Right, well… many people have asked why I decided to move out of my father’s house so (seemingly) abruptly. I’ve been keeping quiet on some of the worst of it, though I’m sure my ‘toxic parents’ link posted yesterday sheds some light.
When I moved in, back in August, I – probably naively – figured I would only be there for a month, maybe two, and I could handle him for that long. When it became apparently I’d be here through the winter, he started getting more and more abrasive, manipulative. He would discuss my weight and appearance with his best friend and my grandmother, against my express request he not do so. I was told I didn’t have the right to complain because he and his BFF ‘talk about just about anything’ (and then went on to reveal something ridiculously private about her daughter that I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW. Thanks for making me complicit in your behavior?)
He would criticize my weight and appearance, my eating habits, my sleeping habits, my job searching habits. He commented that I ‘haven’t had that many jobs, so I don’t really have much experience in job searching’ (so obviously I’m doing it wrong). At one point I’d been awake all night (because unmedicated insomnia is a bastard) and decided to take a nap during the day for a few hours. When I got up later HE was napping, and I noticed on his computer screen a conversation he had with his BFF (I did it to myself for looking) in which he told her I was ‘sacked out’ and she called me a lazy bum, then went on to say ‘this is why she’s fat’.
The real beginning of the end was the screaming fight. I won’t go back over it here, but he said outright that potential employers (you know, the ones I hadn’t even met yet) were judging me poorly because of my weight, that I needed to take a job.. ANY job, even (or perhaps especially?) if it was low pay (not enough to actually save for a big move in a few months) and one I would be unable to perform (retail, food service, these are physically demanding jobs that I recognize right now I would make myself very ill attempting). When I attempted to explain what I was doing, where I was looking, etc, he would explode and accuse me of not trying, not wanting a job, and then when I called him on it he’d say he ‘just wanted the best’ for me and ‘was trying to help, because he’s been through it’. (At which point I was beginning to see why he’d never held a job for more than a year or two). He also kept making comments about how I’d ‘have to’ leave Leo behind when I moved, because he liked him so much. Thanks no.
Then he made The Joke. Almost all of the above could be looked past once I started working, if he hadn’t made it.
We went to a holiday ‘in memoriam’ party at his veterinary office (they took good care of Gus, and some of them asked how he was!). At one point we were both chatting with one woman who worked there, and I was telling her about my world travelers (they make for such great conversation) and he dropped another unsubtle comment about me leaving Leo and I casually said ‘not gonna happen.’
At which point he said “well a couple of days before you move I could sneak in and slit your throat.”
Out loud. IN PUBLIC. In front of someone who got very, very quiet.
I THINK he thinks he was joking. I didn’t call him on it, I didn’t want another fight. I know he’d have acted all wounded and insisted he wasn’t serious, and made himself a victim of the situation.
I like to think I’m a forgiving person, adaptable and can put up with A LOT, but I cannot live somewhere if I’m actively afraid to live there. I can’t live walking around on eggshells hoping to avoid the next bomb going off. I am very easily triggered into a panic attack by screaming, swearing, violence. Things that are part of his daily routine. I just cannot do it, and nobody I know (except perhaps him and his BFF, who are not happy unless they feel somehow superior to someone else.)
I didn’t tell him I was moving until this morning, which went better than I expected, but could have gone worse if I’d given him ANY warning. I waited until there was at least one person there for me outside in the driveway.
The fact that family AND friends were already discussing how to get me & my boys out, had speeches prepared to give my father in case he got out of hand and the absolute unwavering support I’ve had along the way has been what’s kept me from going stark raving mad, packing my cats up into a backpack (oh wouldn’t they love THAT) and walking down to Syracuse sooner.