Saving Daddy's Soulmate

My Journey of Forgiveness

Lost and Alone

If you’re lost and alone
Or you’re sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

Cause we are
We are shining stars
We are invincible
We are who we are
On our darkest day
When we’re miles away
So we’ll come
We will find our way home

If you’re lost and alone
Or you’re sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

Carry on, carry on

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Daily Post ~ I Remember

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Daily Prompt: Can’t Drive 55
by michelle w. on August 29, 2013

Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO!

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SPEED.
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/daily-prompt-speed/

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Lyrics:
Long time since I've seen your smile,
But when I close my eyes,
I remember
You were no more than a child,
But then so was I,
Young and tender.

Time carries on;
I guess it always will,
But deep inside my heart
Time stands still.

I REMEMBER.

I remember so much from being little. I remember wearing a man’s dress shirt as a nightgown when I was about 5 years old. We’d gone to his friend’s house about 2 hours away and I guess at the last minute, he decided not to drive home. Probably because he’d been drinking. Why he took me there with him, I have no idea. And why I wasn’t with Sissy and Mom at home? Mom says he took me everywhere when I was little. I think it’s because she was having some type of breakdown. She’s never been very strong mentally nor emotionally. It’s no wonder considering the life she lead. The lies and pretending that she lived with for so many years. It’s probably because she is so strong or co-dependent that she stayed with him. I know I couldn’t have stayed with him if I’d been his wife. Heck, I didn’t want to stay as a daughter.

It’s snippets of strange memories that lurk within me and I’ve no one to ask why I remember walking out of a bedroom in a strange house to a kitchen. But I remember his friend’s name and I remember the town we were in. It could have all been innocent, but because of what I know, I am never sure. I picked the song because I heard it today and I wish my memories would stay for awhile so that I could make sense of things. Or at least stop haunting me and let me move on.

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You hurt the ones you love the most

IMG_0650It’s like walking a tightrope these days.  Mom has forgotten who he was and misses him more everyday even though we’ve passed the magical one year mark since his death.  I thought it would get better and it has to a degree.  But the weekends are harder for her because he had closed off their world and they didn’t really socialize.

Sometimes I remember back at him over the last few years and I am sad.  He was a very vibrant man when he was at his peak.  When he was on, in front of a captive audience, he was the life of the party back in the day.  I remember how he was then.  I enjoyed him, sometimes.

But during those days too, he could be mean, all for the sake of a laugh at my expense.  He twisted things so that it served his purpose.  Sure he taught me to drive at age 11, I began working in his office at age 13.  By 14 I had my own checking account and was trained by him (his wording) to take over his business.

I wanted nothing to do with it ~ or with him.

I couldn’t trust him.  One minute he was my friend and the next, my enemy.  After so many years of ugliness, I have a hard time remembering how I once loved him so much.  How I loved to dance with him, to feel like I might be ‘Daddy’s Girl’ for a bit.  But then the ugliness is remembered and I’d rather be anything but.

He wasn’t very nice.  He had no self-control.  He rarely said sorry.  Many times he would tell me that ‘you hurt the ones you love the most’ and I would silently beg in my head to him, ‘don’t love me.’

But then he would always tell me I was his soulmate and all that it implies.

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Choking My Life

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It wasn’t his partner, but his lover. I simply couldn’t write lover the other day. Even now that he’s dead. You know, we knew all about his other life for about 10 years before he died and we never said a word. I don’t know how that happened. There just was never the right time to say, ‘hey Dad, I know.’ I actually did say to him that we accepted all of him at their 40th wedding anniversary. Sissy was appalled and dragged me from the table. She didn’t want me to open up that can of worms that night.

But we never said another word about it. In fact, in Mom’s recall, when he was crying on the couch after being jilted by his lover and hanging his head in disappointment and shame, she held him and then led him back upstairs to their bed because she didn’t want to the girls to know. And she’s told us that she never once talked about it with him again. She never asked who HE was and Dad never told.

There were others along the way as well. He wasn’t a one woman man nor a one man man and we knew. In high school, the anorexia returned for me in full force probably because by then, there were reports of him wearing an earring, hanging at the gay beach etc. All the while, Mom stayed mum about it all and just carried on as if he wasn’t traipsing about town gaily.

I never realized the toll it took on me until I actually said/wrote it in my last post. It’s like there’s a small lifting of pain. Perhaps a layer of guilt, shame, ugliness has been lifted, althought there is more to the story of Daddy’s Soulmate. It’s just I have to get up the courage to tell you. There are snippets of strange memories that I have of us that don’t make sense in my mind.

I’m getting a headache. I need to lie down. It’s like the vines are choking me ~ hence the picture.

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Anorexia and The First Affair

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He didn’t want a funeral. He didn’t want a wake. He wanted a service but it was precisely documented with the funeral home of exactly what he wanted ~ who spoke, what readings, what songs. He didn’t want a military funeral although he could have had one. That was the only thing I did that he didn’t want. I wanted the pomp and circumstance and I got it. Surely he forgave me, but one can never be sure.

Sissy and Mom were of no help, but then Dad and I knew that I’d end up running the show. Perhaps it was because he knew this that he put me in charge of everything. I’d been in charge of everything my whole life, not by choice, but by default. I was good at picking up the pieces, consoling all the others when he was angry. The only person I could never console was myself.

I first stopped eating in 6th grade although I didn’t know what anorexia was then. All I knew was that I was nauseaous all the time and just couldn’t tolerate anything except water and milk. I was terribly thirsty all the time. I didn’t speak, just slept for a week. Doctors could find nothing wrong with me until finally one doctor simply told me I was fine and things would be ok. As if he’d produced a magic potion, I was cured.

Nobody ever talked about it nor wondered what had made me stop everything in my life. In fact, I don’t think I ever allowed myself to know until I started to put the pieces together years later. The timing of this first bout of not eating coincides with the affair Dad had according to Mom’s storyline. He was ready to leave us, came home crying because his partner decided at the last minute not to leave his wife and family and ended the affair.

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Princess of Tides

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Last night I rewatched the movie The Prince of Tides. Do you know it? It’s an older movie with Barbara Streisand and Nick Nolte. I attached the trailer below so that you can see it. I have to tell you that as I watched it, even watching the trailer this morning, tears are rolling down my face. Even though the circumstances are a bit different, having painful childhood memories haunting us rings true. And I just want someone to love me, to walk me through this hell like Lowenstein did for Tom.

While I was watching the movie, I liked how he told snippets of the story ~ bits and pieces of memories which turned up and I think that’s perhaps how I can write my tale in order to cleanse myself and get it out. These festering wounds are eating at me. I’m just so very sad these days and trying very hard to go on, to keep my head up and to be every role I am required to be.

This is my only place to go, where it’s quiet, where it’s hopefully safe. There are so many stories I can tell you. Good and bad.

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Under the Sea

IMG_0657When you look down to the bottom of the sea, you see clear water, right?  Right.  But you miss the millions of organisms in the water, the tiny fish that are quite invisible to the naked eye above the sea.  Put your goggles on, hop in the water and look below the surface and you will see an entire lifetime that isn’t as it was on the surface.

That’s what I knew about my Dad.

But then, isn’t that the way we all are ~ on the surface, we are whom you want us to be.  But dig a bit deeper, put on your scuba gear and voila, the scenery may change.  It may get murkier than it looks from the surface.

Look at me and you’ll see a wife, mom, daughter and friend.  Dig deeper and you may see the surface scars from my illness, my survival.  Get under the hood so to speak, into my mind and you’ll find the murky parts of me.  The ones that hide scars unseen by the human eye.  The scars that I never wanted to pick at until now ~ I want to pick at them, make them bleed so that they can heal properly.

Too many years of pretending makes it hard though.  It’s a struggle these days for me to deal with everything.  My Mom misses him everyday and has become a bit incapacitated even though it’s been over a year.  I’ve become him to her.  I do everything but grocery shop, cook and clean.  I’m in charge ~ my role hasn’t changed since childhood.

I am still the mother, even though I am the daughter but I have mothered them all since my sister was born when I was 3 1/2 years old.  I won’t leave her side.  I’ll be with Mom until her end (or mine).  But I need closure.  I need peace within.  I need the murky parts to be cleaned out so that I can see myself crystal clear.

We’re all complicated, but his secrets denied us freedom.  And when he died, he left those secrets, heavy in our hearts.  I don’t want to drown.  I want to live.

Prepare yourself.  This may be a bumpy ride.  Got a life preserver?  I need an extra.

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Do I Stay or Do I Go Now?

sky

For the few last nights, I haven’t been able to sleep for thinking that even though I haven’t revealed the secrets, is it safe to do so?  I mean, not that he’s anyone special or well-known at all because he’s not.  But what if we knew eachother?  Would you now look down upon me for spilling my thoughts on a blog?  Or for telling what was a private matter?

Could I be creating a rift in my family if someone should find my blog?  Am I safe here?  Is anyone safe?

Should I let secret dogs lie?  I know it’s sleeping, but this is my blog ~ writer’s embellishment!

I haven’t gone too far yet.  But what I wanted to accomplish was I wanted to get it out of my mind, heart, body and move on.  Hell, isn’t that the least of things I can get from his death?  A bit of release now that he’s not calling me all the time and bugging me?  Of course, as he loved to put it, ‘ the next son-of-a-bitch will take care of everything when I’m gone, so I’m not worrying about anything’ and true to his word, he didn’t.  And here I am.  The caretaker of everything he left behind.  He left a legacy of inspiration to others outside the family unit ~ and a messy, guilt-ridden, ugly one at home.

But I bet that he did worry.  I’m sure he was tortured in that hospital bed when he was on the ventilator and paralyzed.  I know he could hear us but he could not communicate with us at all.  For him, I’m sure that was torture, knowing that he had tons of stuff hiding and if he didn’t make it out, then we would know for sure, stuff that he had tried to hide.  But when he was lucid, he couldn’t bring himself to tell his friends enough so that they could get rid of it for him.  So I found it.  I doubt he ever wanted me to find it.  But I did.

And that’s not even the worst of it.

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DP ~ Reflections in a Blog

beach

Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

by michelle w. on August 14, 2013

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/daily-prompt-reflections/

These questions are easy I think, so I’ll just answer them one by one. 🙂

My blog name came to me in the middle of the night.  I’m still not sure if I love it, but it explains my purpose:

I need to save myself and Daddy called me his soulmate.

I am not sure that I love my blog theme choice either, but it was the best that I found.  I hope that the sun at the bottom gives it an uplifting feel which is what I am hoping for after writing this all down.

Design etc., ~ I’m not a computer literate person so it’s a simple theme that was done for me already and that works.

I hope that my blog shows:

honesty, perserverence, love of family, how dysfunction can change a person, how you can triumph over abuse.  How one person’s secret actions in a family changes the dynamic, the nucleous of the family in a powerful way and how to heal after dealing with the pain and suffering that it caused.

I’ve tried conventional therapy, but I just couldn’t be honest and have someone look at me as I said what happened.  It was embarrassing, sad, confusing.  But I am sure that there are others who have endured the same.  So that’s why I chose to use my blog.  Perhaps we will find eachother, connect and heal.

So do I reflect all this?  I hope so!

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Is It Ever the Right Time?

acimRecently, I opened my inbox to check my emails and this was the message I received.  Ahhh, another sign that this is my right path now.  Thank goodness.

Last night I dreamed of his death again.  I was there when he died.  Sissy, Mom and I were surrounding him as his heart stopped.  He did what I asked of him which was perhaps the only time he had ever done it ~ and I was truly grateful.  Did I wish him death?  No.  But I knew that if he lived, he wouldn’t be the same and it would kill him inside if he knew that his brain hadn’t been getting enough oxygen for awhile now even though he’d been on a ventilator.  So his brain, the part of him of which he was so proud (and perhaps in truth we were so proud of as well) wouldn’t be anything more than mush which would be too hard to handle for all of us.

He was on a ventilator which he had specific instructions to never be on and everyone knew.  But somehow Sissy and Mom got him to say he wanted a ventilator and I arrived 10 minutes into the procedure with the Living Will which I held in my purse for a week.  His last day I was alone with him in intensive care and I finally had privacy in which to talk with him.  I told him that I loved him, that I was sorry that he was enduring this as I knew he never wanted to be on a ventilator.  I’d known that fact since I was old enough to understand.  He had always made that abundantly clear.  I told him that I’d notified Palliative Care and was planning on meeting with them tomorrow.  I told him how his brain wasn’t going to be right if he ever got off of the ventilator.  I begged him to please stop his heart himself.  I told him that I didn’t want to be the one ‘to kill Daddy’ by turning off the machines, even though I knew it was what he had wanted.  I told him that it would shred our little family unit (Mom, Sissy and me) if I did it and the only way out was for him to stop his own heart.  In a surreal moment I truly thought he understood and could hear everything I said.  Of course, he was paralyzed by then with the ventilator breathing for him.  He lay perfectly still as he had for a week with no signs of life.  But then suddenly the power went out in the hospital, his nurse came rushing in to bag him so that they could keep breathing for him and I began to cry.  It was so scary.  My first thought was ‘oh my God, I killed Daddy” but then the generators kicked in and his chest began the rhythmic rise and fall.  I swear my heart stopped then as well.

Looking back, I understand now.  He told me with the huge lifeforce that was his, that he had heard me.  For when Sissy and Mom returned to the room 3 hours later, within 15 minutes, his heart began to slow and as we surrounded his bedside, his heart finally stopped

It’s funny how my feelings for him run hot and cold.   There are moments whenI can see the abused little boy he was in my head and feel sorry for him ~ even wanting to scoop him up and love him.  And then there are moments when the rage and anger that I feel for him make any sort of understanding null and void.  So I try for middle of the road ~ acknowledging the anger and the pity for his life and choices and look at him through a stranger’s eyes and not the eyes of a daughter.  By the way, that doesn’t help either.

Why is it then in my mid-40’s I’m still wrestling with the dead ghost of my Dad and the heartbreaking memories that haunt me when I’m quiet?  Why can’t I let the ugliness go, let it be buried with him and move on?  Why is his life still affecting mine and why do I let it?  How in the world do I let it go?  Would someone please tell me?

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