Alright, so lately Bob (my step-father for those who don’t know) and I have been at war. I have a problem with the way he treats people, namely my mom, and he’s just absolutely self-centered. My mom sees a man who, even though he treats her like “the help” (which is what he called her one day), is a very caring and loving person. Obviously we all know that saying about love and how it’s blind. This would be the classic case.
Last tuesday was my breaking point. I spent much of monday helping him learn how to use his computer printer to print out some pictures for an album he has. This is something I do on a regular basis because he isn’t really interested in learning how to do it, he just wants someone to do it for him. Tuesday he had a doctor’s appointment and, for a change, I was let off the hook and relaxed at home. While I was sitting outside I saw a bird that I hadn’t seen before and I wanted to quickly get a picture of it so I could look it up in the bird book. To my chagrin the camera was no where to be found. Did he take it with him? Hrm!
My parents arrived home not too long after (I found out it was a goldfinch, btw) and I questioned my mom about what they had done with the camera. She said she didn’t know, she doesn’t use the thing. So, I asked her to ask Bob about it since he’d gone into their room and the door was closed. I over-heard the conversation from the living room.
Mom: Bob? Where did you put the camera?
Bob: It’s on the right hand side of the left shelf in the library, behind the decorative box.
Mom: Where you hiding it?
Bob: No, honey, (explains).
Mom: *disapprovement in her voice* Ok, got it.
I sat in wonder as I watched my mom hunt for the hidden camera. Not only had I helped that bastage print his pictures, but I’d gone out and gotten him a father’s day gift as well. And this is what I get for it? Aww (and pardon my french) hell no. He didn’t hide it from my mom, who never takes pictures, or David, or Van… or anyone else… it was me.
I could feel the rage building, but I quickly swallowed it, and took several deep, calming breaths. I helped clean a few things outside, and had just finished eating lunch when Bob came out into the kitchen. Suddenly, I could feel the rage bubbling up all over again at his sugary sweet, “Hey Jen.” and retarded hello wave. He sat at the kitchen table and listened as my mom and I planned the rest of the afternoon. We had planned on going out to get some outfits for a wedding that was coming up and neither of us had anything to wear to it. He was mid-comment to my mother when I said,
“What’s with hiding the camera, Bob?” His reply was a grumpy, “I told you where it was, didn’t I?” and the rage burbled a little more. “Well Bob, that was an awefully nice thing to do, now wasn’t it? And, tell me, after I helped you print all your pictures out, is that when you decided you didn’t want me to use the camera?” He said, “Well, when I look in the cabinet where it’s suppose to be, it’s never there.” Calming breaths, Jenny, calming breaths. “So, you hid it from me?” He turns to my mother now, in hopes she will come to his rescue. “You told me I should always put it in that cabinet.” My mom nods in agreement. “So you hid it?” I ask. He says glaring in his old man grumpiness, “Yes, I put it there so I would know where it was.” A number of expletives began running through my head. “The next time you need help with something, say your printer or ANYTHING, you better hope mom knows how to do it, because I no longer will be helping you. Ever.” Bob’s facial expression didn’t change one bit. No sign of remorse. Trying to choke back other things I wanted to say, I turned to my mom, “Well, I’m going to go brush my hair and then will you be ready to go?” She nodded as she eyed me. My mother is one of the only people on earth that knows when I’m restraining myself.
As I brushed my hair and put it up I thought of other things to try to take my mind off my anger. Unable to manage I went to my room and opened up the chat window Keith and I have open nearly always during the day.
Me: Bob HID the camera from me.
Keith: OH yeah ?
Keithy: what an a$$.
Me: After all the crap I help him with.
Me: He hid it.
Keith: ok presents from Keith on your bday.
Keith: pj’s boxers and camers.
Keith: er camera. bob can go piss off
Me: I told him the next time he wants help from me on something, he can ask my mom, because he’s not getting any more from me.
Keith: I’ll buy you one like mine..
Me: He’s such an a$$.
Keith: no kidding. afk a sec hun
I finished getting ready a little more calmly and quickly got out of the house. I managed to hold in the emotional storm threatening to ruin our shopping trip until the we were on our way home. I said, “Mom, what Bob did today really hurt my feelings.” This is when, unfortunately, my rage and the rest of the hurt feelings surfaced. Mind you, I very rarely swear, but I was dropping the f-bomb. We got to the house at the peek of my anger. I got out of the car and quickly changed into my walking clothes. If I didn’t get OUT of the house I was worried I’d implode. I took a walk at the peek of the hottest day I think I’ve experienced in a while. It was 90-something with 50% humidity. Not good. I cried for most of the walk and was fully drained of any energy by the time I got home, and fully embarrassed having shown that much emotion in public. I got in the shower and redressed, and went outside.
To say the least, I gave my present to my mother for father’s day because I came to the realization that I’ve only really had one parent since my dad died. Bob’s been an indifferent parental figure, and I’m more than happy to keep our relationship that way.
Now, I’m sure by now you think I was totally over-reacting to something as small as a grown adult acting like a child. Unfortunately, that was just one example of my every day life and I’d just had enough of putting myself out on a limb, knowing how callous and self-centered he is, only to get slapped in the face (figuratively) time and time again. As I like to say: fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. No more, Bob.
Speaking of jerks I nabbed this from Tampa Bay’s Channel 10 news.
Don’t turn away. Your indifference makes you part of the problem. Talk to your children, join in community support groups and please show your support by wearing your Free Katie™ Gear!