Warning: Rant ahead.
Well, some of us just don't ever learn, do we? Unlike Einstein, we keep doing the same old shit over and over again, expecting different results. That is Einstein's definition of insanity. It is now also MINE. I am now firmly in the camp of "In future, I will do what is best for ME and not for YOU". If I don't think it's a good idea to visit, I won't. If I want to spend the evening at home, I will.
My sibling has spent months telling me what a state our parents are in. My mother with her alleged dementia, my father with his bad knees/bladder/heart/brain, and the shitty house in which they reside falling down around their ears. I allowed myself to get hooked and dragged in. Again. I am an idiot.
Yes, I visited the UK to investigate my sibling's claims of parental neglect and dire straits. I stayed in the same house as my parents and barely made it a week. It was absolute hell. I couldn't wait to leave and was literally counting the hours until I could leave and come home. I couldn't stand the level of filth, the spiders, the level of fatherly delusion.
The spouse and I needed WEEKS to recover from this fucking trip: mentally, emotionally, physically, every-which-way. Way too much went on in the single week that I could bear to be around my father to talk about here.
My father is a sociopath, yet a bit player in the manipulation department, which is surprising for being a sociopath as those types are usually master manipulators. My mental case father is a small time crook in that department. I am always 20 paces ahead of him. One gets programmed that way when life from birth is made up of continuous events that entail dodging a lunatic. As I found out YET AGAIN, at 78 years of age, my father has yet to evolve beyond racism and misogyny. I refuse to sit and titter at his stupid jokes like the rest of the family who (a) think they are going to inherit some money and (b) are scared of him. I am no longer scared of him and I have scruples, dammit. I also have a lot of rage and hatred when it comes to my sperm donor but I'll try to keep that under control here.
I have already spent weeks ranting at the spouse regarding my poor lack of judgment and idiocy when it comes to my UK family. He had already warned me not to visit but I didn't think I was going to encounter the problems I did, in fact, end up encountering. My father, after all, is an old gimpy geezer who can't run after anyone to beat them up anymore (preferably small children) but try telling him that. It's all he ever talks about: how he's going to lay out this one and that one; how he's going to 'sort them out'; how 'they' are all going to get a good hiding. Add in the racist rants and the woman-hating quips and it quickly gets tiring, being in the same room as him. Being in the same life as him. The air gets sucked out.
After a week, I was done but, boy, did I go out in spectacular fashion!
My father has been abusing my mother. No surprise there. She has been an abused woman for years. Not so much physically, but definitely mentally and emotionally. My father has turned her into a shell of a human being. There is nothing I can do about it. He has his hooks into her like a black widow with a fly and it's too late to do anything about that now. My sibling lives right down the street and has done nothing except sit by and watch my mother's health decline. Too afraid to challenge our 'father'.
I made the HUGE mistake of staying at my parents' house. My god. The walls are black with mold, spider webs are thick everywhere with gigantic spiders in and on them, the bathroom reeked of urine, the house was filthy. For two nights, the spouse and I slept on filthy pillowcases and sheets, we had no idea the bed hadn't been washed in ..... years? Add to that the fact that I think my father has been sleeping in the 'guest' bed for months without changing the sheets and you can just imagine the state of it all. I ended up sneaking out to the laundromat to wash sheets and towels. The towels!!! I've never seen anything like it. My father lied to everyone when he said that the house was ready for us. I even had to clean the bathroom in secret.
Originally, I wanted to stay in the hotel in town but, against my better judgment, I agreed to stay in that house. Huge mistake. To call that house uncomfortable is an understatement. My parents live the most basic of basic lives in that house. They wear the same clothes day in and day out, dirty and stained. My father wears ridiculous dress shoes everywhere he goes, even through the mud. An old Tshirt tucked into big bellied dress pants with dress shoes. That's my father. My poor unfortunate mother just wears the same black pants that I saw her wearing 3 years ago. Every day. I bought her some clothes but the last I saw, the bag was thrown into a moldy closet.
My mother has been sick and has been suffering from memory loss which could just be linked to old age. However, the family keeps talking about putting her in a home which I don't believe is what she needs. They just want to shunt her off out of it. I don't agree with it but I have zero power. I can't change a damn thing. My father does not give her the medication she needs in a timely manner. She gets it when he decides to give it to her, if she gets it at all. When I discovered that she wasn't receiving her medication properly from my father the 'caregiver', I went into orbit.
Cut a long story short, I challenged our father and he came at me squared off like a street brawler. I thought to myself, take one more step you motherfucker and I will drop you. Bear in mind that by this time, I had been in the house a week and had had enough of my father's passive aggressive behavior and childish methods of trying to exclude me from conversations. I had also had enough of listening to him insult my youngest niece's boyfriend whose family is from Bangladesh. I couldn't take any more.
We yelled at each other. I realized how much I hated this man and that he is beyond help. I texted my good friend to come to the house and get us IMMEDIATELY and she was there within 10 minutes. My sibling, who had just arrived on the scene, was dumbfounded. We threw our suitcases and belongings into the back of my friend's car and lit out of there as if our asses were on fire. The toxicity was more than I could bear and it is not a way of life I HAVE TO LIVE ANYMORE THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
The spouse and I ended up in the hotel in town after all. We stayed there for a week and visited with friends and went sightseeing. My father, foolishly thinking that we were as boring and as basic as he is, thought that we had changed our plane tickets and left early. AS IF!!! No. We did what we set out to do. We visited London and went on the London Eye. Went to Cambridge and so on and on. My best friend rallied and took us to her different haunts and made us dinner night after night, welcomed us into her home like family. We had a great second half of our trip and laughed and laughed at old times and new jokes.
When the time came, we said our long goodbyes and caught the flight home to Los Angeles.
To my father: It's sad that a parent is jealous of a child. I know that you set out right at the very beginning of my childhood to ruin my life because you believe that I ruined yours by being born. Whether I ruined your life or not does not exclude you from evolving as a person anyway. I managed it despite being born into this life as your daughter. You are still the SAME UGLY VIOLENT ABUSIVE PERSON you were decades ago, you haven't changed or evolved ONE BIT. I, however, HAVE evolved. I am not the same person I was years ago. I am happy. I feel blessed. I overcame bitterness and regret. I overcame dysfunctional behaviors and emotions that had been instilled in me by YOU. Thanks for nothing.
Know now that I rejoice at not having to be in the same country as you. Know that I thank my lucky stars each and every day that I met my spouse, fell in love with him - a man that you had not yet had a chance to poison - married him and left you behind. You manage to bring out the very worst in me and I have now finally and fully embraced Einstein's theory on insanity: to do the same things over and over again, expecting a different result IS insane. And I would be insane to believe that you could be any different than you were, are, and will ever be. You are stuck there at the end of your life in some shit hole that belongs to someone else. It is deservedly so.
Therefore, I will never visit you again. I will never stay in that moldy, smelly, filthy house again. I have to accept that I will probably never see my mother again in this lifetime, that she will die and I will never get to say a proper goodbye. You succeeded in your pathetic quest to keep us separated. I'm not going to go into what will happen here with me when you die 'dad', but I sense that I will truly be free and at peace then. I don't wish you any harm but I don't wish you good either. You have reaped what you sowed years ago: a daughter that doesn't want to deal with you at all. A daughter who is resolved to do the right thing but who knows that there is nothing she can do for you. You are beyond help and past redemption.
FYI, I am an American citizen who happened to be born in England and who left years ago. I no longer consider myself to be English. You have made me want to renounce my origins. I also cannot and will not identify with a UK family who refuses to do the right thing, who lets you abuse our mother without stepping in just because they want to inherit whatever you leave behind when you die. This is the same dysfunctional shit I left behind years ago. I refuse to be dragged back.