Tuesday, June 30, 2015

my escape and return to the nest

I left home as soon as I possibly could - I had just turned 17 and was starting university in the next city. Its fair to say I was pretty excited, and fair to say my mother had grave reservations, mostly because she knew I had a bad relationship with my Dad and it might not get fixed by going our separate ways.

It actually got worse in fact, because when we spent time together - and by this I mean a short afternoon tea visit on neutral (public) territory or the occasional overnight stay so I could come home to visit friends - we were almost outraged to find how much the other one pissed us off. We couldn't cope anymore because we were out of practice, and being suddenly thrown together only brought the personal atrocities of the other as a shock to the system.

I hadn't forgiven my father for abusing the heck out of me when I was a child, and he hadn't forgiven me for growing up and having an opinion - and it wasn't just that I had opinions about our family or our relationship, but actually any time I opened my mouth to comment on, well, anything, he pulled the incensed face. Steam could have literally come out of his ears, even when we have the same bad opinion of the same bad eggs.... the fact that I could express myself when I was raised not to, was something he struggled to adapt to.

He still makes a face when I express myself, and mostly tries to remove me from a group discussion on anything - seriously on a daily basis he will hijack a conversation I begin with my mother and then become angry that I am an active participant in the conversation..... and he has absolutely no awareness of his role in the conversation or how it is he became angry.

And here I am living with it full time again - which is a pretty surprising turn of events, but I guess life knows what we need, and if my 83 year old father isn't going to live forever, this is our only time to learn to live peacefully together and patch things up.

When I was finished uni my parents were ready to Grey Nomad it, and offered me the house in return for paying bills, watering the garden, and caring for pets. Awesome. We mostly only spent Christmas and significant birthdays together..... until, surprise twist, I got sick.

I started to need my parents to be there - and by the time I had my life on track, Perth was entering The Rental Crisis. I spent a long time trying my guts out to get a lease anywhere on my own, on disability pension, and being passed over constantly for families and groups who could pay a higher rent - even if they ultimately trashed the house, never paid rent, and were forcefully evicted.

While my health at least stabilised - Dad's declined - and every time his life was in danger my Mum and I appreciated the comfort of being together, and living as a team, pulling him through, getting things done, supporting each other through code blues, and open heart surgeries, and one damn thing after another.

The Grey Nomading chapter is over.... we are here together.... learning to live together and trying to make the most of time together (and not kill each other, to be honest) this is it - we cope better together even though some of us have very poor social skills and are at different stages of our lives... it just kinda works.


  1. Your father is my mother.

    I have no idea why she hates me, possibly because of my father. They separated when I was 14 divorced when I was 20. He got involved with a church group and well, we were heathens. I didn't care for him and when they got divorced it was the last time I saw him.

    My mother has had health issues since after I was born, apparently I ruined her uterus and she needed a hysterectomy after having me. I wonder if this was part of the reason. I've been living my life in hospital or doctors rooms since I was ten when she had a melanoma removed and back in 1984 it was a big deal hospital stay. Her health was on track until my 20s but by then emotional baggage was happening.

    By my thirties I was still at home and looking after and helping her and now here at 41 I still have no life. It's depressing, my own debilitating health issues of migraines and crippling sciatica make it hard for me to do anything for her and her bulging and herniated discs and sciatica don't help her. She's been on a walker for 4 years and has fallen over 5 times in that time. Ambos were called every time as I certainly can't pick her up.

    I am the selfish one. Even though I am the only one of her 6 children helping her. She has only said about three times she appreciates everything I do, but her actions and other words prove her wrong. I am selfish, only care about myself, never think of anyone else, need to shut up, have no opinion, and what I do say is wrong. according to her. So I know exactly what your father is doing to you because my mother does it to me.

    Is it them with the problem, absolutely. Are they going to get over it, god no. We either put up with it or walk away and from the sound of it, neither of us can financially do that.

    It sucks, but sometimes it's like you just gotta suck it up and get on with it, but the anger, hatred and resentment builds. And that sucks even worse. Although what sucks most for me is not having my own life with my own partner and kids and friends. And with the way things are, I don't know if I ever will. That gets me seriously depressed. and she often says I'm depressed and I think, well of course I effing am, I'm 41 and live with my effing mother and have no effing life. Of course I'm effing depressed.


    1. Wow, there are so many parallels in our lives, I was a young girl getting farmed out to friends families while my dad had so many heart investigations and tests when he retired when I was in second grade.

      My siblings aren't here either and with one of them I don't even know which country he is in half the time, he has a habit of ringing us once a year, and its always to say he just returned from somewhere overseas, and I think... if anything happened to Dad I would not even be able to contact him, I'd have to ask the police to help find him. I'm the youngest by a million miles - my brothers are both over 60 now and I'm the unmarried without kids so I'm the one to take care of my parents.

      Its so emotional and grueling and I don't know anyone else in the same boat so I thought I'd start writing about it. I'm sorry you have such similar hardships in your life but I'm grateful you are sharing them with me. I really appreciate your honesty.

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