Some of the underlying stress gnawing at the back of my mind had been my Dad’s unemployment. To make a long story short in regards to that, do not work for the federal government and department of defense as a civilian. As an animal caretaker, you will be worked to the bone because it is consistently short staffed and the army simply can’t tell scientists “NO” when they want to run more studies that involve even more animals for testing. To add more insult to injury, he was told his contract maybe terminated early due to being a “medical liability”. Now my Dad is no spring chicken but he isn’t feeble either. Last year happened to be a very bad year for him health-wise. He got slammed with a kidney infection and had heart issues that took time for the cardiologist to diagnose. Once that had all been handled, he felt better but their doctors still restricted him. While he had been out for the kidney infection, they had given all of his work to the newly hired caretakers and some other co-workers. They did not give him his normal work back because “everybody liked where they were.“ They literally just stuffed him wherever, whenever because they now didn’t have anything for him to do. Getting near the end, it became more and more apparent that they were trying to get rid of him. Maybe that was just my Dad’s experience at the local army base but who knows?
So for months, they barely survived on my mother’s income and had no insurance. We had to help them out quite a bit financially but we were happy to help. My Mom on the other hand did not make this situation any better by acting like a petulant child the majority of the time because there was no money to spend on frivolous things or tons of junk food. All she could do was berate my father even though he looked for jobs everyday and applied wherever he could. He didn’t qualify for unemployment either. Mom complained endlessly that he did “nothing” when he done EVERYTHING around the house and then some! For 31 years, my Dad carried the burden of bringing home the most income and being in charge of the budget, making sure everything was paid. But he bore her verbal abuse. My brother and I on the other hand, just wanted my mother to go away. Finally last month he got a better job. It’s less pay but it is still more income a month. So now my Mom acts all nice as pie which disgusts me.
I know someone reading this is probably going “But she is your mother.” Yeah, what of it? My Mom suffers from depression and likes to not take her medicine so she can unleash her cruelty on those closest to her. Plus, we are very different people. If she wasn’t my Mom, I’m not sure I’d know her at all. She has been selfish, mean, and thoughtless in a lot of her actions over the years. As a child and teenager, I was scared of her. For example, I’d hide in my bathroom downstairs when her footsteps would be heard coming down the basement stairs because I never knew what snide remark she was going to hurl my way. I was sixteen years old and HIDING in the bathroom. She’s simply not the reliable or stable parent. I didn’t trust her and part of me today still doesn’t trust her! It’s disturbing how she turns on this sweet motherly façade to co-workers and some of her relatives. It wasn’t all bad though, growing up with my Mom. There were some good moments and things are better today since I am an adult who no longer lives under the same roof as her. I’d say my relationship with her now is more normal but there’s no mother-daughter bond that cheesy hallmark cards are written about. And she knows that. Mom knows I have a stronger bond with my Dad, we’re two peas in a pod. We’re so similar. In “Pride and Prejudice” parlance, we are Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Bennett.
But I have utterly digressed. My folks are getting back on track again and will start making payments for the money we have loaned them. That constant worry over their welfare is no more.