My dad had his major surgery… and there was a lot of complications. Right now we’re waiting for him to wake up… or rather to see if he’ll wake up. We’re all very hopeful… but the doctors are concerned at the moment, things aren’t looking good and I can’t remember the last time I prayed this hard.
My older brother goes into his sullen angry place, where he just has a ton of angry outbursts. My mom and sister go into the weepy emotional place, where they’re crying nonstop. And me… I go into care taker mode, trying to be strong… acting like I’m fine… but I’m really not.
I feel myself shutting down and pushing everyone away. When I hurt in the worst of ways… it’s like I lock myself behind the Grand Wall of China. A wall so big and so tall that no one can reach me.
I put on the bravest face I can manage and just burrow within myself. I read once that for victims of childhood abuse… it’s a common defense mechanism. Usually it’s something I actively work at… but I just can’t today. Today just hurts too much and I’m too scared.
I’m not outwardly emotional. But I feel it… INTENSELY. I’m in a world of pain thinking about how very possible it is that I could lose my dad right now. But I shut myself off from everyone and the fear is suffocating. I act like I’m okay. When inside… I’m drowning in fear, not able to keep my head above the water.
I’ve been getting tons of voicemails and sweet texts, which I just genuinely appreciate. Dusty has been calling nonstop, he sent flowers and texted that he wants to fly out here and help. I told him it wasn’t a good idea and to stay in Kauai. I appreciate that he cares… but whenever I hear his voice I feel guilty. When is he going to give up? I started avoiding my phone, partly because I’m overwhelmed and partly because I’m not hearing from who I want to anyways. It’s just when I’m in pain like this, I shut down.
Tots called and gosh… when I hear her voice I just choked up.
Thing about me, is I’m this weird mix of logically emotional…. I can hide my emotions incredibly well, I’m usually able to get them under control with logic. There are very few people who can get me to cry, and Tots voice is just one of those… if I’m not okay and I hear it… I just lose it. I couldn’t even talk to her.
I know I’m not going to spiral. I at least hope I don’t. This isn’t like the last time. I generally know what to do now. I’ve been through the worst of the worst. I’ve taken hit after hit. It hurts badly… but I’ll be able to manage. I at least have a support system this time. I at least have Davide. Someone to look out for me. I didn’t have that before. I should be okay. At least that’s what I tell myself.
I’ve written about my dad a lot on here. Usually not good things. But there are good things. Many of them.
I don’t write about how… how he can be so damn goofy. Like a child. He has these glimpses of pure silliness…. and he’s so damn ticklish. My childhood was complicated. My relationship with him now… even more so… but I love making him laugh. That’s one of the few glimpses I get of how much that complicated man loves me.
He bought me my first car. It was this old rust bucket of a Classic Mustang and he’d come home after a long day of work and he’d work on the car with me. He taught me all about wrenches and changing tires and changing oil and piece by piece we restored that car together. That car meant everything to me… not because it was my dream car at the time… but because my dad and I restored it together. She’s represented to me, that I meant something to my father- during one of the most difficult periods of my life. We started working on her soon after we found out he wasn’t my biological father. That car felt like we were building something together… I have these memories of him squirting me with car oil… and they still make me smile.
He’s an incredibly hard worker. The main way I’d get his attention is if I worked with him. So I’d go to his job sites and work right alongside the crew. I wasn’t given special treatment. I was hauling wheelbarrows and using jack hammers with the rest of the crew. I love that from a young age, my dad taught me that there is no substitute for hard work.
My dad isn’t perfect. Our history is complicated at best. But I love him and he’s slipping away right now…. and I feel helpless.
Why is he still here?
Davide has been amazing with it all. It’s like he just sits and waits just outside my wall… until I let him in. He makes sure I know that he’s right there if I need him. As hard as I push him away… he’s still right there.
I didn’t sleep last night… I was a ball of nerves. When the doctors insisted that we try and get some rest… Davide wouldn’t take no for an answer from me. He took me home and drew me a hot bath. He let me blast my music as loud as I want and cry my eyes out… and he just waited.
It took me a few hours… but I didn’t want to be alone… and I finally came out of the bedroom.
He pulled me onto his lap and wrapped his arms around me.
“It’s going to be okay” he said as he kissed my forehead.
“You don’t know that.” I countered.
“No. But I know you. You’re strong and whatever happens we’re going to face it together.”
I sighed, “What if I’m not. What if I don’t want to keep facing this?”
He shook his head, unfazed. “That’s not you talking.”
“Then who is it?” I challenged.
“Fear.” He said, his voice soft but sure.
He let that sink in and pulled me in closer. Finally he said
“You can let Fear talk for a little bit though. What are you scared of?”
I took a deep breath and told him everything. Fear of the pain of loss again. Fear that I’ll never prove to my dad I’m good enough. Fear I can never make him happy. Fear of losing my father. Fear of my kids not having him as a grandparent and getting to meet that goofy side of him. Fear that I am going to spiral again. Fear that I’m going to be unlovable and end up alone. Fear that I’m going to leave Davide and hurt him. People leave me when things get tough. That’s just how it is. Over the years I’ve come to view it as a Purging that needs to happen in my life. I think even sometimes I give them a little push… them leaving hurts a little less when I expect it.
That’s when a memory of my ex popped up in my head. Of Josh. After 10 fucking years of being my BEST friend, he gave up and suddenly didn’t give a shit that I wasn’t okay. If he didn’t care…. why should Davide? Why would anyone? Won’t they all just eventually do the same thing? I know it’s a stupid memory and I know those thoughts are stupid… I don’t even think of Josh anymore, or even like who he is as a person, but sometimes when I’m in a world of pain… the way he betrayed me… it just really hurts all of a sudden… not because of our relationship… but because he was supposed to be my friend.
Davide shook his head. “You don’t have to worry about me. You’re not ever leaving me.”
I pulled away and looked him in the eyes, “Why do you think that?”
He got this determined look in his eyes and said, “Because I won’t let you. I’m not giving up on you ever. We are forever. Everything else is temporary. I’m sure of it. If you decide to leave, I won’t stop chasing you down unless you are legally married to someone else…. until then you are my wife, regardless of what the law says.”
He squeezed me tighter. His words shook me, they scared me, and strangely comforted me… just the idea that someone was never going to give up on me. I also got strangely sad because my brain instantly went to Nate/Heartbreak right now… like it had been all day. I just can’t handle it though. He makes everything about me weak and I miss him… but he also feels like a world away. I know we both have very full lives, but everything feels stacked against us. My doubts about us even working out are starting to grow because it’s been days so we talked and lately it’s hard to tell if he even cares… I’m wondering if he ever really cared? Was it all a game? Or did he just change his mind? Either way I’m too exhausted to keep putting myself out there, just to get next to nothing. So I just opt for leaving him alone, which hurts. I close my eyes and will myself to stop thinking about it. I eventually let myself relax against Davide’s chest. Blocking out the rest of the world and focusing on his heart beat. Letting the sound of it steady me.
I don’t know what is going to happen next. I suspect I’m not going to get any sleep again. I’ll probably end up waiting around at the hospital… what’s the point of sleeping in my bed if my dad is fighting for his life? I just hope and pray with all my might that my dad pulls through the night.