A cruel burden
Saturday, Jul. 09, 2022 - 11:35 am.

Andrew and I have spent every day of this week meeting with friends, for lunch, for dinner, for coffee. Things have just happened that way, most meet-ups have been spontaneous or planned from one day to the next. It's been fun and even relaxing, a good break from our routine in which it's just the two of us.

Speaking of the two of us though, on Tuesday evening I had a dentist appointment and we took the chance to go for sushi afterwards. We went to this fancy place that we like but don't go often because it's a bit expensive. We ordered drinks, ate great food, talked, laughed and got tipsy. We had a great time. Worth mentioning it in its own paragraph.

Also, sadly, there have been a few deaths in my social surroundings this week. The mom of one of my (former) closest friends from uni passed away last week. The husband of a high school classmate passed away a few days ago, leaving her with two kids. Then, our friend S that got her PhD in Sheffield along with Andrew and I (the three of us got scholarships for the same period) has a now 18-year-old daughter, who was also a regular in our Sheffield life. Her father also passed away this week. Andrew and I went to the wake.

I felt bad for not being there for my uni friend and her mom's passing. We've grown apart in the last few years though, so I didn't even learn of her mother's death until a common friend wrote and told me. For this old classmate, we were never even friends, but I was inexplicably on the verge of tears thinking about her. Neither of these old classmates even live on the same continent as me, but I still felt deeply sorry for their losses.

On another topic, but maybe not too far away, my dad called me out for "posting pictures" of me attending the Pride march last weekend. That's rich. We were on our weekly video call when he unexpectedly brought up the topic. I'm proud of how I handled it, my general feeling was "that sounds like a 'you' problem, dad".

I did feel a bit hurt and most of all angry after the call, but I stood my ground beautifully, if you ask me. He's homophobic and of a rancid patriarchal stance, but he thinks he's done me a favor by being silent when I post stuff he doesn't agree with (he kind of said that), and made a tragedy of these things happening right as he was preparing to go into surgery. I'm done wasting mental energy on this, but what a horrible person he is. 

He did have a surgery scheduled this week. It didn't happen because he can't fucking get a grip on his fatalist and pitiful thoughts and emotions, and his blood pressure blew up. He's a cruel burden to my mom and my siblings, not because he's old, not because he's sick, but because he only listens to himself and purposefully lays motionless (literally and metaphorically) so that everyone -mostly my mom and my sister- must do all the heavy-lifting that he should do to take care of himself. 

My sister sent us siblings a picture of him when he went into the hospital for the surgery that didn't happen. I looked at him. It was deeply sad, but it didn't break my heart. And I thought, he can't do anything to me anymore. He's still breathing but he's laying in a grave that he's dug himself.

I don't need to see my dad again. I want my mom, my sister, and my brothers to be free.

Alas, I'm traveling to my home country in two weeks. I did tell my dad that if he wanted to discuss me attending the march or whatever, he could tell it to my face. Then he backed down and said he'd said what he wanted to say. Of course. It's never to have a conversation, it's always for him to express he feels miserable and try to make the other person as miserable as him. 

But it didn't work. I'm so happy and proud that I was there. He asked me what Andrew thought about me going to Pride; I nearly said: "oh, you mean my bi husband who helped me carry a huge bi flag"? And I don't know where my mom stands on LGBTQI+ issues (she's rigidly religious), but at least I've perceived hints of support from her. She told my dad as he was trying to grill me: "her research is about that". She's perceptive enough to understand I work on queer issues and it's important to me. I'll take it.

The conversation still affected me for a few days, but not as much as it would have in other circumstances. I kept going back to how well I stood my ground and faced him. I'm not the same person I was when I lived under "his roof".

This is it for now. Gotta go exercise and prepare to do some souvenir shopping for that upcoming trip home. Take care of yourself.

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