Birthday Surprises

Yesterday was my birthday. A day that just begs for introspection. As a general rule, I end up looking back over the previous year in particular and my life in general. It’s like an annual State of the Union of Julie analysis. Even though I’m going to have to go on record as saying that the return of the Lying Bastard cast a pall on this past year, there are still good things to report. Some really shitty things, too but I’d rather try  to focus on the positive.

Facebook; it has its strengths and weaknesses. For the most part, to me, it’s a good thing. Almost five years ago I pulled up roots and moved from South Carolina to Idaho. I had never stepped foot in this state until I stepped off of the plane when I moved here. I only knew two people here and that was online. It was scary and exciting and I don’t regret it. The problem would be that I now have no family anywhere nearby. I live 2,400 miles from where I grew up. That’s a lot of miles separating me from family. But because of Facebook, yesterday I received so many birthday wishes and was told by dozens of people that I am loved, and when dealing with Depression, just as importantly I was reminded that I am lovable.

It wasn’t all good though. I’ve alluded on here to the fact that my father and I do not have a good relationship. He is extremely narcissistic, negative, and unwilling to admit fault for anything at all. Everything is someone else’s fault, even when the actions were his. I won’t go into the hideously long and painful backstory on everything, but he and the former Stepmonster (the heinous bitch he married after my mother divorced him) actually went out of their way to do everything possible to hurt me back in 1997. It was horrible. I ended up taking every picture of me and/or my daughter from him and did not speak to him for over a year. I eventually figured out that I needed to forgive him. It wasn’t because he has ever or will ever admit to any blame for the actions he and the Stepmonster took back then. To this day he still says it was all her even when I point to specific things that he did, he still denies any blame. That anger I was holding on to wasn’t hurting him at all because he didn’t care but it was eating me alive. As my mama always says, “You can be bitter or you can be better.” So I forgave him. I let him back into my life but never would he be allowed in as fully as he once was.

Now here’s some more backstory that will lead up to present day. I have also mentioned in a past entry that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. My father wasn’t my molester, but his younger brother was. I was not the only one abused. He also abused my sister and multiple cousins. I even suspect that he abused some of the male members of the family though none have ever admitted to that. My father flat out refuses to believe it. He said that the cousin who first said something was a liar so he won’t believe it’s true. She was not the nicest person in the family but she was not a liar. I’ve told him that if he didn’t believe her, he should believe me or any of the others who were molested by R. He absolutely refuses to. About four years ago, not long after my Granny’s passing, R got himself caught for child pornography. The idiot donated a computer to Goodwill that had thousands of child porn images on the hard drive. He ended up going to prison but has since been released. R has shown no remorse for any of his actions; no apologies for or admission of guilt for the abuse he put multiple members of the family through and no remorse for the child pornography. Yet my father defends him and says that he was set up. Ummm, no. Once R was out of prison my father started spending time with him and telling me about things they did together. I repeatedly told him that I did not want to hear about R and if he was going to continue to defend him then I would end that conversation. Back in June my father started vociferously defending R again and I told him again that I would not talk about him. At that point, my father came just short of calling me a liar by telling me how easy it is to implant memories of abuse and how unfair it is that all it takes is someone saying that someone sexually molested them and they were considered guilty no matter what. At that point I told my father that implanting memories was insanely hard and someone would have had to do a hell of a lot of work to implant those memories in so many people (including traveling to wherever my uncle who was career military was stationed so that they could implant memories in his daughter’s mind) and that R wasn’t “guilty” because someone said he molested them but he was GUILTY because he did sexually abuse multiple children. I ended the conversation there.

Fathers’ Day came a few days later and I performed by daughterly duty and called to wish him a happy Fathers’ Day. I was thrilled to get his voice mail instead of actually have to talk to him and left a message. He called me back half an hour later. He said that he was in the truck with R, my brother, and my nephew, he told me the phone was on speaker phone and to say “hi” to everyone. R even said, “I love you.” I was angry and disgusted and ended the call there. I was literally shaking and crying I was so furious. My father had zero respect for me and my feelings. I called him the next day to tell him that I would not be speaking to him anymore. I received his voice mail again and told him to leave me alone. He called again and I let him hold it. He lied to me right from the beginning of this conversation. He didn’t apologize for going against my wishes concerning R and then started telling me that he was sorry that R and my brother were so loud. He told me that the phone was not on speaker even though he used the words, “You’re on speaker phone; say hi.” He was not sorry that he called me with R there after I had specifically told him just a few days earlier that if he was going to talk about him and defend him there was no point in talking to me. He did not care how much it upset me. Then the dam broke. I finally, finally told him how much he had hurt me with everything that he and the Wicked Witch had done. He once again denied any wrongdoing whatsoever. The conversation ended with me telling him that if he could not take responsibility for his actions and realize that he had seriously hurt me then I was done. I don’t think ending a toxic relationship, even when it was with a family member is wrong when it saves your life and sanity. One thing I did learn from my father though; I know how to forgive someone who accepts no fault for what they have done and therefore will never apologize or beg forgiveness for what they have done.

Flash forward to yesterday. My phone rang and it was my father. I had not heard from him since June. He knew nothing of what has taken place in my life since then. He spoke mostly of himself (as is his custom) and when I was able to get a word in edgewise and let him know that I had been laid off and out of work for two months, instead of sympathizing he told me that he didn’t have any money to give me. I didn’t asking him for a fucking thing. I didn’t tell him when it happened because as far as I’m concerned it’s none of his fucking business. Yet his first response instead of sympathy or asking how I am is to tell me he won’t do anything to help. Well, there’s a big, fat, fucking duh! I knew when I saw who was calling that I would get upset if I answered. I hoped I would be wrong. I prayed I would be wrong. I wasn’t wrong and now even though he doesn’t deserve to have that kind of power, he has hurt me again.

Am I wrong to be upset that my own father would rather stand up for the person who molested his children and nieces than believe them? I cannot imagine not protecting my child, even if it is after the fact from someone who did that to them. If someone had even touched my daughter their body would never have been found. So how does a father refuse to believe or protect his children and side with their abuser? I will never, ever understand this. Needless to say that was by far the low point of my birthday.

Along with all the excitement of yesterday, I also made a decision this week that may have been stupid. Only time will tell but I didn’t feel at peace with the circumstances. There were too many negatives and not enough positives. Thanks to the anxiety I deal with I find myself riddled with self-doubt. Is the lack of peace in a situation a true reason to stay away from it or am I using that as a reason to miss what could be a growth opportunity and wallow in self-doubt? I just know that I was so overwhelmed with anxiety that I could not go forward. I hope I’m not wrong. I hope it doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass. I truly hope that it doesn’t lead to even deeper depression.

I didn’t do anything to celebrate my thirty-seventeenth birthday yesterday. That comes tonight. I have a group of friends coming over. Everyone is bringing some sort of appetizer and we’re going to put together the biggest appetizer platter in town and eat while playing Cards Against Humanity. It’s the perfect way for me to celebrate; I’m at home (well, actually the landlords are setting up everything in their yard because it is bigger than mine), surrounded by friends, and playing a game that never fails to make me laugh until I’m crying and my sides hurt. That should make up for the rest of the bullshit.

So my resolution for the coming year is to fight to focus on the positive. I have to kick the Lying Bastard’s ass to the curb. I need to win my life back. I am going to be happier 365 days from now than I am at this moment. I AM GOING TO DO IT!!!

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