Monthly Archives: September 2017

This May Be A Bit Heavy

Not too dance related either…

Today would have been my father’s 68th birthday, the first birthday since his passing.
I miss him terribly. His sense of humor, his intelligence, his laidback attitude… whenever I visited him I felt safe. Though he never saw me perform in person, he loved to watch me dance whenever I had a video of one of my performances. He seemed so proud, marvelling at my interest in dance at a later age. I would remind him that I’d always been interested, but my mother had been against the idea. And then he would forget, until next time – about six weeks before my dad’s death he had been diagnosed with dementia, the latest in a string of diagnoses that had marked the last decade and a half of his life.
As I already mentioned, I miss him terribly. There is still not a day that goes by that I don’t privately break down in tears, if only for a few moments. I’ve always heard grief diminishes over time, but some days it’s still as fresh as if it had happened yeasterday.

Losing a loved on is difficult for everyone, I’m sure, but in with my grief I’ve held such a sense of anger and loss. Without getting too much into specifics, my father passed just several *hours* after a Do Not Recussitate order was illegaly signed by somone who was not the legal next of kin (his *ex* wife, my biological mother; I was his legal next of kin as his only adult child), after almost a week of my being harassed by two different doctors who urged me to discontinue his life support. I refused, so they went around me, simple as that. And just like that my dad was gone, after a five week stay in the intensive care unit for pneumonia which the doctors could not figure out the cause. The pneumonia was treated, but they oversedated him to the point that he lost his mind completely, and they were not able to wake him out of the coma they’d induced him into. Or so they claimed, as they tried to strong arm me into discontinuing life support (they actually told me that it was costing the hospital money to keep him since there was no treatments that they were going to bill his insurance for). I believed in the hope of his recovery, until that decision was taken away from me…

Since that day, I have only seen my younger sister once, as her (our) mother would not allow her to spend time with me, as she is angry that I hold her somewhat responsible for my father’s death. In addition to mourning the death of my father I mourned the estrangement from my sister. But if there’s a silver lining at all it is that the abusive relationship between my dad’s ex wife and I is finally terminated. See, even though I’m an adult and all that I always felt the need to try to please her, to not get on her bad side, in fear of what she might do…apparently I forget that it is no longer twenty years ago or more and I am not subject to her physical and psychological abuse. Even though I never returned to live under my parents roof after I had literally run away one night in the middle of one such physical abuse attack, I always felt this need to keep a cordial relationship. It took my dad’s passing for me to realize that I had just been interested in having a relationship with him. My father wasn’t perfect, he could have – and probaby *should* have – done more in regards to shielding my from the wrath of his then-wife, but I do believe he loved me very much. On that night I ran away he chased me as far as the nearest pay phone where I frantically called my then-boyfriend to come get me and begged me to come home. when I refused, he handed me several twenties and told me to take care of myself and that I was always welcome back. Over the next few weeks, until I permanently moved an hour away he regularly snuck me into their house while she was at work and fed me. And years later, when I found myself trapped in some very horrible conditions he drove out to rescue me. Even as his health failed more and more he was always willing to help me. I just wish I could have done more for him.

Yes, this post is heavy and different from my usual posts… I suppose I offer this by way of explaination of how I’ve been the past half of the year. I’ve sunk into quite a depression thoughout all this, the stereotypical ‘not finding enjoyment in things I used to enjoy’ kind, as well as the ‘I’ll just stare into the wall while engaged in daily tasks and suddenly realize that there are tears streaming down my face’ kind. And the worst part is I don’t think I’ve truly processed all the feelings yet. I remembr walking down the hallway towards the hospital room where his body was and just feeling like I was moving on autopilot, like my legs has taken on a life of their own and were propelling me toward the inevitable though no will of my own. I was on the same feeling of autopilot as I got up the next morning, and got ready to go to my scheduled rehearsal. And then proceeded to go along with my day, just autopiloting along until I could find somewhere private to cry for a few moments…and that became my life.
Though as I mentioned I lost much of my sense of enjoyment, I continued to ballet thoughout. Something about being forced to engage every single muscle works wonders to keep the mind focused, though I admit there have been those moments when a teacher takes too long to explain a combination, and I can feel my mind begin to wander and I almost panic, fearing the tears are imminent. But I can’t bear to lose it in front of anyone…it just hurts too much. Everyone who’s heard my story has told me that it sounds like there was some very suspicious circumstances surrounding my dad’s death, but their agreement doesn’t make me feel better, it just makes me angrier … so it *was* a wrongful death and they got away with killing my dad to empty out the bed for someone else…and they’ll do it again…
Thank you if you actually read though my haphazard tribute to my dad. I will be back, hopefully sooner than later, and hopefully with something more cheerful to share.