I chose to tell this story of my father not for the sympathy but for therapeutic reasons (thank you Dandy). I thought instead of constantly stressing about the situation and crying many of tears, I would put it down in writing and share this story I have always been so embarrassed of. Holding this all inside and keeping it a secret wasn’t helping me at all. I hope this blog reaches anyone who can relate or advise.
After we moved I only would hear from my dad if he needed something. I would go months with out hearing from him, I would find myself crying, missing him, wondering where he could be? Is he safe? Is he alive? Every knock on my door I expected to be the police coming to let me know my dad was dead. At this point I came to terms of losing my father to his addiction and I was prepared for his death.
In 2005 my dad was arrested for selling crack to an undercover cop. Ryder was 3 years old and didn’t know my father/his grandfather. I never called him grandpa to my son; we would just say my dad or mom’s dad.
My dad was sentence to prison for 1 year and 90 days, I was happy my dad was there! I know it sounds harsh but it gave me comfort knowing he had shelter, food and medical care in prison, plus I knew where he was. During his prison stay I became pregnant with my 2nd baby (Mazie), life was stressful enough during this time with my marriage and I chose to ignore my father’s calls from prison. One day I was contacted by his parole officer and asked if my dad could stay with me when he gets out. There were so many stipulations, such as no alcohol could be in our home, they would do random searches of our home and it was my responsibility to make sure he went to his probation appointments. The answer was NO! There was no way I was going to take the responsibility of my father, have a new baby and 4 year old son to take care of. There was no way I was going to confuse my son about my father and random searches I was not comfortable with at all. My dad tried for weeks to talk me into letting him stay with us so he could get out of prison. After the 5th no from me, he finally gave up. My dad got out of prison when my daughter was a few months old. He ended up staying with his girlfriend who had issues with drugs of her own, so he went right back to his normal way of life. My dad didn’t talk to me much after his release and I was okay with that.
While going through my divorce my dad started contacting me again, because he needed me to give him rides to the VA. I agreed to help my dad out only when it came to his health issues. Smoking cigarettes, being an alcoholic and drug addict can really destroy not only your life but your health too. Since I only worked 3 days a week I would take the time on my days off load my kids in the car (age 5 and 9mos) and drive to the slums of Bremerton to pick up my dad. I could NEVER bring the baby or my son in my dad’s GF’s house since they smoked in there, shoot I could hardly breathe…Gross!
We would then take my dad all the way to Lakewood where the VA is for his ALL day appointments. Looking back at it my kids are such troopers! It was a sacrifice we made to keep my dad healthy and on his meds. My dad has major heart issues and we almost lost him to a crack/drug induced stroke when I was 17 years old.
This was very important to me to help my dad out with his health, since I always felt guilty for kicking him out of our house and not taking him in when he was released from prison.
Sorry but I am going to back track a bit-
I mentioned a glimpse of my child hood having an addict as a father, but I failed to mention how close we were. I would of defiantly defined myself as a “daddy’s girl”, we always had a bond that no one could touch. When my parents were divorced I was devastated and was so angry my whole teenage years at my mother. You see my mother never told us why she divorced my dad. Until the day I asked my mother if I could see my dad for the weekend and her reply was “Your dad can’t have visitation until he is sober”. This broke my heart, I missed him so much. Eventually my dad must have gotten sober, but only long enough for us to spend two weekends with him. Then the visitation stopped and I asked no questions why, I guess I already knew….
Needless to say since I can not help my dad get over his addictions, I try my best to help him with his medical situations.
After my divorce my dad and I became close again as we started spending more time at his VA appointments. My dad eventually moved back to Florida to be with my Grandmother, he lasted maybe 4 months there. Then he was back in Washington, homeless and now staying with my older sister and I. My sister could handle my dad’s ways and she had to kick him out, he then went and stayed with my little sister for maybe a few weeks. She couldn’t handle him either, so we ended buying him a one way bus ticket back to Florida, it was pretty much an ultimatum at that point.
To be continued tomorrow for the final part....