I started with the title “my dad is a piece of shit”, but that felt just a little harsh. I didn’t get into work today until 10:30, which seems to be the new normal. I went down to the Parkade for 15 minutes over lunch: I’d put a pillow in the backseat so I just crawled in and lay down with my eyes closed. I didn’t want to get out and go back to work, but I did, then avoided the office Christmas party, then the gal whose last day was today said goodbye to me at five and I cried at my desk for an hour before I gave up and went home.
(Yes, my dad is a dick, I’m getting to that.) So by the time I ended up getting home, it was nearly 7 and then I made a supper of two slices of bread and a glass of milk. Then my mom phoned, and she had a question about what router was showing up in their Internet settings, not because their computers or iPad weren’t actually working, but she was scared but they were on an open network and that if she did online banking someone would steal her identity etc. etc.
I really didn’t have the patience for it, And it showed. I basically asked her if the computers are working? And the iPads were working? Then there would be no reason to assume that the router wasn’t connecting automatically just like always. I have explained how to look for a secure site, and emailed her her bank’s own guarantee against liability, but it doesn’t make her feel any better. That’s because she has a full-blown, hard-core, never treated anxiety disorder.
Anyway, on the phone I barked at her that she didn’t have a tech-support problem, that she had an anxiety disorder problem. She asked why I was so angry, and I said that it was basically because she’s never tried to do anything about it, but people around her have to suffer. Then she said that she had actually talked to my dad about going for therapy, and that he had said no. I know right now why he said no, it’s because he’s a cheap fucking bastard. When they came to visit me a few months ago, he ordered a large Tim Hortons tea and paid a dime for a second cup, so that they could each have a drink you see. So of course he’s going to say that she doesn’t need it, if he’s too cheap to pay a dollar or two for them to each have their own Tim Hortons, he would think it’s highway robbery to pay by the hour for Mom to get treatment.
It’s not like they’re hard up, they have a nice house, motorhome, new cars, a vacation home, etc. etc. and I know he grew up poor, but that excuse just doesn’t fly with me. I really thought she wasn’t willing to go, and that she was worried about what people would think or that’s the counsellor would tell her that she was crazy, or whatever. I honestly didn’t know that she was willing to get help and that my fucking cheap father was preventing her. She’s got crippling anxiety! She can’t pump her own gas because she is scared the car will explode! I mean I could go through a day with her from breakfast at bedtime and list 1000 ways that she accommodates for or compensates for or acts differently because of anxiety. So she’s supposed to live another 25 years with that because what? That’ll save him a couple grand? Like what a fucking asshole thing to do to somebody. I have been paying for prescriptions and therapy and massage and everything for years and I don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. But of course, I have to go to work to support myself, so I need to do whatever it takes to function, and she doesn’t so there’s no economic burden to her having anxiety.
I know it’s like an eye roll phrase to say “triggering” nowadays, but him being cheap really is super triggering to me. When I was 18, after my first year of college, I took a job waitressing in a resort town for the summer. (Have I already put this in my blog? I can’t remember.) Two or three weeks in, my boss, whose wife worked with us full-time, helped himself to a generous handful of my ass while I was on the way to the dishwasher with my arms full of pie plates and coffee cups.
I was too young and uncertain to just confront him head on, but smart enough to know that it was probably going to be an issue, so I called my parents and explained that my boss had felt me up, that it made me really uncomfortable, and that I was going to look for a job somewhere else. If worst came to worst though, I explained, I might need to come home while I looked for a new job as accommodations were provided by the hotel or restaurant you were working at.
So Mr. Cheap, my dad, said (and you’d better believe this is a fucking quote) “Oh, no, dear! I wouldn’t say anything. Don’t say anything! You don’t want to rock the boat!” My mom backed him up, and I hung up with a very clear understanding that it was more important to my parents that I make a living, and not need anything from them, than I feel safe or be unmolested or whatever else you would want to say to describe that situation. it wasn’t like they were saying “Well, maybe he was just joking with a butt grab, but don’t let him grab you any where else!”, either. I don’t even know what kind of money they thought would be lost if I didn’t work. Any money I didn’t make for school I would be taking out in student loans, and there was never any expectation that they would help me that way. So what were we talking about? A summer’s worth of groceries?
I mean, I knew my parents were assholes, but I actually never expected that. I think in the back of my mind I thought that they might tell me to try to talk to him or to see if it was just a one time thing before I quit. I never actually thought that they would say “we understand what’s happening and we don’t care; you keeping your job is what we care about most.” This is assholery, right? I’m not overreacting here?
In a fucked up twist of fate, a few weeks after that I was raped, as a virgin, by a middle-aged man from the United States who had attacked four previous women in Canada. so I had to deal with the police, with that whole thing, on my own, and then go right back to work serving beers to groups of vacationing guys. That was when I discovered the true power of dissociation, and basically got through the rest of the summer by being bulimic, black out drinking, taking up smoking, and waiting out PTSD symptoms.
The really tragic thing is, they never apologized and I’m sure, if I said to them today that something similar happened with a boss of mine and sexual harassment, they would respond the same way.
I mean, I don’t want to be an asshole myself with the guilt trip here, but the last time I saw my psychiatrist I tried to explain how wouldn’t be a big loss and he tried to explain how families never get over it, and they always wonder if they could’ve done anything differently. Well here’s something you could’ve done differently: value the health and safety of your fucking kid more than a fucking dollar. So if I don’t make it 2017, at least I’ll never be out of work again, and I’ll never need to borrow a fucking dollar from him ever again, so that ought to make him happy!