Just because I’m smiling, doesn’t mean I’m happy. Just because I’m not crying, doesn’t mean I’m not about to. Just because I’m laughing, doesn’t mean I’m not dying on the inside. Just because it’s been a month, doesn’t mean I’m … Continue reading
I remember this time, when I was sixteen…
My parents had divorced a semester earlier and I’d decided to move back home to try living with my Dad for a while. He was depressed because my Mom had left him, and one evening I came home from school and he was obviously stoned or drunk or something… and he told me in his tripped out slur that he was going to move up north somewhere that no one could find him. I remember crying, and being confused, not really understanding what was happening. I remember hysterically begging him not to go and him insisting that he was. If I recall correctly, I fell asleep that night in a heap of exhaustion and we never spoke of it again.
He probably doesn’t remember.
My Mom called me tonight. My Grandfather had gotten her number mixed up for mine and had told her that my Dad is in the hospital. Apparently, the neighbours heard him standing outside on the balcony yelling and shouting at nothing in particular, so they called my Grandfather, who went over and found him to be completely incoherent and called 911, who said his heart was racing at a dangerous pace and shipped him off to the hospital.
Fast forward to about a half hour ago. I called the hospital to see what I could find out, since I don’t live close enough to travel there immediately, and they were basically useless. He’d only arrived a couple of hours ago so they didn’t have any information for me, but I asked if he was coherent and they transferred the phone to his room…. where he was clearly not coherent.
I could tell he was tripped out, just with the way he said hello. I tried asking him what happened and what he’d been up to the last few days, but he couldn’t tell me. Instead, he told me that he didn’t want my brother or I to come and see him like this, from this point forward. I don’t know if he meant that he didn’t want us to see him in the hospital, or that he didn’t want us to see him at all. He told me that he wanted us to go to his house and take anything that had any value, and he talked about how he wouldn’t be around much longer if he “kept this up”. Then he said the part that struck me right in the chest: he said that he’d offended his whole family and he’d offended me and that it was never his intention.
Instantly I thought of the fight we had the last time I saw him. How he’d insulted me and I’d lashed out at him for always degrading me. I thought about how I haven’t called him since the summer because I told myself it was okay to take a break. And then I wondered if this episode in the hospital was his attempt at suicide. He was sure talking like it was. Did he pop too many pills today? Is it an accidental mix up in his medication? A legitimate medical condition?
I don’t know. And I likely won’t know for a couple more days.
And in the meantime, I’m not sure how to feel. I don’t want to over-react, but on the inside I’m freaking out anyway. Ever since I was a teenager I’ve lived in fear of my Dad dying. I have nightmares to this day. And quite frankly, I resent him for it. I resent him for being selfish enough to pop another pill or smoke another joint and put me through this hell. But he’s my Dad, and I love him, and the mere thought of losing him breaks my heart… but sometimes, I feel like I’m just waiting.
So I don’t know what to do right now besides write. Writing keeps me calm. It helps me vent. And it helps me let go and cry when I need to.
I called my Dad tonight to wish him a happy Fathers Day. As usual our conversation consisted of my asking “what’s new” and him going on and on and on with complaints about his “short end of the stick”. My Dad … Continue reading