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Monday, May 05, 2008

Another failed weekend with Bio Dad

A week ago yesterday I got a call from my Bio Dad informing me he'd be coming to Phoenix for a little business and pleasure. He asked me if I wanted to throw a BBQ at my house either Saturday or Sunday and he would come over with his girlfriend Donna, her daughter and her grandsons. Not being able to say no to my dad, I agreed. I tried to get some details out of him for planning purposes. At first he said he had business in Tucson, so I doubled checked and he meant Phoenix. I asked how long he'd be in town and he said several days. We never set an exact date for the BBQ, he just said he would call Friday night when they got into town.

I stressed all week about how to get out of the BBQ. I didn't want him to come over and see that we haven't unpacked and decorated any further then we had when he came down in December (and saw us for 15 minutes). He doesn't understand depression, it's pure laziness to him. I've only seen my dad maybe 15 times in my life so for me, I'm constantly trying to please him, make him proud of me. But I just couldn't get up and clean, pick up, unpack, decorate. I couldn't even find the energy to really stress about it...I mean I was mentally stressed, but not like I normally get when he's coming, all manic and crazy. I was just too tired. There were numerous lies that would get me out of hosting the BBQ. I was more scared he'd just stop by or call and say he was on his way...how would I stop him then?

He told me they were leaving Salt Lake City Thursday and would be staying in Las Vegas that night (Donna has a daughter in Vegas), then they would be arriving sometime Friday. He knew I had to work until 7 PM Friday, but said he's call when they got into town. He didn't call. I woke up around 9 AM Saturday and he'd left a voicemail at 8 AM asking me to call him. When I called him, with a shaky voice he hesitantly told me they were at a graduation and wondered if we wanted to come to the graduation BBQ later on. WTF? I lied and told him I had been called in to work, but for him to call me when they were going to the BBQ and maybe I could get out of work by then. He called an hour later, they were at the BBQ. Still fuming, I told him I had to work until 7 PM. He said they would have some time available in the early morning Sunday, maybe we could do breakfast. Sounded good to me, so I agreed and told him I'd call him when we woke up. Since he said the only "available time" was early Sunday I assumed this meant I had officially escaped the responsibility of having a BBQ and that he would not be making over to our house. Phew!

Still I did manage to clean a bit, Sandy and Cody are coming this weekend and I need to get the house presentable. I'm not too stressed about not being unpacked or decorated. I know they love us regardless of what our house looks like.

Saturday night Keara came over and we had band practice (played Rockband) until 5:30 AM! I had planned on meeting my dad for breakfast, but we didn't realize how late it was until it was too late. I sent him a text message telling him I wouldn't be able to make it to breakfast and I'd call him when I woke up. Later that day when I woke up, I called and he said they were leaving to go home in an hour or so. Why didn't he tell me they were leaving Sunday afternoon from the beginning? I apologized we didn't get to see each other and said we'd give it another go when we come to Utah in June.

I've been aggravated since I realized he came down specifically for her graduation. Why is it that he can take two days off work, travel from Utah to Arizona for his girlfriend's daughter's graduation when he couldn't take an afternoon off work to come to my own graduation in the same fucking state? He has missed every single important event in my life, even my wedding. Why is it that every woman in his life has the ability to talk him into taking time off work to attend events important to them (not necessarily my dad) but me or my brother? He's a stubborn man, work has always been his first priority, I'm not even sure where family fits on his list. There will always be that little girl in me that is forever trying to get him to love me by "doing no wrong". I have never confronted him or explained how hurt I am by his absence from my life because, maybe if I can get him to love me enough, he'll want to be in my life, he'll want to give a damn. In recent years he's done better about calling, at least once or twice a year. He's said that he wants to make up for lost time and get to know us, but there is no follow through.

Intellectually I know that there is nothing I can do to make him want to be an active participant in my life. I understand that by "doing no wrong" in his eyes, is not going to make him love me more. I should be honest with him and tell him how I feel. However I'm not always sure if he's drunk when I call him, sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it's not. There's no sense in trying to have this conversation with a drunk. If I write him a letter, will he read it when he's drunk? When I do see him (maybe once a year), it's for only hours and sometimes minutes at a time, do I want to ruin that visit by having the conversation? There are just too many variables involved.

It's funny, when I was a kid I wrote Oprah a letter requesting to be on her show for children who want to confront their absent parents. Of course I never sent it and wish I had kept it. I remember it taking weeks to finish. I sat on my bed that I had moved in my closet, with the doors closed and rewrote it over and over again until the words were just right. I didn't send it for the same reasons I won't confront him today. I'm scared of rejection. I guess that's why I never sent those fan letters to Drew Barrymore when I was 12. LOL

So I guess that's it, I'm scare of rejection. Simple enough. Right? That doesn't change anything though. It's funny I was watching Prozac Nation (with Christina Ricci) on my lunch and there are two scenes that especially hit home for me. One where she's home for her birthday, her mom throws a party and invited her grandparents, she gets all trashed and ruins everything. The next day she wakes up on the couch, where she passed out and her father calls to wish her a happy birthday. She springs to life, tells him he's late but immediately forgives him with a smile and hangs on every word he says. Her mom walks in the room and interrupts the phone call, she's upset that her daughter is so sweet to her father when he does nothing for her and she who does everything has to put up with her psycho side.
My father never called on my birthday, never sent a card or gift. In fact I don't remember even seeing him between the ages of 6 and 13. When he did finally call, my mood immediately changed to pure joy and happiness and I too hung on every word. All this for a stranger, an absent father I didn't know.

The other scene was when her father popped in unannounced after a 4 year absence (her psychiatrist contacted him and asked him to pay a visit). She's asking him why he's not paying for her medical bills as promised. He says he never sees her, she never calls him. She stops him and reminds him that he's the one who walked away 4 years earlier. He says he knows, it hurts him too. He doesn't know how to fix it.
I immediately yell "Pay the fucking bills" at my portable DVD player as if that's the answer. I know how she feels all too well. He's the adult, he's the father, it's his responsibility to take care of her, keep in contact with her, be there for her, love her unconditionally.

Irony or not, it's pushing me to get serious about therapy. I'm fucked up. I could write a million and one books on my life experiences. Most of which I'll never disclose here, it's way too personal and I'm afraid my mom would find out, it would ruin everything. I always thought if I could survive my childhood, I'd have it made. My dues would be paid in full with your so-called god. Nothing else could possibly go horrifically wrong, but then Jack died. I don't know if these trials and tribulations are a test or a cruel joke. Either way, I'm telling you WORLD, this is me putting it all out there...I can't take anything else. My soul is exhausted.

10 comments:

Jory said...

See it's this kind of thing that makes me say something like, "Joey wants Rod Stewart to be her real Dad!" Then on and on for months, "In Rod we Trust" and so on and so forth all the way to "and his sexually ambiguous hair."

PS-Typo/Freudian slip: Second to last paragraph, last sentence. Blah, blah, I caught it first! Bam, who's next?

Joey said...

Typo corrected...Thanks hunny!

tom said...

sorry about your dad, Joey.

You guys NEED to see the album cover of Rod Stewart that my bro has. It so cool he put it on his wall! Rod is look like the epitome of manliness. Testosterone just dripping off him!

You guys keep talking about band practice. When are you guys actually gonna play a show?

Anonymous said...

i'm glad you are seriously consider help. The right combo of therapy and medications can work wonders.

You've had way more than your share of tribulation, and, lucky you, the prexisting disease is exacerbating your situation.

If you're sick, you go to the doctor. And unlike a broken leg, this disease affects every facet of life.

If i can help in any way, from a pep-talk to a deep conversation about everything, lemme know. I'm sure Jory's doing a great job, but there's strength in numbers.

I'm looking forward to seeing y'all in June. I bet Steve would let you guys set up your band equipment at his place. He has a big-screen. I'll bring SuperFan!

tom said...

or our pad, but we only have a 32". I'll be a good excuse to buy a big LCD.

You'll be without your lead guitar, perhaps i can step in. I bet April would get a kick out of it.

Joey said...

qxyroltvWhich Rod cover Tom? I wanna see it.

We invited Keara to come to Utah with us, but she just got a promotion so it's not a good time to take a week off, otherwise the Vicous Hippos would definitely play a show or two. ;)

I think we might be flying to Utah, we're weighing the pros and cons. If we fly, we can't bring Rockband, but Jory is convinced we can just buy another xbox and another rockband to leave at his mom's house...I'm sure he'll try to convince her to buy it, since it worked last time, she bought a PS2. I might just have to come up with a way to bring ours, so he will leave his mom alone!

Hey anonymous...I've read your comment about 6 times and I still can't figure out who you are...a few people come to mind but I'm embarrassed to guess. But because it's fun to guess...I'm thinking you are Michelle, Regina or Dom. Except that the only Steve's I know are Big Steve and Blosch. So who are you anonymous?

If we do bring Rockband...I'm sure the few of you interested can come over to Jory's mom's house and step in for guitar or bass. She has a big screen.

tom said...

anonymous is me. I just spaced putting in my name.

the Rod i'm referring to is the Rod mentioned in Jory's comment

flying is faster. I don't know if it's worth is buy all xbox, rockband, and all the instruments, how often do you guys get up here? what would you do about the dogs? Steve is Big Steve.

Joey said...

Tom you are crazy. I know What Rod...the whole Rod Stewart thing stems from me. When I was a kid I saw his music video with the little red headed kid and somehow that made me want him to be my real dad LOL I know it's crazy.
I was wondering what Album was hanging on Joey's wall?

We haven't yet asked, but Keara watched the dogs when we went to Florida, so we are going to ask her if she go stay at our house and watch the dogs again.

Of course I wouldn't let him buy another xbox and rockband...I think I'm going to hunt for a Rockband travel bag? or something that could be used as one? How else are we going to tour? LOL!

Well now that I know you are anonymous, I would have guessed Big Steve.

tom said...

i'm not sure, but he's looking all macho with his chest puffed out, holding a guinness.

One of the first time i saw boobs was over at my friends house, watching this new channel called MTV. the video for Rod's Infatuation came on, which happened to feature boobs. Ah, the days, MTV showed boobs in vids, now they don't even play videos!

michelle said...

I wholeheartedly agree with "Anonymous Tom" on this one.

I am a HUGE advocate for help and drugs, especially the DRUGS!! I have been on some form of antidepressents since about the age of 16. I have tried to go off of them and always just spiral back. I always end up on them again only to say to myself -'wow, this is so much better. A person doesn't have to feel like that all of the time'- I as well as most of my family struggles with depression.

In no way I am I trying to compare your grief and loss to just simple depression. It is so much more than that and I don't think people realize that (think back to the post about CW and work people).

I encourage you to reach out for help, I know that it is hard, but I really think that it will help so much. Maybe not right away, but give it time.

I am not saying that it is a miracle and a cure all. Nothing is and nothing ever will be. But it does make getting out of bed each day a little easier.

We love you so much and wish you the very best. I know I have not commented much, but I do check daily for updates to see how you are doing. You are always in my daily thoughts. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

I am really looking forward to seeing you in June!

Much love to you.

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