*A brief disclaimer: I praise the current actions and service of the police force in this post, but despite this the actions of the past are not erased. The actions they decided to take in the past (or rather not take) will not serve to bring the dead back to life, nor mend the wounds of the past.
Whatever they do now does not excuse past action/inaction and those broken by past incompetence and the inability of certain individuals on the force to fulfill the job description provided will have consequences that will not impact only this generation, but the ones to follow.
Last night things at home reached a breaking point and my father made the decision to toss both I and the puppy out. In summary because I refused to maintain an entire house when I only have the use of one room, I confronted him about allowing my brother free access to further traumatize me and had my own money transferred to my account.
I suppose it must suck to realize that a person is not your personal Cinderella, nor do they intend to repeat the mistakes of their mother and let you run them into the ground. He was angry that I had obtained audio evidence of him gaslighting me, saying horrific things relating to my PTSD then flat out denying them. I didn’t take the recordings with the intent to publish or extort and will not: I simply took the step needed to confirm that I was in fact not going crazy or becoming ‘worse than your mother’.
The depths people who behave in an abusive fashion will sink to in order to maintain some kind of control shouldn’t surprise me any longer, but here we are. I’m grateful for the conduct and humanity of the police, who listened to everything that has been happening recently and behaved with compassion. The less said about the psychiatric nurse in their employ who fled the room after she laughed at my eating disorder diagnosis and I informed her it was by no means funny, the better.
You cannot find good help these days.
Suffice to say that on top of other circumstance my housing application is being expedited, and I imagine come monday the phone will be blowing up with my psychiatrist and various other organisations. He was not the first to suggest I find my own place in the world but has been one of the most vocal, and my father spiraling out of control because I wished to have some form of stability and reliance upon my own has proven the doctors’ sentiments wise.
Of course it’s not a simple or easy matter. I haven’t lived alone in a long time and there are the practicalities to consider, but I no longer beat myself up over whether or not my father will be able to care for himself. I have sacrificed so much in the past year and a half, not least my health. I have put my physical recovery on hold and been incapable of resting. He has enabled me and enacted emotional abuse to the point of telling me I could have my detox meds or a bottle of vodka, and I know that I will never be able to get better or clean in this house.
As long as I remain, he knows which buttons to push and how to put me in a position where there is no good choice. He does this because having someone running around after him at their own expense is preferable to being alone, but I have always been alone. Aside from my own bedroom I am basically unwelcome in any other part of the house, yet it is a given assumption I will take care of everything.
Despite my brothers’ emotional and mental abuse, I am supposed to bear the brunt of it without complaint and he is given unfettered access to the house despite never lifting a finger nor contributing a damn thing to my mothers’ care or funeral expenses. Once upon a time I believed my mother crazy and paranoid: but I now realize how right she was. My father is a person who on the surface appears to be charming and caring and he retains that mirage, like the flat surface on a pond.
Until something that shatters the cool reflection happens and his sense of order and entitlement are disrupted. It’s possible that it’s not entirely his fault; he comes from an older world where women knew their places, and mental illness was something to be cured with electrodes and a long stint in the hell of the local asylum. He has spent fifty years having my mother cater to his every whim and tantrum, and now he finds himself without control. Perhaps it is even a natural response for him to fling himself against the bars of the cage he has built himself: if you want to be loved, you don’t do it by demanding everything of others and offering nothing in return.
You do not respond to emotional distress by walking from the room, because feelings make you ‘uncomfortable’ and then expect the person you have abandoned to do everything short of wiping your own arse. Care is a two way street. Will my dad be alright without me here? Who the hell knows. But battling physical and mental issues while trying to resolve yourself with the past, being embroiled in a huge police investigation while living with someone who makes terrible remarks about rape survivors isn’t it.
Trying to recover from an addiction and an eating disorder while living with someone who habitually throws verbal abuse at any woman who doesn’t live up to his size zero ideals, who buys you vodka instead of food and responds to every negative sentiment you express with ‘it must be the drink’ is not sustainable.
The fact is, he’s not my problem anymore. I’m no longer going to hold my breath under the surface, and suffocate to avoid causing unhappy ripples. I deserve a life and the chance to move forward and finally begin to heal, which is something I cannot begin to hope for here. I asked for some space, independence and a basic modicum of respect and in return I was shown the true colours of another. It’s not easy or simple by any means and the future remains uncertain for now, but it won’t be the first time I’ve had to move on or rebuild things.
This time I’ve learned my lesson, and whatever I build will be mine alone.