No one cares about me. I don’t mean that in a fishing-for-sympathy-pathetic-loser-ish sort of way. I just mean it as a calm statement of fact.
My 90-year-old father is in the ICU tonight for a non-COVID-related medical condition. In the coming days, he’ll have surgery that should fix the issue, and which everyone seems to be feeling optimistic about. But he is in the ICU right now. And that’s always a little scary.
My “partner” couldn’t give two shits about me, or my dad, or the emotions I’m feeling right now. The news that my father was in the ICU was nothing more than momentarily interesting to him. There was no, “I’m sorry to hear that,” or “Are you okay?” or “Is there anything I can do for you? Do you want to talk?” None.
I need to leave him. I know this. But things are not that simple.
My brother called me to tell me that Dad had been moved to the ICU. He used it as a segue into talking about how he’s sick of this shit, and there is no “surge” going on, and my dad was supposed to have this surgery back in April, but the Fascist Democrat Governor had to go and say no non-emergency surgeries, and this is all an excuse to take our freedoms away!
He doesn’t care about me, either. He never asks how I feel or what I think about anything, unless he’s just trying to bait me into an interaction where I’m not really listened to, my opinions given zero respect or consideration. It’s all just an excuse for him to pontificate.
My father does, and has done, the same exact thing, for my entire life. He’ll ask me questions that he is not at all interested in hearing the answers to. He only asks so that he can interrupt me and then go on about what he thinks is right, and how whatever I think is wrong, invalid, immoral, even.
I talked to my dad on the phone earlier this evening, before they had to move him to the ICU. He had just had an exploratory procedure so they could get a better idea of what they’d be looking at for his surgery. When I spoke to him, he sounded a little groggy. He was still coming out of a Propofol fog, but he sounded like he was in a good mood. He complained that he hadn’t been able to eat solid food all weekend, and still couldn’t. But he sounded cheerful, nonetheless.
He didn’t bring up politics, or how terrible he thinks it is that they’re tearing down all these statues, or how crazy these Antifa protestors are.
He just told me stories about his 100-year-old roommate, with whom he got along famously. This roommate was discharged today.
I know my dad loves me. He tells me all the time. He just doesn’t care. Everything is still always all about him.
Sure. He put a roof over my head and food on my plate. He came to most of my soccer games, choir concerts, and school plays. He and my mom afforded me an upper-lower-middle-class up-bringing. I’m not ungrateful for those things.
But I can’t help feel that all that was less about me, as a person, and more about his re-living his own childhood through me, more about how my activities and accomplishments reflected back onto him. And my participation in these activities was not really about what I wanted to do, but more about what he and my mom wanted to be able to say their daughter was doing.
They did not care what I wanted. That was irrelevant.
My mom probably cares about me, about who I am, more than the rest of them. She just doesn’t want to know because the more she knows, the more she worries.
If you asked any of these people, my dad, my brother, my partner, and my mom, they’d all say that they care about me deeply.
But they don’t even know who I am.
If you’re reading this blog, you, a complete stranger, know more about me than any of these people. The people who are supposed to be the “closest” to me.
This is the only place in my life where I get to say what I really think, express how I really feel, be who I really am.
Do you care? I suppose I don’t care if you don’t.
My dad is a tough old dude. He’ll probably be fine. He has, and always had, lots of people caring for him. The ICU, I’m sure, is taking good care of him tonight, just as I and my mom and my brothers have taken good care of his ego for him these past 50 years. Just as my brother will probably take his place as the heir to the narcissistic throne and make his own children responsible for his ego. Just as my partner will surely find another woman after I’m gone to do his dishes and laundry and cook his meals and tiptoe around his opinions and emotions.
I love my dad. And I will not desert him in his time of need. Because, bitter as I may be, I actually do care.
But I am done with this shit.
See? I told you not to read this.