I’ve been inspired. I read the book “Everything happens for a reason, and other lies I’ve loved.” By Kate Bowler. As I read her book, I began writing my own notes to relate, to maybe heal, to maybe share my story at some point.
In reading this book, I have to admit, I see myself and my struggles and sarcasm about inappropriate topics in this writer. Being looked at, as a poster child for suicide – when really, I’m not. I don’t understand victim or survivor as I look at those words as people who have overcame horrible things that have happened to them. I reached out and didn’t give up. And every person I told that I wasn’t okay, their returned answer was always “you’ll be fine.” “But, I won’t. I don’t feel okay. I’m not okay.” “You will, you’ll be fine.” They always repeated. And by the way, that is literally the worst thing to say to someone who is not feeling okay. See Kate’s Appendix 1. So I reached out again. And one person took me seriously and helped me logically look at my situation. “Okay. So, what do you do? What can you control?” They asked. “I’m miserable. My gym, my house. It’s cluttered with all my dads things. Every time I come home, his shit is everywhere.” “So move. Sell his stuff. Change gym classes.” It was so brilliantly simple. And that is what I did. I had something to focus on. I had a change I could evoke and follow through without anyone’s consent or approval. The book refers to it as being addicted to self-rule. “When everyone else is telling you to let go, god has a plan, run away from them, as fast as you can.”
I tell my story to some. The events that led up to that dreadful phone call by an asshole of a landlord. My dad diving off the deep end as I pleaded with him to tell me what was wrong. He never did. He never even left a damn note. Or even a video. He took video of his belongings on his phone. I scoured them over and over for a hidden message. I sent them to my friends to see if I missed something. I checked the backs of all his artwork for a letter and looked through his phone and email and iPad. I somehow knew all the passwords. But still, there was no message. There were his day to day rituals. His news notifications for politics and food. Bill notices, past due notices, lapse of his life insurance policy. And don’t think, insurance doesn’t cover suicide. It actually does, if it’s older than two years. Sucks I know that right? But now you do too. His house was clean and organized. I had bought him a first edition George Patton book i found in an old bookstore in scottsdale for his birthday just 20 days prior. It was laying on his coffee table with a bookmark in the middle. And yes, i read that page too – maybe the hidden message was there. It wasn’t, he had just been sitting on his couch reading a book. He probably read 3-4 books a week, he liked reading. The house had no fridge. But my mom mentioned she saw meat and cheese deli wrappers in the trash so he was eating. What an effing thought?! There was no alcohol in the house. My dad loved his whiskey or a gin and tonic. But there was not a bottle to be found. I went through trash bins and trash cans for answers or bottles. There was nothing there. Just a neat and tidy house, with his bed perfectly made as usual and not one dish in the sink. Also my dad. He wouldn’t even leave a coffee cup on the counter before going to work. The car was in the garage, a Mini Cooper this time. He loved that mini. It was dirty as all hell, very unlike my dad. Payments were past due on it, and I had to deliver it to BMW to return it. Not one soul at the dealer knew what to do with it. I told them i had no issue leaving it out with the keys in it. They reluctantly took it, made me give them my contact info. Those bastards sent me a bill for what was owed, what they had to put in it to get it ready for auction. As with all those notices i received, “to the estate of” I chuckled as i threw it in the trash. “Hope you have better luck finding something than I did.” Id say to myself.
You go through this extreme invasion of your parents privacy. Going through tax bills, divorce records, sales and purchases of houses etc etc. I looked through credit card records of his purchases to see if there was anything out of the ordinary. And there wasn’t. All checking accounts were empty or over drafted. Nothing indicated anything. Nothing told me something new. This act, just happened. For whatever reason. And, as the book says, you have those people that tell you “everything happens for a reason.” Really? Please tell me why this happened. I mean, I get it. I began to struggle with relationships and friendships and well, life. I made changes and I met my husband. I gained a new family, and daughters. 3 of them to be exact. 3 little girls that somewhere along the way began calling me Mom – to their own consent. Mainly because their bio mom can’t get it together. Can’t put them first, ever. The girls are extraordinary. And we just go through life accepting our wild, crazy, blended family.
So, parents will make decisions and sometimes those decisions aren’t for the kids. In their best interest, it’s just that they are human too. And sometimes parents make terrible, terrible decisions. Including my dad. Now, I could continue my life one of two ways. Exactly as it was, walking around with a smile on my face and destroyed inside. Or, to make changes, to accept that I was no longer ever going to be the same person. Accept it, and move forward figuring out who I am and healing from what I lost. And, I’ve been doing that ever since. Are there bad days? Absolutely. Are their times i desperately need to call my dad and I can’t? All the time. And there isn’t anyone I can think of to call. But, you power through. You wipe some tears, add some mascara, scream if you need to – then handle life. It’s the only one your given, and shit happens. Bad shit happens. But there should only be one solution. However you do it, handle it, get through it, fight. Head high – maybe after screaming in your pillow. But get your head high and survive. I promise. It gets better.