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Posts Tagged ‘family’

So as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a product of two people who were very incompatible for a relationship beyond simple dating, but who got pregnant and felt like getting married was the “right thing to do.” My mom and dad had a fun relationship before my mom accidentally got preggers with yours truly. They weren’t serious about starting a family, but once my mom got knocked up, she immediately switched gears and went into responsible parent mode. My dad half-heartedly tried to do that by marrying my mom. Their marriage didn’t last. My mom hated her dress, hated the wedding, hated everything about marrying my dad. She also came to dislike my dad greatly over the 2 years they were married. She divorced his ass because he basically refused to grow up. She had to give up having that young, carefree, early-20’s lifestyle, and he refused to do the same. It was an unbalanced and one-sided relationship. I feel bad for my mom because I experimented with being my dad’s roommate after I graduated high school, and he was a bastard to live with. I was starting college classes at that time, and it’s like no time had passed at all, he was still having that partying lifestyle of going out to the bar with his buddies a few nights a week and coming home late, blaring music late, and keeping me awake so I was all groggy during class. Somehow I put up with living with him for 2 years, though. When I was 20, I moved out, lived with my mom and stepdad again for a summer, then moved into my first apartment with no parental involvement.

My dad would have been fun to hang out with in high school and college if he were my age. But he’s not, he’s my dad. He’s supposed to be responsible. He was around, which is more than I can say for a lot of dads. At least he tried to be semi-involved in me and my sister’s lives (the sister comes from his second marriage, which also dissolved because the woman was tired of his shit). But he still owes both of our moms tons of child support money. My mom just didn’t want the drama of going through a legal battle over it, so she got an affidavit signed saying that since I lived with him for 2 years (by state law here child support has to be paid until the child is 21) she was willing to “call it even.” But my ex-stepmom is a little more bitter about it all, and with good cause. Since my younger sister lives about an hour away from here, my dad wasn’t as involved in her life as he was in mine. Sure, it’s a drive, and it’s gas money, but if he hadn’t spent so much on partying, he’d have had that extra money both to go see her more and to pay child support.

It’s funny how addictions rule our lives and make the lives of others hard to live. Luckily me and sis are both adults now, so we no longer “need” our dad. I do love my dad, but I will confess that I don’t actually “like” him that much. I have the feeling that he was just wanting to rush our childhoods so we’d be old enough to party with him. Confession, I have partied with my dad. It was the only way to really bond with him, it seems. I have wanted a good relationship with him for a long time. I also have a stepdad who I love and admire, who’s been the one to really support me over the years. My mom got lucky with him. He’s cool and loving, but he’s also stable and responsible, all positive elements to form a good, family situation. And they love each other. I don’t think my mom and bio-dad were ever actually in love.

My dad still drinks very frequently (although he claims he’s not an alcoholic because he doesn’t keep booze in the house, just goes out – denial!!) and spends most of his free time with his friends partying. He also brags about me and my sister to his friends, sometimes outright taking the credit for how cool and smart we both turned out. That makes me mad, because we saw him twice a month for most of our lives even though he had many other opportunities to visit with both of us on days separate from our “allotted visitation times.” Both my mom and my sis’s mom were really open to him spending even more time with us during the weekdays after school, etc. He likes to pretend that the courts took time away from him, but it was himself who did so because he couldn’t get loaded around us.

Also, he ran himself into a ton of credit card debt over the years because he felt this compulsion to try and buy our love by having a zillion presents under the tree at Christmas and lavishing us with “cool gifts” on our birthdays and going all-out. Even as a little kid I knew the truth, knew his income wasn’t good enough to be doing this. It made me sad to get these presents in the end because I knew what was really going on. Both my sister and I were aware of the child support situation all through our lives. Dad justified being late on the payments in many ways. He mostly blamed the fact that he’s single (although he spent a good 10+ years in various, and yes failed, relationships) and only makes one person’s income. He blamed the economy. He blamed everything except for personal responsibility. If he’d not run up credit card debt for presents for us, or spent a good hundred bucks per week on partying, he’d have been able to make bills, buy food for himself, and pay our child support. It’s simple priorities. Most people can switch off the selfish when they have kids, but he chose not to.

This isn’t whining or saying, “poor me.” I know other kids have it worse than me. Cause at least I know my dad does love me and my sister. But at this point neither side makes much of an effort to keep in touch or hang out more often than the allotted holidays and birthdays. You could compare it to the chicken and the egg…who stopped making an effort first, the dad or the kids? He likes to blame us, and we like to blame him. I know I could call him more often, but I don’t. Because I really, when I truly think about it, don’t like hanging out with my dad for longer than an hour or two at a time. He’s “cool” and all, but that’s not what I ever wanted from a father. I have cool friends, damnit. I mean, I understand when you’re an adult you forge a friendship with your parents instead of it being so parent-child, but since I never got the latter from him, I resent the friendship thing. Plus, he’s kind of dumb, which I suspect is from years of killing his brain cells. He was never a brilliant genius to begin with, but I remember him being way sharper even just 5 years ago, and more willing to discuss things like politics and current events. He now quickly changes the topic when we go there because he “hates politics” which to me means he fails to keep himself informed of what’s going on in the world. He also has the nerve to call himself an “old hippie.” First, he’s more a product of the 70’s “let’s just fucked up until we fall over” culture, not a “hippie.” To me, a hippie cares about world affairs, is well informed about current events, and wants to change the world for the better. He’s more interested in the self-centeredness of getting wasted, and since he has some more liberal points of view I guess that makes him, in his eyes, a “hippie.”

I love my dad, but I don’t love his actions. I also don’t really like him that much. Also, every time he’s seen me and I’ve lost more weight, he goes on about how pretty I look. I want to be like, “so were you ashamed of how I looked before or something?” I know he’s just trying to compliment me, but it kind of pisses me off because while I personally enjoy the vanity aspect of it, it’s not the most important thing. Furthermore, I’ve accomplished way more than losing weight, but the weight loss thing is all he notices these days. My dad has always been self-righteous about weight even though he himself is consistently overweight. Beer = liquid calories and he won’t give it up. He also overeats. He’s never gotten over 250 lbs, but has a signature beer gut. Furthermore, my much healthier uncle had a heart attack in his 50’s, and he was way healthier than my dad then, so if my dad is pretty unhealthy, what are his odds of suffering the same fate, especially with a big belly? And he continues his bad habits with no regard to how my sister and I will have to deal with it if he gets sick or the unthinkable happens. Selfish. But when I was really overweight the first time around, he always made comments about it, told me what I should do, etc. If he had been the perfect picture of health, I’d have taken his words way more seriously. When he finally stopped hounding me about it is when I finally decided to do it for myself the first time around. I wasn’t a child anymore living at home when I gained all the weight back, though, so he didn’t gripe at me about it then. He doesn’t remember hounding me about it the first time. Ha. I mean, it’s one thing to be concerned about an obese or overweight relative, friend, or spouse. And I think it’s okay to bring it up in a loving manner. I like My Fat Spouse for this reason. BUT, the way he always brought it up was tactless, accusatory, and hypocritical. I know a lot of people who are confronted about their weight even in a loving manner often take it as those things, but I can assure you he really was those things. And like I said, if he were a fit person who took care of his health, I’d have taken him way more seriously. Also, I had to confront my own issues myself. It took me a second time (this time around) to learn all the lessons I need. Sometimes people do have to find their own way in their own time. What I find funny is that the first time I lost a lot of weight I was still living with him. He’d come home and see me exercising and make fun of the exercises I was doing…so I got a very conflicting message from him. Argh!!!! fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck!!!!

This is why I don’t hound the people in my life about their weight. If they ask me what I do, I will tell them. I will live by example. I will share things if I’m asked. But I will never, ever be the way my dad was to me to other people in my life. I feel hurt when a relative chooses their love of food (or alcohol, or anything self-destructive) over their love for their family, but in the end it’s really up to them to change. That’s how I feel with my dad’s drinking and unhealthy lifestyle. If that’s what he wants to do to himself, it’s his business, but I’m not going to necessarily clean up his mess either. I’m not endowed with a lot of money myself, so if he needs special care over the years, he’s probably not going to get the best available. I’ll definitely make sure he’s taken care of as an old person, and I’ll visit him regularly enough to assure that he’s being taken care of. But when he mentions things like me or my sister taking him in as an old man to keep him out of the nursing home, I’m like, “no, I’m never living with your crazy ass again.” And I don’t think I’m a bad kid for this, and neither is my sister. I’ll do my part to make sure he’s in good conditions wherever he stays as an old person, but I will not let his guilt trips play upon my mind. I really don’t owe this man a thing, including grandchildren. He’s always going on about how he wants grandchildren. I cannot guarantee at this point in my life that I plan on even having kids, and neither can my sister. I don’t feel like it’s fair for him to pressure us to procreate in such a fucked up, scary, unstable world. I haven’t found a stable enough life partner to consider doing this, and I also don’t really like kids enough to want any of my own. I like them, but I like to take them back. I feel like I’m better off being honest about this than forcing myself to say I’ll have kids. My sister is a lesbian. While the tides may turn and allow her and a partner to adopt more easily, or conceive through artificial insemination, she’s in her very early 20’s, in college, and has not even thought about that yet as she’s focused on her career goals and putting a life together for herself. I feel like that sort of pressure is very unfair.

All that being said, both my sister and myself have a guilt complex about it and always feel a compulsion to say, “I love him, but…” But here’s the thing, it’s already a given that we love our dad, but we are not obligated to like him, nor are we obligated to support his bad behaviors. We are also not obligated to go out of our way to support him as an elderly person when he seemed to go out of his way to avoid his parental obligations when we were children. I do feel obligated to make sure he doesn’t suffer any abuse in a retirement home situation, the nurses are kind to him, his hygiene and nutritional needs are met, he has decent entertainment options, and I will visit him as frequently as possible. But honestly he seems to want to dig his grave with beer bottles and cigarettes and bad food. He may live a long time despite these habits, and he may not. I really do want him to stay around longer, honestly, because as much as I go on about how much I dislike him, I hold some small amount of hope that he’ll get his head out of his ass one day and listen to me long enough to try and repair our relationship, and that one day I will actually like my dad again.

I did this post on this blog because only one person from my real life reads this, and I like the anonymous sounding board this blog creates. People who know me well hold biases, and people who don’t, do not. Thanks for reading if you got this far. I don’t really want sympathy or anything, I’ll just be happy if people listened so I know I’m not in the wrong for feeling this way.

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Well, I’m the only child of a divorced marriage, and both my folks ended up being remarried and had my 2 sisters. In a perfect world, we could all get along and do one big Christmas celebration together, but since the big D (divorce) is a factor in these familial relationships, it makes for many separate Christmas celebrations. My dad’s second marriage ended after 5 years, so when I have Christmas with Dad, I also have it with the sister that my ex-stepmom had w/ Dad. Back in the day when we were little, we’d alternate Christmases with each set of parents, but it all started to get too complicated and stressful, so my dad was cool enough to start just having his own separate Christmas with me and my oldest younger sister. Now that we’re all adults, the celebration has changed a bit, and is way less lavish and simpler than it used to be. But overeating still happens, and after this final Christmasing was overwith on Sunday evening of this past weekend, I was left feeling bloated and unwell. Also, I’m sure this is a product of my childhood stressors, but I have a lot of mixed feelings about the holidays, and I’m always a little relieved when it’s over. Taking down my tiny tree is the most cathartic experience ever. My sister shares the same sentiment. She not only has the big D to contend with, her mom’s family is just very large and it would be a nigh impossible task to have just one Christmas, so like me she is always pretty much over it after New Year’s.

I’m happy to report that just 4 days later, I feel good again. I still like to indulge like everyone else (see my last entry), but when I do too much, I feel it hardcore. I was literally in pain and feeling like ass for 2 days after. I’ve stayed on program, however, since Sunday night (which is when I was like, “I’m so full, I never want to eat again!”), and I’m feeling MUCH better.

It’s amazing how after you get used to having a mostly clean diet that when you do indulge and go a little overboard with it, how painful it can be. The digestive punishment I received is a reminder that I’m so happy living a day-to-day healthy lifestyle. My Sunday “cheat” dinner is never nearly as decadent as any holiday fare! And any dessert I choose to have is usually tiny and insignificant compared to the rich fudge and Christmas cookies that I tend to nosh on during “that time of year.” I tend to go for things on the healthier side of “bad” anyway on Sundays, I’m just not as stringent with the “rules” I follow as I usually am. A better way to put it is that I tend to go for quality, not quantity when I’m having my once-a-week cheat meal.

My gym re-opens on Saturday (as I’ve said before, it’s a campus gym at a university, and they close seasonally for maintainence, etc.), and I’m so psyched to go work out! I’ve been exercising at home, but I’m craving a HARDCORE gym workout. I also plan on hitting the sauna as a reward afterwards…

Another thing I’ve been thinking about lately is that people tend to reward themselves for accomplishments with food. Every celebration revolves around some kind of food. What if we rewarded ourselves by doing something FUN instead? Or by doing something simple like taking a hot bath with our favorite bath salts, or having a cup of tea (non-sugared of course). Why does it always have to be stuffing our faces that we reward ourselves and each other with? Food for thought (pun SO intended).

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Well, I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas! I sure did! I enjoyed some really fun times with my family and my housemate who came along for some of the celebration since his family lives pretty far away. Christmas eve I spent at an uncle’s house doing the family reunion bit, and Christmas day me and the housemate spent over at my folks’ with them and my sister, and one of her friends who came by for awhile. They got my sister a Wii, and those things are fun as hell! I thought it was funny that the person who played with it the most was my stepdad, who got really into the Wii sports, and was kicking butt at the boxing game! I’m thinking he’s going to be addicted to it enough to buy one for him and my mom to use, since my sister will be taking hers to school with her. He was actually joking, saying, “well, we’d better keep it here and not send it to school with her, she’ll never study if she takes it with her!” haha. The boxing game is actually a pretty good workout if you play it long enough – my stepdad was sweating after an hour or so of the boxing game. I liked the tennis and golf ones, too. I used to pretty much be annoyed with video games since I’m such a dirty hippie and like to run around outside all the time and I view video games as a lazy person’s recreation, but Wii is respectable because it gets you up off your butt out of your chair and actually physically engaged in the games. I could see how a person could have a lot of fun with a Wii.

I got some lovely gifts. My mom and sister gave me cute clothes and some much needed socks, underwear, and long underwear (I am outside a lot and need it to keep me warm in the winter, and my long underwear from last year was falling off me). My sister gave me this gorgeous, purple hippie skirt with a drawstring so I can keep wearing it as I shrink. The underwear my mom got me is the girly version of kids’ underoos but in women’s sizes. They’re very comfy but adorable at the same time. I work on my feet and walk everywhere so I wear through socks quickly, so the crew socks I got were much appreciated. I use a pre-paid cell phone and the folks got me the ultimate minutes card, which gives you 800 minutes, a year of airtime, plus double minutes for the life of your phone. I refuse to get a cell phone contract, so this is the best deal. I was grateful for that. Also, my mom and stepdad got me something really awesome: a gift certificate for a year long membership to the gym I like to go to! It’s close to work and it’s a really nice facility. I’d been going sporadically and buying day-passes, but this way I can get more bang for my buck and go more often. They have a really nice natatorium, and I LOVE to swim for cardio, so I win! In addition to that they have a running track, a lot of other really nice equipment, and a SAUNA! So I’ll be going in to redeem that ASAP. I can’t wait, it’s going to be fun 🙂

All that being said, it’s about the love, not the stuff. I feel truly blessed that I have an awesome family and set of friends who love me. While I love the gifts I got and appreciate it all, what I appreciate most is the people in my life, they are the real gifts 🙂

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Well, I won’t be as active here for the next 2 days or so because I have family stuff to attend for Christmas, so I hope everyone has a great holiday! Everyone take care of yourself and be safe if you’re out traveling! Enjoy your friends, families, or whoever you’re spending the holidays with! I look forward to posting after the festivities 🙂

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