Depression has been weighing on me heavily lately in the form of poor motivation, quick to anger, easily irritated and unable to let go of this feeling of worthlessness.
My father is back in the hospital with an infection. Due to the severity of his condition he has to undergo 3 weeks of antibiotic treatment that is administered through the dialysis port. Other than being stuck at the hospital he seems to be doing ok and he does not appear weakened by this recent episode.
During this time I’ve discussed my concerns with his living environment. The house he and his girlfriend live in is a big two story with steps leading to almost every room in the house. They have created various methods to help him maneuver the steps e.g. a strategically place table for him to lean on, but as his body weakens I hate that he has to rely on arm strength that is also fading. His girlfriend has been adamant that she loves that house and doesn’t want to leave it. She constantly tells me that my dad is stronger than he is. I said if that were the case they shouldn’t need to call my boyfriend to help my dad get to the car. She said my dad was just being a “chicken” and he could walk down the required step if he just got over his fear of falling.
Rather than inappropriately rip her head off like I so desperately wanted to, I talked with my father alone and expressed my concerns. I told him that he shouldn’t have to have any fears when walking around his own home. There should be no dangers or obstacles around him as clearly his life is obstacle enough. Surprisingly he agreed with me. He agreed to talk with his GF and even contemplated moving into an assisted living by himself if necessary.
The next day he said that his GF relented since “he” wanted to move and she would start looking for a one story home to rent. She does not want to sell their current home. She is a bit of a hoarder and wants to keep all of her crap somewhere. Fine, great, she can do what she wants just as long as he is safe. I asked what they wanted to do with the house while they were not living in it. He said they were going to do nothing; they don’t have the time or energy to think about that. I suggested they rent it to me and my BF. My father responded, “We don’t want to rent it out because we don’t know what condition it will be kept in.” I stated, “I’m not talking about renting to strangers, I’m talking about my BF and I.” He said, “I know, I don’t know what kind of a house keeper you are. I don’t know what kind of condition you would leave it in.”
Those statements floored me. At that point I told him I had to leave. Too many things went through my head that I couldn’t even see strait. Honestly, I couldn’t care less if they rented it to us. I thought it would be a way for them to get some extra income and ensure their house was cared for. Instead my own father saw me as a liability. The hurt and humiliation was excruciating.
Once I got over the initial shock I called him and explained why I had left so abruptly. I wanted him to understand I did NOT expect them to rent to us just because I’m his daughter and that is not why I was so upset. I posed this question to him, “What have I done in life that has shown I’m unworthy of (his) trust?” I’ve never been arrested, on drugs, hell, I never even snuck out of the house as a teenager. In the few years I have been a renter (I had always owned my home) I received my cleaning deposit back when I moved and never had any issues with the landlord. I further expressed how hurtful it was to have my own father think so little of me that I would be so disrespectful of his property.
Then the hurt really flowed. I said, “You expect my BF to help you and your GF every single week, you rely on our help for numerous things around your home ranging from changing batteries to cleaning your pool. You expect me to donate a kidney on your behalf so you don’t have to wait as long on a donor list, and yet I’m not trusted with your home?!”
He apologized and said he regretted his words. I asked if he regretted saying them or regretted feeling them. He tried to explain that since he hasn’t seen where I live in years (due to his limited abilities) he doesn’t know how I live. I told him while that may be true he does know me and my character. I told him it saddened me that while most fathers think the best of their daughters he clearly thinks the worst of me. He continued to apologize.
I would like to say this has been the only hurtful thing my father has ever said to me. I would like to say it is the last. Neither statement is true. I think it’s because I remind him too much of my mother, who broke his heart when they divorced. I look nothing like her, but our personalities are similar and he often tells me I’m just like her (though I know I’m not). It doesn’t matter that he is with another woman whom he loves and is happy with. Perhaps I am a reminder of a past he would like to forget. I just don’t know.
I won’t cut him out of my life altogether, but I don’t plan on giving him the time and effort I was. I’m tired of him breaking my heart.