The plot has thickened with my parents’ move.
My dad called me the day after I got back home. Apparently, my mom called him in hysterics after I left and told him we fought. She also gave him the idea that I instigated it by being completely out of line and rude to her the entire time I was there. She painted herself as a total martyr who put up with her awful daughter until her daughter stormed out.
My dad was very insistent that I apologize to my mother.
“For what, dad? Should I apologize to her for not letting her berate me about my dating life? Or for not silently accepting her judgment over my food choices?”
“Faith, just apologize to her. She’s been so upset since you left, I can’t get her to-”
“I don’t care, dad!” I didn’t want to yell at my dad but I’d had enough, “I’m not apologizing to her. I have nothing to apologize for.”
I hadn’t told my dad that my mom accused me of having an affair with him and I’m sure she didn’t tell him, either. I didn’t want to tell my dad that. What if he mentioned it to my mom and it sent her even more off the edge? It would just cause more bullshit to suck me in and I really want to be out of it.
“Dad, I’m done. I’m not apologizing. I’m not coming back home anymore, no holidays, no vacations. I’m done.”
My dad was quiet on the phone for a long time and I felt so terrible. I love my dad and I don’t want to hurt him but my mom is just too toxic to have in my life…I have to take care of myself and if cutting her out is how I do that, then it has to be done. It just really sucks that my dad is stuck in the middle of it. I feel bad because it’s like I’m punishing my dad for the things my mom has done but cutting her out of my life also means cutting my dad, at least partially, out of my life, too.
“I’m sorry dad.” I said quietly.
He said he understood and then made up an excuse about needing to get off the phone. We said goodbye. A few hours later, my brother called and had a lot of interesting things to say.
“So, dad and I wrapped up one truck load and stopped to get some burgers. On the way back home, though, dad pulled over so we could eat them in the parking lot of the community center by the old house.”
“Why?” I asked.
“He said mom would be mad.”
“Who knows? Mom’s always mad about something. Anything could set her off. Anyway, we were talking and I found out that mom bought the house without dad even being there.”
“Wait…what?” I asked.
“Yeah, she just went to look at this house with a realtor and offered them the asking price. She didn’t tell dad about it until after her offer had been accepted.”
“Why would she do that?” I said.
“No idea. Dad doesn’t know either. But when he told her that they’d need to start getting the old house ready to sell she apparently lost it.”
“What do you mean?”
“She told dad she wasn’t going to move, that she would just cancel everything. Dad called the realtor to see if that was possible but apparently they could be sued for the full cost of the new house. Dad explained that to her and she seemed to finally accept it until….”
“Well, you know they’ve been having showings of the old house and the realtor gave them some feedback they’d gotten from some of the people who went through it. One couple mentioned that the house smelled like cigarette smoke.”
My mom is the only person in the family who smokes, she’s been doing it since her early twenties and has never stopped, not even during pregnancy or watching her mother die from a massive stroke due to smoking. There was literally no one else she could blame for this.
“Okay?” I said.
“She threatened to kill herself over it.”
I didn’t know what to say. It was such an outlandish reaction to something relatively minor (apparently all of the other feedback was positive).
“Do…do you think she was actually suicidal?” I asked.
“No idea.” Justin said.
So much of my mother’s behavior during the whole moving situation was out of control. I didn’t know how to help my dad, it was clear that my mother was beyond the help of a professional and I didn’t even want to think about how she would react to someone suggesting she needed to see someone. After all, in her mind all of this was justified and everyone ELSE was the problem.
“Well….do I need to be worried? Is dad worried?”
“He watched her closely for a few days and she never tried to do anything and she acted like nothing had happened. He tried to bring it up but she just looked at him like she had no idea what he was talking about.”
Justin said they’d gotten the rest of the furniture moved in and my parents are now officially living at their new house. The old house is empty and still for sale, but apparently there might be an offer coming soon from a young couple that looked at it last week.
So. That’s the full story with my parents and the sudden purchase of a new house. My mom went crazy and bought a house, basically.
I felt even worse for my dad, it can’t be easy trying to deal with all of that, but I have to wash my hands of my mother. For my own sanity.