kristenshotwell

K of...Whatever the Hell
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2001-07-19 03:44:00 (UTC)

Chapter 1: Father Complex

I hate to make the first entry in this cute little online
diary a hellish one. But, when you've gotta write, you've
gotta write, whether it's a first impression in your online
journal or not.

So I'm sitting here in my basement, talking to my Colorado
boyfriend online and wishing I had something to eat, seeing
how I haven't eaten anything all day. And all day, I've had
nothing to do but reflect on all the shit in my life right
now. Even as I type this, it ceases to stop; Aaron has just
told me about the death of his favorite teacher, who was
recently found dead in his car underneath a lake in the
Rocky Mountains. And as my heart breaks for him, I wonder
to myself... How much shit can one take before it's just
too much?

My day started off at a quarter to eight in the morning
today with my father yelling and throwing a phone at me in
my bed.
My mother had called a few minutes before to say
that our minivan, being the luxury mobile that it is, had
broken down on her halfway to work and that she was
stranded at a gas station. Naturally, dad threw a fit that
he would have to go rescue her because he always gets upset
when he has to do something for someone who isn't himself.
So he stomped around his room on the upper floor of the
house, sloppily trying to get dressed. And he opened his
mouth, and boomed in a loud voice, "FUCK!!!" through
gritted teeth. At given moments, when such profanity is
shrieked at such volumes to where it echoes off the walls
of the house, his exclamation would have been laughed at by
me. It's happened before, and God willing, it will happen
time and time again. But this one, not to be enjoyed, was a
warning call.

I was in bed at the time, and took the scene as a warning
to flip onto my side and try to slip out of consciousness
before anything else happened. But before I could count up
to even a dozen sheep in my head, there was a rapping at my
door and in he came. He explained to me what was going on
and I said I knew. Okay then, he says, I need you to guard
my phone while I'm out on this goddamn rescue mission. My
father has been unemployed for about four months now and
he's in the process of trying to open his own fluid power
engineering business. I just wish the damn thing would
start going somewhere and bringing in money, because the
paychecks are dearly missed around here. And he's always
sticking me with the "secretary's" (slang for "slave's")
job of answering his phone while he's out. It's basically
the only thing that he trusts me with doing. So, biting
down on my lip, and with my back still turned to him, I say
that yes, I will answer your phone.

At that point, the phone comes soaring through the air and
hits me square in the knee. And, since I was, naturally,
unsuspecting and totally naive to the knowledge that I
was going to be hit in the knee with a phone, I did what
anyone else in my position would do; I said, "Ouch".

And then he exploded about it.

"Oh, well, I'm SOOOO sorry, but I didn't choose to start my
day with a damn rescue mission and having to blah blah
blahdy blah mumble mumble curse curse blahdy blahdy
blah..." His voice alternates between yelling and mumbling
as he curses about what a hell hole is life is, leaves my
room, slamming the door, and leaves the house.
All that because I said "Ouch" when he threw his phone at
me.

For the next two hours, I lay awake in my bed, and not
being kept awake from the anticipation of picking up the
phone when it rang and chiming, "Precision Fluid Power!"
into the receiver. I lay under the sheets as the sunshine
tried to creep through my curtains, talking to myself in a
quiet voice, pondering out loud as to why my father hates
me so much. Tears soaked my pillow as I realized that
earlier and earlier every day, he was finding ways to ruin
my day for me.

Just the day before, he had kept me off the computer from
talking to Aaron and had ruined the day for me that way.
Later today, he did the same thing, getting angry when he
found me online for three minutes and demanding that I get
off so he could "get on to do some work". Sometimes it
seems as though he wants to obliterate any chance I may
have to talk to Aaron online. He seldom ever kicks my older
sister off; it's always me he waits for. He waits for me
because he knows I'm using my time to talk to my boyfriend.
I bet you anything.

If you were to ask my father what my favorite color was, he
wouldn't have any clue what the true answer was. If you
were to ask him where I wanted to go to college, what my
favorite song was, what my real hobbies were, what course I
liked best in school, what any of my beliefs, fears, hopes,
or dreams were... he wouldn't have a damn clue.
He wouldn't have a damn clue, because he's never made it a
damn to know. He doesn't try to find out. You don't go
seeking out things that you don't give a damn about.

It's been like this for years. He has wondered time and
time again why I "hate" him (although he's always used the
word "hate" for melodramatic purposes) and I've wondered
how he wouldn't be able to see it for himself. When someone
is constantly demeaning everything you do, he's not going
to be someone that's very high up on your list of best
buddies, is all there is to it.

I wouldn't be shocked if it was written in stone that my
father thinks I am a stupid, stupid being. Compared to my
sister, I'm not as smart. I've received one 4.0 (as a
quarter grade) at the Academy, but not many back-to-back,
so that makes me dumber than my sister, who is older by
four years. I'm not an athlete, except in volleyball, which
even still, I'm not religious about, and don't play on any
sports teams, so I'm a bore as far as extracurricular life
goes. My real interests are in art and writing, which
disappoint him because they're not "the paying jobs"; the
writing is my sister's field, anyway, and if anyone were to
make money doing it, it would surely be her over me. And
art? Give me a break.
He shudders at the fact that I have a long-distance
relationship with a guy from Colorado Springs, but if I
were to be single at the age of 25, he would yell at me for
not finding a man to support me yet. It's important to be
around a man, since the woman can't do anything on her own
and can hardly even think for herself, but at my age, the
age at which I'm still in school, boys just aren't a
necessity. The only thing a boy can possibly do for a girl
of my age is fill her head with juvinile fantasies and
steal her virginity.

My father isn't worth talking to because he doesn't want to
swallow anything about emotions or feelings of any sort. I
therefore never attempt to explain how he makes me feel to
him or ask my mom to do it for me; it would be in one ear
and out the other. I've wanted to, at many times, sit him
down and try to explain to him my relatioship with Aaron,
since that's usually what seems to cause many of the
problems between us due to his lack of understanding in the
matter. I find it no surprise that he can't, though,
because he's clearly never been in love the same way I
have; not even with my mother. If he had, he never would
have let him develop into the dry, shallow, emotionless
person that he is now, and my sister and I would never have
reason to say that she was better off without him or with
someone else. If I could get him to understand that much
about me, about the one thing in my life that really
matters to me, he'd second-guess the way he treats me from
here on out.
But of course, that's all a big dumbass fantasy.

So every day I've spent at home for the past few years has
been a game to try and avoid being around him as much as
possible. If you hear the clopping of his slippers or hear
him coming down the stairs, or God forbid, if you see his
gray sweatpants and white shirt in the distance, you get up
and find somewhere else to go. Avoidance is the key to
surviving in this house.

A few days ago, my mom made the mistake of telling him that
my colitis was acting up and making me not feel well. And
he scolded me for THAT, too. I don't take care of myself
and I sleep too late and I don't take the right pills. And
I can't even handle a chronic illness, which HE gave me, as
low of a blow as that is, to his liking. Everything I do is
wrong. And people wonder why my self esteem gets so low?
This is what I've grown up with. I've been raised to think
that everything I dream of is a joke; everything I hope for
is pointless; everything I love is stupid; everything I do
is wrong.

Why is it that even feeling bad is punished for in this
house? Dad ruins my day, I get upset about it, don't feel
like talking when mom gets home from work (without dinner,
too) at 8:30, and she punishes me for being upset by
deciding not to talk to me and by not fixing dinner for me.

The democracy in this household is fucked.


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