Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another phone call

Janelle called again last night. She apologized for the last call and then proceeded to lay it on me again. This time, she wanted me to know that she has ended her relationship with my father. She said she just can't live in a car anymore. That the stress of being homeless, the frustration of not being able to accept jobs because his ego can't handle it, the constant boredom of sitting in the library all day every day, has finally gotten to her. After a year of doing this, she is done.

I'm not sure if she wanted me to applaud her (I do, I just wasn't going to say it) for being strong or beg her to give him another chance, but she felt like I needed to know.

She also needed me to know that he is having health problems. High Cholesterol. High Blood Pressure. His diabetes is off the chart; he has been to the hospital a lot for it lately. His bottom gums are turning black (anyone have a clue what this means? Because I don't know but I know it's bad) other things surprisingly too private to mention.

And can I call him on the phone after I put money on it so it is active and so he knows someone loves him?

No. I can't. Not really. The emotional part is too much. The financial part is too much. I have nothing to say to him these days. What am I going to tell him? That I am living comfortably in a 3 bedroom home all by myself? With a spare room for guests, but no he can't come live with me? That I won't send him the $5 I made selling a drop spindle? (totally proud of that, by the way)

The weight drops upon me. I cannot do this. I don't know the pin number (I can't remember what my grandmother and before her my great grandparent's phone number was, I can barely remember to eat breakfast in the morning. Or what I wore yesterday) And even if I knew, I have to pay rent. Bills. Groceries. The things that I need to keep me and my critters alive and healthy.

She's worried that he will be suicidal. That he will take all those pills he has. Pain meds for his knee. Whatever is floating around on the streets these days.

I don't want him to die. I don't want him to hurt. I don't want to have to worry about him anymore either. I don't want to feel guilty every time I go out and have Wendy's because I could sent that $5 to him and maybe he can eat a little better that day. Or have a gallon of gas to get to a job interview. But he wouldn't, I know that. I know that every cent I have sent has been spent in a way that I likely wouldn't approve of. And I don't think it's right for me (and my Seester) to feel badly that we cannot support him.

I'm tired of that. I live a good life here. I am SO BLESSED. And I try to share when I can. But I feel as though I have no more to give him.

And I feel guilty for it. I feel like I have turned my back on him. That I am abandoning him in his time of need. That a little bit of fat trimming on my part could really make a difference for him. I don't NEED new bearings. (actually, I kinda do. maybe not the expensive ones I want, but I do need new ones) Maybe I could sell some fiber or yarn. But really? I need the money I would earn from that to support me. Me Me Me. It all comes back to me. I have to take care of myself and yet I feel like I should be sharing with him. Yet I don't. because he isn't helping himself.

And he didn't share with me when he had plenty. And I feel bad for feeling bitter about that. I know I always will. I will resent him for the rest of my life, and that will eat at me too. Because I don't want to resent anyone. I don't want to harbor anger. Especially over money. How would I react differently to this situation if there hadn't been any money? Would he be homeless now if he hadn't had plenty to blow through?

And so you see my struggle. again.

Doing the right thing is hard when you don't know what the right thing is.


Osbasso said...

I think there's some things that are just beyond your control/abilities. You can only offer so much, and if he's going to squander it (help, money, love, whatever) then there's got to be a point where you have to pull back and say "enough". Doing what you need to do before you get sucked down with him. As for the guilt about having a home, and money to go to Wendy's, and things like that--don't let it be guilt. It sounds like the closest person to him for the last year has been Janelle. And she's apparently seen that staying with him will drag her down. You can love the man (he IS your father), but you don't have to bail him out.

rebturtle said...

*Sending big hugs*

Although it hurts like hell, I think you are doing the right thing. He did some really craptacular things to screw up your childhood, and you managed to pull through it rather well because you are a very strong, level-headed young woman (And your Mommie and Seester are awesome!).

I feel bad. Your father is in a really bad spot. He has to truly want help for it to be any good though. And you have tried, over and over and over again. Not that you don't already know all of this already. Just that you're not alone. :)