won't visit the patient in withdrawal or so sick from liver disease, they are lying there dying alone.  I don't wonder.  I lived it.  I know it's a disease and I should be full of compassion for these people.  I can't.  Someone else used up all my tolerance.

To my daughter, I'm sorry for the things I should have said and issues I should have pressed, but lacked the courage to do so.  I didn't because I couldn't take it anymore.  Sometimes, I was just afraid.  If you're smart-and I know you are-you don't have to take it either.  What do you owe someone who treats you so poorly?  Would you tolerate his behavior if he were a boyfriend or business associate?  Would you quit your job if your boss talked to you the way this man does?  You are a lovely person who deserves much more and better than this.  While it's true you can't choose your family, you can choose whether or not you'll take this treatment.  I could say a whole lot more but for someone who has only just found her tongue regarding this subject, this is enough for now.

Made up my mind, break you this time
Won't be so fine, it's my turn to cry
Do what you want, I won't take the brunt
It's fadin' away, can't feel you anymore
Don't care what you say 'cause I'm goin' away to stay
Gonna make you pay for that great big hole in my heart
People talkin' all around
No longer is the joke gonna be on my heart

Led  Zeppelin


Brenda said...

I could probably write a book about this topic, as my family is loaded with stories. It is a devastating illness that sucks the life out of everybody. Unfortunately when things get too much to handle you do have to walk away from the situation, and try not to look back, just to maintain your own health.

Rudee said...

I did walk away for my own health Brenda, but I feel bad I didn't protect her more. Your words are a perfect description-it does suck the life out of everybody.

Anonymous said...

You are too sweet. I think your daughter is a really lucky girl to have such a loving, caring and protective mummy like you. I have a feeling she's got a little more in store than what you'd expect.. or maybe she will choose the high road herself and let this be a lesson. I'm sure you've told her a time or two: "If you haven't anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all" ~ Sometimes silence can do more damage than slicing someone with your razor sharp tongue.

Rudee said...

You are right honey-I have told you these things. Sometimes though, it's ok to let it rip too. Try the ice first. If that doesn't work, feel free to use a flame thrower.

the rotten correspondent said...

The sad truth is that you can only protect someone so much. No matter how hard you try. It's especially hard when that mama bear instinct comes out...and especially infuriating when you want to lash out on their behalf. And for whatever reason can't.

I'm so glad you're well away from him. The kibbles and bits image alone is enough reason.

Sandy said...

Maybe third time is a charm. I can't seem to get a coment through here...


but I did read you and commented twice...


computer freezing up.