This shit is real and really crazy
One year right before school let out for summer a very long time ago, I was at my Dad and Step mom’s house swimming in the pool with them. That summer I was beginning to clean their house for them and do their laundry. My mom had a very old washing machine and my Step-mom had a very fancy one with lots of buttons so I told my Step-mom I needed her to teach me how to use. I told her, “My mom’s machine doesn’t have fancy buttons” and she said, “Yeah but I bet I do it better” and then my Dad chuckled and said, “Nope, that was one thing Rebecca was great at. The laundry was perfect every day” I laughed. It was a rare compliment to tell you the truth. My Step-mom stayed in the pool a lot back then. She continued to float which she could do with no raft for hours. She could even sleep like that. We always said one day she is gonna drown from sleeping in the pool. Well while she floated my Dad and I got out. We both went and changed in to our regular clothes and he asked if I wanted to go sit on the deck. This was code for, Do you want to go have a father daughter bonding talk, so I said yes and we went out and sat there as it got a little dark. There was a nice breeze in the air. I loved that time of night. And at their house there were beautiful sunsets to the left, all kinds of colors. This was on the weekend and a nearby school had something going on and we could hear music. My Dad and I started chatting, he was the lead of the conversation as usual. I was kinda reserved in his presence, particularly at that age and in his presence. Some how we got on the topic of my mom. He said he really did love my mother, but he changed with time and she stayed like a child and that was fun for a while. He liked being the boss back then, but there was no challenge and he needed that as he got older. He said she never fought back. He grew apart from her because of that. He said, “And then there was all the emotional stuff too, I guess you don’t know about that, do you?” I told him I knew all about it. I knew my Mom had threatened to kill herself a lot while they were together any time she thought he might leave. He said he knew she would have done it too. He said she used to take off in her car and not come back for hours and it left him obsessively worrying the entire time. He wanted to leave. He said he told his parents he wanted to leave. But his Dad looked him in the eye and said, “Do you think it has been easy being with your Momma all these years?” His Dad also told him he would be disappointed in him and that marriage was a serious promise. My Dad was of course devastated by this. He was unhappy and did not want to be with my Mom any more and he wanted his parents to be on his side, but they took my Mom’s side instead. He eventually was seeing other women and eventually found my now Step-mom. And the time came where he was sure he wanted to be with her instead. He told me that he knew if he left my Mom that she would kill herself. She had always wanted kids. She wanted three but he had not wanted them. But he knew she wanted them and that she would do anything for a baby and this would allow her to find a new reason to live, instead of him. He looked at me, cigarette in hand and said, “Your Momma was forcing me to stay with her with that threat. I couldn’t live like that.” I told him I understood. What he didn’t know is that I had had times with my Mom where we would fight and she would take off in her car and I would be terrified she would never come back so I knew exactly what he went through, only I suspect he went through it regularly where as for me, it was rare. He looked at me, took a puff, blew it out slow and said, “I wasn’t sure I wanted kids. But I wanted to leave. You know I love you now, but that is why I got her pregnant.” This was a very weird thing to go in my ears and through my brain. I had never had a thought that this could be why. My Mom had never told me that. I knew he was never there when I was born. I also knew that when I was a toddler, maybe 3 or 4, he came back. Stayed a while with my Mom. I remember this because I remember standing outside my Mom’s bedroom wanting to come in, but I knew I couldn’t. Before he came back, I slept in the bed with my Mom so that is why I stood outside the door a lot. But he was not happy. He left again and that was the end. They fought a lot during those months he was back. I found out years later after this strange conversation I was having with me Dad that my Step-mom is the one who told him to go back for that time. He was aching over leaving her because he knew it was in a way wrong, he knew his parents did not like it at all. But she wanted him to figure it out for sure. So he would know what he wanted. He was with my mom a few more months and he figured out in that time he really wanted to be with my Step-mom. When he left, all I knew was I got to sleep with my Mom again. I had not been used to him being there so it made little difference to me. I know people like to end up in years of therapy because Daddy left them, but that is just not me. I really barely had any relationship with him at all for a very long time. He would take me to their house and I would “see” ghosts and cry and he would take me home to Mom. And this went on for a couple of years. It went on til he finally one night just said no. That I had to stay. That he was not calling my Mom. I cried of course but after that, I learned to stay when ever it was his weekend. I saw him every other weekend. And that is how it stayed for years and years. I found out years ago that the reason he started saying no to me leaving when I cried was because my Step-mom told him to say no. She knew it hurt him when I cried and begged for my Mom and left, so she said to him, You just have to say no. She will get used to it and it won’t be a big deal anymore. But the year we had this talk, we had been getting closer. He told me things he had never told me before. Just like this talk of how I came to be. I was not upset over this reason. Like I said, I had faced my Mom taking off in a car and me worrying she would kill herself. Suicide or the idea of it was very real to me at a very young age. So I knew how he felt. I was not upset, I was not mad, I was not hurt at all. I was shocked, but that was all. He looked so sad when he told me all this. Almost like he would cry if I got upset. But the thing he didn’t get and still doesn’t get is that I never cared that he left her. I was used to him being gone. I have an amazing relationship with my Mom as a result that I would never have had if I had had to share her with him. My Mom and Dad fought like crazy, if they had stayed together I would have grown up with constant fighting and yelling. I have a very loving Step-mom that I would not trade for anyone. I have an amazing sister who would never have been born. Yes I have struggled to have a relationship with my Dad off and on for years. But it was never cause he left. It was just how things were. The things that push me away from my Dad are things that go on between me and him. People think it is my Mom or my Mamaw telling me how horrible he is. And by all means, he is not perfect. We have pushed each others buttons and I have felt very distant from him many many times. But it had nothing to do with him leaving my Mom. I do not look back and think of how my life would have been better with a full time Dad. I once had a church youth councilor who spent an hour arguing with me about how I had been ruined by the divorce and that one day I would wake up one day and be devastated. Her name was Melissa and she was the reason I stopped going to Sunday school. And if I ever saw her today I would tell her that I am still not in therapy talking about my “Daddy” issues. I watch videos of my sister learning to crawl and I do see that he had things with her, that she had things with him that I never had. I am envious of this. I was envious of the look in his eyes. He looked like he would cry if she fell over. He was so in love with this child. He was so tender and attentive. So yeah, I am envious of that. I am envious of the Daddy’s girl bond they shared. But am I fucked up because of not having that? No. He told me that story about him giving my Mom a baby so he could leave that night. I could tell he thought I was gonna break. He looked scared. But I just took it in and then the subject changed and that was it. Well that is until the night he met Chris. Chris is my ex-husband. The night he met him, he told this same story. He told it out of no where. Nothing lead up to it, I have no idea what made him think of it. But he did tell him none the less. In fact we were laughing about it. This story that would horrify some was just amusing to us. Something to chuckle about. When me and Chris left his house that night, Chris asked if I already knew that. I told him I did because my Dad had told me once before years before. Chris thought it was weird, but it just didn’t bother me. I mean how could it really bother me? I existed because of this reason. He did not want kids. He wanted to just leave and be done with it. But my Mom’s depression and suicidal threats made it impossible. It was his only solution, for all I know it was my Step-mom’s idea. He has never told me how he got this idea. But why should I be upset about it? I am fucked up as they come, but I am glad I was born. I am glad he left my Mom and met my Step-mom who later had my sister who I am very glad to have in my life. None of this would have been possible if not for him doing this with my Mom. I do not look back on my childhood and think of how horrible it was. Maybe the whole going to Highview Baptist School in 5th-half of 7th grade and then later going to MICAH for 9th-12th grade. Wasting my time making friends with original Tara and Ash. But I do not hate my past. I had a good childhood. My mom suffered from depression through out most of my childhood, but she took good care of me. She raised me and rather it be her house, or my Dad’s house, all my friends wanted to be at my house. I was cool, I had all the cool toys. I even had Nintendo. If my Dad had just left my Mom, she might have killed herself. Or maybe she would get over it and live. But I would never have existed, I would never have known every sensation and friend and family I have ever known. I was kinda a messed up kid, I was a spoiled brat and got away with waaaay too much. But I had a very fulfilling life. My Dad leaving my Mom made my life better, not terrible. I have never for one second had a moment where I thought other wise. I am alive because my Mom was suicidal and threatened if he left, she would kill herself. I am alive because my Dad fell out of love with my Mom, but still loved her enough to keep her alive. My Dad saved my Mom and gave me life. That is the way I would say it if I had one sentence. My Dad saved my Mom and gave me life. My Dad still when he gets drunk gets weepy and starts telling me how he knows he is a horrible person for leaving and leaving me without a full time Dad. I always tell him that is not how it was and is not how I feel. Actually the last year or so, when he gets drunk he apologizes for making me messed up. For making me crazy. He suffers from depression and other things and so does my sister. He thinks it is all his fault. I tell him every time that it is not his fault and if we really wanted to put blame on someone, we should blame Myra, his birth Mother because she is completely nutters. But he will not accept this. He blames himself and that is the end of it. I do not blame him or his birth Mother. I do not blame anyone. I am who I am. I am what I am. It just is. We hardly ever have time to have these talks now because he lives over an hour away. And most of the time he has had a few drinks to get the courage to talk to me about all this. The last time he had a few drinks I came out to him as being bisexual. I assume he remembers this, but who knows. I feel good that I did it either way. I wish I could have taken a picture of his face when I said it though, lol. His eyes looked like they would pop out of his head. I am closer to my Dad right now than I have ever been in my entire life. There is no more bullshit. He can’t send me to my room for back talking. I can’t pout every time I hear him say something I do not like. We talk now. He hugs me now. We laugh now. We know we hurt each other a lot over the years. I feel he hurt me more, but I am sure from his point of view, I am the one who hurt him more. We did a lot of damage to each other. But if all that damage has lead to what we have now, I regret nothing. I do not regret the fighting and the angry journal entries I left in notebooks. I do not regret removing him from my life for right around two years. It has all turned in to this thing where we are equals. He now knows he could lose me and I now know it hurts to not have him. We know better now. Everything is better now. It all lead up to this. I now love him and I like him. I no longer fear him. He can be a real jerk sometimes, lol. But so can I. Or as my boyfriend says, I can be a real lady jerk sometimes. I love my Dad more now than I ever did, even as a child. I am happy to be where we are. And all the bad and the good lead to right now, right where we are. Our relationship is getting stronger with time and I am better at standing up for myself when he pisses me off. I do not just run away. He is even better at almost kinda sorta showing he is sorry… even though he swears he did not do anything lol. My sister bought a house a while back. My Dad lives an hour away from her and from me. He works on… he owns and works on a marina. He has to be there every single day of the week when it is even the tiniest but warm. But now, while it is cold, he is here. He is only 20 minutes away from me. He has been helping my sister with her house a lot. So I asked him on Christmas eve if he would help me with a few things. He gave me a lot of shit and I was kinda pissed in my head because he had been working his ass off to help his wife and my sister. I felt cheated for an instant until he was done having his fun picking on me. Then he put his hand on mine and gave me a smack on my hand and said, “When are the two of you going to figure out I am just kidding. I’m your Dad. I am always gonna help.” That statement meant the world to me. I love my Dad. I love my Mom. I love my Step-mom and I love my sister. My life is supposed to be this, my past was supposed to be that. Life can have bad moments. But my life is fuller right now than ever. This was supposed to happen. It was God’s plan. And if he did make me crazy, well as not fun as it is sometimes, it is equally fun sometimes. And if I were not who I am right this second, crazy and all, I would not be with Jason. And I love him so much it is just disgusting. He is the perfect match for me. I love love love him. This is my life. I do not want someone else’s life. I would like to be a mother, thinner, smarter and more outgoing and more athletic and a lot of other things. But I have to give these things to myself. My Dad gave me everything he could, everything he had, and all he has now. I do not want to be someone else.