Saturday, December 2, 2017

Not missing out...

Thursday while I was talking with Grace I felt like there were decisions I needed to make. Was I going to keep keeping my dad's death a secret, did I want to wait a while before posting it so I would just be old news and no one would care, or did I want to just get it over with? Would I regret it if I did? Would I regret it if I didn't? What is the worst thing that could happen if I did post that he was abusive?

I've held off strictly because I was worried about offending my family. The worst case scenario for posting being my whole family gets mad at me and never talks to me again. I wrote the post Thursday. I asked Brad and my best friend, Robin, what they thought of it. Brad liked it. I wanted to wait until I heard back from Robin, but I also wanted to give it a full 24 hours before I read it again and really decided. Then I didn't want to post it on Saturday and have the backlash from the family to deal with on the same day as my daughter's baptism.

Today as I sat in the chapel waiting for people to arrive for the baptism I realized not a single member of my family was there. No one. Not 1 person. It hit me, so what if they all hate me. They aren't there for me now.

Between Brad and I we have 9 siblings. The closest being 2 hours away and the furthest being 6 1/2 hours away. Brad's parents and 2 siblings came. One of his brothers being the second from furthest away at 4 hours! And his sister that is 3 1/2 hours. Yet, there I sat with no one. 3 of my 4 siblings are 2 to 2 1/2 hours away! Yep, I won't be missing out if they all end up hating me for speaking the truth.

I was so thankful to Brad's family for coming! A few months ago Robin's son was baptized and she warned me that the closer it got everything would start going wrong! Aside from my dad dying, we were doing good! Brad took yesterday off of work to make sure we had things ready. Today we ended up working on Christmas decorations. By the time the baptism was 2 hours out, so 1 1/2 until we needed to leave, nothing was ready. Brad had the meat in the smoker, but that was it. I needed to set up 3 table, one of which needed to be moved from upstairs to downstairs and it is our big kitchen table. Brad hadn't packed his bag. No one was dressed. The second I was starting to get things going Brad's phone rang with a work emergency! Like HUGE emergency. He told his coworker he could go in and help, I looked at him like, "I will kill you if you go!". I was left scrabbling to get things done alone as Brad was on the phone. His family showed up and I was panicking. Finally my mother-in-law told me to go get dressed and they would take the table down. I went to my closest and started bawling. Just then Brad came in and I pulled myself back together. We got dressed, went out to the living room the my brother-in-law and nephew had taken the table down for me. My sister-in-law also picked up the dessert I ordered that was 45 minutes away! My mother-in-law can seriously just sense when I need them! Back when I worked full-time there were days that I was a mess. I was stressed, struggling with depression, over worked. On some of my worst days my in-laws would just show up at my work and tell me they felt like coming down to visit us!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Things dad said:

I've thought about this post for a while, well, several times over the past 2 weeks. Maybe I just need to get it off my chest. I've thought a lot about all the crazy abusive things my dad said and did. Maybe I just mentally need to validate that it really did happen. Many times over the past 14 years I've thought, it wasn't really THAT bad. Then I look at my journal, or letters to Sister Parker and it hits me, it was SOOOOO bad! Worse than many people can imagine! Thus, I have felt the urge to simple write/ list the things he said and did.
  • I was evil
  • I had a devil inside me
  • I was going to go to hell
  • We (my sister and I) were abusive to him and he was going to have us arrested. 
  • That in the after life I was going to be his servant because I was such a horrible person and he was so perfect. 
  • I took every drug known to man
  • I was called every swear word there is
  • I destroyed his family (when I moved out to get away from the abuse)
  • I was constantly told that I was making him uncomfortable in his own home and he had to leave to get away from me. 
  • Called: fat, dumb, lazy, a failure, pretty much any horrible thing you can say or call a person
  • A lot of abuse happened at the dinner table and involved me being told I was fat. I still have issues with food to this day. 
  • At 18, just out of high school, I was working at an ice cream shop, he told me that it was worse than flipping burgers at McDonalds and it was going to take me no where in life. 
  • That I was unwanted by everyone except him. That if they hadn't of "saved me" I would have been put in an orphanage because no one wanted me. *Thankfully one of my brothers made sure I knew that this wasn't true and I was wanted by him. 
  • That it was my fault he would not join the church. Even 10 years after I had moved out and 1 month before he decided to join the church he was telling my mom it was my fault. 
  • It was my fault he drank
  • That raising me was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting. 
  • I was constantly compared to my cousins and told they were so much better and smarter than me.
  • He would purposely say and do things to make me angry. A lot of the time he would see just how far he had to go to make me mad. Thus, when he was dying I told my husband he (dad) is going to make sure it is horrible timing for me just to make me mad like he always did. Of course, he did! It almost ruined my daughter's birthday and we decided to not even go to the funeral! 
  • One time in the car a song was playing on a cassette tape that I didn't like. I asked nicely for him to turn it down. Instead he turned it way up and put it on repeat. I flipped out and my punishment was I wasn't allowed to eat dinner that night. 
  • When I was 18 - 19 I was a nanny full time, making roughly $350 a week and had 0 bills whatsoever. Yet, anytime I bought something (like shoes) he would flip out and question me about where I got the money from! 
  • I had to do everything HIS way, even if my way was easier and better. 
  • For his 50th Wedding anniversary he asked me to made a copy of their wedding announcement, cut it to the same size as his original and then tape it to a piece of paper so he could frame it. Well, that looked horrible so I scanned it in, cleaned up the edges and printed a copy. It looked a million times better, yet I got my head bit off because it wasn't done his way! 
  • We were only allowed to go to certain restaurants. If we went to a new place he would throw a tantrum like a 2-year-old. 
  • For my 19th birthday I wanted to go to PF Chang's for dinner, his response was, 'No you don't, you want to go to Olive Garden"
  • A whole lot of crazy making went on, he would say something and then deny it. 
  • He went through my trash. Not only went through it, but would pull stuff out of it and put them back on my dresser. Even when my husband and I would visit he would go through the guest room when we weren't there! 
  • He would also read through my journal. I seriously bought a locking filing cabinet when I was 18 to protect my personal things. 
  • He would open and read through my mail, even after I was married if anything when to their house he went through it. 
  • I wasn't allowed to clean the toilet as a teenager because I might do it wrong! 
  • I wasn't allowed to learn how to drive a stick-shift. No joke. I begged him to teach me, he finally took me out, told me nothing what so ever to do, thus I failed at learning. When we got home he told my sister, "I told you she would fail at it!"
  • I was a failure at everything
  • I had a 4.0 GPA my first semester in college, I overheard him on the phone with my sister saying that I was lying about my grades. 
  • After I moved out (I was living with my brother and didn't have room for any of my belongings) he threatened to throw out all my stuff on a certain day. My friend and I snuck into the house around 2am to take some of my things. We were literally fearful for our lives, we thought for sure he would hear us and come at us with his gun (even knowing it was us, not a burglar). 
  • I was screamed at (like end of the world, called a B****) if: the toilet paper roll was ever empty, the toilet was ever not flushed, or if there was a speck of trash in my trash can on garbage day. 
  • When I was 15 he not only let me, but encouraged me to have a boyfriend. He would even give us money to go out on dates. He told me it was okay if we had sex and if I got pregnant I just had to marry my boyfriend. 
  • When I was 17 I wad rear-ended. I called my parents to tell them about the accident, when my dad got there the police officer could smell the alcohol on my dad's breath. He told my dad he couldn't arrest him because he didn't physically see him drive there. The police made me promise to drive my dad home otherwise he would have to arrest him for a DUI. Of course the second we got home my dad made me turn around and take him back so he could drive his truck home. 
  • I was around 14 or 15 I remember being in the car and he had an open glass of wine in it. He made my sister and I cover it up with a jacket just in case he got pulled over. 
  • Several years after I had moved out I was visiting when he flipped out on my mom (the whole, making him uncomfortable in his own home schpeel and he had to leave) because the paper plates weren't put out for Easter dinner. It was around 12 in the after noon and dinner wasn't until 5:30. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Why is it that all my deep thoughts come to me as I am trying to fall asleep? It can be very frustrating! Tonight as I was laying down I started thinking about all the "self preservation" steps I've done the past few weeks. As I mentioned earlier, I unfollowed my entire family on Facebook. It has been so helpful. I was telling my husband that when I am in the right mood/ state of mind, I can handle the Facebook posts. So, when I know I can handle them, I look at them and get it over with. The beauty of them not popping up in my feed is that I am not bombarded with them and it is triggering me. I simply look at my family's pages when I feel up to it!

I have felt torn about approaching my dad's death on Facebook.
1. Do I simply announce he has died? Knowing that there will be condolences and they are a HUGE trigger. Like my husband said, just pull off the band-aid and get it all over with.
2. Do I post it simi-bluntly that I do NOT want condolences?
3. Or do I go full throttle and post that he was abusive?

I am not leaning towards any of these options right now. I am just waiting for the right time/ situation to bring it up.

Knowing that eventually I am going to have to bring it up I also knew that I needed to block a (used to be) close family member! This family member was super close to me from the time I was born until I was 15-ish. She is a total drama queen. If I went with option 1, she will comment about how wonderful dad was, as will 99% of the people I know. Which is why it is  a huge trigger and I am not liking that option. Even if I went with 2 or 3 she will flip out. Thus, she needed to get blocked. I finally blocked her yesterday.

So thinking about his family member (as I was trying to fall asleep) made me think about the abuse. I thought the abuse started when I was around 12 or 13. Yet, I vividly remember the first time it happened and I think I was 14 or 15. Anyways, the family member used to visit every year and we would visit them every year. They lived across the country so it was a big deal. They would come for several weeks and we would go there for a month. I always had the utmost respect for them and I remember always being nice, never rude. My parents came home from the airport after dropping them off and my dad had my sister and I come into the living room.* My dad went off on how this family member told him that we were so rude to her the whole time. How were were horrible kids and on and on and on. I was flabbergasted! A) I didn't recall being anything but nice and B) my dad had never talked to us like that before. It was the beginning of the constant abuse. It was also when I stopped trusting this family member.

* I don't know why, but the abuse always happened either in the living room or in my bedroom. I have no clue why, but it was always very formal. We had to sit down on the couch to get screamed at.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

isn't a good one...

Just a few days before Grandpa died I knew I needed to take some drastic steps for self-preservation.

1) Unfollow all my family on Facebook.
That way when every person posted that he died, his obituary, how amazing he was, his funeral and then more about how much they miss him for the next 6 months, I won't have to see it.

2) Stay off of Instagram
For the same reason above. I didn't want to unfollow everyone on Insta because it is more noticeable if I want to follow them again. Plus, it is easier for me to stay off it. I simply post my pictures and close the app, unlike Facebook that I get sucked into and have to use it for the food pantry.

3) Counseling
Uggg. I'm not sure I will ever be done with counseling! Like, EVER. I went a whopping 2 years between visits this time. I think that is my record.

After he passed I got curious and looked at my sisters Facebook, or did I look after my friend texted me? Either way, I saw what I sister posted and I was okay with it. Then I discovered I missed a cousin when she posted his obituary. Wednesday night after getting the condolence from a friend on Facebook and I was already spiraling, I decided to take a peek at everyone in my families Facebook. Every single person, I kid you not, posted about him.

Today I found myself on Instagram. For some reason, my phone or app is weird and doesn't update the pictures very often. I checked after the funeral and didn't see anything new. Tonight all those posts popped up. I was doing okay until I got to my cousin's. Now, I am super close to this cousin, yet they don't know anything about the abuse! I tried to take a screenshot of the post, but my phone was being weird.

"Today we celebrated and said goodbye to Papa Don. He was a remarkable man, both in his community and amongst his family and friends. The night Papa Don passed away I remarked, “I can’t think of one memory with my Grandpa that isn’t a good one.” He was a great example of love, service, hard work, and cheerfulness. He had a talent for making people feel special. He was an award-winning master gardener and so well-loved that when I went to buy some flower seeds for his services today, the man knew right away they must be for Don and loaded me up with several packets and wouldn’t let me pay, telling me just how great my Grandpa was."

Normally I wonderful tribute to someone. I feel so torn... Do I come out and voice (not on cousin's post, that would be rude) that I have struggled with things because he was abusive? Do I not say anything at all? Do I really want to cause family drama? Because if I post it WILL. Do I just struggle silently? I also have family members that I am considering unfriending if I do post because it is just for the best!

I tried getting some feedback from an LDS Mom's Facebook page I am on, but it wasn't much help. I'm not struggling to forgive him. I feel like that has been done. How I'm struggling is when these things come up it triggers the abuse. So much so that I physically, mentally and emotionally feel like I am back living in that environment.

 I always thought that once he passed it would be easy for me to tell people who he was behind closed doors. Yet, here I am struggling. I don't feel like I HAVE to tell anyone. I thought I would want to. I feel torn. I want to, but at the same time, I don't want the inevitable family drama that will come.

As I was struggling with these things I quote from Jeffrey R. Holland got stuck in my head, "bad days come to an end."

Friday, November 24, 2017


As I was getting ready to write a post I flashed back to high school. Maybe I flashed back because the feelings and emotions right now are so raw and feel much the same as they did back then.

I remember one day in English class, I don't remember what brought me to that point, but I vividly recall sitting in class bawling my eyes out. My teacher, trying to understand what was going on, asked why I was crying. I don't think I brought up my dad (grandpa). I remember telling her that my mom (grandma) wasn't there for me. That when I tried talking to my mom she would get halfway through a sentence, stop talking and walk away. My teacher, trying to be supportive, but had no clue what was really going on, told me that sometimes adults start saying something and then they realize it's not appropriate for kids and then stop. I didn't blame her for not understanding. I was super vague and didn't even bring up the deeper issue that was my dad.

Are you ready for the kicker? My teacher... was my aunt/ sister-in-law! So, when I said "my mom" I was talking about her mother-in-law!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


It's been a week now since my dad (grandpa) passed away. I started back in counseling, seeing Grace again. It has been good. I have been doing better then I thought I would. I survived the whole trip to Vegas. I made it through looking at old pictures to e-mail my cousin. Then 1 little Facebook message has sent me down the emotional spiral all over again. Maybe that is why I have been keeping his death a secret. I don't want condolences. I can't handle condolences. Just the thought of them sends me spiraling. The weird part is that I'm not emotional about losing my dad, it's not a normal grieving thing. The feelings and emotions that hit me are such a hard mix I can't even describe them. It's partly because of the abuse, maybe a little sad, partly because we were close when I was little before he became abusive, partly mad that everyone through he was so wonderful. What do you even call that- mad, sad, hurt, annoyed and trying my hardest not to be angry. Grace and I talked about me being honest about why I wasn't going to the funeral. In her office I thought, man I've waited years to be able to be honest about his abuse. Then I thought, oh I'll wait until after the funeral to open up about it. Now, the funeral is over and I still don't feel ready. Why? It's almost like I'll be betraying him. I thought I would do this whole Facebook post about why I didn't go and all this stuff, yet I'm still hiding it. I'm not ready to acknowledge he is gone, maybe that is the sad and in denial part of me. Part of me is afraid to open that can of worms. Even though he is gone I won't want my family to be mad at me, which they probably will. I'm not afraid to tell people he was a horrible person. I'm just afraid of the backlash from my family. 2 days prior to his death I unfollowed every member of my family on Facebook. It was just too much for me. I finally decided to brave it and look at all their Facebook posts. Every single member of my family posted about him. I wish saying "uggg" was enough. Then one comment made me want to punch something. "Maybe he didn't die. Maybe he got translated." LDS folks will know what that means. It's hard for me not to say, "I didn't realize horrible people who are abusive and alcoholics get translated?" uggggggggggggggggggggg. As much as I want to stay up late crying and watching TV, my in-laws will be here in 12 hours for Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Can I have a new family?

It's been kind of a crazy stressful week. I started writing a blog post that I will be publishing in the coming months, maybe years on the regular blog. I think the post got my emotions going and then a simple text this morning pushed everything over the edge. At first I was furious, now it is coming out as anger and bawling my eyes out. My husband asked if there was anything he could do, "Change my family!".

It was around a month ago that we found out that my grandpa has cancer. Honestly, I haven't been sad that he is dealing with this. I've been annoyed with my family for all rallying around him, yet when Grandma is sick they don't give a crap. It's been rought emotionally. Especially when Grandma calls and says Peter wants EVERYONE to come down for Thanksgiving for Dad. Really?!? I've spent the past 13 years telling grandma over and over again that we spend Thanksgiving with Brad's side of the family. The few exceptions have been 1) When Brad's family spends it in Vegas as well and 2) When Brad's parents were on their mission.

*Side note because I've never posted about them yet. There are 3 boys: Allen- the oldest, Peter- 2nd, my mom was 3rd and then Brent- 4th.

So now I'm supposed to go down to support HIM. Um, no. Even Brad agreed that we are NOT going down.

Today I get a text from Allen that grandma is sick and in the hospital, for like the 4th or 5th time this year. I can't keep track. Okay. not a huge deal, but the last sentence sent me through a loop! "Dr. says that she'll be better in a few days! She needs to be able to look after grandpa!"

Seriously? I mean, REALLY? Last year Grandma broke her hip and grandpa refused to help her and no one cared. There were several days after talking to her that I contemplated dropping everything I was doing to go down and help. Now it's the end of the world if Grandma can't take care of Grandpa! Ugggg. Seriously, I need a new family!