I won't say trigger warning, but some warning: I'm being a bit of an immature little bitch here. And I suppose there is brief mention of mental illness, so TW for that. And I suppose divorce.
Two years ago, almost exactly, my dad called me up to tell me he was leaving my mother after 30 years. It wasn't expected, but it wasn't sudden either. My mother, who I love very dearly, can be difficult. She has struggled with depression and addiction her whole life, and while I maintain that she was and is the best mom ever (remember that, those of us with mental illness! We can still be fantastic parents with adult children who harbor no resentment!), she could be hard to live with. Small things would occasionally set her off, and she can be very pessimistic, especially during snowless winters. She felt rather blindsided, and has proclaimed she is done with men/dating/relationships and just wants to move in with her best friend and have lots of dogs. This sounds like the kind of thing my friends and I say after bad breakups, but this is a woman who was left after 30 years of marriage. I'm pretty sure she means it.
One year later (2013), I was sitting in my favorite restaurant with my dad. Madeline Albright was sitting next to him. This has no bearing on the story, I feel like it just adds another level of surrealism to this whole experience. He had been being rather evasive for quite some time about certain details, and I had suspected for months that he was dating. It turned out, he had gotten back in touch with his high school girlfriend, and was seeing her again. Weirder still: she has the same name as my mother. It's not a common name. It wasn't uncommon for Irish Catholic girls in the 1950s, but I've never met someone else with her name. The worst part was he let slip something that made me believe that she was a contributing factor in him leaving my mom.
I have met her twice now. She is fine. I find her to be a less fun, more boring version of my mother. And that may sound redundant, but my mom is one of the most fun people I know. She is amazing. She is taking me to Ireland in a few months when I graduate law school. She would wake me up in the middle of the night to look at the stars. She would have me be a lookout while she stole daffodils out of summer people's yards (we lived on a resort island).
This morning, my dad and "[mom's name] the first" (as this bitch has taken to calling herself, and in this context, yeah, I'm going to call her a bitch, my mom is the first, shut up) were in DC and took me out to brunch. My dad and I started talking about this cabin in Vermont that my family used to own. It was my mom's favorite place in the whole world. She was never happier than when we were there. She never got into one of her moods there, she never flew off the handle there, she felt at peace there. It broke her heart when we had to sell it after she and my dad lost their restaurant.
Today, my dad told me he took his new girlfriend back there to show it to her.
I almost lost it there at brunch. I have been so polite and calm and understanding throughout everything. I haven't gotten mad at anyone. I have been gracious and polite to this woman. I have asked about her when I speak with my father, and tell him to tell her that I say hi. But this was too much to me. Taking her to my mom's favorite place in the whole world, the place she was happiest, felt like such a slap in the face. I want to tell him that I have no interest in pursuing any kind of friendly relationship with this woman. I don't want to know her. He's going to date her, fine, but don't bring her to DC (she lives in New Mexico), or if you do, don't expect to see me when you're here. I'm sick of being an adult about this. I'm sick of being mature. I just want to cry and tell this woman to get the hell out of my life and I feel like I'm betraying my mother every second I don't do that. I don't know what to do. I just had to get these thoughts out somewhere.