pictures, letters and clothes in the yard in HOW MANY PUBLIC BOOKS WILL I MAKE AND THEN EVENTUALLY PRIVATIZE

  • July 19, 2020, 3:16 p.m.
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  • Public

Someone mentioned they don’t know about my parent sitch and I figured I should probably attempt to recap it since I haven’t done that in a long time and my perspective has significantly changed over time but I REALLY DON’T WANT THIS TO BE ONE HUNDRED PAGES LONG so I’ma try my best to summarize like a normal human.

CW: Suicide

I just wrote like 4798374 paragraphs and wasn’t even halfway done. I SAID SUMMARIZE, JESS. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. Lemme try again.

  1. Parents appeared happily married, were attentive and caring, largely did a good job keeping us from dying and teaching us how to use our brains. Other than our social isolation when they chose to homeschool, we had a fairly balanced upbringing.

  2. Our mom, who was usually stay-at-home mommin’ it, was very very very isolated from other humans.

  3. Mom had to get a job when I was… 14? This led to her speaking to other humans. She also either did or didn’t cheat on my dad with a coworker. I DON’T REALLY KNOW WHICH AND TBH IT DOESN’T MATTER TO ME.

  4. Dad, in response to the mere POSSIBILITY of my mom cheating, decided we should pack up all her shit in trash bags and throw it outside while she was at work. So we did. He also changed the locks. She came home to all of her shit in the yard being rained on and a key that didn’t work. BYE FELICIA, he would have said if that were a thing people were saying at the time.

  5. Our mom tried to maintain some sort of contact–a call every couple weeks–but forcefully signed away any custody because “you hate me anyway, this is what you want.” (She tried to get rid of all emergency decision-making as well, but our dad told her that wasn’t acceptable; if he couldn’t make a call on emergency surgery or something, she NEEDED to be backup on that. So she retained emergency parenting rights or whatever.)

  6. She also brought her new boyfriend to the divorce hearing, which… I mean, come on. Lol.

  7. After a few months, Mom was upset that we never made the effort to call her instead of the other way around, so she stopped contacting us.

  8. I attempted to contact her a few years later and she did the same thing–got mad that I wasn’t trying hard enough and stopped talking to me.

  9. Maybe a year or so after THAT, when I was 19 and living with my dad and stepmom, I attempted to re-form that relationship. She, once again, got mad that I wasn’t trying hard enough/getting back to her quick enough. (This is when the “I can’t be your pretend mom anymore, so, BYE click” conversation occurred.)

  10. The day she bye Felicia’d me, my dad immediately called her in a rage and that’s when she told him that my PREVIOUS attempt at re-forming our relationship was the reason for her suicide attempt, which is why she has to cut me off again because, yanno, I make her want to die. By reaching out but then not being attentive enough.

  11. That was my dad’s retelling of that conversation so take it with a mountain of salt. But, uh… it also wouldn’t be particularly out of character? The last time I saw her in person, she REEEEEEALLY wanted to tell me about her suicide attempt. Like. “I don’t want to tell you what happened last year because you’ll get mad at me.” Long pause while she waits for me to ask. Kept bringing it up. But I’d guessed what it was and I didn’t want to have that conversation, so I refused the bait.

  12. I just realized my dad absolutely did not have to tell me that my mom blamed her suicide attempt on me. Hahahahaha fuck. LIKE. MAYBE KEEP THAT TO YOURSELF IF YOU THINK IT’S SUCH AN AWFUL THING TO SAY? But he wanted to bond over how shitty she was more than he wanted me to… not blame myself for my mother’s potential death, so.

  13. I heard from her again when I was maybe 23, telling me she had breast cancer and was only contacting me in case it was the hereditary kind. That one gene. Whatever it’s called.

  14. She got her results back and it was not that kind of breast cancer. She went into remission. I talked to her on the phone a few times. She was happily remarried and seemed to be doing well.

  15. I attempted, again, to maintain a casual relationship with her, but often failed to respond to emails for a couple weeks.

  16. She did the same thing again. It was taking me too long to respond to emails so she Bye Felicia’d me a third (fourth?) and final time.


Okay the dad one is a little shorter kinda.

  1. Age 19/20, I was living with dad and stepmom. Loved stepmom, but we had a deeply unhealthy codependent relationship that led to the worst clinical depression of my life and ended with me panic-moving to Seattle, where I lived in my sibling’s closet until I found my own place, and now I’m here. Hooray!

  2. Shortly after I moved, Dad and stepmom started heading toward divorce. Dad was… emotionally cheating on her with someone while he was driving a truck. (He ran up a $700 phone bill on Stepmom’s plan talking to this woman while he was on the road.)

  3. Shortly after they separated and Stepmom discovered the phone bill, he stopped contacting any of us. He was mailing Stepmom money once in a while, I think? But Sibling and I couldn’t get hold of him at all.

  4. Sibling finally verifies our dad’s status as Alive by calling his trucking company. They said he’d still been taking jobs, so. Unless he was a zombie trucker, HOORAY HE WAS FINE.

  5. Maybe 8 months after he disappeared, he calls Sibling on Holiday of Some Sort. Sibling grills him on why the fuck he didn’t call, or write, or anything. Zero acceptable excuses arise.

  6. I attempt to re-form a relationship with my dad. We talk on the phone a few times.

  7. He is a massive asshole and I can’t handle it so I stop answering his (always drunk) calls. Essentially just… ghosted him. So, yanno. I abandoned him, I guess.


Fun factoid (I’ma say this is the correct usage of the word “factoid” since it is anecdotal and unfalsifiable) about the Dad story tho: While I was trying to re-form our ‘ship, he told me the only reason he started driving a truck again (when I was 19 or so) was so he could kill himself where his family wouldn’t find the body. He wanted to die because of… guilt, I guess? Over being a bad husband (to the new wife) and father (to the new kids), or something?

So baaaaaaaaaaaaaaasically I am constantly awaiting the moment one of my parents commits suicide, and either directly or indirectly blames me for it. Hahahahaha, it’s fine. EVERYTHING IS FINE.

So them’s the haps!


That’s right, folks. He had a 2-year-long affair that started before my mom was working, AKA before he had any reason to believe she would become unfaithful.


And then he kicked HER out of the house for potentially cheating.

The woman my dad cheated with (the first time, on my mom) is a whooooooooooooole other story, y’all. That one’s a fuckin ROLLER COASTER.

Alright, this is as summarized as I know how to summarize. i.e., not very summarized. G’BYE.

Nowhere to Nowhere
by BJ Omanson

When they sold off the farm she took the child
and caught a bus out of town—as for him,
with everyone gone and everything grim,
he opened a pint of bourbon, piled

pictures, letters and clothes in the yard,
doused them with kerosene, struck a match
and watched as they burnt to ashes, watched
and worked on his whiskey, working hard.

The next morning he caught an outbound freight
heading god-knows-where and he didn’t care—
he was down to nothing, a gypsy’s fare—
down to a rusty tin cup and a plate,

dice and a bible, a bedroll and fate,
down to a bone-jarring ride on a train
through country dying and desperate for rain,
running nowhere to nowhere and running late.

Last updated July 19, 2020

rhizome July 19, 2020

um so, i have some context to know how damaging it is when a parent makes you take part in their cheating investigation and/or divorce, and that amount is a lot. i also have some context to know how damaging it is when a fully-grown adult asks their CHILD to be responsible for maintaining their relationship and responding with rage when they don't do enough, and that amount, coincidentally, is also a lot. i don't have any context to know what it's like to be blamed for your parent's suicide attempt, but i have a few guesses, namely, that it is a lot.


girl in recession July 19, 2020

holy fuckin' jesus hanson christ i'm sorry you had to go thru all of that! i can't imagine your mom didnt know about your dads cheating for those two years either. kinda makes her decisions make a little more sense.

dickson. July 20, 2020

maybe I should get my dad to throw bibles at your dad.

Yours For Now... July 20, 2020

My dad pulled the same shit. My mom was working a 3rd shift job shortly after giving birth to 2 kids within 2 years (so, taking care of infants/toddlers during the daytime) and definitely had some kind of relationship with someone at work (though she maintains it was just a very close platonic friendship, and I think I believe her?) and my dad lost his shit EVEN THOUGH he was the one who was a satellite dish TV installer and probably had PLENTY of time to cheat on my mom instead (which I told her and she said, “Our counselor told me the same thing...”), which I think is why his accusations started.

God. Parents, all you have to do is like, not actively suck, is that so hard? Really?

One Angry Dwarf Yours For Now... ⋅ July 24, 2020

It's always surprising to me when bad movie cliches, like "the person who accuses everyone of cheating is probably the cheater," turn out to be VERY FREQUENTLY TRUE.

But I've also done this ugh. Not... the cheating thing, but like. I've made the terribly poor decision of snooping on people in the past, and as soon as I do that I become suddenly paranoid that they're looking through my phone/reading my diary/etc. LIKE NO JESS, YOU'RE THE ASSHOLE WHO DOES THAT NOT THEM.

Yours For Now... One Angry Dwarf ⋅ July 25, 2020

Oh my god. The reason I don’t trust other people not to snoop is because I don’t trust me not to. 100%. I don’t even know why I have such an urge to do it. Like. I’m not going to call them out if I find anything. I just WANT to so bad. I like taking evening walks because lights are on in people’s houses and I can see in better. I’m not going to rob them or go inside or do ANYTHING with the information that I see but I WANT TO SEE IT WHY.

Jigger July 20, 2020

Jesus. Your parents, dude. I’m so sorry. You are doing just fine.

synapse July 20, 2020

I had your mom and your stepmom pretty confused before I read this. Your parents are garbage fires and your dad a total hypocrite.

Alice in Chains July 23, 2020

Twenty years, almost, and you sound almost the same. It is interesting to match what you shared with me with this here.

Of course, "my parents threatened suicide and I have been manic ever since" doesn't get the point.

Whims and Woodlands July 24, 2020

Damn, friend. I want to give you so many hugs. I know I've heard a lot of these stories over the years but seeing it all collected is still..... Just, damn.

You've grown into such a lovely person through these trials. Phoenix'ing the shit out of life.

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