There will probably be another post much later today, depending on the level of damage done during the call that's coming. I'll be trying to reach my father during the daylight hours, and I'm already planning to be thoroughly medicated when I dial the phone.
I'm not going to let it happen again. I'm not going to set myself up for an argument, where my father goes on the attack, I land in a defensive position, and I end up having to hang up because of a massive panic attack. I honestly don't KNOW what's been going on at his end of the world. For all I know, he hasn't spoken to my brother...although I have a feeling that after over two weeks, Stu has made a call, or Dad called him. I've probably been demonized, and labeled a fool for having destroyed what was "an excellent deal." Uh huh. For Stu, maybe. Squeezing me for what money he could was very good for things like his satellite television service. It's astounding how many people must have their luxuries, while their needs get overlooked.
You know, that used to be a little trick of mine when I was a debt collector. I would be on the phone with someone past due on their car payment, and I'd be trying to make suggestions as to how they could live within their means. I never asked if they had cable service; I'd simply ask, "How much is your cable bill?" Everyone would then quote a price to me, never realizing that they had now set themselves up. "Okay...now let me ask you...What's more important: your car, or your cable? If the answer is your cable, you risk the possibility of your car being repossessed, and that's not anything any of us want."
I went to GitP this week and created a thread, asking for advice on how to face this situation with my family. I freely admit that I'm in a bad head-space when it comes to facing this whole thing. What stunned me most was how many people seem to feel that I should do unto others as has been done to me. "They ditched you? Ditch them right back!" But that's not how I operate. One should always work toward treating others as you want to be treated. As long as my head has been operating properly, I have treated my family with the love and respect they should have. Unfortunately, they have not reciprocated.
But I am tempted to give them a taste of their behavior by way of questions. "Dad...How would you feel if I told you, now that you're in your golden years and suffering so many medical issues, if I told you to simply get over them and get a job? What if I made you feel worthless for forgetting vital information, like the name of a diagnosis you've received, or a treatment you're about to undergo? How would you feel if I made a commitment to send you financial aid each month, and then didn't without so much as a call to explain why the money didn't arrive? (Not that I'm a position to do anything of the sort.) What if you spent more than a year asking to visit me, and I continuously put off the idea, only to have you find out that other relatives were welcome whenever they could make it?" Ask calmy...slowly...and give him a little time to think.
However I handle the call, time is running out. I set a deadline for the end of the month, which is next weekend. But I have a sense that no one is going to call. They don't want to face "the equation with all of the variables that they can't solve." And so it falls to me...and Xanax. Because if you think I'm calling without my anti-anxiety meds on board, you got another think coming.
And so I wait for sleep to come. I'm going to need the rest. And yet my stress levels are off the scale.