Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Well, today would qualify as a pretty horrible day. This afternoon, I got a call from Erin - he was crying and said that he was moving out of mom & dad's house and into a shelter. Apparently, my dad suddenly turned back into the person he was when I was a kid. He got mad at my brother for asking him to turn the TV down and went into a tirade, yelling and swearing and calling my brother all kinds of names. Kyle was there with them and he was crying and apparently Lisa was up all night crying because my dad just turned into this horrible person. I know what it's like - I remember. Erin kept saying that Dad must hate him because he would never talk to me that way. He's right about that - I don't know why Dad is a different person with me than with everyone else in the family.

Then, apparently, this morning, my dad continued to scream obscenities at Erin until he just left and called my mom. My mom called my dad, which made my dad even more angry because he thought that Erin was being a baby by calling my mom. He called him things like a sissy and a 4-year-old crybaby and he told him that he was going to crack his head open (all of this was, of course, peppered with swears and yelling). When Erin called me, I just couldn't believe that my dad was reverting back to that. It made me so sad. I thought maybe I could talk some sense into him, so I told my mom that I wanted to talk to him. When she got back to the house, she tried to get him to talk to me, but he wouldn't at first. Finally, he got on the phone with me. It was so ridiculous - I could hear him swearing in the background just before he got on the phone with me and then as soon as he picks up the phone he sounds completely reasonable - "I'm really sorry that you got dragged into this. We're going to work all of this out and I'm sorry that you ended up in the middle of it. It's not fair to you." I asked him how he thought it was all going to work out - he leaves and Erin goes to a shelter? He said, "No, Erin's not going to go to a shelter. It will all be fine." I blurted out, "So you think that he's going to stay there after the way that you've been treating him?" At that point, he said, "Alright, forget it, we're not talking anymore," and he gave the phone back to my mom. I was mad at myself for not being able to reason with him. I wished that I had said something better. But, most of all, I was furious that he had reverted back to the dad that I grew up with - the man that I hated.

I ended up calling Scott, crying. We talked about it and agreed that Erin and Lisa could come here for tonight and that we would talk about them possibly staying with us. I called my parents' house again and could hear my dad yelling more obscenities at my brother. He was being ridiculously cruel. I told Erin that they could come here.

Scott came home early. We talked about what kind of ground rules we would need to have if Erin and Lisa moved in. I had a really hard time setting up "rules" but I know it was probably better to set up expectations ahead of time. Erin and Lisa took it all really well and said that they completely understood why we felt the need to have rules for the house, but I still felt awkward about it and it's hard to tell how people really feel. We hope that this doesn't all blow up in our faces. We don't want to end up on bad terms with Erin and Lisa because this doesn't work out.

When I went to bed tonight, I just cried because of the stress of it all and because I am so sad to lose my "new" dad. It really hurts to know that Christmas probably won't be the same as usual because things aren't going to be right between my dad and my brother (or Lisa or Kyle). I also know that this is going to forever be in Kyle's memory. When Erin and Lisa drove him home, he said, "I wish I wasn't part of this family." How sad is that. I hate that my dad contributed to that - I remember feeling that most of the time as a kid. It's hard to think that the grandpa that my kids know is not the real person - I hope that's not the truth. I've come to really love my dad over the past decade or so and I don't want to have to change that image of him again.


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