And try not to panic. We are in the process of making some changes at our business (and by we, I mean my mom) and she’s really stressed out about it. Almost to the point of wanting to retire just so she doesn’t have to deal with it. Trouble is, my mom isn’t really the best with money in her personal life. She’s not extravagant, but then again, she’s not wise. Her house is huge and it’s just herself and just maintaining it alone is a full time job. Then, because we decided not to move in with her, she may have to sell the house. (Which she doesn’t really want to do.)

Whatever the details, my biggest fear is that she will move to Taiwan on a permanent basis. In fact, just thinking about the possibility brings up a wellspring of panic in my chest. If I think on it too long, I may just start uncontrollably weeping. I mean, I realize it’s not like she’d died but it still feels that way. She won’t be around to see my kids grow up and my kids will grow further and further away from her. I have almost zero relationship with my mother’s parents and although I had a close relationship with my dad’s parents, that also ended. Plus, my brother is on the East Coast and we’ll at most see him once or twice a year. Add my mom being in another country entirely and WHY IS EVERYONE ABANDONING ME?

Please tell me that my husband’s family is NOT going to be the family I see most often.

Seriously. I feel abandoned all over again (even though I’m a grown up and this is all hypothetical). Worse yet, WHY IS EVERYONE ABANDONING MY BABIES?

It’s not true but feels true. *sigh*

I have totally spoiled DS rotten. So much so that when it comes to food, I’ve totally let him dictate what he eats. (Ok, not entirely, but seriously, I am embarrassed when we go out to eat.) After our Hawaii trip where DS just ate fries almost the whole week, I decided to go on food lockdown. Or maybe not lockdown, but whatever. I am cutting snacks down (a lot) and DS has to eat what I put in front of him. I will allow some variation, but he has to eat his food at the table and finish it if he wants his dessert. Yes, I have to outright bribe my child to eat the food I make him.

On top of that, DD is almost impossible to feed so I give up and just nurse her. As a result, she sometimes only eats snacks! Terrible! She hates fruits (I just don’t understand how that is possible in my household! I blame DH!!) and doesn’t really enjoy sweet or pureed things. She will eat savory foods and regular people foods, so I am now making only one lunch/dinner/breakfast and EVERYBODY is going to eat it. At mostly the same time. She has been better about eating things when I let her eat it herself, so even though it’s a mess, at least she’s eating.

Blargh. I never thought I would turn into a crazy person when it came to mealtimes, but I would get so frustrated, I hear myself making these outrageous statements and punishing DS with timeouts and spankings and threats and OMG I sound like my FATHER. *sigh* He is allowed to have preferences within reason. I just have to not back myself in a corner.

Hopefully, it will get better. IT DOES GET BETTER, RIGHT?

According to my snooping, I think my dad was in town yesterday and today to sign divorce papers and get his things. If that is the case, I have no idea whether or not I will contact him after the divorce is final. If I do, (because that was one of the conditions of him no longer being dead to me), there will have to be some ground rules. One of them being that I will not help him or his new family do jack shit.

Yesterday, when I was putting DD to bed, I almost started sobbing because my dad hasn’t even met her yet and she’s eight months old. As far as I know, he hasn’t even asked about her. I am conflicted. And sad.

On a different but same note, I am super grateful that DH is such a good man, husband, and father. It gives me great hope for the future.

Once again, I snooped in my mother’s email to see if she’d been chatting with my dad. *sigh* After a month or so of inactivity, they had quite a few conversations lately. I don’t know exactly what compels me to find out. Clearly, I am not over my dad and still want to know what’s going on with him. Their conversations are unbearably sad. My dad is full of self-pity and delusion. My mother is sad and reaching out and kind.

Part of me feels bad that I am very obviously violating my mother’s privacy (I don’t really care if I’m violating my dad’s). Part of me is fascinated and can’t wait to find out more. But mostly, I am just sad. 😦

I will do all I can to make sure I do not go through this with DH. Plus, I will do all I can in my power to ensure my kids don’t have to go through this either.

I know. It’s another “Daddy” post. Some really close family friends came over this afternoon to drop off some yummy treats they picked up in Taiwan just for us (ok, for DS) and we got to talking about our families. I am so honored that my friend’s wife (and now, my good friend) was willing to confide in me some of her family’s drama (very similar to mine). I am struck anew – and I don’t know why it always surprises me and yet fails to surprise me – at how many families have fathers who just suck shit. (Seriously, there just isn’t any better way to put it.)

The cynical part of me is like, “Yup. Go figure. Another asshole, cheating, adulterous dad.” The hopeful part of me is like, “Damn. Another family torn apart by a cheating, adulterous, asshole dad.”

Hmm… both parts sound kinda similar.

Anyhow, I am just so grateful that DH is a man of good character. Though it is early on in our marriage and life together (10 years is nothing in terms of a lifetime), I am confident that my children will not have to suffer in the same ways that I did. I will invent NEW ways for them to suffer! BWAHAHAHA! (Wait – no.) I am determined to break this cycle THIS generation. That DH and I will carve out a new and whole family out of both of our family dysfunctions.

Of course, my children will realize eventually that DH and I are human and will fail and disappoint them constantly and surprisingly. But I beg of God all the time to shield my children from violence, adultery, and whatever else my father inflicted upon my brother, mother, and I.

I often have to remind myself that not only does that mean being grateful for DH’s character, but for ME to also be a person of great character. That’s a little harder to come by. But for my children, I will do no less.

Just finished I Love You And I’m Leaving You Anyway by Tracy McMillan and I feel all sorts of sad. I just want to grab my babies and hug them and kiss them and protect them from any possible hardship, suffering, or sadness for as long as possible. I know it’s impossible. However, I will do everything in my power to limit the deep, soul-crushing, life-altering type of pain my own father inflicted upon my brother, my mother, and I.

Everything my father has done reverberates through me. I beg God that it ends here with me. That my children will know only safety, security, and unremitting, ever-faithful, ever-pursuing love from DH and I. They are precious and deserve to be loved simply because they are.

I know, I know. I shouldn’t snoop around in my mother’s email account – but I can’t help it. I am at turns, fascinated and disgusted with my mom’s relationship with my father. I am drawn (apparently to incredible violations of privacy) to how my mom seems to constantly engage my father in conversations. It is both pathetic and so desperately sad. I find their conversations, in their bad English, full of pain and the desperate hope from my mother that perhaps, my father can turn around. Not necessarily to be with her, but I think she must still love him. It must be so sad for her to finally be ending this marriage. Good, but sad, as well.

My dad, on the other hand, is just full of self-pity and passive-aggressiveness. Claims that we don’t want him. That I have made it clear to him that he is dead. (He sounds so whiny and bitter.) But you know what? I stand by my decision. Of course, it does break my heart – he is my father, after all, and it does make me snoop and “eavesdrop” on my mom’s conversations with him because of course I want to know what’s going on with him. But he should know that what he is doing is unacceptable.

I am alternately driven between contempt (perhaps that is too harsh of a word, but often, that is what I feel) and pity for my mother. I think that she brought on a lot of this pain and trouble upon herself by burying her head in the sand. By thinking that somehow, magically, my father would change and treat her as he should. That even though he has been terrible to her, the comfort of familiarity with this man trumps all logic and has ravaged her body with numerous health problems (wet age-related macular degeneration and Hepatitis C).

It makes me so sad. When I even give myself a moment to truly think about my father and the impact – the terrible impact – he has had on all our lives, I am reminded of the comet that crashed into the earth and obliterated the dinosaurs. If I even linger a moment too long on him, I feel myself on the edge of uncontrollable weeping.

I am always bewildered – especially when I look at my kids. How could anyone say they love their children and then willfully choose to destroy their home and security and their mother? How could anyone abuse their children as he did? I look at my babies and all I want is to care for them and be with them. Yet he constantly chose to be away from us, to pursue his “dreams.”

You know what? I don’t care. I know it’s not a popular thought, but really, when you have a family and people to whom you are responsible, your dreams cease to matter. I mean, they do, but not really. You are now beholden to taking care of these children and your spouse – even if it means that you do not get what you want. Your life is no longer your own.

This is why I hate so vehemently the pursuit of happiness clause in our Declaration of Independence. It has made happiness an entitlement. But often, we do not know what will make us happy – and the pursuit of this nebulous state often causes much UNhappiness in its wake, leaving ruined lives.

I’m sure my father just wanted to get what he thought he deserved in terms of affairs and business opportunities. But never once has he apologized for any of his affairs, for tearing apart our family, for physically abusing my mother (or me, for that matter) and for choosing himself over and over again. The irony of it all is, I don’t think he’s very happy.

That makes me sad. In a perverse sort of way, if so many of our lives were ruined (or at least, felt like they were and were carefully rebuilt), at least it should have been worth it for him, right?

It is precisely my parents’ horrible marriage and my mother being a victim of my father for over thirty years that I am such an ass to DH. I have to actively try to remember and act as if I believed that DH is NOT my father. That when DH works late or spends a lot of time on work, he is not my father. That when he does anything that may even hint or smell like something my dad used to do, that he IS NOT MY FATHER. It has gotten much better, but I tell you, it is an active piece of work.

The crazy thing is, I have never been at a better place in my life. And still, the power my relationship with my dad can wield.

It is this knowledge that our actions have such far-reaching consequences that makes me strive to be a better person – both as a mother and wife. I know I am not perfect and that no matter how awesome I am at either role, my kids will have issues. But hopefully, with God’s grace and my active campaigning, my kids will never know what it is like to be abandoned and will always know how worthy of love they are. They are beautiful and worth so much more than they could ever imagine.