We were going to drive to Brownwood, which is at least two hours away. I was going to drive because frankly my Dad is a slow driver. I suggested to stop off for breakfast before hitting the road, so that is what we did. Will was with us, I was just accompanying my dad and I wasn't going to be doing anything so he was ok to have along.
Once seated and our orders placed, I started....I told my Dad that I was not happy with my life and I didn't know what I could do to make things in my life ok. I was so far to being fucked up that really it seems like impossible to get my life where it should be. He brought up the drugs and drinking, and you know any other time this might have started to set me off, but it was different now. I can't explain what I was feeling, I just knew I was tired of living my life in a way that I needed alcohol or pills to deal with life, I really hate it, of course I do it because I can't cope with life without some kind of aid. So he did bring that up saying something stopping that might get me going in the right direction. I pointed out how I'd been to numerous rehabs, one was even in Colorado and that one claimed to be the best in the state (though I'm sure many make the claim). IF the best place (plus the counseling center I was going to at one point claim to be the best in this part of Texas) can't fix me, what or who can??
My Dad...who really isn't old, but I guess the fact he's hispanic and most of them tend to believe rehab and counseling/therapy centers are a crock, said as much now. He said I can go anywhere, even outside of the US, it didn't matter where I went, if I didn't want to change or want to accept the help, it wasn't going to happen. The only one who could 'fix' me was me. We sat in silence for a bit.....I continued.......I had choose my words carefully for the next part, because I really wanted to have this talk and I didn't want to sound like I was accusing him of bad things.....I started it out by saying that I had this deep seated rage where they (my parents) were concerned. I felt that I couldn't be what I should be because they hadn't been what they should have been to me. I went on to say that I felt that I (along with the siblings, who apparently never bitch about it like me) deserved a childhood that I never got. We went back and forth about things, I'm not sure if he didn't understand what I was trying to say or if he didn't want to acknowledge that I was (once again) saying they were sorry people. At some point he said things weren't as bad as I was making them seem.....I still remained calm and continued.
I pointed out how I never had them take care of me. My mom worked multiple jobs, which was just as well, she was a bitch back then too. I'm not sure where my dad would have been. What I do remember is my brother and sisters looking our for me. That is not the same thing as being cared for by the people who should be caring for you. Plus, they weren't that much older than me. Them three are all 12-15 months apart. There's like a 3 year gap between me and my brother, so if I was five that would make them eight, nine and ten. I reminded him how at five I remember having to cook my own eggs for breakfast because they weren't around to cook for me and my sisters insisted on me eating cereal. I shouldn't have had to be making my own breakfast at five. I hate that nobody took care of me than and nobody takes care of me now. Life is hard that way.
He asks me if I'm trying to say that I turned to drugs and drinking because I had to prepare my own eggs. He goes on to say that I had a roof over my head....I cut him off to point out that we lived in the fkn projects. He points out at least it wasn't the streets. My patience was wearing thin at that point. I told him never mind. I said one last time that I was a fucked up person because I needed to be cared for and nobody had and nobody does and the drinking allows me to forget that nobody thinks I'm worth it. He was about to say something to that when I told him to shut up.
We ate in silence, only talking to Will. After the meal he asked if I still wanted to ride up to Brownwood. I said yes, and off we went. We probably drove for an hour without talking to each other. He finally broke the silence........"What do you want me to say, Sara? Do you want to hear it from my own mouth that your mom and I fucked up, do you want me to say that we should have done better, do you want me to say that we had no business being parents....." He went on for a bit more.
"You know, Dad, what I want is for you to tell me that I am worth something. I already know that y'all were fucked up people. I need to know that I meant something, I really don't know what I want, all I know is nobody can care for me the way I need to be cared for." OF course he doens't know what I'm trying to say, he brings up Scott and how Scott took good care of me, I could have had anything I wanted, blah, blah, blah............."NO DAD!!!! Scott provided for me, that's not the same thing"................................OMG, we went on for a bit more. He tried to convince me that I was alright.
And then, something happened. He said of all us kids, I was the most bull headed, I was stubborn, but in a good way. I was the only one (back then, I guess) that had determination, I was clearly the smarter one (better grades), the list went on. I don't even know what I'm trying to say in this blog anymore. I just know that I heard a lot of things from him that I'd never heard before. One of those things was to tell me how proud of me he was when I got my degree (I'm the first in our family to do so). I reminded him how they didn't show up to see my graduation even though that was only 45 minutes up the road....he apologized for that, and he said he didn't want to show up only for me to talk shit to them like I usually did. He said that he actually had pictures of it because Scott had emailed them to him.
I told him I needed to hear that I was ok, I wanted for him to tell me that he loved me, that he loved me when I was a kid and that he loved me now despite how fucked up I seem to be. He said yes, blah, blah, blah..........."Ok, if you loved me, and I mattered, why couldn't you do what was right, why couldn't ya'll be the parents I needed y'all to be?" His first reply was to ask if I heard what I'd just said I replied yes and I repeated what I'd asked. He said that was a question that one day Matty would be asking me. He didn't have an answer to why they weren't better parents, but what he could say was however messed up I thought they were it was never because of me. I mattered, we all had. We drove a while longer in silence.
"Dad, do you think I'm capable of going back to school and maybe starting my life over?"
"You have it in you to do anything you want."
"Do you love me?"
"Yes, Sara, of course I love you."
I might be ok. It's a start anyway, he said I mattered. I'm going to believe that.