Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Re: Post Below

....I have an interview in a fortnight! Yaaaaay!
Actually, it hasn't altogether sunk in. I'm not especially worried by it - come on! if they meet me in person, they'll love me! - but I'm not in an exciteable, jumpy uppy downy mood about it, either, which I think is a combination of a few things.

Yesterday was a weird day. My dad had asked me a few months back if I could drive him to the hospital when he was due to get a hip replacement. I didn't think so much about it (except, naturally, assuming his 'other' daughter, Satan Spawn Christine, was obviously still not old enough to drive). As a side note, he shacked up with another woman when I was about 5, after my parents were divorced, and produced offspring. He casually mentioned it to me when she was about 5, and try as I might to make any form of effort to be even remotely nice, the child refuses to speak or interact at all. I'm not sure if she's mentally challenged, or just fucked up from having such a dysfunctional family. I'm going with the latter.
NB: I sound bitter about this because, well, I am. He devoted and lavished all his money time and affection towards her, pursuing her dream of roller hockey, (which funnily enough, had been my dream, and was simply laughed at) and so on and so forth. We came to a point a few years ago where I asked him to simply not mention her around me, as it hurt so me she got given all those things I longed for, like, you know, an actual dad.

But I digress. He came to my house early, and we had a cup of coffee (which he was later punished for by the nurse, and had his surgery time pushed back because of) and we were on our way. Aside from insisting on telling me stories of his youth - things no child needs to hear if the word 'seduce' and 'your mother' is involved, whilst pointing out local landmarks - and we actually had a bit of light conversation, which is unusual. Let me just point out (sheesh, the side notes in this blog are longer than the blog itself!) that my relationship with my dad has been somewhat....strained. He and my mum broke up when I was 2, and we went into hiding as he wasn't a very nice person. He's a rather violent alcoholic, in fact, and did all sorts of nasty things to my mother and us that don't bear thinking about. Mum was always more than happy (well, didn't discourage us) from speaking to him later on in life, once we'd been away for a few years and the restraining orders were lifted, and so occasionally, like maybe a birthday or Christmas or once or twice in between, he would come and visit us. I was pretty young and didn't really understand why he was a bad person.- right up until I was 14 when he did something to my brother on a family visit, and I ceased all communication with him once I realized what he was actually like. I mainly just tried to get him to play games with me, but I knew there was bad feeling when he was around from my mum, so I used to do things to him like unscrew all the door handles off his car, hide rotten fish bones in his upholstery, and basically be a little menace.

A few years back, I had my Debutante Ball, and there's a dance specifically for your father to dance with you. I wasn't having any of that, but I was a bit sad he wouldn't be there for my biggest day to date. I invited him - with a strict proviso there was to be no drinking - and since then, we've caught up a bit. It's only been the past few months - since I met Cam, really - he's been more involved in my life. He calls me sometimes, with nothing to say (usually it's "You've got ANOTHER speeding fine!") or comes down and doesn't rush off after the first half an hour. I still don't know what to say to him, really, and it terrifies me to see so many of my attributes are actually his own. Temper, anyone? Skin like a leather handbag that tans in seconds? My feet, my eyes, my hair, my fidgeting? And I mentioned the temper, no?

So, when he went into hospital, I didn't really think about it much. But when I left him at the hospital, after a few hours of trying to entertain him as he waited for his surgery, it was just down right weird. I was almost emotional. I didn't know what to say, or do - the only time he's ever touched me without force was when my mother and I had to make the decision to turn my Grandad's life support off after he had a heart attack. Dad was down helping me paint my room that day, and rushed us up to he hospital when we heard the news. I ran out the room as Grandad was dying and dad put his arm around me, for the first time ever. I mentioned dysfunctional, right?

So yesterday, when it came time to leave, I sort of awkwardly patted him on the shoulder and said good luck. He didn't know what to do, either, and went all sort of twitchy (something else I inherited) and said goodbye.

It's as though all my feelings of anger and dislike and hurt for what he did (and didn't give us) have sort of been swallowed up by... well, sympathy. All I see now is a guy getting on in years, having medical trouble and in pain with gout (karma's a bitch for drinking too much beer and hurting your wife, huh?) and now his hips and being, basically, kind of sad and alone. Satan Spawn's Christines mother has been off the scene for years, as far as I know, except to hoick the child on Dad when she needs a baby sitter, and I don't really know what his own brothers are like. He doesn't have a big social network, and so I, basically, feel kind of responsible for him, and I really don't know how I feel about it. I don't want to feel like I'm betraying my mother and ignoring the horrible life he made her live for so long, yet I still don't fully see him as that guy, as I simply haven't witnessed it much for myself. It's a toughie, and it's playing on my mind a bit.

Anyway, this post has gone on forever. I should have broken it up into segments, and then had something to write all NaBloPoMo long! Dad came out of surgery last night, so I thought I'd post this, have some breakfast and go for a long, hot drive and see how he's doing. Another weird thought...

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