Initially, I wasn’t going to say who this post is about. I was going to disguise the person with just a “he” or maybe “they” but I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think he reads my blog. I don’t know if I care if he does.
Before today, I hadn’t talked to my father for at least six weeks…maybe eight.
I called him a few weeks before Oliver’s second birthday party. I felt obligated. I didn’t want him to come.
I called him and got no answer. I texted him the details of Oliver’s party and after getting no response, I finally left him a voicemail.
I never heard from him.
Today I called one of his sister’s to thank her for a card and money she had sent to Ollie for his birthday. She was the one who came and picked me up, more times than not, when it was my father’s “weekend”. She’s one of my many mothers – women who have decided I am worth caring about and for – and one of the few of my father’s siblings who realize he’s sick and that he’s been sick for a very long time.
Before I called his sister, I tried Dad’s phone one last time and got his voicemail again. I didn’t leave a message.
Toward the end of the conversation with my aunt, I asked her if she had spoken with Dad. “I call and call but he never answers; I always get his voicemail.”
I admit it, I was a bitter. Stuck between the knowledge I hadn’t wanted him at Ollie’s party anyway and the knowledge that he should have wanted to be at his only grandson’s second birthday party.
I remarked to my aunt that I figured if he were dead, AT&T would have shut his phone off for non-payment. Somehow my aunt didn’t find the humor in my jaded comment.
I have no doubt he will die an early death. Since I was a kid, I’ve known he wasn’t “right in the head” and since I was a teenager, I’ve had the dark knowledge that he will probably kill himself – purposely or accidentally. He has a habit of making very poor life decisions from drugs and alcohol to beating up on whoever happened to be his wife at the time. Add that to the fact he’s mentally ill and you have a powder keg with a fuse that’s quickly burning down to nothing.
Today he called me. He was crying. He admitted he had been depressed for a while and he didn’t know how to handle it. He admitted this after I called him a liar three times for telling me he was fine. He scared me.
He has never called me when he was crying. I think I might have seen him cry three times in my life.
He has never admitted that he is anything other than the poster boy for mental stability.
I assured him he needed to get help. He needed to talk to someone. Get on medication. Fix himself. Find someone who can help him find some semblance of level.
He scared me. Scared me deep down. I was surprised that after years of distancing myself from him that I could be shaken to such an extent to actually be scared he might kill himself.
I called my aunt back and warned her about my fears and she promised to call him later in the day and see if he answered the phone. She said she’d try and check up on him.
I looked for inpatient hospitals near him. I looked into involuntary committal laws in his state and I finally called him and told him I was scared for him. I told him to go to the hospital I had found. He told me he was fine. He was lying.
But there’s only so much I can do. There’s only so much I can help him. He has to help himself and I know he won’t.
There’s just so much you can do until you have to save yourself.
No person can take that kind of stress for very long without losing themselves in the process.
It’s like drowning and humans are selfish creatures; most of us fight to live.
I’m at that point where I can’t take the stress any longer.