3:00 am strikes with a sudden response I couldn’t have expected. As I sit in the den of my childhood home, I look to the date on the computer monitor with the realization that is was just 3 short years since my fine father suddenly parted from this world and my life. Earlier that evening in 2009, I was assured by my oldest brother that dad was doing better. I trusted him and postposned my planned evening visit. 6 hours later, my brother called to inform me the nurse said “your father is not responsive.” Though I had made sure to see dad 3 times during the time of his hospitalization, there is no way I was prepared for this moment. I had a bag already packed for an overnight stay.
My “unresponsive” spouse barely made a reaction to the call that obviously had me in fear of the outcome. I picture the dark, unfinished attic room where I was being housed in the marital home for 5 years. The isolation from my family was certainly beginning to become more distinct in this moment of decision. I left the home alone — as was often the case — if I wanted to see my family other than on major holidays. It was nothing like the weekly or monthly visits I bestowed upon the mother of the selfish spouse each time his mother was taken to the hospital. Year after year — no less than ten years of continual comfort to “your mother-in-law” as he referred to his mother.
Supporting, caring, calming — this is what I needed. Comfort for ME, this time. And there was NOTHING. This pretend spouse, was treated like a son. My father chatted with him freely. Shared with him consistently. Asked about him regularly. My kind, thoughtful, ever considerate father had parted this world — and the person I married abandoned me emotionally. He didn’t show ONE time to the hospital – the first time my father was ever hospitalized his entire 82 years. The louse-a-spouse went through the motions of attending the funeral services. Then never asked me once “Are you OK?” “How are you feeling?” — NO — instead he began treating me with disdain, saying “get a job” (I worked 7 days a week), critiscizing, me, my family and worse of all — questioning the character of my impeccibly pure and honest father!
Unleashed: battering of me emotionally, mentally, sexually — even worse after the death of my father. I regularly aided with the care of “your mother-in-law” for 15 years till her death in 2007. When I needed to be supportive of my mother (82) who was widowed after 58 years with her husband — 62 total years — she was locked out of my household bathroom!
One year ago, I had to evacuate my home, business, town . . . My grief became darker as I experienced the death of no less than 6 businesses I founded and sucessfully operated with the help of 4 part-time employees.
Cancer Awareness Month (Oct) recognizes the disease and the loss felt by patients. Domestic Violence Awareness Month (Oct) barely makes mention the multitudes of victims who have lived with and survived the in-house bullying that causes scars not able to be seen on an X-ray or cell sampling.
I will go visit my father’s gravesite — with my mom. Here she stands behind her husband’s headstone — my dear, departed dad.
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