It has come to my attention that I am so broken in my life that I am just not a good functioning person. I hurt deep within my soul. I struggle everyday and some days I can’t hold it all together.
There are a few people in my life that have always stood by me and one of the being my Grandmother. I try and talk to her often. Over the last few months the conversation has become hard and painful, she has recently told me to “just snap out if it” (my Bipolar) and the people that she has asked questions have told her it is not a real issue/ailment and I should be able to just switch it off.
Yikes, obviously not the right information but this is what she now has as her beliefs and as she is beautifully stubborn she will push ahead with this limited information and make it her own.
This morning I woke to a messenger message from her it was a link: Parental Alienation > One of the saddest things in this world, is to see a child grow up hating one of their parents because they only got one side of the story.
My heart broke again. If you have read some of my blog and have an inkling of the trauma I have been through and the greatest debate of my life with my feelings towards my father you will understand how hard it was to just see the post.
When I was 21 years old in 2005 it was at this time that the whole being ‘bipolar’ and not just being deeply depressed began to bubble to the top. I don’t know why I thought writing to my father was ever going to come out in my favour but I wrote to him in the hopes of him understanding where I was coming from and give him the chance to have his side of the story shared. * I need to let you know that I have struggled with both my parents and it wasn’t until a year and a half ago that my mum sat down next to me on the couch and she said she would honestly help answer any of my question in the hopes it will help us move forward and help me reconcile my own aching.
I was trying to mend the broken fences. Share my heart break, my concern and open the long closed lines of communication. It took him over a week to reply and his reply was over 6190 words, 12 pages of his brutal honesty. Every one of his words of honesty cut me to the core and any recognition of any wrong doing on his part was wordily written away and he was “clearing the air once and for all.”
I have shared some of his well thought out answers. I haven’t looked at this email for a very long time and it was only having my Grandmother poke the old wound that I felt I needed to share this. *I have changed names to allow some anonymity
Paragraph 3: “Many Times etc…This is such a thumb sucking paragraph. You have to stop blaming others for the choices you have made in your life
My Comment: I can never recall saying that I didn’t think you would ever amount to anything. That’s just crap. I have always wanted you to do what you wanted and what is best for you. You walk the road you walk. I totally reject the suggestion that I constantly called you a no hoper or words to that effect. If you ‘feel like shit’ that is self induced. Both your mum and I have said to you as you grew up, if you do not work hard at school and stick with it you will limit your choices in life. We did give you the example of the struggle we experienced in life by not having degrees or qualifications that could have bettered our lot in life. Both your mum and I left school early – me in Grade 10 and your mother in Grade 9. To say that ‘my own father can’t see any potential in me’ is just rubbish. Of course we did not see potential when you were making the myriad of self destructive choices you listed and it does seem to be your usual option to ‘not bother’ most of the time as you stated.
Please tell me what you did in that 5 1/2 years that you yourself are proud of then I will know what I should have been proud of.
Paragraph 4: “I then did a back flip….’ Veronica your maths does not add up. My recollection is you left school at 15 plus the 5 1/2 years of ‘self abuse’ then as you say 5 years of wonderful things with MC. That makes you 25 1/2 yrs old. Or do you mean that there was an overlap of self abuse during the ‘wonderful back flip years’ with MC?
My Comment: Yes you finished you grade 12 studies recently and I have said I was proud of you for that. As you said you did it to prove to yourself you were as smart as the rest – I always knew that you were – you just ‘didn’t bother’ any earlier. But to say that you ‘managed to clothe, feed, house, and look after my family with no ones help’ is flat out fantasy and sounds just like the the kind of crap and exaggeration your mother waffles on with when talking about her achievements. You are actually insulting your entire family by saying such a false statement.
You lived for years rent free at the kindness of MC’s parents. You have a defacto partner who works and assists. Your brother and sisters are always there to assist you with Eldest as is Mother in law and your own mother. People have made many purchases of clothing and shoes and baby needs for you and Eldest – I won’t list the many that I know of. You collect social security from the government even though you spent very little time being a tax payer prior to deciding to become a parent. To say that you have done it on your own, insults those mothers who juggle work and family and do it with joy. Some women, even though they have access to family, don’t even have the assistance of baby sitting. Step mum used to have to pay her own mother to help look after the girls when she worked – but Oh no you’ll just think I’m blowing Step mum’s trumpet again. Not so – I am just making a point to you that Step mum is like many other women who actually did do it without the help of others.
And to then say that you are not taking drugs or trying to harm yourself to get my attention means that you are either lying now or have done so in the recent past when you said to me how often you took drugs and how in debt you were because of them.
You still smoke and drink heavily even though you are carrying a child again, and you are on the strongest antidepressants you can get. Add that to the ‘red bulls’ you love so much – I would argue that whole paragraph. I wish it were the case and each time you say to me your are going to go ‘clean’ I live in hope because of my love for you, but each time I see that same self destructive depressed behaviour again, a piece of me dies – because I do not want to lose another child. Because you are no longer a child and are now responsible for your own decisions as an adult, I have to distance myself when you are on destruct mode because you do not listen to me, your mum, your siblings or your partner.
Paragraph 14: “There is also NO WAY”
My Comment: That is great that you would not say to Eldest that you never wanted her just as I have never said that I never wanted you – children happen in relationships – my children were not planned, but because I loved my children I stayed in a marriage for 18 years too long. But if you are praising your self for your honesty will you tell Eldest that you decided to stay with her daddy because “you wanted your children to have the same father?” Will you tell Eldest that you “decided to get pregnant because you needed ‘something’ to love?” Will you tell Eldest that “you hate your life so much that you couldn’t get by without antidepressants?” Will you tell ldest “you want to be the kind of mother your mother never was?”……..all of these things you have said on many occasions to me, but will you tell Eldest?
“You had your lover/mistress of 20 years move in to your children’s family home” Step Mum was not my mistress for 20 years – I’ve covered that. She was a part of our (your mother and I) lives for 7 years followed by a 9 year break. She was then part of our life again for 18 months before she could not cope with living that way anymore. I did not bring her into our home – your mother and I did collectively. Your mother commissioned an architect ($7,000) to draw plans to extend the house as we all (the 3 of us) wanted to try and make the extended family work. Yes it was not the ‘norm’ – but hey, we were consenting adults who were trying to make an unusual situation work. Your mother bought Step mum a diamond ring, a watch, a mobile phone, gym membership and wrote love letters – they are here if you wish to read – your mum’s handwriting is quite unique. As you sit in judgement of me – tell me is your relationship normal? Your mum and girlfriend’s? What is normal Veronica? Stop with the bullshit of saying it was me who did this to us. If you care to read other books other than self help, you will find that what we were trying to do was not that abnormal as you think. Jack Thompson the actor, lived and shared home with two women. Communes are based on free love and shared responsability of parenting regardless of who the biological parents are. Mormons (who are Christians) have as many wives as they wish. On reflection it seems that most people would have seen me having lots of affairs as more normal than an open and honest relationship that we tried.
If this was something I forced on your mum, why did she arrange a trip to Sydney with Step mum? It was because Step mum and I had had a trip to Brisbane and your mother wanted ‘equal time’ with her. What eventually drove Step mum away was how lazy your mother was. For the 18 months Step mum was with us she helped renovate the bathrooms and granny flat as well as cook, clean and shop. Your mother did very little. Ever seen her clean a toilet? Who does the bulk now? Sister, even though she is studying. If it wasn’t her it was Janet, but never your mother.
Your letter finishes off with more thumbsucking rubbish Veronica. Why have you bothered with this letter if you ‘do not need daddy to care?’
Are you really sure your problems are as a result of me being such a pathetic father? And if I am such a pathetic father – just leave me be Veronica, because if you do not remember the attention and love and time I have bestowed upon you then my decision to stay for my children, was wrong.
Let me just close in saying this has been a real “eye opener” Veronica, walking down memory lane with you has made me ask my self many questions. The one main question is why are you so sad with your life that you have to find blame in every one else? You know none of us has any right to feel that we have been disadvantaged in any way.
It still gives me a tremendous ache in my heart and we haven’t really spoken much at all. I grin and bear it for my children but they know how hard it is for me. I am still on anti depressants and mood stabilisers and had rounds and rounds of ECT and tried to talk about it, tried to learn from my highs and lows. I often fear that I don’t deserve this life I have. I will never be free of the pain and the turmoil I will always be broken.