1st 2009 Update – Long Overdue

It has been a REALLY long time since I’ve posted anything, so I’ll start with the ‘catching up’ part….

I stopped by with the kids and visited with Dad for a while – this would have been mid September.  Dad was leaving town, but he was only going to be gone for a week or so.  He was also going to have a load of mulch delivered, and the boys were going to come over to help him spread it around.  As an aside, the load of mulch that Dad gets is typically a medium sized dump truck load, about five yards.  That works out to 135 cubic feet.  The oak trees in his back yard don’t allow much to grow under them, so he mulches much of his back yard.

I periodically drove past his house, and he came back about two weeks later.  No phone call.  He had been there about a week, when the car-sized pile of mulch appeared in his driveway.  Still no phone call.  Over the next weeks, the pile of mulch shrunk as he distributed it.  Still no phone call.  His car left, replaced with Mom’s car.  His car came back, and Mom’s stayed.  Still no phone call.  Thanksgiving came and went, still no call.  Christmas came and went, also with no phone call.  Now it’s getting close to four months since I’ve heard from him, and I’m not really expecting to.  Probably not ever.

Which, honestly, is fine with me.  My Wife doesn’t understand that, she thinks that I need to keep up contact with him until he tells me to stop.  Unfortunately, knowing how Dad is, I think that’s just what he’s told me.  If I show up, he’s nice and courteous and kind to the kids, but that’s the way he is.  He’s quite like a politician in some respects.  He’s pleasant and can carry on a conversation with anyone.  Even people he doesn’t like would never know it.  The difference between people that he likes and people that he doesn’t is quite simply if he chooses to be around them or not.  I think that Dad has chosen NOT to be around me.  As painful as that sounds, I think that I’ve known it for quite some time.  It just took a while to sink in.

That shrinking pile of mulch is what did it.  It brought to mind a similar thing quite a few years ago.  We were moving, which happened quite a lot.  Several friends offered to help pack and load.  The ones whose help was accepted were ones that Dad liked.  He even called one to remind them of their offer.  The ones that Dad didn’t like (and I don’t remember the reason) were never called, even though their physical help would have been much more valuable, as they had two teenage boys who played football.  Not that the situation is unusual, people make decisions about who they willingly associate with all the time.  The difference is that all of them had recently been to a farewell picnic, and Dad had been in animated conversations with them.  They had joked around, and an observer would have never known that there was any preference between them.  That showed up when Dad could exercise some choice, and then his choices were quite clear, if unspoken.  Everything just came into focus with that dwindling mulch pile.  He’d rather do all the work himself that have me or my kids around.  Oh well, his loss…

In another vein, the kids and I got Christmas cards from Mom.  The boys got a card (combined, btw) that was innocuous.  The card that she sent me was also quite bland.  She told me that she was still at the beach with bronchitis, and that my childhood couldn’t have been all that bad, since I didn’t run away.  I had high hopes that it would make interesting blogging fodder.  My Daughter’s card was accompanied by one of Mom’s infamous ‘boxes of junk'(tm) that she’s famous for.  It included an opened bag of restaurant crackers, a sheet of ‘high school musical’ stickers, and some Disney princess napkins.  My Daughter didn’t want any of it.  The card (which she also didn’t want) read in part ‘Someday you’ll be old enough to come see us without your parents permission – I just hope we don’t die or lose our memories first.  Maybe Daddy can take you to see (grandfather), so he doesn’t spend all day at Uncle (brother)’s grave crying – poor (grandfather). ‘ and ‘Isn’t it a shame when parents destroy the dreams of their children?’

I’ve gotten several messages from Mom, but haven’t bothered to get them off my voicemail yet.  I just haven’t been in the mood.  Obviously, if there is anything interesting there, I’ll post it.

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~ by namegoeshere on January 11, 2009.

12 Responses to “1st 2009 Update – Long Overdue”

  1. Wow. I’ve been checking in every now and then to see how things are going but haven’t heard anything. Glad you’re back even if it’s intermittent.

    You know your father much better than I do but maybe it’s possible that your father didn’t feel the need to trouble any of you? But I agree that not hearing from him after so long says a lot.

    It’s interesting that you’re so detached from it all…

    • Since Dad lives so close, it was not unusual to hear from him every week or so – before the problem Mom had on holiday.

      As to my detachment, it probably has something to do with growing up around Mom, who was very emotionally ‘inconsistent’.

  2. OMG. I just stumbled across your blog looking for ways to communicate with my bipolar mother. It appears that you and I have the same mom. lol.

  3. Glad to see your newest post (although I’m late getting to it). I am going on three months without having contact with my mom, so reading this post made extra sense. I hear you re: emotional inconsistency, and the need to just deal with it our own ways.

  4. I just found this blog through a link to a community on livejournal that I’m a member of. I just read your entire blof from start to finish.

    I haven’t spoken to my mother for going on three months now too. I’m only 23, so a lot of the bipolar behaviour she exhibited while I was growing up, I simply allowed to go on because I didn’t know any better.

    As I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to step back from the situation and view her as the truly poisonous person that she is, and am trying my best to limit her involvement and influence over my 12 year-old brother (who currently lives with her). My dad, like yours, has been complacent and enabling fore more than 25 years.

    Now that she is out of my life, my only hope is that I don’t inherit this behaviour from her and that she’ll eventually leave me in peace.

  5. I am bipolar and a mother and was drawn to your site because I want to read about the experiences of the children of bipolar people and remind myself that what I say and do towards my kids absolutely does impact them, and to continue to work towards “normal”. I only recently realized that I was bipolar. I had always known something was wrong but never had a name and everyone in my family thought I was just extremely emotional or attributed it to a number of other physical problems I have. At 28 I realized something was truly wrong and that I was going to lose my now-husband if I didn’t get help for my depression. Everyone goes for help for depression, and that’s what my doctor gave me medication for, but I thought my mania was just “normal” or making up for lost time after depression and only recently did I question it. I swing from depressed and mean to depressed and sweet to normal and sweet to manic and sweet to manic and angry, every month. I am a full-time stepmom to two children whose biological mother has had only a few weeks of contact with them in the last few years (and who, ironically, is paranoid schizophrenic and much much worse than I – she did not become ill until a year after my husband divorced her), then 2 and 3 and now 7 and 8.

    As you know, bipolar people really shouldn’t have kids — there is just so much that can go wrong, the moods strike so suddenly sometimes – we need a lot of leeway to learn and to rest if we cannot make it that day. Now, at 31, I am doing everything in my power to get help and hope upon hope I did not hurt them too severely and that I can be who they need me to be. I even wear a rubber band on my wrist and if I think I’m about to walk into a situation where they have done something they know is wrong and I might lose my temper, I snap it as hard as I can to remind myself of how much words hurt and to be gentle. I want more than anything to not have this controlling me…it is exhausting to manage and exhausting to let loose so I might as well be exhausted managing it. My husband will not let me divorce him — he really wants to help me figure this out but I can’t stop thinking about how the kids bear the brunt of this, even if I am smart enough to outsmart myself, pay attention to the warning signs and try to make sure they are out of the way. Not to mention how absolutely tiring it is to control my emotions when I have to be there for the kids – whether I’m depressed and can barely manage to make them a snack or manic, have to stop every five minutes and make sure I am speaking to them in a loving voice and to control myself. I feel that he is an idiot for keeping me sometimes when I have offered to leave, and willingly because I would feel they were better off without me. I am heartbroken in a sense at what you had to go through and how much it must have taken for you to just stop caring. I grew up with an alcoholic father and everything that goes along with having one — now wonderful people but I absolutely did have to distance myself for many years and anyone who doesn’t understand, probably hasn’t been in even remotely the same situation.

    I am writing because I am truly trying to manage this as well as I can, and I wanted to know what you would have your mother do, in retrospect, as you grew up. What she might have said, what she might have done, what she could have done to make it easier, what she could have done if she had JUST. TRIED.

    Thanks for letting me babble. I could really use the input. Oh, and I’m a little manic right now so pardon the run-on sentences.

  6. Wow I have just been dealing with the pain for a very long time ! Growing up with a bi ploar mother was pure hell. Iam 38 years old and iam still dealing with it , she dosent seem to get any better just older and more impossible and I try to stay away but she lives around the corner from me if I don’t answer the phone she shows up @ my house and makes a scene.. as iam reading all of the replys and ur blog it seems as if its the same person. What I can’t get over is the hate she has towards me and how evil she could be and how jealous she is of me so I play down everything I try to look my worst and seem horrible when iam around her or else I feel she will hate me even more. Its terrible to have your own mother despise you ,backstab you talk about you and try to turn people against you even your own children. How do I forgive her how do I heal iam truly in pain even though I know she’s sick it hurts so bad ……

  7. I’m worried about you and your family. Are you ok?

  8. I am at my rope’s end with my mother. Your blog makes me feel less crazy myself – thank you for writing – it’s definitely cathartic for me to read these posts.

  9. Lisa:
    Just acknowledging that you have a problem is a tremendous step.
    The most damaging thing is blaming others for whatever is going on. A child doesn’t have the power to ‘make’ and adult feel anything. Causing them to feel responsible for mood swings they have no control over is wrong.

    Chris’ Daughter:
    We’re all doing fine. No contact with Mom for quite a while, and that seems to be just fine by everyone. The two older kids birthdays and Christmas have been historically difficult, but since we don’t have any contact with Mom, there’s no conflict between trying to accommodate Mom and enjoying ourselves. (No, the two NEVER occurred at the same time.)

  10. Wow… We have the same mom… Does anyone else’s mom have. ” fibromyalgia” I know my mom tries to diagnos my whole family that if she has these illnesses we all do… I’m 23 turning 24 and I have let my mom emotionally contol and brainwash me… She told me I was lyer my whole childhood.. Now I stuggle to make decisions because I do not believe I can be right…its wierd..

  11. I know its been a while, but thank you for writing your story… I’m having such a hard time rightnow and I had no idea that anyone could relate to me… I have never met a singal human who has.. So thank you.. Please keep writting…

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