Ever since my dad died, I have been having these dreams. I either see my dad, my mom, or both of them. So far, the dreams have been nice. One of them was a little weird, but for the most part, they have been pleasant.
That is, until last night’s dream.
Last night I dreamed that I was sitting at a table with my parents. My dad happened to say that he, my mom, and even my grandmother (his mom) had all been so disappointed with me for dropping out of college.
After I woke up from that dream, I thought to myself, Well, there wasn’t anymore money to PAY for college! I had no choice!
At the time that that had happened, I was living in my own house, paying the mortgage and half utilities (since I shared the place) and covering the usual living costs like gas, insurance, food, etc. So, yeah, after paying for all that stuff, money for school was a little tight. It got to where I could no longer afford to go to school. So, that’s why I had dropped out. I am not proud of this, but you know, it’s not like I can go back in time and change anything. I DID try going back to school later but stopped because of the same result. (I was denied all forms of financial aid, by the way.)
I have always hoped to go back to school. But there’s NEVER been any money for it. Especially after I had kids. I would LIKE to go back to school, but right now, it is just too much of a financial hardship.
All that stuff was in my head today as I thought about that dream. But then the more I thought about it, the angrier I started to feel. Why in the hell did I even HAVE that dream? I KNOW I’m not doing anything with my life right now – just floating through it because I don’t know WHAT to do ever since I walked away from being a writer – but is that dream supposed to be any help to me at all? I have already contacted schools about enrolling and they all said “we’ll get back to you” but they never did. Story of my freaking life!
But then the anger started building up over the whole “we are so disappointed in you” card my parents played in that stupid dream.
So they were disappointed in me for dropping out of college? Wow. You know what? I have a whole book full of things I am disappointed with THEM about.
Like the fact that my dad ALWAYS let his temper get the better of him and he hit his kids. Or threw things around the house when he got mad.
Or the fact that my parents took the mortgage money that I gave to them each month for a house that was in our names and instead of paying the mortgage, they gambled that money away at the casinos. Then, when the house went into lien, they wanted ME to file for bankruptcy. Thereby ruining my credit even more. (That case was dismissed but it was ALWAYS on my record.)
Or the fact that they wanted to use MY name on their utility bill accounts and when they went bust on those accounts, I had to take the fall.
Or the fact that they knew that their precious son, the youngest one, was molesting me but did NOTHING about it. Oh, and my dad even accused ME of bringing him on to cause him to do it. Nice!
And while we’re talking about the Golden Boy: I’m disappointed in my parents for allowing him to get away with so much crap that he pulled with his siblings and other people. He was NEVER at fault. And it was totally fine he could mooch off my parents for years while doing drugs.
I’m disappointed in my dad for giving up on me after my novel was a bust. I was new to the book world. I had no idea signing with a co-op publisher was a bad thing. Of course the book was doomed to fail. It was so nice of my dad to call me after ALL of that blew over and to tell me, “You messed up.” He pretty much stopped supporting my writing after that. Not that there's anything to support since I never really succeeded with the writing anyway.
I am disappointed with my dad for failing to give me his new address after he moved in Illinois. How nice it was to get back the Christmas card I sent to him, which had pictures of his grandchildren in it. Oh, and while we’re on that topic: I’m disappointed they never tried to reach out and connect with the kids. My mom’s mental state was deteriorating before she died, so I get it that she forgot about my son and could not communicate with the kids. But my dad never even TRIED. In fact, I am grateful to my husband’s father for at least stepping up and trying to be a grandfather to the kids in his own way.
But probably the biggest disappointment I have is that my parents lied to me about the accident my mom and I were in. They told me some story about it but then refused to let me see any newspaper clippings about it. I found out that the story was told wrong after communicating with one of my cousins back east. This cousin knew the story better.
I’m not surprised I was lied to about it. People who KNOW my family knew we were all liars and cheaters and outlaws. It’s not anything new! But I was hurt that I was not told the truth. And for all those years, I told EVERYBODY that same incorrect story. I felt pretty rotten after that.
So, as you can see, I have my OWN disappointments I can file against my parents. Wouldn’t do any good now, since they’re both dead. But I fail to see what good bringing up past disappointments would be. You want disappointments? Oh, have I got them! I’ve got LOTS of them! And not JUST about my parents. I have disappointments about my life. About myself. So, yeah, I know ALL ABOUT disappointments. You know, my parents are not the only ones who have let me down. Other people have let me down. I have even let myself down.
There’s pretty much not much more worse it can get from here. But of course I could be wrong. It’s been a crappy year. I don’t think it's going to be getting much better. But, yeah, I know about disappointments. I know ALL about them. I have to carry all of them around and live with them every day. Sure I can try to fix things, make things right, and turn a disappointment into something I can forget about, but I just don't see it happening.