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As I write this I am holding back tears. Some of you may remember that I went on vacation recently. This vacation was terrible. Do you know what it is like to have an aging parent that also suffers from anger issues? Someone that can be very controlling and manipulative? Abusive?

The drive there...

The entire drive was constantly, get in that lane... Turn here, turn there, hurry up and get in the other lane... WHILE listening to the GPS tell me what to do as well. He would demand I change lanes,even though there was a car right next to us that I would crash into if I listened to him. I was going too slow, too fast, not using the cruise control... 

In Virginia, I got pulled over for speeding, 81 in a 70. The officer said I was doing 84, I didn't argue, and that my license was expired. So obviously I could not legally drive and my father took over. Swerving in and out of traffic and my daughter began to get car sick. So I asked him to stay in one lane and get a hotel room at 4:30 so she could have dinner and keep the meal down. He got very angry and drove until 6PM before stopping for dinner and then drove until 10:30PM before stopping for a room. It took two overnights to get there, and each stop we were only allowed less than 5 hours of sleep. Of which we only got maybe 2 to 4 hours of sleep. 

Day One

Upon arrival at our destination at 8AM, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, we did not have a room. Our room would not be ready until 4PM. I was so tired and then my father told I was to set up that day and work the "hospitality room" for our entire stay... I cannot keep a 5 year old child happy locked up in a room full of old marines telling war stories and getting drunk, especially with a pool and beach just feet outside our hotel. Since when did I sign up for this?

My father also confiscated my personal car and work keys, because he didn't want me leaving in his van while we were there, which I had the fob too. When I mentioned that I did not like being treated like this, and he accused me of abusing him. Then he left to get lunch and groceries for the hotel room for the week. He came back with only a burger for himself. My daughter was upset because she was very hungry, and I asked where the groceries were. He said he was not buying us any food because we didn't deserve to eat. 

I told him I didn't sign up for this and was not happy about being taken so far from home, being trapped and treated this way, that he was in fact, abusing us. Then he lost it and began swearing and throwing things. When my 5 year old said "Grandpa don't talk to mommy like that" he threatened to punch her in the f***ing mouth and knock her f***ing teeth down her f***ing throat. 

Now, I can be rather calm and diplomatic most of the time. But, when you mess with my babies, you messed with momma bear and I will chew you up and spit you out. So, I raised my voice and told him, of course, that if he laid a hand on her I would make sure he went to jail. So, he threw us out of the room, trying to keep all of our luggage with him. There was no way I was leaving without my cell phone, personal keys, iPads and clothing... MY MEDICATIONS!

I gathered all of our things as quickly as I could and tried not to escalate thing any further. We went to the registration area and began calling for help to get home. I was kindly helped by my dear friend Dan with a room for the night, and Lili at registration offered my daughter a bag of snacks, a drink and gave us some food to eat for dinner. That bought us some time to figure out what to do next, calm down, and get the sleep we we needed so badly. I called my cousin Judy in North Carolina and asked her to come get us. She said she could after work the next day.

The Next Morning

We checked out of our hotel room, and waited for my cousin Judy to get off work at 2PM to pick us up. While waiting, several marines from the group went past us checking in to their room. Lili from registration came out and told us to go over to the diner on the pier, she had hooked us up with lunch. So sweet! When we came back to thank her, she mentioned that one of the marines had asked about us and she explained the situation. That marine talked to my father who told him we could come back tot the room if WE apologized. So that marine told Lili and Lili told us. 

We went to the hospitality room to say we were sorry. And he gave us our room key. I called my cousin and told her she did not have to come today. But to please know that I may still need her. Family, meanwhile, was coordinating how to get me home if needed. From South Carolina to North Carolina to Tennessee to Illinois. They had it worked out for us! Gotta love the wonderful people that care about your well being. A few friends reached out and offered their kindness which I really appreciate. 

We got back into the room and spent then next several days at the beach and at the pool. Eventually, we integrated into the group of marines and made a few friends. Cindy was a sweet heart and we talked for hours about everything. Our abusive upbringing, our families, our futures. She gave me some really needed advice that I should not do anything that will screw myself over medically with insurance coverage, or any other way. Martin, who was the only person around close to my age, drank with me and we talked about anything but serious matters, war stories, or personal matters. We just hung out and talked and drank. For a moment, I forgot how crappy my vacation started. 

Mini Update

Then, the man I wrote about in FALLING IN LOVE WITH COPD was right there on the phone with me, or a text away. He offered to come get me too, when everything was going wrong. We planned to go back there one day together and make it a great vacation. He talked to my daughter on the phone and called her my name for her "pumpkin pie", which I thought was so sweet that he remembered. We have been talking a lot and making future plans. Plans that I hope he comes through on. Nothing I want more than to be with him, and my little, as a family. He would be such a great father to her. We are supposed to go see him in a few weeks for a week, then he come back here for a week. I can't wait! 

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