Back at the house everyone gathered in the kitchen to eat food and talk. I found I just wanted to be alone. I couldn’t eat. I wanted to sit and analyse everything. I was still on high alert in my head. My step sister, her husband and her daughter, who I hadn’t seen since she was “this high” were around with their ear piercing yappy dogs and I was trying to keep my distance from my stepfather as he started to drink and make demands. In all of a few beers, it was back to my childhood. It may be a different house, but it was still the same stepfather who tormented my daily life every waking minute. Even as an adult, I still cannot work out why he hated me so much. After such a difficult day, it was that man who made me feel even more uncomfortable than all those strangers at the viewing.
Everyone began eating and I said I wasn’t hungry and no one was concerned which was a good thing for me. I was too upset, had had plenty of medication so I could try to deal with my impulsive nature and not prepared to eat food that Steve had cooked. I didn’t want to feel in any kind of debt to him in any way. Reading this I know perhaps my views may seem extreme because you don’t know the story of my upbringing. All I can say is that I learned the only people I can truly rely on is Adam and I. My examples in life taught how NOT to be as an adult or mother, how NOT to treat my children, what NOT to accept in a relationship and most of all, what others think of me doesn’t make it true. As a child I only every felt truly loved and safe with my grandmother and Aunt Margie’s family and that is why it was struggle to deal with. Being in my mother’s home, felt like a punishment not a pleasure. It was only my brother, Jeff and sister in law, Pat, that made it tolerable for me. I was really not prepared to share food with these people. I love food. I enjoy my food when I eat. Eating is private for me and as some of my life issues have steamed around food and issues were made worse by my parents, it was not a wonder I was not going to feel comfortable eating with them. Yes, I hear you saying, “but you ate breakfast first thing,” yes, I did. Out of need not want or enjoyment. However, after all the day’s activities I didn’t want any food, didn’t feel I needed any and was happy with water. As I watched everyone eat, it honestly made my stomach turn. Once over though, it was back to the scheduled programme. Just like many years ago my stepfather was listing his instructions at my stepsister. I could see it in her face as it was going in one ear and out the other. I stood to the side giving secret teenage winks and nods to her like we did many years ago when one of us were getting told off for some meaningless grip by her father. I could see her trying not to laugh and it gave me a little tickle. After 10 more minutes of his repeating and barking his orders at her in a pointless fashion, I said to him,” why don’t you write it down and then if she doesn’t do it you can yell at her then?” He just looked at me, with a “how dare you speak” glance and continued his useless echo of instructions. I repeated myself again and then told my stepsister, “you better listen or you’ll get grounded,” as I laughed. She smiled and told her father to tell her husband as he knows more and boom it was over. I could see the very same desire to get away from her father that I had, but at least she was in a trailer outside and not in the house, where he couldn’t breathe her air unlike me.
Later on in the same evening, I went outside to chat with her. It was almost a bonding moment. I was still struggling to know why she was even there because it wasn’t as though she ever considered any of my relative’s part of her family. I know I would never have gone to her family’s funerals, but it was still a nice gesture to show up even if it felt like it may have been slightly forced from her father. Who am I to say anything, right? We hadn’t seen each other in many years and also don’t really talk. Not because we hate each other, but other than our shared horrible childhoods and our parents being married, we really didn’t have anything in common. We talked outside for a while and even at one point I did, manage to make her look stupid in front of her 15 year old daughter. Not that I was planning this, mind you, it was just such an easy opportunity and far too good to miss. To be honest, she had the ability to get herself out of the hole she dug but sadly she just didn’t have the common sense to realise it. It was still kind of nice to get a small moment of common ground in, even if it wasn’t likely to ever really change a thing.
Back inside the house again, my thoughts turned to Adam. I missed him. I missed my babies. I really needed my rock at my side and felt lost without my partner in crime. Damn him for sleeping when I was awake thousands miles away and wanted to talk to him! How selfish of him, right? Well, I know it is unreasonable to request he be at my beck and call, but a girl can dream right? I felt more relaxed having helped tidy up things and secretly pilfer my mother’s household things and find them knew homes in odd hiding places around her house. I know it sounds childish, but it made me laugh and I knew Adam would have encouraged me and no doubt worse suggestions, had he been there. After more discussions with my sister in law and readying myself for sleep again, I tried to take in all that the day offered to me. Was I ready for tomorrow? What was I going to say to the very same people I had already spoke today? What do I say that I haven’t already said? Could I make it through another day with all this on my own? Had I taken too many meds and would I be able to get more than a couple hours sleep? Five short hours later my answer was waiting.