I Just Want My Dad Back! The Weeks Following
The next few days after my dads memorial were a hard adjustment. The true adrenaline had officially worn off and now it was “back to the everyday grind.” I had my two little ones to worry about and my youngest was about to turn two. And with everything happening the week before, the thought of having to throw a party was another hit to the heart. I mean my daughter wouldn’t remember her birthday but I had to show her and our oldest that things were getting back to normal. My mom had been staying with my grandma and had yet to return to the house. So I decided that we would throw a small party at my grandmas. It was just our small family of four, my grandma, and my mom. My daughter got her Elmo cake in which she was delighted. It felt very odd not to have my dad there for this. He was always so happy when it came to my girls and his face lit up just thinking of them. It felt like we were robots and just went through the motions.
The following day, I packed up my girls and we went back to my grandmas. As much as I wanted the alone time, I knew I needed to be with my mom. I knew I needed to be around people who cared about my girls. When I got there my aunt and uncle had stopped by. It was great to see them and it was great to have everyone there. I remember my mom had the girls on a small walk with her dog, and my grandma had went over to check on my great great aunt who lived a few houses down. We sat there and talked about great memories of us all together and “happy.” As we were talking my uncle, who is an ordained minister, got a look on his face of seriousness. A look that I now know was about to spill some revelations. As we sat and talked he asked that I had come sit on the couch. The feeling I had was not a good one. As he began he told me how much my Dad had loved me and told me, along with my girls, were his bright spot. He told me that it was us who brought him through some tough times. (As he started to tell me this stuff I started to understand just what was about to come out.) My uncle told me that I was very loved (again) but there were some things he had wanted me to know.
As you read this please know my uncle was trying to help me gain understanding to some of my dads underlying depression issues. It may have not been the time to do this with how little time had passed, but as I get further into my healing it was the right thing to do.
He started by telling me that my Dad had come to him a few years back. About three to be exact. My dad had been very upset and had called him and my aunt crying. He said he needed to talk to someone. My uncle being the man the man he is, told my Dad to please come up to their home to talk. (In addition to being a minister my uncle also did counseling sessions through his church.) I am very happy that my Dad had reached out. My uncle knew from years passed that my parents had some bumps in their marriage. There had been a huge gambling issue (in which I knew about but didn’t realize the severity) and other minor things in which every marriage has.
When my Dad arrived my uncle told me they had sat down and my dads first words were of defeat. He let my dad talk and he had told him that my moms gambling issue had really put a toll on him. He felt as though he was working for nothing. We found out just how bad it was. He told my uncle that my mom had been using anything she could get her hands on to gamble. Credit cards, bank account money, and she was even asking for money from people saying she needed cash for things like bills. She would empty their bank accounts and theyd be left with virtually nothing. No money for gas, no money for food, nothing. I knew about this issue over the years. There were, on a few occasions, where my Dad had asked me for money for gas, and a little money here and there. But in saying that I had NO idea just how bad things had been. My uncle listened intently and instead of giving opinions he let him talk and get things off his chest. My dad told him there were days he would get so depressed he wouldn’t know what to do and then on top of that he started having anxiety. The anxiety would take over and he wouldn’t be able to sleep, and every day things such as opening containers or opening a pill bottle became too much. Over the years my Dad had been on some pills to help with his mood but he eventually went to the doctor and was prescribed Xanax and an antidepressant. (This will be important later in my blog) He had told my uncle that his nerves were shot and these pills helped but only took the slight edge off. (In looking back,THIS was a huge sign that I should’ve take more seriously.) My uncle knew there was more to this story but he didn’t push and allowed my dad to only say what he felt comfortable telling him. The next words that my dad spoke were a HUGE shock. My dad had revealed that he wanted to separate from my mom and wanted a divorce. He wasn't sure what to do or where to turn. He said he couldn’t, “Live like this any longer and it was taking a huge toll on him.” But in saying this he was also very scared. My Dad had one of the biggest hearts you’d ever see. He hated to let people down and hated seeing people upset. I knew for my Dad to say this was a huge thing and it meant he was very upset. My dad never expressed these feelings to me personally. I wish that he would’ve now because knowing just how deep the pains was I felt like I could’ve helped him through this. As I had mentioned before, my mom was always in my life but we weren’t close. When my uncle had told me this my immediate reaction was to want to hate the person that had caused this pain, but I knew there was much more to this story. My dad never had time to take for himself. He took care of me when I was growing up, busted his ass at work to provide, and keep a roof over our heads. He took care of my mom during her cancer, and the little things he did do were just that. Not enough. In my heart I feel like his actions to want a divorce were because he did so much for the family, and felt like there was absolutely no return in what he was giving. He worked very hard, some very long hours, and would go months straight working without days off so he could buy a house for us. Only for someone to take the hard earned money he made, and throw it away in mere seconds.
After listening to what my uncle and aunt had said I really had to sit back and evaluate everything again. The pain of losing my dad, my best friend, was still raw. I now had to sit and go through and process what he had just told me, and process something else. That something else is what will lead me to my thinking and healing process.
*In saying that my Dad went to my aunt and uncle is huge. My mom and her brother are far from close. There is a lot of jealousy there, and hate. Mainly from my moms side. So to turn to these people, the people who she didn’t like, was big. He turned to the people in which he thought would understand and would give him the best direction/advice. There were many things over the years that my Dad didn’t like or understand about my moms family. There was a lot of knit picking, a lot of jealousy, and a lot of things that could really wear a person down. And did. But the fact that he turned to these people I felt was big. He knew these people knew my mom and how she was and he thought going to them would help ease his mind.*
I took this new info with me that night when I left my grandmas and went home to process my thoughts.
A 24/7 hotline in which trained professionals are there to help people struggling with the dark thoughts of suicide. Please if you or anyone you know is in a rough time in life please reach out with this number.