Thursday, July 10, 2008

A little background to begin my story now

Since I decided to start a blog, I thought I should backtrack and go over my life a little to offer some clarity for those who decide to read.

In 1995, I got married my High School sweetheart, S, at the age of nineteen. We had a turbulent relationship long before we were married, but I ignored the many signs and married anyway thinking things would be better. I learned I was pregnant with my first child roughly a month after we were married. We were happy, but the arguing never did stop. Mostly it was that we were immature and were too young to be starting a family, but there we were. In 1996, I gave birth to my son, D, at the age of twenty. After having a baby, my husband became less important to me, as the baby came first in everything. I was the mom that would never leave the baby with anyone, EVER. Looking back, I can't say that this helped my marriage any, but at the time, I did not realize that it was ok to be more than a mom after I had kids. Of course, this was triggered by long term issues that I have with my own mother.

In 1998, I became pregnant with my second son, M, despite the fact that we did not get along, we were happy to be having another baby. I looked at this as a way to start fresh. We were trying to work on our marriage, I had started taking college classes part-time in the evening after S got home from work (which I later dropped), and I was optimistic about the future. We were going to be this happy family that I wanted so badly. I don't know what I was thinking, because we fought too much. I was more focused on my children and keeping my house clean than I was on my marriage. S pushed me around and lost his temper more often than not, I started to resent him more and more, I got angry at every little thing, stupid things, I realize now, but at the time it seemed they were not stupid.

Saying that my marriage was turbulent does not quite describe things, but that is the best description I can think of right now. We had really big blowups, things would calm down a bit,and then go back to how they were before. There was the everyday bickering that just became the norm in our house. I would be pissed off that he dirtied too many dishes! He did not help clean around the house, he did not help with the kids enough when he was home, he wanted to go out with his friends all hours of the night and I was always at home with the kids (mostly because I did not want to leave them with anyone) but I did not want him to go out either. He complained that I never wanted to leave the kids, he felt he did his part by going to work for eight hours, the kids were my job! Let's just leave it as we just could not get along and we each blamed the other for all the problems in our marriage. It couldn't be my fault! And naturally, he felt it could not be him. Of course hindsight is 20/20, and I realize now that it was both of us and we really needed to acknowledge that, but that's not how things went.

My biological father, C, was not in the picture when I was growing up and I have always had many different emotions regarding this through the years as I was growing up and even still to this day at 33 years old, it still bothers me that he was never there. He just was not there. He would show up about every five or six years and oh, he loved me, and he wanted to be my Dad, and then he would say, "I'll be back to see you next weekend." Next weekend would not come for another five or six years later. I would always be waiting the next weekend and he would never be there. I can not describe how that felt as a kid to be waiting for him and he would never come. My mother would always use him as a threat when I was younger, "Well, if you don't like it here, then I'll just call C and you can go live with him. See how he takes care of you!" Of course she would never just send me off with him, but somehow she thought that would be a good arguing tool when I was being defiant as a kid or later as a teenager. Don't get me wrong, I have a Dad, he's just not my biological father which is fine. I love my Dad. My Mom married my Dad when I was ten years old. He really is a good man. He was pretty much right out of High School, met my Mom, she already had two kids and he was right there. He never treated me like I was not his kid, even though I gave him so much crap in the beginning. Even after my younger brother and sister were born, he never treated me like I was not his kid. In fact, he cried more at my wedding than my mother. So even though C was never around, I always had a Dad and he's a good Dad, it still bothered me that C was never there.

Ok, moving forward, in 2000, I get a phone call from my mother that C is in the hospital and he is dying from lung cancer and now he wants to see me! Are you kidding me?? After all this time and he wants to see me because he is dying! The last time I saw him, I was fifteen years old and that was ten years ago, and like all the times before that, he had said, "I'll be back to see you next weekend," and he never showed up but I knew he would not come. And now he wants to see me because he is dying! At first, I said I was not going to go. I was married with my own family, my mother could not make me go. I had agonized over this and cried about this the entire day, and then my Dad called me, he said that he knew he was my Dad and that I loved him, but I had to go see C, so that I did not feel bad when he died. He told me it was ok to go, that he wanted me to go for me. After I argued with S about my decision to go, I went to see C at the hospital. It turned out that he had been living thirty minutes from my house with his wife and step daughters and the grandchildren. He never even tried to contact me. He knew that I was married, because my mother had sent him an invitation. He never showed up, never called, never sent a card, but he knew. And he was living thirty minutes away and never once tried to contact me. That was like a slap in the face, but I went to see him. I came right out and told him I was not there to ease his conscious, I was there so I did not feel bad when he died! I said those exact words to him. I cried, he cried, his wife cried. We talked into the wee hours of the morning.

I continued to go see C for thirteen days until he died at 8:54 in the morning on June 12, 2000. I can not tell you what that experience was like for me. I had struggled with my feelings about him my whole life and finally had the opportunity to talk to him and see who he was and he died. It was hard for me. Here he was never around for me and then when he was dying, I was there and helped to care for him in his final days. I think that by me being there it did somehow ease his conscious and give him a little peace in his heart. For that, I am glad. I'm glad that I did have that time to talk with him and learn a few things that my mother had left out all those years. After having many conversations with him, I think that my life was better because he was not a part of it. It does not make me feel any better, but I know in my heart that I was a better person because he was not in my life. Really, I do not think that he was a good man. He was dishonest. He hurt people that trusted him and inevitably, that would have been me as well, had he been around. I'm sure I did the right thing by going to see him, it gave me some sort of closure. I remember sitting at the church during his funeral service and the only thing I could think was that I would never see him again. All those years that he never showed up, I always thought, well, I'll see him again sometime, and this time I would not see him again. I still have a hard time with it sometimes. I can not explain why, because really, I did not know him. Before going to see him at the hospital, I could have passed him on the street and not recognised him. But there is still a feeling of loss there. I don't know if it will ever go away.

I bring up the subject of C, because this effected my marriage as well. Clearly, I was very distraught during this time and needed my husband to be there emotionally for me. That was not the case. S thought that by giving me a hard time about going to see him, it was helping me. He thought that because C was never there for me, I had no business going there now that he was dying. Obviously, I did not see things that way, and I still do not. I never thought that this was his call to make. He did not have to live with the emotional consequences if I did not go. All I wanted was some sort of support, I needed some sort of support and I couldn't get that from my husband. The one person who was supposed to be there for me. S gave me a hard time about going. For the thirteen days, he belittled me, yelled about me leaving after he got off work, and he had to care for the kids. I never have been able to understand this. I had dinner ready before he got home from work, I had the kids fed and bathed before he got home from work, all he had to do was brush their teeth and put them to bed. Not once did my husband offer a kind word. No understanding, no nothing! For thirteen days, I cried most of the time that I was finally talking with C and learning who he was. I cried every day for what was supposed to be, what should have been, and what was not. And not one time did S ever come up to me and even hug me, he did not say it will be ok, he offered no support whatsoever. Nothing. From my husband. This hurt and troubled me deeply. When C died, I went to the funeral alone. S's Mom watched the boys and I went alone. My husband did not go with me, he did not even mention it when I got home. I harboured ill feelings for him immensely after that. I know I should not, but I still feel angry about it.
Right now, I have to take a break from all the memories.

To be continued......

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