Dayne came home after taking his step mother home. She didn’t want him to leave her so he stayed a while, until she fell asleep. So here’s this man, Dayne, who not only found the strength to sit by his father’s side for the last thirty-six hours of his life, made decisions he thought his father would have wanted, and then battled out all the sadness and angst in his family between the step mother, two step sisters and the dozens of people who showed up to say goodbye to George. He didn’t want a funeral so there will be nothing done at this point, but the sisters will be writing and posting a eulogy in the local paper and Dayne is going to send something to the nurses who worked so hard to make his dad’s last hours comfortable ones.
George hated dying. He hated not being in control and absolutely hated being doted on. He tried, constantly, to pull the tube from his throat while intubated and removed his oxygen mask every moment he could. Dayne fought with him the entire night, telling him he had to wait until the morning when his sisters and step mom could be there. They all went home to ‘rest up’ while Dayne sat tirelessly by his bedside. George would not have wanted to be alone there…in that hospital bed, and Dayne knew and stayed. He fought with the hospital admin who told him he had to leave and was so kind to the nurses who helped his father so much. He got home a few hours ago and told me, over and over, how many people came to him and hugged him, or laid a gentle hand on his shoulder, telling him that he was a good son and was making the right choices for his dad. Apparently, along with the pneumonia, there was a serious heart condition and a respiratory disease George kept to himself for several years. He was never one to be ‘doted’ on. Dayne never left his side and yet called and texted me constantly, making sure Colt was okay. I kept telling Colt what was going on, gently, and the kid just kept trying to console me, wiping my tears away and hugging me, telling me to breathe with him deeply….in…..and out. In and out. “It’s okay mom. Just breathe.” I tried to tell him it was okay to be sad but he was so desperate to make me feel better I ended up just letting it go. When Dayne finally texted me that George was gone, I told Colt and he only wanted to know when his dad would be home so he could give him a hug and tell him it was going to be okay.
George made Dayne promise one thing before he left. He made him promise to try to love his family and build a relationship with his sisters and other family members. The sisters were open with Dayne and they both told him they were hurt and missed him, not understanding why he had decided to cut them all out of his life. They talked a lot and mended so many wounds. I fell, selfishly left out of it all but they are not my family, they are his and no matter how hard I tried to get him to let us come, he wouldn’t have Colt see the pain his father was in and the heartbreak Colt’s father was going through. I still feel like an asshole for not being there, but I did what Dayne asked me to do and was here waiting for him when he got home.
So he’s going to try to repair the relationship with his sisters and aunts/uncles on his step mother’s side of the family, all of whom came to say goodbye. I told him I would do anything he wanted to do…would follow and back up his decisions. His sisters want to know Colt and they have several kids who are his cousins. Colt’s great grand parents went to see George (on his mother’s side) and they wanted to see him too…everyone made it very clear, foster brothers and sisters, step sisters, step mother, step aunts and uncles and grandparents, all rallied around Dayne, knowing he was the only one who sat there with his dad and was the only one who would ever be strong enough to do so. They all asked about me (he said, but I don’t believe my name came up) and Colt. They want to be a part of his life somehow, even in the background, and how could I possibly deny Colt even a small slice of family who wants to know and love him? I can’t. So….we will start a new perspective and try this again….this family thing.
Dayne told me it was okay if I didn’t join in. I was allowed to stay back while he and Colt built relationships with these people. He knows me so well. The very thought of all this brings up such panic in me. I am happy in my little bubble, socially maladapted and completely alone with the two of them but…I’ll never deny either of them the family the both long for. I hate that I might not be a part of that, but I’m terrified of the relationships I’m going to have to either hide from completely and watch from the side lines for the good of my son, or join in and try. I’ve never done this well. I don’t know how to feel.
If we have a relationship with his sisters and other relatives, how can I not reach out to my own brother and sister? My mother? If I do that, can I still not talk to my father? They hate Dayne…all of them. All I can see is hatred, pain, anger and anxiety. Will Christmas suddenly become me taking Colt to my mother’s house to spend a tense and unhappy visit and then sending him off with his dad to visit his aunts and cousins while I…what? Sit here on the couch and watch Youtube videos? I don’t know how this shit works and I don’t know my place in it. At all.
All I know is that I’m glad Dayne is home, I’m glad George is out of pain and I feel so much for these people….all a big mass in my chest. George is gone. Dayne’s mother needs him even though she’s never loved him and he wants to be there. He wants Colt to know his grandma, but maybe not his other grandparents on my side. I’m not sure I want Colt to know them either. My father, when Colt was born, offered to “take him for the weekend and straighten him out” to stop the constant crying and misery. I almost threw up right there and vowed right then to never, ever, allow Colt to be alone with my dad. My half siblings and mother are angry with me and they hate Dayne; blame him for so much and then are overwhelmed by Colt’s disabilities. I don’t think this is a place I want to go back to, but this was like a pact Dayne and I went into together….we were going to leave the past behind and start a new life for Colt that wouldn’t be tainted by our miserable pasts. Dayne feels differently now, having watched his father die, and I understand that so well….but I don’t know where I fit in here. I don’t think I’m part of the plan to move forward and, if I choose not to engage, I am sure it will happen without me. So there goes my bubble of solitude…my lifeless, half-arsed fake relationships at work that are kept healthy only because I am forced to see these people every day.
I am proud of Dayne. I’m proud of the child we share who only wants his mom and dad to not feel any pain and to stay happy and safe. I’m ashamed of myself though. I wasn’t there, I didn’t say goodbye and, again, I left Dayne to face a loss that tore him apart without being there for him. When his best friend died a few years back we were on the outs and I didn’t know my place. He asked me to make sure Colt was okay and I did that. This time, it was the same, only there were so many tears and so much loss.
I have to get up for work in a few hours and my entire face is swollen from sobbing. I let Dayne tell me everything…every detail and every moment and he is now sleeping on the couch across from me, not having slept in days. Colt is asleep in his bed, satisfied and happy again now that his dad is home. The cats are even happy again, loving him up….Daisy cuddling Colt as he constantly kicks her off his bed; Jack, who literally sat on me the entire time Dayne was gone, now cuddled into Dayne’s side. I can hear him purr from here. Everyone is going to be okay but my life is about to change in ways I don’t know I can handle. I will never hold either of these boys back. Never. Even if it means I need to curl into a ball and isolate myself from everything I will never hold them back.
Then again, my foster-mother loved me, even though she threw me to the wolves and never bothered to protect me from the monster that was her husband. I loved my brother and sister so much I took every moment of abuse from our father just so they never felt the pain I felt.
I think I’ll just lie down and go to sleep. My eyes are so swollen from crying I can barely see and tomorrow is going to be a hellish day at work. I missed today and that’s going to fuck me over. Giant bags and swollen eyelids won’t help that much. I’ve had an ice pack on my eyes for hours and it’s not going down.
Can I just crawl into my closet and hide from the world for a while? Please? I don’t think I can do this family thing…and now George is gone and I have no way to tell him I’m sorry that the last time I talked to him, I turned him away. I don’t like Dayne’s family. I don’t like how he hurts because of them….but if he wants them, I can’t stand in the way. I already feel like I’ve fucked everyone up here. Maybe I was meant to be alone. Maybe they would be better off if they didn’t have me dragging them down so they could be loved by many, rather than just by me.
I don’t belong here. I should have been there. I have so much regret and so much guilt and yet I wish everything could just go back to the way it was.
Tags: attachment disorder, death of a loved one changing perspective, family, family issue, fucking scared, I don't belong here, i don't know how to be a part of something bigger than me, not a part of the world I thought I was a part of, relationship, relationship disorder