A few months ago, I wrote part one of this post (here). I mentioned I’d come back to the topic at some point, and here we are. It’s always hard to really write about this type of thing, because it’s very personal to me. In part one, I mentioned about the fighting between my mother and my step father. And I ended the post after the first big separation, which was all the way back in 2007. My step dad was cut out of the picture in 2014.
If you read part one, you know that there was nothing but issues and one thing after another in my mother’s relationship. My step dad had a chemical imbalance he refused to take his medication for. My mom used to call him a Jekyll and Hyde, because he’d be great and sweet one moment, and a complete dick the next. Most of the fights came out of nowhere. And after so much had happened? It was quick and easy.
The older I get, the more I also realize a lot of it was my mother, too. She didn’t help the situation, she added to the problem. Holidays were hard to look forward to, because he would always start a fight around them. Anytime we had an all day plan for somewhere like Kennywood, a fight was sure to happen. Birthdays always got fucked up. It was hard to be happy about things because something was always an issue. Leading up to the summer of 2014, it just kept getting worse.
My mother and him stopped sleeping in the same bedroom. His snoring was terrible, like really really bad. And she would stay up all night, he would go to bed early for work. She wasn’t working, she spent all of her time on the computer. Her one friend she met online DJ’s some radio show, and she was obsessed with her online life. And when her friends would host these shows, she’d blast the music all night long.
This is what I mean about her not helping the situation. Because she was inconsiderate about it, and even turning it down, her bass on her speakers would sound through the house. And hearing her blast her music until 5 in the morning (sometimes later than that), was hard on me, so I know what drove my step dad crazier than usual. I hated it, absolutely hated it.
They would get into fights about it constantly, my mother thinking she wasn’t doing anything wrong. She was hanging out with her friends, she felt entitled. Her computer, her house, yada yada. Despite the fact all the money came from my step dad, and she gave him no say over that because he was careless with money.
So one night, after months of this bullshit, my step dad flipped shit. He banged the door of the bedroom, and stomped downstairs and just left the house. I think my mother chased after him, asking him what his problem was. More screaming. He slept in his truck that night, I remember. And I got jolted awake, because it didn’t matter if I had class or work or anything, I had to be awake for this issue. Always. My mother would seek advice from me that she would never follow. Always ask if she was that awful, or if she deserved the way she was treated. I always sided with her – she’s my mother. But looking back, I wonder if I should’ve been straight up honest with her about her behavior. But I don’t think it would’ve mattered either. Speaking against her means I’m not on her side.
He came back, like he always did. But, his attitude remained. My mom would try to talk to him, but he would shrug her off. Anything he would say was invalid, and my mom always had to throw the last word in there. Always. The last day he lived with us, started off with this. And my mom had wanted to go to Sheetz to get cigarettes, so she asked me to go with her. Before we left, she asked him if he needed any snuff (he chewed), and he just snarled some reply to her.
She was getting the car started, when he came out of the basement, with a gallon of gas in his hand, and said the house would be burned down by the time we got back. Worried (my mind was on the fact the cat was in the house more than anything), my mom gets out of the car, and so do I. We chase him in the basement, and he’s just throwing gas around. At some point he picked up a sledgehammer and busted a hole in the door leading into the other room. I can’t remember if that came first, or if he threw the gas can at me first. I remember it hit my leg (granted it was mostly empty at that point, but I still had gas on me), and my mom was screaming and freaking out, told me to call the cops.
I never had the need to call the cops before, the idea terrified me. But I called them. Told them the situation. Not very long after the phone call, about five cop cars (a few undercover) came on our road, and a couple of cops got out of their car with guns out. It was like a scene out of a movie. They said his name over a speaker, and told him to come out of the house with his hands up.
It’s blurry for me now, but it was such a surreal situation. Not one I ever expected to deal with. To see so many cops, and they arrested him. He was on his knees with a gun aimed at him. After that incident, my mom and I were told to go to the county jail to get an emergency PFA (protection from abuse) against him. We waited hours, and the judge granted us the PFA, preventing him from coming back to the house after they would release him the following day.
My mom went through a depressive period after it all happened. I became her crutch to hold onto. I had over $1,000 saved in my bank account before he left (from refund checks at school). It all depleted within a few months. Between having to use my money to pay for bills, for groceries, for necessities. Not to mention, she became an alcoholic and drank white russians every night. And her cigarettes! She forgets that I supported her unemployed self for MONTHS and lost all of my savings over it. I spent that fall semester going to school full time, plus working 30 some hours a week. All of my money going to her, and we shared a bank account.
I did the math once on her cigarettes, because I never wanted to support that habit (but seeing her withdrawals was a lot of headache), I tallied it up to well over $1,000 before it made me too sick to keep adding it up. She didn’t find a job until that December, and my step dad was out of the picture in July. Most people in my situation would’ve left. But, I held on. Because she’s my mother. And honestly, I keep doing the same thing. My step dad fucked me over when he left. Because my mother relies on me for her support. And it’s going on 4 years since he left, and all it’s done is hold me back. And watching her do nothing to help herself makes me sick. I’m busting my ass at work, and she’s…. wasting her time playing Facebook games all day and watching Once Upon A Time on repeat (seriously she’s watched all 6 seasons on Netflix 3 times already, I’m getting sick of seeing it on the TV, and I introduced her to the show). She hasn’t even tried applying for jobs, and I’m getting impatient.
That time in my life when my step father left, it set me up for failure. I had so much planned, so much hope, especially for college. And he left right before my second year started. It was hard. My mother would scream and yell at me over dumb shit. Spring semester almost broke me. I was struggling hard in class, and I had 8 ams. Since we lived outside of town then, she had to drive me to work and class. I missed class often when it snowed – she refused to drive me. I was lucky when it came to work, because if they were able to, some of my coworkers/managers would drive out to pick me up. My mom would use that as a crutch sometimes.
I broke down hard spring semester, just felt like giving up on a lot of things. I felt like I hardly had anyone around in my life to even talk to, and so much was going wrong, I felt like something had to give, right?
Eventually, my mom got hired at a local grocery store (she went through a few jobs, as if that should be a surprise), and she met her current boyfriend there. They basically started dating, and within a month he pretty much just moved in with us. My mom was tired of being alone, which I understood, and I wanted her to date, but I never expected him to just move in with us so fast.
I could go on with this post, but I think I’m going to cut it off here. That year was a big one for me, and a hard one. It really affected my life, and who I am right now.
January Writing Challenge #26