So I’ve been dropping in posts that I’m finally moving out of 29 years of living under my dad’s roof. This move is important to me, more important than it would seem just looking at it normally. I mean, being 29 and living at home still was not what I had in mind for my future and the fact that I’m finally moving out is causing all sorts of thoughts and emotions in me that I’ve not had in years.
To really understand why finally moving out on my own is so important to me I guess I need to tell a bit of the story of my life so prepare for a deeply personal post on this one. There are some trigger warnings here including suicide, parental death and (verbal) abuse.
I am an only child. My mom was a stay at home mother and my father worked full time. My mom was everything to me. She was my primary caretaker and my pillar. My dad was the man I saw at dinner and in the weekends. He’d come to stuff like gym competitions and me getting swim diploma’s but he never really interjected himself in my day to day life. My dad always has had a short temper and would get angry about the most ridiculous stuff. Sometimes this anger was aimed at me for requests a normal innocent childs make that would somehow set him off. He has hit me as a child a few times when my mom couldn’t intervene on time. It’s safe to say the bond with my father was bad.
When I was 12 years old my mother suddenly passed away. One day she was there and the next day I came home to find her dead body in my parents’ bedroom. She’d had a blood clot in her lungs and basically died within minutes of this happening. There was nothing anyone could have done but to teenage me this was non-information. My world was shattered. I had lost the most important person in my life and it still leaves deep scars untill this day. This meant I grew up as teenager with a father who I had no emotional connection to. He hadn’t been physically abusing towards me for years but on an emotional level we could not connect. He took time off after my mother died to grieve but I went back to school and got by on my own. I had very little support and a father who didn’t want to talk about what happened and who still had his temper. This often resulted into getting verbally abused over nothing and me developing deep rooted anxieties towards the man. I’ve been told so many times that he’d knock me into the hospital or throw me out into the streets that I just trained myself to zone out when he’d go on one of his rants. He also believed I was a difficult child (I wasn’t) and that all the issues I had were of my own making thus yelling at me almost every day was somehow justified.
When I was 16 I was diagnosed with PTSD and I attended single therapy aswell as family therapy to sort through the copious amount of issues that existed for me and within the relationship with my father. I wish I could say that this helped matters but unfortunately it didn’t. I learned to deal with the fact that I didn’t have a normal family home and tried to focus on getting my own life in order and focus on school and getting into university. Untill this day I still have issues with talking to my dad openly about things. I feel like if I tell him something he dislikes he will immediatly go into a rage so I rather keep things on the down low. I don’t think we will ever have a normal father/daughter relationship and at this point in life I’ve not tried pursuing such a thing for a long time.
When I was 18 my dad’s current partner came into the picture. I had my first real boyfriend at the time and he was spending more and more time with a woman we’ve known for a long time because she lived next to one of my uncles. Everything seemed okay at the start of their relationship. She was nice/normal towards me and I was happy my dad had found someone again because this meant that he’d focus less on me and leave me alone. I have to say that her coming into his life made my life suddenly much easier and I feel like I’ve had a bit of a restored relationship with my dad from that moment on but it’s still not how it should be.
As I’ve found out throughout my life though things never seem to stay on the up and up. My dad’s partner turned out to be a whole world of trouble on her own. She has some social issues which I’m not sure I can explain but it’s made my life miserable at times. Instead of confronting me about stuff she “disliked” me doing she’d badmouth me to my dad behind my back for years. This resulted in him being angry with me and berating me on how to act “normal” towards her on more than one occassion. This went on, and is still going on, for a long time untill I sat down with him and basically told him that I was done being a “good daughter” for her. She’s not my mother. She has not once showed any real interest in me. I’m tired of trying to be the one to build a “relationship” with her when there’s obviously no interest from her side. The badmouthing still happens but I’ve not been addressed by my dad in a long time. And the things that she would badmouth about are of the category “absurd”. She really does make problems bigger than they are and then becomes a dramaqueen about it for no apparent reason.
One of the best examples I can give of this is one that happened in the last year. I have my own equipment for storing food, they’re glass containers with plastic lids that can go into the fridge but also into the oven. I used one of them to make lasagna with. I’ve had these for a while and the stickers of the brand were still on the sides even though they’re half peeled off. I have no issues with this but to her it looked “stupid”. I shrugged and pointed out they were mine and I didn’t care. For some reason my dad chimed in and eventually I told him to just put the damn thing into hot water to help it peel off. Ten minutes later, I had gone up to my room to relax, my dad comes knocking on my door because he needed me to talk to her because she was upset. She was upset because “when I suggest something you never listen to me but you listen to your dad”. First off, she never suggests.. She bitches. Secondly I don’t have to listen to any of your suggestions when it comes to my stuff. Thirdly what the hell is your problem woman. I told her I had no idea why she was upset about this because it’s simply bullshit. My dad sat inbetween and just let it play out. This is the kind of petty drama filled shit that fills her head apparently and I can’t stand it.
I’ve had to deal with it for 10 years now and I’m just not putting any energy into communication on that part anymore. I let her bitch and I just stare off in another direction untill it’s done and then I talk to my dad. It’s so emotionally exhausting to live with these people. A father who rages at every little thing and a woman who thinks I’m somehow out to get her and makes mountains out of molehills. I try to avoid them as much as I can already while I was plotting my escape. Not getting a job untill I was 26 didn’t really help either but now that I’ve had a steady employment for the past three years and I could finally afford to move out I sprung on the chance to do it. It’s going to be such a relief to not have to deal with this stupid stuff every day anymore.
Not having had a stable home since I was 12. Living with a man who has no control on his temper and who lacks a sincere proficiency for empathy, and a woman who has the attitude of a teenager has had more of an impact on me than my mothers’ death could ever have. I’ve gone through PTSD and a secondary anxiety disorder that was diagnosed later in life. And yet nothing has taken it’s toll on my health more than living at home for as long as I have. I could write so many stories of shitty things that happened over the years. Of the verbal abuse, the bullying, the badmouthing to the point where I had an anxiety attack so bad that I fell and couldn’t get up and my dad was still raging at me. I’ve been made to feel less than human, to feel like I had no right to live, that I was a terrible human being and at some point I really believed the world would be better off without me so I tried to take my own life. Which only elicited more rage from my dad instead of the empathy he was supposed to feel towards his teenaged kid. Untill today I still struggle with suicidal thoughts. They may not be plans or actual ideas to take my own life, but if I were to die in my sleep I’d have no issues with it.
I have made leaps and bounds to improve my life. Finishing my Master’s degree, getting a steady job. I have an uncle who I was able to confide in about all the things that happened in our house and his heart broke for me. I’m no longer a broken person although I’m not where I want to be just yet. But moving out of this toxic household and finally starting a life of my own means more to me than anything else in the world. It feels like I can finally release myself from the shackles this house has put on me and be free of it all.
And maybe, just maybe, I can finally start living a normal life.