THE BAD YEAR. (OR THOUGHTS I HAD WHEN MY DAD MARRIED HIS SECRETARY)

Sorry this lr took so long. And for the darkness that lies ahead.
  1. This story really starts in 2002.
    My dad is a lawyer who ran for circuit court judge. He lost.
  2. This job change was going to be his big mid life crisis.
    I think he was defeated and vulnerable. This doesn't excuse his bad decisions.
  3. 2003 started out pretty well.
    I was a sophomore in college.
  4. My dad's secretary of many years retired and he got a new one.
    She seemed fine; I didn't pay much attention.
  5. My boyfriend (now husband) was in a fight with his dad and mostly staying at our house.
    This wasn't a big deal and resolved into an awesome relationship between the two of them, but at the time it seemed stressful and serious.
  6. That summer my granny's cancer took a turn for the worse.
    My favorite grandparent, who was the perfect most granniest granny.
  7. My aunts came in from Texas, my mom took time off work, and we spent most of the summer one town over spending time together.
    My dad was business as usual and didn't come with us very often. My boyfriend was supportive and wonderful.
  8. That summer, my mom started noticing weird stuff.
    He was going to high school baseball games for the school her kids went to. He bought new jeans. He lost his wedding ring.
  9. My granny died in late August.
    I went to the funeral and then moved into my campus apartment. I was devastated to lose her.
  10. Less than a month later, my parents called me to come home and told us they were getting divorced.
    Not separating, not trying to make it work, just done.
  11. I punched the wall and almost hyperventilated.
    Even though my mom was suspicious, I'd continually reassured her that my dad was a good guy. I did not see this coming. I was 20.
  12. This was days before my youngest brother's 15th birthday.
    He was devastated. Still hates his birthday, 13 years later. My other brother acted tough, but he had a hard time, too.
  13. My dad didn't want to tell us that he was pursuing a relationship with his secretary.
    My mom made him admit it.
  14. He honestly thought we would just take it calmly and form a new family with her kids.
    He saw other families like that, isn't that how it works?
  15. He had no clue we would all be heartbroken that our family was ending.
  16. The divorce was contentious. He thought my mom was out to get him and was hurt by us not wanting a relationship with his soon wife.
    Among ourselves, we called her the slutretary, which wasn't great, but never in front of him. We weren't invited to the wedding.
  17. I legitimately tried to make it work and have a relationship with her for YEARS.
    Despite always feeling like I was a bad daughter and feeling sick to my stomach every time he called. Nothing I did was ever right or ever enough and my mom, who handled this situation about as well as she could have, was continually maligned.
  18. She perpetuated the downfall of our relationship with him and sabotaged it at every turn.
    Manipulating him, twisting our actions, villianizing my mom.
  19. Everything became about her and nothing was ever good enough.
    Everyone on that side of the family was turned against my mom and my siblings, except for my aunt (his only sibling) who defended my mom and was also ostracized from the family.
  20. Finally, I cut ties.
    I was pregnant and the stress of the relationship was giving me anxiety.
  21. My aunt (his sister) and uncle were amazing and supportive. They've been there for us as another set of parents throughout this whole thing.
    They turned my youngest brothers life around and made a lot of opportunities for our family by supporting us emotionally and financially.
  22. We didn't speak for over 4 years. When my other grandma got cancer and another family member died I got back in touch.
    He just met my kids this year.
  23. We kind of swept all the bad stuff under the rug and didn't actually deal with it.
    I'm kind of ok with it. It's better than nothing and the heightened emotions are gone.
  24. Looking back, my parents did not have a good marriage.
    They were never affectionate, slept in separate rooms and had nothing in common but us.
  25. I could probably have handled things better and been more open minded, but I was really still a kid.
    There was no gray area for me and I needed him to see things my way, which he never will.
  26. I'm sad that he missed an important part of our lives.
    And that our relationship is really more on the surface than a real parent/child relationship should be.
  27. But he seems to really like my kids and things have been positive so far.
    Hoping for the best.