I've been in a "bad" place lately. I've been in an out of my control zone and I don't do well there. There's nothing I hate more then being told "there's nothing you can do, so just let it go". Obviously, if it were just that easy I'd let it go, but sometimes, some people just need a little reminder that just because I don't live nearby doesn't mean I can't still raise some hell when the situation calls for it.
I felt the situation called for it.
My dad is a Type 1 diabetic. My dad is also an alcoholic. My mom likes to cover for my dad, because it's what she's done their entire marriage (and sadly theirs is the most "successful" marriage out of my mother's side of the family....well, maybe successful is the wrong word...longest-lasting?? They've been married 33 years and her 2 brothers have a collective 3 divorces and 5 marriages between them! But I adore my uncle Mike's wife Laura...he finally got it right when he found her!!) I really digressed here....I've been trying to get call my parents for over 2 months now. They never answer. I'll call, get voicemail, wait a few minutes, call back, voicemail again, wait a few more minutes, call one more time and then give up. My mom uses caller ID so the 3 calls in a row is pretty much the only way I have to let her know it's me, since she almost never checks her voicemail! (why does she fucking have it?? I don't know....) Dad's drinking and diabetes doesn't always mix. Never mind that he works in a mill factory doing goddess knows what exactly, in hellaciously hot conditions for 8 to 12 hours a day. Plus, he had a mild stroke a few years back so his health is not so bueno.
I'd heard from a family member (who I refused to name to my parents...take that family loyalty!) that my dad might be sick as they hadn't seen him recently and my mom wasn't answering the phone. It's hardly a secret that when my dad isn't feeling well, he self-medicates and when he self-medicates he gets loud and obnoxious...because he's an ugly and usually angry drunk that can't handle his liquor. (Me? I'm a happy drunk unless someone I'm avoiding gets in my face, then it's game on....but that's neither here nor there since I can nor longer drink at this point in time.....) So, it would stand the reason to assume that (a) my dad might be really sick when he starts missing family events, (b) he's drinking because he's sick and (c) my mom is not answering the phone because she doesn't want anyone to know how bad the situation is.
I hear thee potential situation and I get pretty pissed off/upset, scared and sad all at once. It really was an emotional overdose for me! I was pissed off that I was only just hearing about this. I was angry at my mom for once again just letting my dad do whatever it was he wanted to do, damned with what might happen to his health as long as she doesn't have to argue with him (though after I calm down and start to think clearly I realize arguing with my dad while he's drinking is never smart...hell I was the only one who ever picked fights with him while he was drinking and that was basically because I believed I was stronger than my mom and sister and I could take the abuse better than they could. Still not sure if that was true, but I'm not in my hometown anymore and they both still are so......we'll call it a draw???) I was scared that he might really be sick and it might get so bad that he might not be there when I come home. I gave myself time to think about all that and I had an emotional breakdown. I was raw by the end of it. Mac came outside and saw me, held me as I cried, listened to me as I raged and even tried to help me come up with a plan. He kind of was my rock. (That's it for the sappy shit)
I wallowed the rest of that day.
The next morning I was PISSED! How dare my fucking family think, just because I'm not near them they can just get away with shit like this?? Who the fuck do they think they're fucking messing with?? Do they forget I came home from Atlanta after my dad's stroke and took care of everything including dealing with that fucking prick of a doctor?!?!? Fuck this shit! They wanna ignore me, fine ignore me. I'll use dad's anger and hatred against him to get shit done!
I called grandma! My dad HATES his mother-in-law. Not without just cause, I assure you, but the issues are between the two of them. Though that doesn't seem to stop them from playing the victim whenever they can. Marsha (my grandmother) was upset when I asked her to NOT approach him at my wedding, I was just planning the wedding at this point. She felt I was playing favorites! My dad was pissed that my mom was asked to bring a cake to my baby shower...because she was doing MARSHA a favor. They both have their heads just far enough up their own asses to make my life hell at one point or another. Mac and I eloped for several reasons but my dysfunctional family was a big deciding factor!
Last night I decide to try to call my mom one more time. I'd been calling a couple times a day for the past 3-4 days with no results. I called the first time, got voicemail and disconnected. Continued watching the show I was watching until the next commercial and then called again....HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHIT ON A CRACKER my mom picked up!
(Now, I'm a lot of things...I'm not coy and I'm not patient. I also don't play games when it comes to my mom and the bullshit she likes to play, so while some people reading this are going to find this exceptionally rude and disrespectful to my mother, there's really no other way to get across to my mom how very upset and concerned I've been about my dad)
We start talking and I ask how she's been, I tell her I've been trying to reach her...since "fucking JUNE mom!", and she says "well I never know if it's you or someone else calling".
me: Mom, how's Dad? Because I'm hearing he's not so good and I got really upset. Like really, sick upset over it. SO how is he?
Mom: Well, he's tired but he's better now.
me: Tired? Mom, why would I hear he's sick if he's tired? Do you have any idea how upset I've been? Here..let me spell it out... I was in the hospital with a panic attack because of this MOM!! Because he was tired?!?!? Are you fucking kidding me???
(okay full disclosure...I did go to the ER this weekend, for something stress related, but not a panic attack. But since my mom likes to not take me seriously when I ask a question about my dad's health, I'm bending the truth to try to get her to tell me something more than just "he was tired". I'm okay and on meds so no worries now, okay?!?)
Mom: Beck, it's nothing serious, he was working a lot and got tired.
me: Mom how's his diet? Is his diabetes in check? Has he seen a doctor lately about that?
Mom: well no, but he says it's fine.
me: Mom, are you fucking kidding me?!? How does he know it's okay if he's not following the diet and he hasn't seen a doctor to get his blood checked??? MOM, come on....do you know how serious diabetes is if it's not properly controlled?? Seriously, if something happens to him before I come home NO ONE will see me or Nixon ever!!! I'm not fucking playing here. You all seem to think just because I'm not nearby I'm not going to find this shit out! Honest to fucking christ on the cross with a stick up his ass....what are you guys doing?!??! And why aren't you and Mandi talking?!??! What the fuck is going on there???
Mom: Beck....how do you know all this?
me: nevermind how I know, just worry about what will happen if it doesn't fucking stop! It's goddamned stupid that you and my sister live in the same fucking city and never see each other! What. The. Fuck?!?!?
Mom: Honestly. Who is telling you all this? Because....well, I just want to know.
me: Mom, I'm telling you what I know, you don't need to know HOW I know it!
Mom: Where you really in the hospital this weekend?
me: Yes, mom, why would I lie about that? Why would I lie about spending hours away from my husband and son in an ER room, alone, because I don't want Nixon to see me like that?? Honestly, mom, you act like it's impossible for me to care about you or daddy at all. Nevermind that I flew from Atlanta to Buffalo and took care of shit when Dad had his stroke! So, yeah, I feel like I'm entitled to be in the loop on dad's health! I don't want to be blindsided by shit, okay?
Mom:.....well, would it help if I had Dad write you a letter?
me: Mom, is there something I should know?
Mom: would a letter from him help?
me: MOM!! Is there something you're not fucking telling me?? Because a letter from him won't soften the blow if I'm asking you right now!!
Mom: No, as far as I know there's nothing. He's just tired a lot.
me: Mom....is he drinking?
mom:......Dad's awake now, if you want to talk to him.
Dad: Hey Beck, how are you? (right away I know one thing for sure....my dad has been drinking and it explains a lot)
me: hey dad, how ya feeling?
Dad: I'm tired. I'm 52 years old, I'm tired.
me: yeah it happens.
Dad: Well, I'm sure as shit not 40 anymore that's for sure
me: well that's good, it's be odd having a dad only 8 years older than me
(yeah when he's sober my dad can do math like that with no problem....this was a test)
me: Dad, how ya feeling? Cause I heard you were sick and I got really, really upset about how bad it could be and ended up in the hospital myself with a panic attack.
(here's the thing about my dad...when he's drinking he's really emotional. SO I'm playing on that. It might work it might not.)
Dad: Beck, I'm old and tired, but I'm not sick. I'm just not always fun to be around, but was I ever fun? Don't you worry about your old man, I'm okay.
me: Dad, you didn't really answer the question...are your diabetes okay?
Dad: Beck that's nothing to worry about. Diabetes is nothing.
me: uh..okay dad. (Never argue with him when he's drinking. Rule #1 of the Wilcox household. I'm not there, which means if I piss him off, my mom gets the brunt of it....not fair to her....so I have to let this go)
We talk for a few more minutes, I manage to keep him for getting his usual pissed off story-telling drunk self and then I talk to mom again. She and I talk about Nixon, my sister and my nieces before we say our goodbyes. At one point, she and I were both crying....that NEVER happens! My dad usually says "I love you", that did not happen last night. But my mom said she's proud of me for being so strong and for knowing exactly what I want for my family (having an only child).
I may not have solved shit, but I spoke to them and laid down the law again. I love how my folks really think I'm going to just disappear for 3 years and not hear anything from family if there are concerns.
I showed them!