Chapter Six: Classic Chase


After I sat there—letting four grown-ass men who don’t know me shit all over me, call me a liar and worse—I left the hospital sobbing.


I was almost certainly in no condition to drive, but I did so anyway because what I needed more than vehicular safety was distance from the location of that verbal hit-and-run.


Wait—no, that’s not the right term.  A hit-and-run would have been quicker.  They stuck around to watch my suffering.  Is there a vehicular equivalent to the torment I’d just silently endured?


I called Husband with the report, still kicking myself for not defending myself, not outing Mark as the liar in that room.  I had the proof, why didn’t I use it?


Because I was still bleeding internally from the loss of my stepmother.

Because I was reeling at the discovery that she’d hated me.

Because every time I opened my mouth he got more vicious.

Because my father was already weak and suffering and the one thing he’d asked was for there to be no fighting.  So I didn’t fight back.  And Mark used that against me, as proof that I was a liar—only a liar would sit there and let people call her a liar, right?[1]


Don’t stop now – keep reading!


Chapter Five: Secrets and Lies


Welcome back.


When last we saw each other, I’d just found out that the person I loved and admired, with whom I’d traded secrets and kept them, hates me.  Present tense—she might be dead, but I’ve no doubt she wasted her first days in the afterlife lecturing Saint Peter about what a horrible person I am.


What made it worse was the realization that literally everyone else knew it.  I was the clueless one, following her around like a golden retriever, thinking we were pals.


Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Four: Gutted


This was originally intended to be crammed into the last chapter, but then that one ran long.  Hopefully this one will be shorter for all that?  Who knows!


Hey, we’re all experiencing this together, more or less.


Now, where were we… Ah, yes.  I was gowning up in the hall and my father was inside his room, bellowing for a priest.


Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Three: Oh, Brother!


We left off with the will stuff and I want to clarify one thing before we get cracking today on some high[1] fuckin’ drama:


It does not and did not surprise me in the slightest that their wills were different.  I was a little surprised that he admitted it in open company, and that they left it that way for so long… but oh, to have been a fly on the wall the day that shit went down.  See, it’s actually a long-standing disagreement between my father and stepmother, the way their spawn should be treated.  Each thinks the other should embrace their maritally acquired children as their own without having to do the same themselves.  On Dad’s side we have the your children were grown-ass adults with substance abuse problems by the time we met so why should I adopt them and bail them out financially with my hard-earned money? argument; on Marsha’s side there’s the classic whatever we do for one child we should do for the others because that’s the only way it’s fair gambit.  To give a real-life example, when my father cosigned a student loan for us mere months after refusing to loan Kenny several thousand dollars, it nearly ended their marriage.[2]  Marsha felt that if he wasn’t willing to “help” Kenny he should also refuse to “help” me; Dad saw it as two different issues in that I wasn’t borrowing money from him and also I was a significantly better credit risk than my stepbrother.  The debate rages on.[3]


Now, let’s move on to our main character in this chapter: Fucking Mark.


Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Two: Will They/Won’t They?


When we left off, I promised that I would be moving forward with the story and telling you about my return to (my) Oz and my father’s return to very critical condition.


Instead, I think it’s important that we circle around to the issue I’d been avoiding for some time: the wills.


This is partly for story reasons, because telling the whole thing in a day-by-day recap would become overwhelming very quickly and also because I’m personally ready to examine some things.


That’s right, y’all are here to walk me through some free therapy. Hey, I’d do the same for you!


Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter One: The Roadtrip


Think back to that person you loved—truly loved—with all your heart, who didn’t love you back.


Recall and relive with me that sweet, sharp pain whenever you thought of them, saw them, replayed an interaction looking for signs… wondered where you’d gotten your signals crossed, what you’d done wrong, how you could have failed to win their love.


I’ve asked you to do this not because I’m a sadist,[1] but because that pain you’re currently reliving is nothing compared to mine.


Let’s back up a bit, because you’re due a few updates.


Don’t stop now – keep reading!

It Begins…


I’m about to hit Publish on part one of the promised updates, but I wanted to offer one last explanation/warning before you read on:


Shit gets heavy, and I’m sorry about that.  Also, I do not approach my grief, the family drama, or anyone’s illness with the reverence or dignity that some people would likely prefer.  If you are one of those people, you are encouraged to skip the next few posts and wait for me to give an official All Clear announcement.  I will make inappropriate jokes here because I made them in hospital rooms to actual sick people.  Because that’s who I am.  I make no apologies for it.


I don’t know how many parts the “catch up series” will take; I thought I did, when I started, but I just had to take an emotional health break from part 4 (I was shaking and it got too hard) and I haven’t even explained something I meant to get to in the first one so… we’ll see?  Then again, I might find that I can wrap it all up quickly once I get past that worst bit.  Who knows?  Anyway, read ’em, don’t read ’em, binge ’em when they’re all up… you do you.  I just need to purge and keep the blogging muscles toned and this is my compromise.


One last point: this is not a work of fiction.  There is no clear hero, nor a villain.  There are people I love, people I loathe, and most often they are the same damned person.  Sometimes I fuck up, because the fact that it’s my story doesn’t mean I always make the right choices.  Relationships will seem complicated, confusing, and you may find yourself asking, “wait… doesn’t she hate him/her?”  Please understand that the answer to that question is complicated and ever-evolving and even I don’t have all the up-to-the minute answers.  Motives are murky, and I’m left puzzling over questions of personal gain and thought processes more than once.  But that’s life, you know?