I am spent. Seriously spent. I don’t think I have any strength left in me at all. My brain feels fuzzy. I’m not even sure this entry will be coherent. But I need to vent. I need to vent about what happened to me after the funeral.
Let me first back up by saying that my stepfather and I have a history of conflict. Well he has a history of conflict with a lot of people. He’s incredibly sensitive and tends to believe that everyone is against him. I know it is a lot of family of origin shit, but that didn’t make his rages any easier to take.
When I was a kid I remember that he grabbed me by the throat and had me up against the wall cursing me out because I forgot to feed the dog. He likes to curse since he believes that my mother raised us all in too “prissy” a manner. When he got really mad at her, he would curse since he knew it made her cry.
“You’re trying to disarm her by cursing,” I posited.
“No, but it gets her attention,” he replied.
“So you are trying to disarm her, then.”
He still didn’t get it. Even this week he persists with his belief that profanity is necessary to get strong points across. Whereas I believe that profanity is the refuge of those not blessed with a large vocabulary and the mental speed to use it most effectively. We disagree on this topic.
But throughout the years, he has gotten angry (well furious, really) with all of us in the family at one point or another. And he would rage, become nasty, or ignore you. It was always like a 5-year-old having a temper tantrum. It doesn’t help that he drinks. That always made the episodes worse.
Once when I was a kid, he went 2 weeks refusing to speak to me. Mom would send me into the living room to ask what he wanted for dinner and he would pretend that I didn’t even exist. It killed me.
By now you are probably saying to yourself, this is an adult, a father behaving this way? Yes. When he felt wounded, he didn’t care who he hurt in retaliation. He scared me terribly for most of my life with him.
However as adults, his rages were less (mostly because we weren’t around as much) and he seemed to have mellowed a little. And when he isn’t acting like a two-year-old, he’s a pretty nice guy. You just never know when the misinterpretation/error or problem with tone would flip the switch and Mr. Hyde would appear.
So this week was hard on everyone, but we pulled together as a family and grieved, planned the funeral, interment, and the repast back at the house. We made it through all the events of Funeral Saturday until the evening. Most of the guests had gone home. We were sitting around talking, looking through photo albums and just keeping it together. Then someone asked me if we had any more programs from the funeral left. I asked my sister who said that she thought she had left them in the limo when we returned from the gravesite. So I went and asked Joe whether he could get the extra programs back from the funeral home since it is where he works. (He actually embalmed my mother.) I could see that he had been drinking, but he was allowed as he wasn’t driving and I knew that he had been in “action” mode since Mom died.
He replied something about how they normally throw things out after the funeral, so it was unlikely that we could find the copies left in the limo. I then said that maybe the printer could print some more since I am sure that they hadn’t deleted the files from their computers yet. He started to get nasty with me saying that I keep talking about files, when the files would be thrown out. I’m like, I’m not talking about the printed programs but the files on the computer of the printing place that he sent me to. I said something like, “Your boy, whatshisname, could make a few more copies, right?” And he says he doesn’t know but he could call on Monday. And that is all I remember transpiring in this conversation. I left the room and went back to talking to other people.
Then my friend Lisa and I went back to the kitchen. Next thing I know, he leaves the kitchen and goes into his bedroom. I wasn’t sure what that was about. I asked Jade to check on him and she said that he seemed to want to be alone. Yet now Lisa has to leave and her purse and jacket are in the bedroom. So I knock and ask if we can get Lisa’s things. He comes to the door and shoves my purse and her jacket at me. He also throws cash (what he owed me for the programs) at me and tells me to get out of his face for talking to him the way I did. Then he goes to close the door in my face.
“What the heck is wrong with you?” I asked. He’s got that crazy look in his face that I recognize…like he’d just as soon kill you as look at you. He’s like, “get the hell out!” I push back against him and the door to keep him from closing it because we still don’t have Lisa’s purse. He shoves me backward and says, “how dare you act like this in your mother’s house!” And I’m like, “you’re the one acting crazy! We need to get her purse and all our stuff is in the room.” But he shoves me out and closes the door. So I have to get my aunt Marsha to knock again and go in and get Lisa’s purse. Lisa’s like, “what’s up with him?” “He’s an ugly drunk,” I replied.
After Lisa leaves, though, there is still the issue of our suitcases, clothes, computer and everything in the bedroom. I have to approach Marsha again to try to get into the bedroom to get our stuff. He is nearly rabid. He is ranting and shouting that he doesn’t want to hear me say anything ever again and to get out. Get the hell out!
Marsha and I grabbed suitcases, clothes and everything we could and dragged it into the hallway. From there I yelled for Mason to start packing. He was like, what happened? We’ve been thrown out, I told him. Joe then slammed the door to the bedroom. So as I shoved things into the suitcase, I asked Marsha if she could take us to a hotel. Out of the question, she said. We would stay with her Saturday night. So we packed and left.
I am still reeling from the drama of this incident. Joe is freaking crazy. He threw me out of my mother’s house (and yes, my mother owned 2/3 of the house and that falls to my sibs and I after her death) on the night of her funeral because he didn’t understand that I was talking about computer files.
And the thing with Joe is that he’s so irrational that he will never apologize. When his drunkenness wears off, he will have recreated history such that he did nothing wrong. And by the next day, he tried to say to my sister that a) I had disrespected him by referring to the guy in the printing shop as “his boy, Whatshisname” and that I left on my own and wasn’t thrown out despite my aunt and my sister witnessing his throwing me out. Even when she pointed out the inconsistencies and nonsensical conclusions he had drawn, he refused to admit that he was wrong.
This is triggering so much childhood stuff for me. For most of Sunday I just wanted to die. I thought I would just find a way to join my mother. But Mason helped me to stay grounded in the present and not go back to how I always felt after one of his “mad ons.”
My father died when I was 16. My mother just died. And my stepfather just threw me out of my mother’s house on the night of her funeral. I just don’t know how much more I can take before I just lose my mind.