Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dilemma in the Familiar Dynamics

A little history:

 When I was 6 months old my mom (who was very very VERY young when she had me) started dating a guy who we will call Dill Weed. (And yes, we do actually call him that) Dill Weed was a volatile human being with a short and easily fueled temper. My mom and Dill Weed dated for several years and he asked her to marry him THRICE. (that's three times) The first time she called it off. The second time my grandparents called it off. And the third time, even though marriage counselors, pastors and family alike all warned her against marrying this deeply dysfunctional human being she married him. I was 6.

 In case my nickname for him does not suggest how I feel about the man, I am not extremely fond of my stepfather. From infancy into adulthood he resented me and treated me like the plague. A child to be dealt with because I belonged to the person he loved desired. He had no affection, compassion or parental guidance to offer. I grew to resent him too, though as a child you explain that resentment as 'I don't like him'.

Now, as an adult, I realize the origin of the deep roots of that resentment and bitterness I feel. My most fond memories of him ((note extreme sarcasm))are when I was three and sitting in my car seat in my mom's red Toyota pickup. We roll to a stop at a stop sign and to my 3 year old terror there Dill Weed is in his silver truck next to us yelling profanities at my mom, threatening her, screaming at her and her screaming right back. My slightly distorted memory is of a monster faced Dill Weed.

 Another is when he was watching me one night while my mom had to work and I was extremely sad that she left, let alone that I had to be left with him and so I cried and cried. I remember crying that I wanted my mom and I didn't want her to leave and instead of comforting me he yelled at me from the couch to stop my crying or he'd give me something to cry about and then when I didn't stop he sent me to my room, told me to stay there and that he didn't want to see me for the rest of the night. I remember sitting on my bed in the dark just sobbing.

 Yet another is when my mom and he were in the middle of a particularly heated and verbally abusive fight and he picked up the solid oak chair from my kiddie table in a visual threat of throwing it at my mom.

 And then there were all those nights when the doors would slam and he would leave and then return and the screaming would resume and then the doors would slam and it was a vicious cycle until my mom would have enough, pack us up and we would leave to my grandparents' house. Those were the only times I felt safe, was when we went home (where I had lived the first 6 years of my life) to my grandparents' house.

 I moved to Washington from California when I was 20. In addition to escaping other disturbing facets of my life, I wanted to escape HIM; the overbearing, mother persuading, corrupt and deeply prejudiced stepfather he was.

In 2008 my mom left California to move up to Washington, leaving Dill Weed there. She knew he would never move to Washington and decided to leave him anyway. So, from 2008 forward she lived here with my sister.

 In 2009 I divorced my husband and moved in with my mom and the household of 2 became a household of 5. The dynamics were off and it took a long time for my mom to compromise on a lot of things. But then Dill Weed's dad passed away in 2011 and he decided to move up to Washington as well. It was all shits and giggles for a while. And then his true colors began to shine through. His volatile behavior began to crack the facade of the candy coated impersonator he had become. He became withdrawn, snappy, easily angered. He slept a lot. He displayed odd behavior and then we became aware of his habit of prescription drug abuse. We all knew he was on large doses of medication for pain but we didn't know how much he was taking and that not all of it was prescribed to him let alone that he was and had been abusing it to the extent that he did.

One Wednesday Evening 6 months ago:

 There was an incident that could only be described as an accidental overdose and then other behavior of deception and theft came to light. My mom sent him packing and told him she was done. He remained in Washington for a week and when he realized my mom was not going to take him back he put himself through a week of detox and moved back to California, all the while keeping in contact with my mom and pleading his case to come back. In time my mom got used to the idea of bringing him back. He argued that he was going to therapy and working through HIS DEEPLY ROOTED ISSUES FROM HIS CHILDHOOD. He plead her forgiveness and told her he was changing. My grandmother who we will call Momo says that this has happened more than two handfuls of times in their almost 3 decades together and she doesn't believe that he has changed or will change as significantly as he claims.

Which brings me to the dilemma.

I am not interested in having a relationship with Dill Weed. I don't want to work on it. I don't want him coming back. I am glad to be rid of him. I understand that my mom wants to do the right thing and work on her marriage and I support her. Only her. I do not want to be a part of his return. I do not want to live with him.

I also know it is not all about me.

I know my mom has a right to try to save her marriage. I know that, for her, I should make an effort to be civil and help her make the atmosphere of the house a happy one if and when he returns especially since I have no chance right now of making it on my own the way the economy and the job market is. So, I know it is wrong of me to be so unforgiving and petty when my mom has been so good and giving to me.

But that is how I feel. And of course, not at all toward my mom. Just him.

It is my turn to be resentful and bitter and cold. It is my turn not to give a flying eff how he feels or if he is sobbing on his bed at night in the dark. It is my turn to watch TV contentedly while he yearns sad and alone for my mom. It is my turn.

My gramma spoke with him at length yesterday about how he is changing, his therapy, his temper, his recuperation from addiction and whenever she brought up appreciating life or the present, all he could say was that he wanted to come back. A 50 year old man living in the future and the want of what he does not have  instead of in the now, appreciating the life he has, the breath he breathes and the things surrounding him that he very well could have completely lost along with his life after the stunt he pulled 6 months ago.

I firmly believe:

One a liar, always a liar
Once an abuser, always an abuser
Once a manipulator, always a manipulator

Unless God intervenes and this man does not have God in his life.


  1. Funny name, Dill weed! I like it.
    oh man, that really stinks. I can tell you love your mom a lot though. Love covers a lot of crap.

  2. Hey, just to let you know I nominated you for the Liebster Award here is the link


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