On Why I Have a Black Sense of Humor (or why I’ll never be one of the WOO girls)

I don’t write much about my family. Hell, I don’t really even write much about everything I’ve gone through. While there are so many things about which I demur, complements I can’t accept, ideas about my life that I disbelieve.. I do agree with people when they say that I am strong. Because I am actually much stronger even than most people know. Simply, I deal with a lot more than I confess to anyone. J knew, but he was the only one. (Writing this fills me with guilt; I am much more comfortable with modesty…)

The thing is, I don’t think the problems in my family are mine to claim strength from, really… though I’m doing it now. The individual family members who have to cope with their demons are the stronger ones. Sure, I have my own demons but nothing compared to what my sister and father, aunt and uncle have/had to deal with.

I won’t talk about my sister here, although if I were it would be to say how much I admire her for persevering despite inheriting much more than her fair share of the family sick. I want to respect her privacy; she’s one of my heroes.

No, I kind of need to talk about my father.

My father’s family has overwhelmingly suffered from crippling, devastating mental illness… typical Irish family, eh? Since I can remember he’s been an alcoholic; I’m pretty sure he was removed from his own company (Cancer research) because of it. He simply has no interest in healing from the slow-motion suicide he’s been performing my entire adult life. As I’m a bit obsessed with health and wellness (happy body, happy mind), I often share information with him where it’s not wanted, pass on literature he discards, etc. He openly resents my interventions, my timid prayers for his safety.

I have had moments where my attempt to repress and ignore the effect he’s had on me break down, like when he stopped trying to hold it together in front of J, and was smashed during one Christmas visit. I found his jug of cheap vodka in the cabinet, and smashed it in a wild frenzy of rage and grief, leaving behind the most gut-wrenching note to my father in its place.

My mother hides the vodka bottles because she doesn’t want to put them in the recycling bin. Who would see? I don’t know.

My father tried to kill himself this week. My mother called my sister over to help, and when S arrived he was crying like a baby. They wanted me to talk to him on the phone, to distract him while they tried to get him admitted to a hospital.

He told me that it was my fault.

He told me that I was an indifferent child, and that it was my fault this was happening.

I know that’s not true. I cried and shook, and told him the truth- that I study Japan because of him, that I admire him more than anyone, that I work so hard because he worked so hard. I also got angry. “Dad, I was just a normal kid. This is your head stuff, not about me.”

I mean, I know. I know that nothing he said to me is true. I also know that he won’t stop until he’s dead. And that I’ve failed my parents, as the only one healthy enough to do so, by not giving them grandchildren. I’m running out of time before my dad dies, and my own body cannot. Or so I am reminded.

He’s “safe” in the hospital now. I can’t contact him.

And this is why I don’t have time for boys who won’t meet me, who text and call but avoid hanging out with me in person. I don’t have time for bullshit and games and Rules following and dating crap. I have no patience with head games and I won’t pretend I’m busy when I’m not and v.v.  J served me the divorce papers on Tuesday. Typical birthday week for me, really (head cold on top of it). But you know what? I’m ANGRY. And in this state, nothing can touch me because I’m out for blood.

Almost of the things that I thought existed to support me have proven illusions this year. I’m left with the truth that there’s me. In the end I am my own strength. I feel temporarily suspended from the torture of my social anxiety disorder, because there’s not much left for me to be afraid of anymore. Almost all of my nightmares came true, and here I remain. I couldn’t possibly be the same person I was a year ago. But ultimately, I’m better… tougher. I’d even say I am one tough bitch.


4 thoughts on “On Why I Have a Black Sense of Humor (or why I’ll never be one of the WOO girls)

  1. Di

    Oh, L. Sending you lots of love and hugs. If you need anything, please email me.

    I have also gone through my marriage ending recently, so I can sympathize.

    1. matchaproblem Post author

      I am so sorry to hear this. I didn’t know, and I resent that anyone else has to go through it. The only resource that sort of helped, apart from a local divorce support group, was a book called Getting Past Your Breakup. It helped me relocate my strength. You, too, are one tough bitch and can get through this.

  2. Tracie

    You know, if going through all of this shit at one time makes you stronger than your social anxiety, it might almost be worth it. Oh sweetie, I’ve been there. My mom is doing the slow suicide herself with wine. She watched her sister kill herself with alcohol and just doesn’t care. She’s said she refuses to stop drinking – and as you can imagine, it’s the tip of the psychiatric iceberg.

    But yes, I do think that dealing with all of this bullshit in life makes one stronger. Now is not the time or place for me to recount to you my various and sundry traumas and childhood damage. Let me just say I get it. I learned that I had two choices – curl up in the corner or come out fighting. I came out fighting.

    I am as soft as pudding inside, but I don’t allow very many people to see that. I have developed a fierce reputation as a bitch over the years, and I keep most people at a distance. It’s just safer and easier that way. And honestly, I think most people are so freakin’ self absorbed that they’ll kill you if you let them and they won’t even realize what their part in it was. Walls are good, strong walls are better. And I do honestly think I”m better off blocking most people out.

    My wish for you is that this makes you stronger like it made me stronger. It’s a tough balancing act, learning when to admit someone past your gates and fortifications. But I think it’s important to learn to do it.

    As for my mom, it’s tough. I try to see the good in her (she’s a wonderful grand mother and mother until about 5pm at night). I try to see her childhood damage and trauma (pretty freaking bad – like someone should have gone to jail bad) and know she wasn’t given the tools to cope with it properly and this is all she can do. I just try to love her through it, and not take her phone calls after 6pm. It’s also generally better to delete the emails sent in the evening as well. Two weeks ago, we had a bit of a blow up because she has the figure of an alcoholic (skinny skinny legs and arms, but protruding abdomen). Basically, she refuses to go to a doctor, she refuses to stop drinking and I can choose how I deal with that. I deal with that by not dealing with her in the evening.

    But everyone is different, every situation is different and I wish I could help you with your dad.


    1. matchaproblem Post author

      It took me a while to reply to this because it brings up feelings in me that I don’t like. The skinny arms and legs and bloated stomach is my Dad. Since I can remember he’s looked pregnant. With each bout of self-torture he sounds less and less coherent. I fear for him dying… I imagine it won’t be too long now unless he changes something dramatic. And then nearly everyone in his family will have spectacularly self-destructed.

      I’ve been fighting, but the British dude who intruded on my life found a real weak spot in my armor and has been wiggling his fingers around in my wounds, so I need to cut him off. I’m still so much of a trainwreck I am not being fair to the people who DO want to spend time with me, and that makes me so sad… Considering my family, and my year, I am either being mistreated by or mistreating everyone who tries to date me. Hmmmm… maybe I need to write a new blog entry.


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