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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Too Honest

I've been called out several times in my life as being too honest. I am an open book, if I feel it, generally I say it. It is a quality either loved or hated. If asked a question or my opinion, you will get the truth from me, even if it is not really what you wanted to hear. I think over the years I've mellowed some, mostly because Mark is the total opposite of me. He is thoughtful to a point, he never rushes to judgement or says anything off the cuff. It actually drives my immediate family crazy how thoughtful Mark is as he speaks. What takes an average person a couple sentences, Mark stretches out and takes his time explaining. I think the toughest calls Mark has had to make have been concerning the births of both Beau and Teale. He had a tough time knowing what to say, they were alive, but the births were rough and the future uncertain. I've asked him over the years what he said and the reactions, but much is a blur at this point. I believe Mark is a good match for me, he slows down my thoughts and helps me to see different sides to things. I also believe I am the same for him, I get him to think out of his box. Over the years I'm sure we have rubbed off on each other, but still there are times I want to blurt out exactly how I feel and Mark has to hold me back. Recently I took a new job, learning the politics of this environment has had some challenges for me. There are obvious flaws in the system and much the administration seems to not see or ignore. Since I have worked for myself most of my life, it is tough to hold back my "too honest" comments.  I run practically everything past Mark, but me, being me, I have slipped a few times too. The other day I said something that obviously everyone knows, but choices to ignore. I'm not sure my honestly was welcomed. I may need to channel Mark more!
I took some time to get to know the people before opening up. After a month there, I have started to share more about myself, my experiences and my opinions. Today I have a meeting with my supervisor to discuss how things have been going. I know there are many things I love about the job, but there are also many things I think could be improved. It will be interesting to see if the real me comes out or if I am more like my dear husband, Mark...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Twenty Three Years Ago

Today is the day my Father died in 1992. The last few years of his life were the hardest in our relationship. I had married in 1989, not having my Father give me away, not even inviting him to my wedding. He had not met my husband before he passed. He wasn't a bad man, but mental illness had taken over the man I once knew and I was unsure how to deal with him. His words were often hurtful, his behavior was erratic and strange. I tried stopping by his home to check on him a few times before I started dating Mark in December of 1988, but it was too unpredictable and painful. Sometimes he was kind and welcoming, other times he was drunk and nasty. Alcohol was his self medication in those later years. He would have benefited from psychiatric help, but in his mind, he was fine. My love for him was strong and I wished I could help, but after a visit in the late 1980's, I consciously decided "enough was enough." He would have to be well before I could see him again. I walked away not knowing that day would never come. I walked away not knowing I would never see him again, but I walked away knowing I had to walk away. I could not solve his issues, without his wanting to. Today is the anniversary of my Father's death, but he had really been out of my life since that day I left his house crying. My Father was sick and I couldn't talk him into caring enough to get help. I can pretend like it was easy, the day I walked away, but that would be a lie. When I speak of my Dad's mental illness/alcoholism, I probably sound cold and callous. Inside I hurt a great deal, inside I wanted my Dad to care about me more than he cared about alcohol. I wanted him to see the value of our relationship and realize he needed help. I wanted to be important to him. If you are the child of an alcoholic, I'm sure you understand these feelings. It is pretty universal to want to feel loved by your parents, but in my case, mental illness and alcohol took my Dad. I walked away because I knew he had to want to get help. I walked away because I knew I didn't cause his illness and I could not solve it. I walked away and I built a life for me with my husband, always hoping that someday my Father would be well enough to meet him. Mark never met my Father, but that is ok, because if he had, he would have met a man I didn't care for. My Dad died alone, in his favorite chair, with a drink in his hand. The coroner would rule his death a heart attack. The call would come from a stranger, a neighbor of his, I didn't even know. My chance to heal our relationship was gone in that instant. Twenty three years later I still question my actions, could I have helped him by staying in touch? Would I have had him in my life longer, had I tried harder instead of walking away? It is true that a child of an alcoholic takes on much blame for their parents actions. I know I have often wondered "what if?" Twenty three years ago I lost my Father and to this day the pain of that loss still catches me off guard.