Preface: My father was born May 18, 1947 and died June 10, 1987.
This has been a very very frustrating day, as it usually is (June 10 is usually just as bad if not worse, I quit Mid America on June 10, and that wasn't even the worst day). the LITTLEST things will set me off when I feel like this, and I've already had two meltdowns. I try so hard to keep it bottled up and inside, but on this day it's too difficult. My emotions are all messed up, my head is pounding. I'm not looking for advice, I'm just trying to vent. I'll be OK in the morning.
Doesn't matter what I do. If I stay home by myself and hide it's worse. SO I try to be busy and not think about it, but of course the news about Chris Cornell didn't help. Roger Ailes I could give a fuck about, Cornell I appreciated. And I wasn't busy at all with work.
After work I pick up Kaylee and we go to TRU to pick up a couple more pieces for our Hot Wheels sets (<$10, don't judge). We get back, the pieces I picked up don't work the way I had hoped so that's a bummer. Then we go swimming. The water is very very cold, but it's been pretty hot, so I go in for a few, come out, read my book while Kaylee is swimming. I'm almost to the end of this book and it's a techno-thriller page-turner so I'm pretty into it, and I want to finish. I even tell Kaylee that, still managing to go in a couple more times (I like to go in, get wet, come out dry off, rinse repeat). Her new friend Joceyln comes home and she invites her into the pool to play.
NOW, don't get me wrong, I'm so very very glad that Kaylee has made a friend in the complex to play with. They get along and that's the important part. But Jocelyn is a motor-mouth who babbles constantly. I mean CONSTANTLY. After a few minutes my patience is wearing thin with her. But she's a kid and I"m an adult and I need to manage better, plus she's Kaylee's only friend nearby. Even still I have to actually tell her at one point that I'm trying to read and that she's being very distracting (she was sitting right next to me).
Eventually Jocelyn gets permission to go into the pool, and she kind of does, but then Kaylee splashes her, she whines. And I LOOOOSE it. I had told Kaylee when we got into the pool that we were not splashing today. And apparently it went in one ear and out the other. Between the constant babbling, my wanting to be left alone to read and just my overall malaise I snap. I tell Kaylee to get out of the pool to go inside and that she was grounded for the rest of the afternoon. Now my intention wasn't to actually ground her, I just didn't want Jocelyn coming over asking Kaylee to come play later. I actually even explain as much on the way back home. Kaylee sits and reads while I try to finish my book. Out the window i can see Jocelyn still at the pool, and I start to feel bad, so I tell Kaylee she can go back out to the pool and that when Jocelyn asks about the grounding, just tell her "don't worry about it."
So she does. And I'm left in heavenly silence for a time. And I read. Kaylee comes back and we read together. She asks what time is it, since we don't have a clock, I guess I should get one. It's after five so she asks if she can watch TV (we have a no Tv before 5 PM rule on school nights.) After I finish the book I consent. She makes me corn dogs. All is well.
Fast forward to about 7:45 pm. She's watched nothing but Steven Universe, most of which we've already seen. I decide to remake my bed and pick up the room, and that's when I start to lose my shit again. I have to ask her to move not once but twice because she's in the way of me remaking the bed. Once I get started my ire starts flowing pretty big time. The house is a mess and she's left stuff all over the room even though I have reminded her plenty of times that her things belong in her room. I don't have a room, she does now, and her stuff needs to stay there. I'm sweeping up errant cat litter from the floor, which is her job, she gets an allowance and as chores all she has to do is clean the cat box, take the trash out, feed Oliver in the morning and sweep up the cat litter when it gets dirty. I have to remind her to do each and every one of these things.
I get it, she's 10. But this is going on months now. She has to be reminded to brush her hair and teeth every single morning. Even this morning, I woke her up at 7 am and made her get into the shower so that I could shower and we could get to school on time. We were late. She didn't brush her teeth and she lied to me when she said she did. I cannot abide lying from her. I will not stand for it. Her mother is a pathological liar, and I will not tolerate that behavior any longer.
So I melt down.
She's in bed now, and I just now went in to talk to her about what happened. I acknowledged that my behavior wasn't appropriate in that it wasn't necessarily her fault why I was so upset. And I apologized. And she says to me "I thought you said apologies don't mean anything." Touche. I've been saying that for a while because that's one of the things I learned working with Haven Pell at FunnelSource. Don't apologize, just do better next time. Saying sorry is a useless phrase. And it is. Acknowledging your behavior and striving to do better is more important. Being sorry isn't. I can't take it back. I said it. And some of it I meant. Especially the parts that I've had to repeat over and over ad nauseum.
It's like with my soon-to-be-ex-wife. She's still bringing up shit from the past that happened so long ago and that we've gone over so many times that it's a broken record. She can't get over shit from the past. It's why our marriage has failed. Now when she brings it up I tune out because it's no longer relevant. I'm done apologizing. I can't change what happened. Get over it.
I wish I could just "get over" my father passing. I never will though. I miss him daily. In many ways I blame his death on my lack of ability to really become an adult because in an instant I had to grow the fuck up. When you're on the phone with your Grandmother (who you can't stand in the first place) and you have to tell her that she needs to drive from LA to San Diego as soon as she can if she wants to see her son before he dies, and your'e 16, you go straight from being a kid to being an adult, and there's no looking back. In many ways I'm trying to recapture my youth because I feel like I lost a lot of it in one fell swoop.
And then I didn't have my Dad there in my 20's and 30's to guide me. One thing I've never really told anyone, he never taught me how to shave. I wasn't shaving when he died. Every time I have to shave I think about that. EVERY TIME.
I've had more than a few surrogate father figures in my time too, and they all filled one niche or another, but it's not the same. When I have needed my Dad the most he wasn't there.
Tomorrow is another day. I hope it's a good one.