WARNING: What follows is possibly more than you would ever care to know about my life story (although it is only a fraction of what has shaped who I am today). It might be a little depressing and it might make you feel a little uncomfortable (I always feel a little uncomfortable when reading stories like this, anyway). I don't share this story with many people, as it was a source of anguish for me. Now that it is over and behind me, I'm just trying to shake it off. But I can't ignore that it happened, and there's still more shaking to do, so I'm sorry for the really poor presentation of my thoughts. I didn't think about how I was writing, I just typed the significant events in chronological order. To delve deeper into my emotional state (which I believe is usually the real reason of these stories) would add so much length that I might as well write a book (or at least a sizable short story). Thanks to all the brave souls who continue forth and read to the very end. Double thanks to those who give a comment.
I have been able to open up about some pretty tough issues here on EP. This one is still a little raw for me, so I might have to save the full story for another day. I was just browsing through another experience page- one called "i hate my father" or something like that. Someone wrote a story about their father having borderline personality disorder. Now, I survived through my years with my BPD dad and have since been moving, slowly but surely, to a place of forgiveness and understanding. He has made great strides to improve himself, and as long as I keep a healthy distance, I can heal. I didn't want to join that group, because I don't want to hate my father. But the story about the BPD dad actually made me start to cry. This is when I realized that I'm not completely over it yet.
I guess I never really believed he had BPD.
Well, okay maybe I'll try to give the whole story here. But I'm stopping and finishing later if I need to.
Backstory with my dad:
by the time I'm three years old, my parents have divorced. twice. (when I'm "old enough," I am told stories about drugs and my dad going out and cheating on my mom while she is pregnant, my dad wasn't present for the births of either me or my sister, dad drained my mom of all of her money and left her broke financially and broken emotionally etc etc grandparents had to step in and pick up the pieces blah blah)
by the time I am 13, I have only seen my father a combined total of 30 weekends, 9 holidays and four summer months. He has now been divorced two more times, for a total of four divorces- and he's on wife number 4. he has lived in three states, none within reasonable driving distance to me. I now worship the ground he walks on and think he's just the coolest person ever. Until I go to stay with him, that is. I don't realize that the way he has always treated my sister, any stepsiblings i may have at the moment, and myself was wrong (emotional abuse and stuff). All I know is I hate being there and I want to go home. Of course, the second I am at home, I am counting down the days until I can go visit daddy again (dumb kid).
i learn for the first time about my dad's drug use. i am trying really hard to be okay with it. the man can do no wrong, right? nonetheless, it is uncomfortable to be around him and his friends, all getting drunk and getting high and acting really weird. very awkward. especially my dad. i've probably seen him like this a million times, but now i am finally starting to piece it together that this is how a person who is drunk and/or high behaves. Until now I have never so much as sniffed alcohol and wouldn't know the first thing about drugs (many years later i am told that, throughout his life, my dad has been on every illegal drug imaginable).
I stop being so excited to visit daddy. he picks up on this and his tirades get much worse. dad goes to jail for dealing or somethin. whatever, i don't care. so i don't get to visit him this year. not like he ever calls or writes. i barely notice.
i am 15 years old. dad has now left wife 4. and i really liked this one.
what? he's moving back to town??
don't like the sound of that. he comes in for christmas and just never leaves. lives with his mom for about a year. claims he moved back to town to be close to his kids. i don't get a single phone call or visit in the whole year. not one.
wife #2 sues him for child support. my mom would never sue him for child support. "how is he supposed to pay us what he owes us if he's sitting in jail?" she would say. the only time my mom or wife #2 ever got a check was if the current wife wrote it for him, anyway. my mom bails him out.
he stays on our couch and just never leaves. aside from losing my "home away from home," that other home has now invaded and taken control of my true home. i basically feel homeless for the next few years. dad is dictator and a tyrant. emotionally abusive and all that BPD stuff. still with the drugs and now he's got my once very straight-laced mom doing all of that too. it feels like an especially scary episode of the twilight zone.
during this time, i'm trying to graduate high school in one piece, and barely succeeding. went from A/B average in honors classes to almost not graduating at all. i think my gpa ended up something like 9 points lower than it was when my dad first moved in.
the very day i turn 18- he goes on a tirade (because i was microwaving a bowl of mushroom soup- i kid you not) and now that it is legal throws me out. i take my cold bowl of soup and my best friend's mom drives over to pick me up. next day, he's already changed the locks on the door.
i stay with my friend for a little while. we've been best friends since elementary school, but through all of this something changes and i end up losing my best friend on top of everything. i think the time i spent staying at her house was the last straw.
then i go to my grandparents. i feel like i can try to open up for the first time since the world turned upside down (somewhere along the line my emotions had frozen up). i tell my grandma that my dad hit me a few times. she says "what did you do to deserve it?" they don't understand why i am acting different, why i've "changed" (i'm depressed and stressed out- it's my senior year of high school and on top of all else i've got the fate of my future to worry about). they begin making accusations, convinced that i'm on drugs. what a slap in the face!
i can't talk to them anymore and never look at my grandparents the same since then. every person i had complete faith and trust in has now vanished for me. my dad- the man i thought he was had been an illusion all along anyway. my mom- she sided with him everytime he would go all crazy on us (what is up with that?) and she let him kick me out of my home. my grandparents, who helped my mom raise me and who i was very close with. my best friend, who i shared every every everything with and loved to the ends of the earth. now she was hanging out with new friends and making snide remarks about me when i wasn't around (according to these same "new friends." i didnt need them to tell me though, we drifted apart and i knew it).
so i graduate and spend the summer with my grandma. i get my first job and, having missed all of those shining opportunities for full ride scholarships and an escape as far away as possible to an out-of-state university, i enroll in community college. i never show up to class and drop out before the semester is over. i stop showing up at my job too.
over this year, my mom has to sell the house (i don't even know what my dad did with all her money) and "we" move to a rental. they have a room picked out for me but i never move in. a month later, my mom leaves my dad (finally!) and moves intoa government-subsidized apartment (all she can afford on temp work- my dad had convinced her at one time to quit her well-insured nice paying job at the hospital so she could work full-time at his hot chocolate stand- which she paid for in the first place). my dad tried to kill himself, gets committed and FINALLY gets disgnosed with BPD. he goes through a year of rehab at a homeless shelter, re-discovers jesus and now teaches sunday school and owns his own art studio/ screenprinter business where he specializes in jesus t-shirts and paintings.
i moved back in with my mom after she left my dad. eventually, when my mom had proven to my grandparents that she was no longer under my dad's "spell" or whatever, they bought a nice big house and let my mom rent it for the cost of property taxes and utlities. we all breathe a cautious sigh of relief. my dad and mom are "back together" but dad's not allowed to live here. so that means i have to see him every weekend instead when he comes over to watch movies on our couch with my mom. i graduate from the community college at the end of this semester.
things are healing, but i can't help but imagine what life might have been like if he'd just stayed gone.
i don't even know how long this story has gotten. i just kind of started typing. i'm sure it's awful to read, and i apologize to anyone who has struggled through it. it doesn't really do justice to my point of view through all of this and, for its length, is quite skimpy on details. but here it is in a nutshell. whatever it is.