If you’ve ever wondered if there is actually a place called Wit’s End, I’m here to tell you, it does exist. I’m there. And I’m considering buying a summer home.
I’m sitting here, trying to wrap my head around the events of yesterday. Received another visit from my father early in the morning. The only reason he stopped by was to complain about something I have absolutely no control over. So, he’s screaming at me on the front porch (loud enough that the neighbors can hear, and I’m surprised that no one peeked their heads out the front door), and I’m curled over, arms over my chest, asking him repeatedly to stop. Nothing else, just ‘please, stop.’ And he continued to shout and I started to cry….
And that pretty much describes every aspect of my relationship with my father. If I were writing a movie script, this would be the point I would insert a fade out to a quick montage of every time I’ve been screamed at, called names, and belittled, and every time I’ve sat back, just waiting for it to end.
Sadly, that porch scene was the highlight of my day. It went downhill from there.
I never thought that I would honestly be scared enough of that man to actually have an emergency strategy in place – someone waiting to call 911 with my location if I could only hit the speed dial on my cell phone. No, I suppose that’s not true. There have been moments throughout my life where friends have insisted on coming home with me, just in case.
Rather than go through every detail of the events of yesterday afternoon and evening, let’s just leave it that I was able to get the majority of my possessions out of their house, no police had to be called, and I came home last night heartbroken, but safe.
This is what I know for sure:
- I am tired of being scared of my parents.
- I am tired of arguing month after month about what a failure I am.
- I am tired of defending myself and my choices.
- I am tired of crying after phone calls, fearing the knock on the door, and living in a constant state of near panic.
- I am tired of being owned and controlled because my dad is the co-signer on my mortgage.
- I am tired of feeling horrible about myself.
- I am tired of not being heard.
- I am tired of being reminded that I should just be grateful that they adopted me.
I am tired of fighting for a relationship with my father that he obviously doesn’t want.
I have spent too many years hoping and waiting for things to change. I’m 30. It’s time for me to start making some changes in my life. I can’t afford to keep spending energy on such a negative place. I have to choose what’s important to me and what really matters, and focus my time, love, and attention on things that are really of value and will improve my life, the lives of others, and the world as a whole. My father is an adult, and he makes his own choices about how he’s going to act and what he’s going to do, and I can’t be responsible for that. I can’t be responsible for him, and I do not owe him my life because he made the decision to adopt me.
It ends today.
The thing of it is, I really should be a lot more upset about the idea of cutting my father out of my life. I should be in tears, sobbing as I write these words. But, I’m not. I actually feel…relieved.
And more than a little scared of the unknown. His finances have always been kind of a safety net, his home always been a crash landing pad. It has never come for free and his love for me has never been unconditional. But the resources have been there when I needed them. Now, I’m not so sure of what’s going to happen when I can’t make my mortgage payment and default. But we’ll see.