Wednesday, April 13

The Truth is...

I know it's been a while since my last post.  Life always has a way of sneaking up on me and shoving me off of my feet, I find myself, more often than not, feeling like I'm living upside-down in a right-side up kind of world.

People deal with grief differently.  I don't know what "people" I align with at this point in time.  Some days I feel like I'm coping "normally" and others I feel like I should be checking myself into the crazy house.  I've realized that it is easier for me to write when things are feeling better, when I'm feeling hopeful and I can see that light at the end of the tunnel.  It's when I'm faced with my demons and my depression and hurt that I don't write because of the things I fear will come out.

The truth is.... I feel abandoned.  I sit here, crying as I write this.  It's not easy to say, or even to feel.  A lot of you may not know this but I hated my dad for a good two years.  The day after Christmas 2003, my dad and mom called my brother and I upstairs to talk.  Mom was deathly quiet and Dad had been crying.  I thought they were about to tell us that someone in the family had passed.  I was nieve and 17.  Then my dad spoke, "I asked your mom for a divorce this morning."  Tears streamed from his face and I remember feeling like my heart had fallen into my toes.  My eyes widened, burning like fire and my jaw hung open as if I had suddenly lost all control of my muscles.  I didn't believe what he said.  Everything from that moment on was a blur.  I remember him saying something about just not being happy and needing to figure things out, that he hadn't been happy in life for some time.  I left the house in a rush that morning and got to work 5 minutes late.  I walked into Pac Sun and as soon as I saw my manager tears streamed down my face.  They got someone to cover for my shift and I don't remember where I went or what I did, but I don't think I came back home for two days.  After that I didn't much talk to my dad.  He moved out and got an apartment just down the road.  I finished my senior year of high school and when the time came for me to go to college Dad decided that he and mom were going to make things work.  As the truck unloaded my things at my dorm in Denton it turned around back to Fort Worth and brought my dad's things back home.

I harbored a lot of resentment toward my dad for all of the sleepless nights he caused my mom.  All of the tears I had to watch fall from her blood shot blue eyes.  It took me two  years to forgive my dad.  Two years before we sat side by side on the couch in their living room and I said I forgive you dad, and I love you.  After that things were different.  It wasn't perfect right away but I slowly started to realize how similar we were.  Over the past couple of years my dad had become one of my best friends. The one person I would trust with anything.   He was a vault, and so wise beyond his years.  He loved me effortlessly and wanted nothing more than my time and love.  We were chemically wired the same.  High anxiety, very compassionate people who have hearts that feel to the extreme.  It made our conversations about our lives and our feelings so much easier because he could relate completely and he understood my words, how I felt and for once in my life I didn't feel like an outsider.  I didn't feel too "needy," I didn't feel too "emotional."  I was his daughter and he was so proud of that.  In return I couldn't have been more proud of my dad.

The truth is... He is gone.  And as much as I try to busy my life up to cover up that reality, it doesn't change the facts.  My dad took his own life in an attempt to free himself from the hurt and anxiety and depression that had pushed him past his breaking point.  I've spent the past four months standing up for my dad.  Telling everyone that I am not mad at him, that I feel empathy toward him and can't imagine what he was going through, what was so terrible that could make him take his own life.  And I am still not mad at him.  

I feel abandoned.  I feel like the one person that told me he would always just be a phone call away is no longer a phone call away.  I can write to him in my journals and talk to him when I'm feeling alone but the truth is, he can't talk back.  The truth is... My dad's ashes sit on a shelf in his office in a beautiful blue vase.  I sat in his chair today and looked up at those ashes and goosebumps covered my entire body.  My dad, those big hazel eyes, his charming smile, his laugh that could pull anyone out of sadness, that huge heart and strong, soft hands, and the arms that held me tight for 24 years are all sitting on a shelf collecting dust.

I can't help but feel a slight ping of jealousy when I see a daughter taking her dad for granted.  Seeing a teenage girl go out for a night on the town with her friends while her dad sits at home dwelling on the times when he was her number one man, when there was no one better, stronger or more handsome than her dad.  I'd do absolutely anything to get to hug my dad one more time.  To get to look in his eyes and tell him how much he means to me, how I wish I could take back all of the years that I harbored animosity towards him.  I see some of our friends who are dads to little girls, these adorable girls who have them wrapped around their finger.   Little girls clinging to a chain link fence at a softball game yelling, "go Daddy, go!"  I feel robbed.  I feel cheated.  I feel completely left behind.  Abandoned.  I see myself at that same fence looking for my dad, the one I can cheer for.  He's nowhere to be found.  And now I'm here, stuck in this pile of broken heart mixed with tears and emotions I never knew existed.

Life is not easy.  Death is not easy.  Coping and grieving are not easy. Lately there are a lot of days that I want to quit.  I find daily tasks more difficult, my mind wandering and finding it hard to focus.  I feel overwhelmed and it all comes down to feeling like my dad, the strongest, most handsome, amazing, incredible man in the entire world, the one that i had wrapped around my finger, the one that would smile for hours after a five minute cuddle from me, has abandoned me.  My entire family.  The rock of our home crumbled into ashes and we are all stuck sitting in them trying to figure out how to put things back together.  I know this sounds like I'm throwing the biggest pity party of the century, I am not trying to.  I'm being raw and honest and sometimes that gets me into trouble.  But I feel like if I'm not honest, what am I?

I have a really long road ahead of me.  And yes, today it seems nearly impossible because I can't even seem to see what I'm going to be doing in ten minutes.  I do know that God has a reason and a purpose for everything and I try my hardest to cling to that, but I am human and sometimes its easier to just sit in a pile of tears and feel bad for myself.  Today is that kind of day.  I'm having to reshape my thinking, my emotions, my entire life all because my dad was out of options.  All I can do is hope and pray that I am never sitting where he was that Tuesday afternoon, feeling helpless, alone and completely out of options.

I love my Daddy very much.  More than any words have the capacity to convey.  I am hurt, however, hurt by his actions because he left behind one hell of a family and a lot of life long friends who are all having to pick up pieces and try to figure things out all over again.  One step forward three steps back, something like that.  All of this to say, I haven't written because I haven't wanted to be that person who brings everyone down.  It's easier to be the uplifter, the encourager, the person who brings light to the world.  The hardest thing for me is this.  To be raw and honest in saying that today I am not okay.  Today I feel alone and abandoned.  Today sucks.  And that is that.

Stay tuned for a much more uplifting and happy blog... I'm sure they will follow. :)


Debra said...

Sweetie, I'm not sure you know this, but, take it from someone who is grieving, too. You are doing such a great thing sharing your thoughts with others. I didn't lose my dad, but, I did lose my sweetheart to suicide. I'm so happy to hear that you aren't angry...I have never been angry either. I never say never; I may be angry one day. But I seriously doubt it. My baby couldn't help what was happening to him any more than if he had cancer. People always ask me if I'm angry or they assume I am. Don't let anyone talk you into that...
Just feel what you feel on any given day and go with it. I always look forward to your blogs...they take away some of the isolation I feel having gone through the same thing. I love you for this!!

cameron said...

As I sit here in tears and goosbumps at the same, I am amazed at the strength you have to be this honest. I know it is not easy to shed your skin and let every one see the yuck inside, but you did it beautifully. No one is ever ok, happy, or perfect all the time and its wonderful, deep things like what you have written that allows others to know its how God intended us to be......human! I love you very much.


Anonymous said...

I love you my beautiful daughter.
We are all in this together and You are so special to me.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me very well at all, if at all, but I knew who you were at UNT. I always looked up to you because you always had a smile on your face, a laugh in your voice, and were so sweet to everyone. I have followed your blog because I have felt very touched by it. I myself, am not very close with my father and by reading yours it inspires me to change that. One thought that came to my mind after reading this post was maybe becoming an advocate about your loss to girls.. sharing your story, changing the relationships fathers and daughters have. Just by reading your words I want to change mine. That could be a great way to cope with what you are going through. Keep posting, you are an inspiration and it does not make others think less of you.

Anonymous said...

Nicki, I am happy that you aren't mad at your father. When my family member died because of suicide I had nothing but anger towards him. It took me a long time to get over the anger. You are so strong. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to cry. It's okay to write a whole blog of how emotional you are. You have a huge support system and that will never change.