It is a bit of a shock when you come to the realization that you have lost all respect for a person that is supposed to close to you. Ok... that's a lie. It wasn't really a shock. I have never really had any respect for my step-dad... fear, yes. But respect no. And believe me I have tried to tell myself that he has been here since you were five, that you're supposed to love him... blah, blah, blah. The past few weeks have made me realize that he uses emotion as a weakness. When you go against him, it seems you go against all that his "holy" in his book... and that, essentially, means that you are defying him. I have never been this resilient when dealing with him, but lately it just all seems funny to me. I feel as if I can see him for the person that he really is. He wants people to do things his way no variation, no questions asked. My brother seems to handle him with a grain of salt. He has had his own struggles with him, but I still think they were no where near the crap that I went through because of him. A lot of the things that happened to me when I was younger are still with me, sitting under the surface, ready to emerge at any moment. My therapy sessions, the teachings of a Buddhist monk, and my own will to survive and move on have helped me keep them under control and accept that they have helped make me who I am.
My step-dad, on the other hand, either seems to have selective memory about a lot of things, or he is so careless as to speak and not think about anything that he says since he probably won't remember what he told you three hours later. So, when he told me that I should get over having been on dialysis and move on with my life, it pissed me off. My normal mode is to shut down, which I did for a moment, then I went and talked to my grandmother for a while. And she made me realize that I had to start doing things for me without regard to what other will say or how they will react. So I took that and I ran with it. I started studying for the GRE like crazy, as well as a job search, and writing. I just stayed in my room and got what I needed to get done. I didn't really talk to my step-dad, but I did talk to my brother and sister. Yes, I stayed in my room alot, but my brother and sister had sense enough to knock on the door if they wanted anything. My relationship with them didn't change much. My step-dad, the wonderfully bright person that he is, decided that, somehow, I had forgotten that I had a family. I looked at him and laughed and went back in my room. I hadn't forgotten that I had a family, I just didn't want to feign some closer relationship with him based solely on the fact that I had had a transplant. Yes, there were times when I really did try to create a relationship with him, but he would do or say something completely off the wall and demeaning that I would just say screw it. If I've failed to do something so many times, I refuse to sit here and hit my head against a brick wall trying to figure out how to do it. I moving on. So, that's what I decided, since he decided that I didn't know that I had a family. He never asked me what I was doing while I was in my room, he jsut assumed that none of it was constructive and that it, apparently, did not warrant so much of my attention.
I think at that moment, I realized that I literally had no respect for my step-dad. It was a little weird, but I was able to let a lot of stuff go and focus on myself and my own needs. As a result, my step-dad has been complaining to my mom, and so she brings all of that crap to me. It's funny. I doubt that they would ever do any of this to my younger brother and sister. But it seems that I have been getting the brunt of their (mostly his) crap for so long, it would seem almost weird if something like this did not happen in my family. So she starts asking me why I stayed in my room so much and I pretty much answered all of her questions, and as usual, she hit me with the "we've always been here." I just looked at her with my mouth open. And immediately thought about my childhood. I tried not to laugh, and told her that I had never talked to her or my step-dad. And I wouldn't start talking to them. I have no idea why my relationship with them is supposed to change as a result of my transplant. All of their children have outlets that do not include them. My younger sister talks to me. My brother talks to his girlfriend. We all have a selective group of people that we intimately confide in. I don't think they know or understand this. They do not realize that none of us really have close relationships to them. Anyway, my mom started talking about what my plans were and I told her. Then she interjected about possibly moving. And I jumped on that. I told her that as soon as got on my feet, that I would move out. I think that is what my step-dad wanted more than anything, so I decided that I would give him what he wanted. It's funny because she said that it wasn't what she wanted and I looked at her. Whatever my step-dad wanted, she would comply with. But I told her that it wasn't a problem. There was nothing more to say.
It's funny because my step-dad is supposed to be an adult, but he acts like a five year old. When he sees me, he immediately storms to his room and if my mom is there he complains to her. The whole situation is funny to me. The other day he got mad because I took my little sister with me while running some errands and going to a doctor's appointment. So when he came home around 12:45, he told me that my little sister couldn't go anywhere with me without permission. I looked at him and laughed, told him "ok" in a comical way and walked off. Later on he told me that I would know what was going on if I came out of my room. I looked at him and asked him why would I want to come out of my room when you say ignorant things to me. And then he started saying something else and I told him I really wasn't worried about anything. That made him angrier. It was funny to me because a lot of his actions are just reactions to his anger. I think dealing with him has made me a lot stronger. I no longer fear him. In a sense I feel sorry for him because he always thinks he has to control people and situations. He has this mentality that he is never wrong, that the past is in the past and it should not affect you at all. It's funny because he does not understand that most things that happen to you have some long term affect on a person's life. And yes, I know I am not making the situation any better because I refuse to let him get to me anymore. So, I no longer wish to have any contact with him. In the book that I am reading, the author says that you should be the first to make the initial steps for a possible reconciliation. And yes, that is true, but at this point, I can't say that I care. Fear has ruled that relationship for so long that I think he still relies on it to a certain extent. And maybe the fact that I really don't care to repair this relationship, means that some fear still exists there. But at this point, I am trying to focus on myself. I feel like most of my life has been spent living in fear of him, knowing that my mom would be on my step-dad's side. That and the fact that dialysis had consumed two years of my life, made me want to focus on myself more than anything. There is only so much one can do before they completely unravel because they are not looking after themselves. I have been there and I refuse to go back to that point. I know that in order to do that I need to get out of here. And I need to continue embracing the events that have shaped me and put them to rest. So, I am focused on myself more than anything, and if that means that I have "forgotten that I have a family," then so be it, which is still funny to me. I have always been sort of a loner, even when I am surrounded by my family. I have been this way all of my life, it's funny that my mom and step-dad have not realized this and feel a need to force me to do things that really don't come naturally for me. I attend family events when I want to, but sometimes I want to be left the hell alone. Maybe we all have a lot to learn about each other... who knows... until then, life goes on as usual.