My mom had told my dad multiple times to share photos of the crib and high chair they got from Craigslist with me, but she said he was “too busy” and never did it. Well, the reason it was too arduous for him is that he forgot he can actually use his smart phone… like an actual smart phone, and take a photo with it and text to me. I reminded my mom that he didn’t have to use his digital camera, upload, and email, but I’m not sure she really understood what I was saying. They have had smart phones for over a year now and still have no idea how to use them. My dad still randomly and accidentally texts me my mom’s number at least once a month.
So he sent me photos of these baby items “from friends” (a lie) and also sent me the measurements of the crib. The crib is NOT a crib: it’s a bassinet that is just as small as the bassinet Kaia outgrew in June. It’s unusable for her given her size. My dad insisted it could be used up to 12 months of age; yeah, maybe for a midget baby? They have no clue how things work with babies because it’s been too long for them. I told him that this bassinet is NOT a crib, it’s too small, and that I already told them my friend was loaning her pack and play to me. I also reminded him that he doesn’t have to email me photos from his digital camera; all he has to do is snap a photo from his phone and text to me. What was the response I got back? This is what he wrote, word for word:
“There is no room for the crib. You should just stay at the hotel as far as I’m concerned. Don’t fucken tell me what to do, bitch!”
You would think that after all these years of being yelled at, criticized, put down, and name-called by my dad for the most innocuous comments or actions done that I would be unfazed by this. But when I saw the email in my inbox, my face was burning hot, and I could feel my blood pressure rise rapidly. In that moment, I was reminded of the time when maybe 12 years ago, our dad screamed at Ed for something stupid as per usual at home, and even though Ed had gotten yelled at far more times than I ever did, Ed was in tears. My 30-something year old brother was in tears because of his dad. Just think about that for a second, and think about how absolutely heartbreaking that sounds. My dad’s screaming could drill my 30-something brother to tears, in just seconds. That’s the power he had over him.
In that moment, I decided that enough was enough. I had endured more uncalled for, wrongful treatment from them ever since I was a child. I had been name called, verbally and emotionally abused, wrongly accused of things I never did, gaslit, and made to feel like the worst daughter that ever existed. I was constantly called spoiled just for having the bare minimum. This was not the first time my dad had called me a bitch; in fact, I can’t even count on one hand the number of times it had happened. And it’s not the only bad word my dad had ever called me. I stuck by them through Ed’s suffering and death. I allowed them to be a part of my life, even when I really wanted to cut them out completely. I let them be a part of my wedding and even said really kind things about them in front of everyone they knew. Yet nothing I have ever done for them has been enough. All I have ever wanted is for them to be happy and proud for me. But no, that’s an impossibility. They are incapable of happiness or peace. They will never be happy. They will continue to live in their chosen clutter and dirt and squalor in that rotting and dilapidated house until the day they die — not because they have no money or options, but because they just love to be miserable and depressed.
So, this is the last straw for me. I’ve had to endure far more abuse than any one person should for the last 36 years. Broken promises, lies, accusations, name calling, constant insults. Enough is enough. And so I wrote this to him:
“All I did was give a suggestion. If you want to have that type of attitude at a simple suggestion, then you are the problem. What kind of father calls his daughter a bitch? I will not tolerate it. You have NO power over me. You will never meet Kaia with that attitude unless you apologize.”
My dad has never apologized to anyone in his entire life. He doesn’t even know what the word “apology” even means. He’s never been held accountable for anything he’s ever said or done, and like my mom, he thinks everyone else is the problem, not him.
So I realize this could mean that I’m actually, finally cutting them off, but maybe this is for the best. I am so sick of constantly putting their needs ahead of my own, compromising my mental health. I have a baby to care for and raise now. I need to set a good example for her, and I don’t want her exposed to this constant bullshit. This intergenerational family dysfunction needs to end HERE, right NOW.
The truth is that it’s not even just my parents’ behavior that disgusts me; they disgust me as human beings. It’s a sad thing to admit, but it is true. I’m disgusted and embarrassed by them. And I’m tired of always trying to honor them when I get treated like garbage in return.
They have no power over me. They will have no power over me.