The *Dad* Who Cried Wolf


On Wednesday night, my mother called my cell. “I just called 911! An ambulance is coming to get your father.  He said he can’t breathe.  I think he’s having a heart attack!” Luckily, my sister was already at my house for dinner.  It wasn’t even a second thought…we left our uneaten food on the table and jumped in my car.  Even though it took us nearly an hour to get there, we actually got to the hospital before the ambulance did.

Long story short, my father had a tear in his intestines, which lead to a major loss of blood, which caused the shortness of breath.  They gave him a blood transfusion and ran a ton of tests and he was in the hospital until yesterday.  My sister and I stayed at the hospital that first night until almost 11 pm, waiting until he was stable and was admitted.

I called my father in the hospital on Friday during my lunch break to check on him.  There were a couple of my coworkers in the teacher’s room when I called and he got so frustrated because he could “hear people talking in the background” that he yelled at me and then hung up on me.

He wrote his first nasty email within hours of being released on Saturday.  He wrote that my mother is a “terrorist” because she threw away his cigarettes…that no one cares about anyone but themselves…that all we do is take…and that it’s “time for (my sister and me) to do something for him and PAY HIM BACK for everything he has done.”

I had not seen my father since Christmas before seeing him in the hospital.  I sometimes felt guilty about that until I reminded myself that it was because of his actions that I chose not to be around him.  He was nice to us when he was in the hospital and I thought to myself, “he must appreciate that we drop everything and run to be by his side when there is a medical emergency”…nope.

I do not mean to make light of a medical condition at all and I am not implying my dad is lying about that.  Rather, what I mean by comparing my father to the story of the boy who cried wolf is that every time the little boy cried “wolf”, the townspeople reacted.  They ran to him to see how they could help…and they were disappointed each time to find that nothing was wrong.  Yet, they did not learn.  They fell for the boy’s story every time.

That’s me with my dad.  No matter how upset I am with him, no matter how much he has hurt me, if something happens and he needs his family, I am there. And afterwards, when instead of being grateful for us, he is mean instead, I retreat like the townspeople.  I am disappointed with him and with myself and question why I fell for it again. I wonder why I still care so much.  I use the excuse, “but he’s my father” to justify worrying about him.

So, like the townspeople, I am naive and caring and gullible.  But, eventually, my father is going to end up like the boy.  A day might come when he once again needs his family, and none of us will come. I am not really at that point yet, but honestly a person can only care for so long. Each time this happens, I think my dad will realize how lucky he is that after everything he has done to hurt his wife and daughters, that we are still there for him and he will change*.

*Isn’t that the definition of “insanity”…doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

5 comments on “The *Dad* Who Cried Wolf

  1. thesumoflifeisthetotal says:

    I can understand. My mother was sick, emotionally. She tried to get too close and it always felt wrong and unsafe. She had legitimate medical issues as well but truly did “cry wolf” by saying she had cancer (3 separate times), when she did not. I loved her, but could only take so much of her at once. She could be so loving and caring and vicious and rageful. It was a very challenging dance. She’s gone now and I’d be a liar if I said I don’t feel guilty about how I was with her at times; removed. But I did what I could at the time and I hope now she understands what she could never understand while living. Thanks for sharing this.


    • Do Nothing Daughter says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Although I am sorry you had to go through what you did, it does make me feel less alone to know that other people can relate to how I feel. It is so emotionally exhausting dealing with my dad and my family! I know there are people who wonder why I don’t just cut him out of my life all together, but as you know, it is just not that easy (especially as he lives with my mother still). Thank you again for taking the time to read and respond to this!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nikki says:

    I cant say I understand how you feel because my mom hasn’t been in an emergency situation that landed her in the hospital, yet. But I can tell you that I too have gone back to her empty promises too many times. I think it took me having to put a restraining order on her that really made me open my eyes and realize that she was too toxic for me. Yes she is my mother, but she is also awful. No human being should treat another human being the way my mother treats me. Its atrocious. She gave birth to me yes. She raised me up until she was done breastfeeding my brother and then she started down that horrible spiral to alcoholism. Yes, alcoholism is a disease. But until society starts treating like a disease such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease to me its just a word. I know and understand it affects her whole body systems but there no need for the hatred, horrendous words. I don’t think alcoholism = calling her daughter a b****, effing c*** and more. I get it. But for me I had to separate myself from my mom so that I can try and move on and live a somewhat healthy lifestyle. Yes, there are still too many days where I break down crying. Yes, everyday is a struggle but I have to remember I have been thru way too to not be anything but awesome. I have already lived a horrible life and I don’t want to carry that lifestyle into my adult years. My childhood was terrible, but my adult life doesn’t have to be anymore because I can control most of it. And part of that control is keeping my mother far, far away from me. Sending you big Alaskan hugs and hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do Nothing Daughter says:

      Wow- I am so overwhelmed by your response…it sounds like you have been through so much 😦

      It never fails to surprise me how people like us who have alcoholic parents have had different experiences, yet can so easily relate to each other. It sounds like your mother has put you through hell, but it also sounds like you are so strong because of it. And I love what you wrote about not wanting to carry your childhood over into your adulthood- I feel like I try to avoid doing that, too. Sometimes it is hard because I do still have a relationship with him, but I definitely keep a lot of distance between us now.

      You sound like an incredibly kind, thoughtful, insightful person and it really is your mother’s loss that she doesn’t have a relationship with you. It is hard for us…but they are the ones who are going to (hopefully!) have regrets at the end of their lives about how they treated their children.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I believe that “falling for it” over and over again is the right thing to do in these situations. Just show up. Doesn’t matter if you get fooled or if it’s unfair. Just show up. Doing the right thing. It’s the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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