Sunday, October 31, 2010

still with me

I do have an update on that dinner night with Dad - it went well actually, and I want to talk about it more, but my mind's not focused on that today and it will have to wait.

I almost caved three nights ago. The impulse surprised me - I hadn't felt it so strongly for so long - but there it was. I was at a Halloween party. I'd had four beers and didn't feel at all drunk, and as I became aware of that, I thought that it must be because I weigh more again, and so my tolerance has gone back up. And suddenly the three slices of pizza seemed like far too much, and the room of loud and happy and drunk people was suffocating, and I left for awhile and wandered the halls and found myself looking at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. And I could see the stalls in the reflection behind me. And suddenly I wanted to just be empty again.

No. It's not worth it. It's been nearly four months, your teeth have started to get strong again, don't do it.

But once in four months isn't so bad, really, surely just once more won't ruin my teeth.

And I spent a long time in the bathroom, arguing with myself, instead of at the party with everyone else. When I finally went back - still full, still uncomfortable with it - the party was moving to another pub and I was being ushered forward. I didn't want to go. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to be with my boyfriend, who might not know why I was so upset, or then again he might, but either way he would hold me until the impulses softened.

But then an old friend started telling me about his problems with his girlfriend, and I could tell he needed to talk, and so I went along to the next pub and bought him a beer and listened. Maybe I was hoping that listening to his problems would get my mind off my own, or maybe this was a throwback to the days when I thought my only worth was my ability to make other people feel better, or maybe a bit of both.

Then again, sometimes I still think that's my only worth.

I get like this sometimes, usually when I'm drinking and at a party, and I'm beginning to think it's not the drinking that has me feeling so flawed and inadequate, it's the party. Because sometimes I drink with smaller crowds, a friend or two, and then I don't feel so self-destructive. I think it's the large crowds that get to me. Something about seeing so many carefree people, and realizing how far I am from that, makes me feel like despite all my efforts, I'll never be like them, there's something wrong with me, something that can never be fixed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

one last chance

Lately I'd been thinking that I want Dad completely, totally out of my life. To the point of having my wedding, whenever that day comes, in another city just so he wouldn't be the one to walk me down the aisle. To the point of not going to his funeral, when that day comes. I figured I would be safer, happier in the long run that way.

But...that car ride with Dad was probably the most honest conversation we've ever had. And it got me thinking, maybe we can make something work after all.

Maybe I could give it one last chance.

So I called him...and I could tell he was a little confused. I never call him. I never really talk to him. Even when I call Mom and he picks up the phone, I just ask to talk to her, and not to him.

I asked if we could get coffee or something after school.

He said sure, maybe we could go for dinner, he could bring Mom too.

I told him I was thinking it'd be nice if it was just the two of us, and we could talk.

Silence. More surprise, I guess.

And so we decided on dinner, just the two of us, at 7:30.

My boyfriend said, "your funeral."

But there's a small spark of hope in me. Maybe tonight will go okay. Maybe it will lead to other times that go okay.

And if least I gave it one last chance.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

we've all been here

I have a fancy meeting tonight, which means I need to wear fancy clothes.

Clothes I haven't worn for a couple of years.

And of course they don't fight right.

I'm trying not to let it get to me.

I want this day over.

Monday, October 18, 2010

a fun morning with dad

"Let me tell you something, now that I've got you in the car and you're not going anywhere. I didn't appreciate your telling Mom that you were leaving because of me. I had to sleep outside that night and we almost got divorced over it."

" wanted me to lie to her?"

"Don't go and move in with your boyfriend and then tell me it's because of something I did."

And so there it started.

Oh, I knew Mom talked to him about it. How could she not? She'd thought - and so had I - that I would live with her until I was married, that my leaving would be a happy occurrence, with me moving on to the next phase of my life. I wasn't supposed to leave because my emotional survival depended on it; it wasn't supposed to be like that, and she was angry at him for making it so.

But he'd denied he had anything to do with it from the beginning, insisted on it, until both Mom and I believed his mind simply wouldn't accept any other possibility.

And then for him to bring it up on his own - well, I definitely wasn't expecting that. Maybe he was, actually, wondering whether he'd done something to make me leave. Maybe he wanted me to reassure him that he hadn't.

Not a chance of that.

I told him things I'd wanted to for a really long time. That I needed to leave because living there, with him, was giving me panic attacks. That he was emotionally abusive. That most of the time he was not a good father. That he never said he loved me or was proud of me; all I ever got from him was anger and criticism and swearing. That if he'd hurt me physically the way he'd hurt me emotionally, child services would have taken me away years ago.

It went by in a blur. He was angry, but not as angry as I thought he'd be.

And it was so, so strange for him to be the one to bring it up.