Saturday, September 11, 2010

3.2 of 30 - Parentals... Dad and Judy

I love my dad. He's awesome. He really is. I feel like we are a lot alike and it's nice when you realize that you are actually like someone in your family instead of feeling like the adopted kid. When I was younger I could have sworn I was. I thought Julie and my mom looked a lot alike and I believed I didn't look like anyone.... also thought I was jewish because I have a big nose...oh kiddo thoughts! haha. My parents divorced when I was 4. So in real time I probably didn't notice all that much and once the custody thing went through, it was just a regular thing that I was visiting my Dad every other weekend. I wasn't complaining I got 2 birthdays 2 Christmases and seemed like double everything. It was a regular thing until I started driving and then I would go whenever I wanted to, which was a lot. According to the courts once we were 12 (I think) it was our choice whether to go or not and I always wanted to go. Julie didn't. Her loss. She missed out on a lot while still holding a grudge and not wanting to build a relationship with our dad. My mom didn't exactly bad mouth our dad but she did throw in little jabs here and there. She explained to me how he cheated on her and that's how I got a half brother and that wasn't the end of his cheating. I asked more about it when I got older and asked why she didn't leave him earlier, she was insecure and felt that she couldn't. A thing I think everyone goes through in a long term relationship. Once you're with someone for so long they are your identity and you don't know who you are without them. Hell, I did that too with Ryan, I let him get away with cheating on me like four times before I did the same back and finally said it was enough. Another good reason I moved to SoCal and got away from relationships for a while.

He is really funny, he's hardworking and generous. He tells the same stupid corny jokes over and over again but for some reason I don't mind it. He used to ditch school to go set tile for work... I thought that was a strange thing for a teenager to do before but now I understand. He is someone to admire. He came from not a lot, like my mom, and built his way up. He didn't graduate high school at first but then got his GED later. He lost his mom to cancer in his early 20s and has a terrible father. I always wonder what he thinks about that. He recently has opened up a little more about his relationship with his father but not much has come out so far. He told me he doesn't want me to miss out knowing him if I want to know him. But if my dad doesn't have much respect for him it's hard for me to have any for him. He never used to talk about his mom until way after Miranda was born since she would ask questions and I never thought to ask questions about her when I was younger. I asked my mom a lot of stuff about her and I have a weird obsession with her, I feel like she was taken too soon. I wish I could have known her. She would have been a kick ass grandma. Hopefully I can visit her grave next time I'm up in NorCal.

Hanging out with my Dad was something I always wanted to do. Even though in the beginning it was awkward. I used to be a little afraid of him. Mostly because when it was just us he wouldn't talk that much. And he always seemed tired and angry.... so I didn't want to bother him. And my mom talks a lot so I thought it was weird for an adult not to talk a lot. I thought that's what they all did. I remember him living in Nevada City then moving to Rocklin because he was dating some woman that lived there. But this woman didn't like us so much..... haha Judy. Anyhoo... Judy is the best thing that could have happened to my Dad really. He is like an ostrich. Conflict comes around and he just sticks his head in the sand. It's one of the qualities that I wish I didn't pick up from him. But Judy has helped him face things and have him deal with them. She's done that for me too but I'm still in training. I wanted to be able say that I felt close to my Dad but I couldn't  because I couldn't have a conversation with him. I always wanted to go with him and do things, like to the races, but I didn't know anything about the races so I would listen and pick up things and try and learn things so I could relate to him. I tried pretty hard to get close to him but nothing really seemed to work. Once I got into the preteen and teenage years I think I gave up. I would still go down and visit and it was a underlining thought in my head every time I saw him but I wasn't pursuing it as much. He seemed to try when I was playing paintball he would come out to tournaments and watch and ask me what was going on and he seemed like he wanted to try it too. But that also fizzled away.

Once I moved in with my Dad and Judy after graduating High School it was a new ballgame. Although I just tried to stay out of their way and tried to make some friends in this unfamiliar place. I still went up to Grass Valley almost every weekend and we were playing paintball so I just kept myself occupied with that and with my dreams of playing pro paintball, I was set.... oh silly dreams. But the summer after my first year of college Judy offered me a job at the company they own and operate. After that everything changed. I got the hang of what was going on in their lives and then I was a part of it. It was like I was in their club. I had something I could relate with them on and on an adult level, it was such a neat feeling. I didn't get really any special treatment... sometimes I got to leave early to pick up Miranda from school if they weren't able.  I felt that this was it. I finally had something we could connect with and he seemed to be excited about that as well. After a grueling 5 1/2 years of emotional and mental labor I was finally closer with my dad. As much as I feel like Performance sucked some life out of me, I wouldn't ever take it back since it brought me closer to my Dad. I'm slowing getting some of that life put back in while working at Disneyland. haha. Now I can be all huggy with him (and it doesn't have to be a goodbye hug) and show affection and neither of us feel it's forced. I tell him I love him every time I talk to him. I feel like our bond with now just get better and better with age. He isn't one of those scary kinds of Dads that scare boyfriends away either which is cool. He has one test which isn't a hard one but it has to do with respect and if a guy doesn't pass it then he's out... for my Dad and also for me.

I have a lot less anger toward my Dad than I do toward my Mom. And I don't have nearly as much toward him as Julie does. But she was older when they divorced and she probably heard and knew a lot more. But I'm glad my view of my dad wasn't tainted by their breakup. I feel he wants me to succeed. Whenever I would get excited about starting something new in my life and my new grand scheme at a career he was always for it and asked what he could do to help. He has always been supportive. One problem I do have with him is that he's an avoider...  If there's something important that I did need to talk to him about... a lot of the times when we were at work... he would avoid me and hide in the shop until it was the last minute and he made a decision or I had to basically make it for him and then ask if it was actually something that I was allowed to do. It doesn't make it better or any easier for anything to wait till the last minute but he does. He's also a slush bucket when it comes to Miranda. She can get away with anything...they let her walk all over them. And she does... with shiny new boots on... and that bothers me.

A major issue I had with my Dad and Judy is when they almost got divorced. Their house was really hard to live in. The nightly dinners were hard to bear and no one talked anymore. It's weird because I remember all days being rainy and gloomy. There wasn't any fighting...just silence and that was just plain creepy. I found evidence of Judy cheating on my Dad because she left her email open and I snooped. But come to find out they were both seeing other people. Except my Dad took some chick on a trip. That week was hard... sitting with Judy as she wasn't speaking... in a bathrobe, in a chair, just staring into nothingness. I had to get out of there. I had also found some pills of my dad's that I didn't know what they were for and googled them and found them to be pills to control bipolar behavior. The household was scaring me and I didn't know how to deal. Judy took me horseback riding with her friends and we had a good long talk about it all... dad's pills and everything. They ended up separating for a little while. Judy was in an apartment and then when they wanted her to buy it she moved back in and then my Dad bought a house in Rocklin and stayed there for a while. That was around the time Miranda had her first seizure. It was before I moved out and Judy was in the apartment and my Dad was in the house. Ryan was staying the night and it happened in the middle of the night. My Dad called to wake me up and we had to go get Judy because he couldn't get a hold of her. Her phone was downstairs in the apartment and on silent. The apartment was a gated and since we couldn't get a hold of her either we had to jump the fence to get in. I had never seen an adult so hysterical since the time that I saw Darlene and my mom hardcore fighting...but I was young and hid for the majority of that. I drove her car to the ER and we didn't know much at the time. By the next morning we had moved hospitals and they were doing all sorts of tests. When they told us she had a tumor that caused the seizure and it was inoperable we all went hysterical. At this point my Dad had already lost one child that he had recently started to be able to be close with right before his death, had no connection with another (Julie) and then there was me. Thankfully a day or two later they realized a mistake in the reading of her scan, she moved during it, and there was no tumor. The best mistake of our lives. Not much longer after that Ryan and I moved out together. And not much longer after that they worked things out and have never been happier or better together. Proves to me that everything does happen for a reason.

I hope to continue to get closer to him as my life goes on and as I get older. Unfortunately being so far away from him right now doesn't help but I need this right now.

The evil stepmonster! We joke about it now... but it was true in the beginning. I'm pretty sure she hated that my dad had children. What's really weird is that she's been around since I was born. She lived in Grass Valley and was best friends with my Aunt Denise. Notice the conflict that raised with my mom when they got about awkward. Judy was there with my Aunt Denise when I was born and my Dad wasn't even there... he was working in San Diego.

Anyhoo... fast forward to my Dad and Judy dating. Julie hated her. I was intrigued by her. She seemed so glamourous... nothing like anyone in Grass Valley she lived in San Francisco before and worked on a cruise ship and had so many life stories. She was also younger than my mom which was kind of weird at first since I always thought of my mom being pretty young. She always seemed annoyed whenever we were around and had a bunch of white furniture and mean cats. Everything was so not kid friendly in her apartment. So there was a lot of tension with her and Julie. I was just afraid of making her mad and I would cry a lot. On some of the weekends we would stay I would wake up in the middle of the night crying and begging to go home to my mom. My dad would want to take me but Judy always forced me to stay. My mom would talk bad about her when I wasn't supposed to be listening. When I was about 8-9 my Dad wanted to take one last trip to Sand Mountain before he sold his sandrail and Judy wanted to go to San Francisco that weekend so Julie and I had a choice of which place we wanted to go and I went with Judy and Julie went with my Dad. Poor Julie and my dad because Julie started her period for the first time that weekend. But Judy and I had a blast. I feel it was one of the first times I connected with her. Later on they got married (shotgun wedding, yeehaw) and not much later after that Miranda was born. Once Miranda was born.... it was like a light went on in her head about children and that maternal instinct that was never there before showed up. And then things were a lot better. Even during her pregnancy we had a lot more fun together and I was able to feel closer to her. Julie had slipped through the cracks long ago. But I was so interested in talking to Judy and what she had to say and how she has had such an exciting life. And also when Miranda was born my maternal instinct kicked in and I always wanted to be around her and take care of her. Judy was always giving me fashion rules and how to act like a lady rules which I guess I appreciate now more than I did then because I was a tomboy and wanted nothing to do with the dresses she bought me after they were purchased. I tried very hard to please her and I wanted her to like me.

As a teenager and growing into adult age I went to her for advice about everything. I could talk to her about things I couldn't really talk to my mom about because she didn't really feel like my mom so it was okay. She seemed to experience life that my mom hadn't and never will and I don't think my mom would even want to.

She always has an opinion about everything. And if you ask her for it she will tell you without holding back. She doesn't do that with everyone but I have asked her to do it with me. She always has at least 20 questions for everything as much as I hate it, I'm prepared for it now. Working for her ended up being pretty terrible by the end. There were many times that she treated me like shit that no other boss would ever get away doing.

She has had a pretty crazy life...crazy ass mom... emancipated at 14, married young and divorced, worked on a cruise ship that she basically had to escape from for being poorly treated married again working as an escrow officer making the big bucks in Frisco then being offered a huge chunk of change to move to Sacramento and do the same thing. And then crossed paths again with my dad since they knew each other when they were younger. When they were dating she wasn't really that into it. After being married twice and not even 30 I would probably feel the same way. He finally convinced her to stop dating other dudes... then after that for him to move in with her... my dad pretty much wiggled his way around at first. She doesn't really believe in marriage. It's basically a religious thing and felt if she was committed to him then why did she have to have a piece of paper to state that, shouldn't it be between the parties involved? But then they were trying to get preggo and once they did and she realized it would be possible that my dad wouldn't have any rights to Miranda if she were in the hospital and stuff like that she gave in and they had a backyard wedding. I was in two weddings that year... my mom's in August and my dad's in September. What's really strange is that my Dad and Judy got together and married the same year that my Mom and Dennis did. Who knows if they planned that. Before the marriage my dad was complaining about always working for someone else so Judy asked why he didn't just start his own company. And they did. They really broke the mold for granite fabrication which was still new at the time and with Judy on the books and my dad in the shop it was a winning combination. Judy was still doing the escrow stuff for a little while then once the business picked up and she had Miranda she was all about Performance after that. It brought them to a very comfortable lifestyle. They pretty much could do anything they wanted to, whenever they wanted to. They love to travel and I would jump in on that and went to as many places as they would let me.

Judy taught me a lot about life and people and how to read people and a lot about work life. And I thank her for that. If she cares about you, you know it. She is generous and kind and honest. If only more people in life were honest I think it would a better place. No one would have hurt feeling because it would just be a normal thing. I think more feelings are hurt by being lied to. But that is not the life we live in. So when you do find someone that can be honest with you, you should keep them around. I love her and I'm so glad she's in my life. As much as she makes me crazy just as much as all my other parents and is only human which is also another thing that is hard to realize about parents, she is probably the one I'm closest to out of all my parents and I know she knows me the best. I can ask her what I should do and she knows what will work for my personality. Sometimes I think she knows me better than I know myself, and I find that a good quality in a parent. She also help bring in my life, Miranda, where I got to be the older sister that Julie failed to be with me. I like being able to be her role model. She hates being the youngest by so many years but I think I convinced her for the time being that we needed this much time in between because now she will be able to babysit my kids like I was able to babysit her at 12 when she was born.

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