Schadenfreude Part 1: The “Happy Family”

I’ve written about my father and stepmother in the past. But I haven’t much written about what they’re like now. I’ve been saving up for a series of posts, and I received more detailed information from my sister recently.

Some background to begin. I left my father’s home when I was 16, to live with my eternally impoverished mother. My half-sister, at the time, was about six or seven. It’s been thirteen years since I left, and the slow downward spiral of my father and stepmother since I did so has been truly astounding. It has been the biggest lesson to me in how I should lead my own life.

My father is a simple man, a self-obsessed narcisist only concerned with his own pride. All he has ever wanted was to feed his ego, be the big respected man, owning nice cars and expensive houses to impress other people that he doesn’t even care about. My stepmother was his blonde, pretty trophy wife. He never wanted anyone and anything in his life to appear less than perfect and polished and poised. No one in the family had any problems, it’d make him look bad!

His hubris has paid him back ten, twenty, thirty fold.

So, down to brass tacks. Around the time that I left, my stepmother got bariatric surgery. She was barely within weight range for the surgery, but got it anyway. She was always very dedicated to her appearance, but diet and exercise were just too difficult for her.

After getting her stomach resized, her health began to go downhill. She developed a myriad of physical issues after surgery, and began to take pain and sleeping pills, in particular the famous zombie-maker, Ambien.
She quickly became addicted to these. Hard. To the point my father was locking the pills away and divvying them out to her at certain times.

When the pills were taken away, she turned to alcohol. I remember a Thanksgiving about five years ago where a guest left some jugs of cheap wine. She drank all of it and ended up in the hospital for alcohol poisoning.

At the time, I was only getting brief snatches and glimpses of what was going on. I remember thinking, that doesn’t sound good. But I was mostly apathetic.

Things got much worse when my father bought his big brand new house. The crowning achievement in his life. Not the success of his children. Once they moved into the house, my stepmother went full addictive retard. In addition to pills and alcohol, my father caught her huffing spray paint. I first heard about this from my half-sister about 4ish years ago. Four years. I think the time for intervention was at this point years overdue.

During this period, I heard more bits and pieces. My sister would relay them occasionally. My stepmother crashing the family truck into one of the pump protectors at a gas station. Most likely high as balls when she did so. My father having to drag my stepmother inside when she got high as a kite and decided to go lay on the front lawn. An almost nightly routine of my stepmother passing out on the floor, and my father refusing to help her.

Somewhat more than two years ago, my sister was seventeen years old. She had begun dating a guy a few years older than her. He’s a solid young man, and has stuck with her through thick and thin. He also has a nerve condition that affects his leg, giving him somewhat of a limp.

My father, dealing with the absolute mess of my stepmother, couldn’t deal with the fact his daughter was going to leave his control. She was effectively his housekeeper as well, since my stepmother was often incoherent. He began to threaten her, to hit her, and be more of a piece of shiz than normal.

He called her boyfriend a gimp. He told her that they were both going to be on welfare if she left the house. He threatened to take her cat, which she loved dearly, and dump it in the middle of nowhere.

On Memorial day of 2012, the day before I started my new job, my father started up the shiz again. He told my sister he would never let her see her boyfriend again, as well as other nasty, awful things. My sister snapped, and despondently cut her hand in the kitchen. The paramedics were called, and I made a bee-line over to the house. I went to the hospital with my sister. The crisis evaluator determined my sister was not a harm to herself or anyone else, considering the role my father had in the incident, and gave her a conditional release to my custody for the next three days. It was officially here I cut ties with my father, doing the unthinkable by calling him an asshole to his face. I also told him to get psychological intervention for his wife.

So my sister stayed with me for four days, and I got ready to take her to a hand surgeon for an evaluation, as she had severed the tendons on her left hand. And my father shows up at my house, uninvited, saying she had to come back. Believe me when I say I was distraught about it. That she had to go back to that awful, toxic house. The cops were called, and as always, he turned on the charm that many sociopaths have. His in particular was the “I’m a retired officer” schmooze.

Even without him dripping buddy-cop everywhere, he would have been able to take her. The crisis evaluator’s release terms were not set in stone, only child protective services would have been able to permanently take her out of the home and for whatever reason, they were not involved. And so my poor sister had to go back to that hateful place, got surgery on her hand, and endured the best she could until she was 18. And then she left, immediately, and moved in with her boyfriend.

With my sister gone, what tiny sliver of normality was left in the house disappeared. In the two years my sister has been out of the home, my stepmother got worse and worse, my father more toxic and angry, and it all culminated in The Incident on my father and sister’s shared birthday, in October 2014.

To Be Continued…


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