I got a call tonight from my mom. She took my dad to the hospital this evening because he was short of breath and wasn't feeling well. He had congestive heart failure.
This isn't much of a surprise given that he has had two heart attacks, the last requiring a quintuple bypass surgery. He smokes, eats like shit, is overweight, doesn't exercise, and essentially does everything you're not supposed to do. He has a bad back, arthritis, etc., which makes it difficult for him to exercise, but there are things he can do, like water aerobics, that doesn't hurt him so much. But the smoking and eating poorly are, in my mind, unforgiveable, especially after two heart attacks.
After the bypass surgery, for about 6 months, he quit smoking, ate better, exercised, lost a lot of weight, and said he felt better than ever. Then he slowly started back into his old habits and all the good that happened disappeared.
I know he is depressed, for various reasons, including his mother being in a nursing home and him not being able to do anything to help her. I'm sure there are other things going on in his head, but he is too stubborn to talk about them and is too stubborn to admit anything is wrong with him or to get help.
I just wanted to vent because although I am sad that he is in the hospital again, I am having a hard time truly caring because I have watched him slowly kill himself for so many years now. On the surface, and based on his actions, he just doesn't seem to give a shit anymore, and hasn't for a very long time.
What pisses me off more than anything is that my mother has to deal with his bullshit on a daily basis. Both me and my sister live in other states, both physical and mental. We only have to deal with it when we go to visit or we get the call from the hospital.
And I am torn. Although I love the man for the mere fact that he is my dad (step-father more specifically, but raised me from a baby), it is hard for me to feel much else because I hold him to the same standards as I would anyone else. You make bad choices, you get bad results.
And why should I care about him if he doesn't care about himself? In my mind his actions are the ultimate in selfishness. Again, it isn't just about you. Look at all of the other people his actions are impacting, particularly my mother. I think of how she has had to, or rather chosen to, put her life on hold to essentially take care of him while he slowly kills himself. If she had more self-esteem herself, I think she would have left him years ago. That's an entirely different issue. I know I have asked her on several occasions how she even puts up with him. I would have left him long ago if I were her.
It is sad that people put themselves through things like this in life, things that could be largely avoided through seemingly simple actions. I know we are all human and we do not always do the right things, for whatever reason, but again, if you don't care about yourself, and you're an adult, I can only care so much about you. At some point I have to let go and accept what is. Why should I expend the emotional and physical effort of caring about you when you don't care about yourself nor care that I care about you? Surely I can find something much more fruitful to do with my energy. Motorcycle riding perhaps?
Thanks for reading.