My Dad had wanted to move to Florida for a long time. His bones ached from his arthritis, and he wanted to live half here and half down there. Florida had always been apart of our lives. My Grandparents were there, my Uncle was down there, so my Dad decided to rent a cottage right across from the beach in a city called Delray to see if it was somewhere he could see himself.
While living half down there to see if he liked it (which, of course, he did), he met a woman through an online dating app. Let’s call her… Hellina. He had gone on a few dates with her, and when I had come down to visit him, he decided he wanted to introduce her to me.
It was really awkward, and looking back I should have stuck with my gut instinct of her. Which was… “Gold Digger”.
But I was tricked. She had two kids, was a runner, and worked for the government. So after seeing her a few times, I thought maybe I had it wrong and jumped to conclusions.
VERY quickly, my Dad moved in with her part-time. He abandoned his dream of living in Delray and moved to a place not even close to the beach. By then, I was so in love with her kids; I never truly questioned their relationship. Her kids became my surrogate little brother and sister. I had always been the youngest, so it was nice to play the role of big sister.
They hadn’t dated long, I want to say maybe a year when she first saw my Dad relapse.
She called me, not knowing what to do. My Dad being drunk, had peed in the corner of her bedroom thinking it was the bathroom. She had now officially been introduced to “Drunk Steve”. I tried to warn her, tell her it doesn’t get any better. That with my Dad it was different.
Imagine, a daughter having to try and explain your alcoholism to their parents significant other. Truly awful and weird.
She didn’t see it all though, Dad was continually traveling back and forth from CT to FL and back again. Eventually, he even sold his house to be in Florida. A decision he admitted to me being a huge mistake.
Fast forward about another year. Hellina wanted to move to CT full time to be with my Dad and her kids. I didn’t think it was a good idea. I had warned her when she first had called that very first time that it doesn’t get better, it can only get worse when it comes to my Dad and drinking, but she didn’t listen.
She, of course, had to have the BIGGEST house. This house was WAY too big for just four people. AND! The realtor even told my Dad not to buy it, but its what SHE wanted, so he bought it; keyword: HE.
Slowly things got worse and worse. Hellina’s true colors started to show more and more. She knew how screwed up being around my Dad’s shit storms made me feel, yet she pulled me into their drama anyway. Always telling me about what he has done “this time.”
I plead for her to leave him, if not for her, for the kids. They should never have had to see him when he was in a drunken state or see how their Mom and my Dad fought. But, Hellina loved to push my Dad’s buttons, and it soon became very obvious she liked to provoke fights.
She went from cool to crazy in a blink of an eye. She even “left”.
Now her definition of leaving is buying a house literally around the corner from him. REALLY?!
I’m 90% sure it was purposeful. Hellina never really wanted to leave him, it was just another game. He had money, so why let go of that? Even if it meant endangering her own kids.
Everything spiraled out of control so quickly. Our dog Strider died, then my Grandma, and lastly, my Grandpa. All in a span of six months. Relapse was inevitable.
My Grandma hated Hellina. So much so that she called my Mom to tell her that Hellina was in her words, “A cunt.” The family was quickly catching on. I think they even caught on before I did, I was just too blind.
For me, though, I got the worst of it. They “broke up” so many times I couldn’t keep count. And now here’s where it starts to get really bad. She always claimed to love my Dad, yet when she didn’t feel like dealing with him, she would text me nasty things.
“Come pick up your drunk Dad, he’s not MY problem. You are his daughter come and get him or I’m calling the cops.”
I was TWENTY ONE! I was still a kid for fucks sake.
She would kick him out of her house, and he would go back to an empty mansion of a home all alone. I can’t even imagine how lonely he felt. She loved playing games, except this was my, NO, OUR life she was toying with.
One day at work (thank goodness I didn’t have cell service there) when I was leaving, I saw I had about ten long text messages from Hellina. Calling me stupid, fat, ugly, terrible daughter, the list continues. HELLO, AGAIN I WAS JUST A KID! I couldn’t escape their shit, her shit, his shit. They were the adults, not me!
After those texts I went straight to my Dad’s house ready for a war. I had been pushed TOO far. Oh don’t let me leave out that a few days earlier she had put on Facebook of all places a long winded rant talking about my ENTIRE family. She said I had been hit with an ugly stick, fat, and had to have Daddy do everything for me. I won’t even mention what she wrote about everyone else.
Well, guess what?! I didn’t have coping skills! I lived with an addict my whole life, who made me feel less than. She knew how hard it was for me, but she did all of this anyway. She acted more of a kid than me. Who posts that to Facebook?
I had called a few people to let them know where I was going just incase.
My head was not in the right space.
When I got to my Dad’s house, he was piss drunk. His driver (who is a whole other story) showed up. I tried to talk to my Dad, told him what she had been saying to me. He was angry, but he was also just too drunk to fully understand what was truly going on.
She called the house while I was there, I told her “He doesn’t walk to talk to you.” And I hung up. She called again and said she was coming over. I told her not to come near the house that my Dad didn’t want to see her and that if she did I would call the cops.
She came over anyway. She walked right in through the garage and went straight to my Dad. And here comes the part that is going to blow your mind.
She had the guts to say to my Dad:
“Pick! Me or your daughter! Your daughter who never comes to see you!”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Who does that? It gets worse…
She then turns on her heel and comes right at me, inches away from my face. Calling me all the names in the world you can think of. And something snapped. I punched her. Right in her face.
Now I have never hit anyone in my life! I am not a physical person! I hate confrontation!
The Police were called, I was hysterical. I showed the cops the text messages she had been sending me. She technically was trespassing. The cops know that I hit her, even though I told them I never touched her. Honestly, could anyone blame me? You can only take so much before you snap.
They told her to leave, and they almost arrested her when she realized I wasn’t being put into the back of a squad car. She flipped out and started to scream at the cops. Well. Good. Let her be angry.
When my Dad came to and was sober, he told me he was proud of me. Words I have wanted to hear from him my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE, but NOT for this. I was a wreck, and it only gets worse. You think it couldn’t, right? I’ve already said it gets worse. How could it get worse than this!?
After a while, he went back to her. HE WENT BACK TO HER! I felt like he stabbed me in the back.
If Brett had done anything like that to MY family- BYE! Not worth my time. And as always, my Dad made me feel less than.
I did not make it easy for him either. She was not to be in my presence.
She wrote an apology letter to me that was so fake and forced. I ripped it to shreds and called my Dad and told him no fake ass apology can make up for the damage she had caused. The reason why she wrote it, was because my Dad told her she had to get along with me. So, of course, it was forced and fake.
And than… the next blow came.
My Dad’s cancer was back.
There is a lot more to this story, but right now this is where I have to end it. Because bringing all of this up hurts. Hurts so much, too much.