- He abandoned the family without a word when I was eight years old.
- He asked me to take a dna test when I was 32 so he'd have leverage to divorce mom.
- He frequently sat at the kitchen table in the early-am hours with a gun, convinced mom was having an affair right under his nose.
- He planted tape recording devices throughout the house.
- He drank a lot and never held a job for more than a year.
- He called my mom, "JoJo the dog-faced girl," during dinner at a fancy restaurant.
- He would pout at the dinner table and refuse to eat if mom asked him to cut back on adding salt to his food. (He did this at my collge graduation party in front of all of my friends.)
- He frequently yelled at my mom in public...until we finally refused to go anywhere with them because of his behaviour.
Bleh. I could go on and on and on.
Dad and I were talking the other night and I asked him why he and mom didn't just.get.divorced. He replied that mom refused to talk about it...except once.
Dad: I went to a graduation party for a co-ed at the university. She was affiliated with the fraternity when I was working as an alumni. I had bought her a pair of earrings for her graduation and she sent me a thank you note, which you mother opened when it came in the mail. This was about 10 years ago.
Jill: That's a very personal gift to give someone you don't know very well.
Dad: It's all that I could think of giving her. Your mother read the note and said, "I want a divorce." (Smirk)
Jill: Perhaps it's because of all of those years when you never gave mom a birthday or Christmas gift....even though she bought you something for every single event. Plus, earrings are not an appropriate gift to give a young woman, they're waaaay too personal.
Dad: Ahhh (eyes gleaming). They were black onyx to go with her naturally blonde hair. (Smirk)
Jill: You were 72 years old Dad...and she was 18. What the hell were you thinking.
I thought about my mom all night after that conversation. She endured the worst of the worst by staying with him...and she always refused to divorce or leave...even after dad left her and was unfaithful. Something that he frequently accused her of doing.
Why was my mother so weak, and why did she accept this piss-poor treatment throughout her entire life? It snuffed the laughter and humor right out of her body. I never, ever knew her to be happy. I just wish I knew then what I know now.
Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.
Mom wasn't nice to me, and she took most of her unhappiness out on me. But now, I understand why. Finally, I understand.
I. Want. A. Do. Over.
For her, and for us.
But it's all over and there is nothing that I can do, nothing that can be undone. No do over, no take back, no salve. Just me, walking around with salt in my wounds and feeling deep, deep regret and powerlessness and futility.