12 October 2023

Started unusually early with the driving and got over $100 today. That’s more like it, though I won’t be able to save all of that aside. Need food, need gas. Same old grind.

On the way back from Delaware(!), I nabbed a Tanuki run that was going down into Dublin just because it was seven more bucks and why not. Doug calls me not long after. I think, oh shit, and I was just north of Seldom Seen when that came in so I stopped at that Sheetz and canceled the Tanuki run. Doug was calm but quavery and quite unhappy. Dad was this close to going into a normal hospital room earlier today, and they took their eyes off him for like two seconds while they were processing all that and they turned back around and his eyes were rolling up in his head and then he was unresponsive. He’s still with us, but we don’t know how much of him is still with us or if he will wake up. Aunt Matilda is freaking out and Doug’s been the one talking with her, so he got to be the scapegoat.

See, he was supposed to go visit Dad with his kids back in June. His youngest has a different mother than his two older ones, who are from his former (and only) marriage. Emma, the youngest, was staying with her mom and then her mom decided to keep her an extra day… which happened to be the day Emma and Doug were supposed to leave for Louisiana. Doug had bought tickets for everyone to go, so for four people and two originating in Oregon and two others from Tennessee. Lots of money on the line. I think he’d already had to reschedule the trip once, so having to cancel again meant he lost all that money. He had seriously considered going anyway, without Emma, but Emma already knew the trip was planned and wouldn’t have understood.

Well, apparently Dad told Matilda about the cancellation but we’re not sure he told her why it happened. So Matilda threw that back in Doug’s face today. (Possibly again. I want to say she jumped his shit about it the day Dad had the seizure, too.) She’s not the only one jumping his shit; his two older kids, who aren’t kids anymore (Lexi, the younger one, is 23 this year!), are now not speaking to him again over the failed trip. He’s not having a good time this year at all.

I understand being aggravated with him. He’s been a flake all his life and he abused me when we were kids, and I don’t know what he got up to in his relationships and it could be he was an ass then too (though Moriah, his ex-wife, gave as good as she got; I was staying with them when they had one of their fights and she was raising her voice and being aggressive right along with him, and then her mother called and here come the waterworks. I couldn’t believe it — some kind of Jekyll and Hyde thing). But anyone can have bad luck, and just because you’re a flake or you do something wrong doesn’t mean someone else can’t be a flake or wrong you too. It doesn’t seem to be in human nature to take matters on a case-by-case basis but honestly, I think we’d be a lot happier if we learned how.

So anyway he’s beating himself up a lot. He’s also in therapy, has been for years, and he said he had a breakthrough with that recently where his therapist said to him, “You know you and your sister were abandoned children, right?” I thought that was a bit harsh to be aimed at Dad, who was in the military and couldn’t choose to be home more, but Doug pointed out that when he went to live with our father after his parents split, Dad was mostly gone because he worked for the oil industry or related industries that required him to be gone something like two or three weeks for every week home. It’s true that he didn’t have to do that. He was retired from the Navy and got a monthly check and it would have gone a lot farther in south Louisiana back then, so he wouldn’t have had to maximize any work wages; also, as a custodial parent and Doug still a minor, he could have pressed for child support had he wished. Only problem with that was the divorce wasn’t final until 1998, when Doug turned twenty, but Dad could have set that ball rolling too. Nah, he’d rather go away for weeks at a time with a(n at the time) minor child at home. So Doug got abandoned worse than I did, if that’s possible. I mean, we both got left to our own devices and not properly parented lots when the family was still “intact” (if you can call your dad’s second marriage an “intact family” — but from Doug’s point of view it would have seemed that way) as it was. So, us being a mess was probably always going to happen. But of course somehow when you hit the magical age of 18 your brain is supposed to reset and make you behave exactly as if you had been properly parented the prior 18 years. And of course if it doesn’t and you’re disordered because of how your childhood shaped you and other people react to you weirdly because you’re not following their script, that’s your fault too and you should just get over it.

Well, I’m over it, but maybe not the way everyone hoped. This is what you do when one of your own is faltering, folks. Have fun living with yourselves. I shan’t be bothering.

I haven’t asked Doug whether he’s told Thea about Dad. I sent Thea a message about the situation a couple days ago through one of her art accounts on Instagram, but she hasn’t updated that in a long time and she may have abandoned it. The way she’s behaved thus far, anyway, like as not even if she got the message she wouldn’t reply. When your social-worker best friend observes that your child has written you off and she’s never even met the kid, that’s saying something. Dawn’s on her main Instagram, too. We both theorized that Thea overlooked her, but Thea is not stupid (ignorant about some things, but still a pretty sharp young person). My personal theory, one I haven’t suggested to Dawn, is that Thea knows she’s there and this is a loophole for Thea’s “no contact” thing. This way I can still get news sometimes without Thea telling me directly. Thea’s account has not blocked me, either (I thought for a while that she had, but apparently not), so if she reads Dawn’s posts then sometimes she sees me comment, and she can come look at me too. It’s a whole potential thing. Sooooo… Dawn has shown she will not act as a go-between, and Dawn never told me they actually moved to Colorado, so unless Thea only told Doug that by direct message and hasn’t mentioned it on her Instagram openly, Dawn’s known all this time. So I’m thinking that at some point Thea said some stupid fucking thing about Crys being her mother now. Bet me. And Dawn saw it and didn’t want to upset me or get personally involved in the drama. It would be weird for Dawn to just randomly decide my kid has written me off with no evidence to back it up. Her go-to would be “well, there’s a lot of anger between you and she probably just feels better not talking with you right now.” That would be the usual social-worker explanation. Something in that vein. If she’s saying “written off,” she knows something.

I’m not angry at her about it. Given what happens when people I’ve known try to be go-betweens, how much shit gets lost in translation or misinterpreted or whatever, I would just as soon she not stick her nose in. There is nothing I can do in any case. It’s not like I can pull up stakes, go to Colorado, and kick Crys’s ass. Much as I might like to. I can’t fight worth a fuck anyway. So I’d rather Dawn stayed neutral even if it means I miss important information. And whatever the fuck Crys gets up to in order to mess with my kid’s head — before I had even left Ohio two years ago, she had suggested to Matt that she talk with Thea about knowing what it’s like to be abandoned by your mother, and I wanted to kick her ass then because she was a BIG reason I was leaving — my kid isn’t really a kid anymore, it’s not going to stick as hard, and at some point the spell will break. I don’t know what the breaking point will be, but my kid has already shown she doesn’t take kindly to being (or perceiving that she is being) fucked with. Age 25, in a few more years, her brain fully matures. With enough life experience and maybe therapy (if they stop pandering to her bullshit), she might start wising up. It will not be pretty when that happens. Pass the popcorn.

That’ll mean, of course, that she’ll still have reasons to be pissed off at me, but the gender thing and the my leaving thing will not be among them. And she won’t be seeing Crys and Matt as the Good Guys™ anymore, either. Fine by me.

It hit me sometime yesterday that everything feels different knowing they’re gone. I had spent two years afraid of running into her and upsetting her, or of having her be nasty to me openly. I wasn’t sure what I would say if I ran into Mr. or Mrs. Asshole, either. The anxiety around these possibilities was so powerful that I deliberately avoided the segment of major road they lived on; this situation has even affected my delivery-driver patterns all this time. Now? Now I feel like I could go anywhere or do anything around here. It’s like this great festering boil was lanced and shit’s starting to heal.

It’s terrible feeling that way about your kid. You cannot know how awful it was being in that house not being able to open my mouth because the most innocuous phrasing could send my child into a tailspin, and no one would run interference for me. Everyone was my enemy. My whole life was a fucking minefield. It was sickening. Literally sickening: I felt physically ill and suffered frequent bouts of insomnia for something like a year before I left and it got much worse in the final two or three months. They would mock me behind my back. “Mom’s stress-cleaning again,” because I had been awake all night and was cleaning in order to keep myself awake so I could reset my circadian clock. Oh ha ha, Mom’s stress-cleaning. Yeah. Your fucking mess because you’d rather spend all your time telling your fucking deviantART friends what a bigot you’ve got for a mom than picking up your fucking room. Brat. And your dad with his little online love affair that he had planned to spring on me all unawares had I not caught on to his weird behavior and called him out early. He would have brought that bitch right through the door, “I got married, here’s my wife.” He would have. I barely escaped with my sanity. I was cleaning his fucking neglect-messes too.

Well rid. I want a relationship with my daughter again one day, but that graying rotten haggis on legs can get run over by a bus right fucking now. I’m game.

You will notice I did not wish for his wife to get hit by that bus. I want her to watch, and then I want her to know what it’s like to lose everything. Enjoy.

You want to know what’s sad? I had a few Possibles over the years that I sort of pursued. I did. And I didn’t talk with him about them. The reason I didn’t talk with him about them was I didn’t know how things were going to go and I didn’t want to get him riled up over nothing. The one time I thought it was going somewhere because Craig was trolling me, though, I did tell Matt about that. Out and out wrote him a long email about it. Said I wanted to marry the guy and everything. I don’t know why Matt goes around acting like I have double standards about this. Wait, yes I do know. Same reason he’s had all along. He can’t be the good guy if he tells everyone how it actually was, so he has to make shit up.

The thing is, I don’t care about being the good guy. What angers me is that everyone made a bad guy into a good guy and they’re punishing me for basically nothing. I don’t have to be the good guy, but I’m NOT the fucking monster. I should have had real help the first time he went bad on me like this, and not from my fucking ex-mother-in-law, either. I thought I had friends. Where the fuck were they? Feeling sorry for people who had an easy out of the situation and who, let’s be frank, created the fucking situation in the first place. I was FINE in that stupid relationship until they started treating me like the fucking Handmaid. Do they even comprehend how fucking gross they are? Will they ever understand how fucking wrong they went where I was concerned? Nah. That’s why we had a problem at all. You can’t fix stupid. Or hateful, either.

I have a theory — here we go again with my theories — because when I got involved with Matt, he was still married to Vivien and they had been trying to have a baby. First weekend he and I met in person I had told him, “I want a baby.” I missed my son like crazy and I wanted a second child anyhow. So what if — here goes my theory — Matt thought about knocking me up, then taking the baby away and having Viv adopt it? The way he’s behaved all along it’s like he hated my guts but wanted to manipulate me — and yes, men will get boners for women they hate, and have all sorts of sexyfuntimes with them. It sounds incredibly paranoid, but it fits the pattern because otherwise there was a lot of shit he did and said that made no sense whatsoever. It would have been easy to take the baby, too. Matt could have shown I had lost one child to grandparent adoption already and that I was too poor to raise another one. With a halfway decent lawyer he could have fucking killed me. Bet me. The way he flitted off to Colorado with my daughter without so much as a by-your-leave fits the pattern too.

So, yeah. Whatever he says to anyone ever about how he supposedly felt about me, I haven’t bought it in years and I never will again. He fucked up big time.

He also doesn’t care, so I suppose I can consider that chapter of my life closed. If Thea comes back to me in any sense, great. But I also need to prepare for the possibility that she won’t.

I was also going to mention I have a job interview of sorts coming up Monday. It’s one of those temp agencies that places in distribution centers and we’ve got the holiday season coming up. I haven’t burnt this particular bridge yet. The “interview” will probably be pretty much them figuring out where to put me. If I told you the name of the corporation owning the distribution center you would recognize it immediately. It’s New Albany again. It should be fairly close to I-270 or to Dublin-Granville Road, so I’m going to look into that one apartment community I’ve been looking into in that area and if they’re a go, fantastic and if not, I can still do that other one in north Clintonville as long as they’ve got a unit available. If both of those fall through, there’s also an extended-stay hotel in New Albany in the same general area. I’ll be okay.

I wanted to do Major Department Store near Sawmill and Bethel, but they may only have part-time hours. If things look bleak I’ll try anyway, but I want to see how this goes first. It won’t be the $19 or $20 an hour that some DCs pay, but it’ll be pretty good and the apartment communities I am looking at have offerings for under $700 a month. Doable.

Ooh. I still need to look into the utilities situation. Not here. The situation with AEP and Columbia Gas from 2009. If there is no situation, fine. If there is a situation, I need to find out how to fix that situation. I would probably be a lot better off facing that drama than chewing my own foot off about things I can’t change at all.

There won’t even be a proper funeral for my dad, mind you. He’s donating his body to science, then they’ll cremate whatever’s left and the Navy will dump it at sea.

Abandoned again. Moving on now, I suppose.