Well, I leave Italy tomorrow morning. And I really can’t wait. Don’t get me wrong… I am very appreciative and grateful that I got to take this once in a lifetime trip. BUT… I need to be home now and out of the stressful situations.

This trip was way more physically stressful than I would care to admit. Walking 10 miles a day most days when you are only used to walking maybe 5 or 6 blocks a day normally is kind of hard. 🙄 (fatass!) Plus, my health hasn’t been 100% during this time so I have had to make adjustments for whatever weird ailment pops up for the day: severe swelling/bloating, feeling like bleech!, headaches, insomnia, invisible hangnails, and a slew of actually unmentionable issues. 😯 I know… there are ACTUALLY some things I WON’T mention! GASP!

I am a little worried as I hear there are some shake downs going on at work so I wonder if they are trying to downsize us. I would be screwed if that happened, so i need to get back and start working my butt off to insure job security. One of the down sides to working from home is that you are much more easily expendable than normal branch employees, so you have to work twice as hard to make yourself valuable enough to keep. And in the big corporate world, even valued employees are let go for no explicable reason… so it’s a high stress situation.

I do miss Andy way too much and I miss my quiet little life. You just don’t realize how much you love what you have until it’s not readily available to you. This was the first time since Tim left that I felt like there was too much. Too much noise, too much activity, too much stress, too much tension, too much everything. So I can’t wait to go home and just be still.

Eventually, I will have to deal with these Daddy Issues, though. That kind of sucks, especially since I don’t think these will ever be resolved. Whenever you deal with someone who does not want to listen to what you are telling them, it usually just ends in distance and silence. Sometimes, forever. I wish I could just walk away and not speak of it again but I know there will be at least one situation upcoming where I will need to voice a concern and it will NOT be taken well AT ALL… but it’s gotta be said…

My father has a certain perception of who I am. It’s his perception and I’m not going to say it’s wrong. However, my perception is different. Here is what I *think* his perception of me is:

1. That I disrespect and degrade him by pointing out faults or correcting him in front of others.

2. That my silence in everyday life when we are together is somehow an abusive tactic on my part.

3. That I do not appreciate his love and support.

4. That I do not like his idea of “family”.

5. That his relationships are none of my business, and vice versa.

6. That I am still his little girl.

7. That I am too judgmental of him.

8. That I do not filter myself.

*MY* Perception:

1. If he wouldn’t make statements as facts like he is absolutely correct when he is wrong all the time, I wouldn’t have to do this. Plus, he is like 60. He should act like it. He should have a much thicker skin than this. His feelings get hurt over every little thing. 🙄 Most of you know me well enough to know that I am completely brutally honest and you should have a little bit of balls to hang out with me. This man has known me 41 years! He should grow some armor if he is that easily offended. Really. I’m not trying to disrespect or degrade him, but don’t act like you are right or make indignant statements when you are wrong! I will call you out on it!

2. As I said, he has known me 41 years and yet it’s like he doesn’t know me at all. When my mom was dying, I went to stay at their home for a week… most of the time, my mom wanted to just watch TV and she wasn’t really talking much by that time. That was fine with me, but I could feel some weird tension between me and my dad. Now, several years later, I get it… He thinks my silence is some kind of resentment thing or some kind of unspoken abuse tactic against him, I think. The fact of the matter is, he doesn’t know me at all… because I AM A QUIET PERSON NORMALLY!!! I can be loud and brash and crass but most of the time, I’m not. Period.

3. I always appreciate his love and support. I have almost no family left and I don’t really have any family I can count on. I cherish the family I do have and I am grateful for the good things they provide my heart and soul. That feeling is a major part of me. But I don’t think I should have to physically show it with an overabundance of affection or by keeping my mouth shut when you make an ass of yourself. Maybe he doesn’t appreciate my love and support… 🙄 Oh, and when you love someone, you try kind of hard not to do shameful or embarrassing things to or in front of them.

4. I have no idea what his idea of “family” is at all. He has never said definitively what it is. What I do know is that it does differ from my view. And that is sad. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I was involved with a good strong (even if dysfunctional at times) family for 20+ years. That’s the family structure I like and crave. And that is NOT my dad’s version. I have never forced him to comply with my ideal. I have never complained that his vision is different than mine really. It is what it is… a little sad 😦 but at the end of the day I’m okay with that. Why can’t he be?

5. Yeah… so our unwritten rule is that we (me, my dad, and my brother) cannot have an opinion on each other’s love lives. Period. I don’t like it but I’ve played along. So that got my brother into a marriage he never should have entered ever! And now my father is in some kind of weird relationship that I am not supposed to call him out on. FUCK THAT! I am throwing that rule right the hell out the window. Look, to me (and I guess this goes along with MY idea of family), your family should ALWAYS have your back. They should be the ONLY ones who can give you their unfiltered opinion, good or bad. You can choose to take or leave that opinion. Family should be allowed that special freedom because most of the time those opinions are very truthful from an outside eye and most of the time your family has no hidden agenda for telling you their opinion. Like I said, you don’t have to take the opinion to heart, just know that it’s out there and that your family member loved you enough to be honest with you.

6. I haven’t been his little girl since I was 10, but he is just too clueless to realize that.

7. First of all, the most judgmental people I have ever known in my life are my dad and my brother… so maybe the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? You guys can tell me differently but I am pretty sure I am not necessarily judgmental but I am opinionated. For example, let’s say I had a sister (i don’t) and that said sister went to college for 3 years and still had no major in mind. Then, she meets this dude at a bar and he plays in a band and works at the video store in her neighborhood. She calls me up and says she wants to elope to Vegas with the dude and could I come and be her maid of honor. She KNOWS me because she is FAMILY so she kind of anticipates my reaction anyway… So then OBVIOUSLY I’m like “what the hell are you doing with your life? how will you guys live and support yourselves? Musicians don’t make any money working at Blockbuster! This does not seem like a good move for your future! WTF is wrong with you? How long have you even known this guy? Do you know his family? His background? WTF?” And then she would tell me that it’s none of my fucking business and am I coming to Vegas or not? 😆 And, of course, I would. I said my peace and that would be it. I wouldn’t want my sister to make a screwed up decision without me telling her so first because now I know she was warned… if she decides differently, so be it. Prove me wrong. I love that!

I actually take some pride in being open minded and not judgmental. I am a good person to try to argue your point to because I can change my opinions if someone can make an intelligent argument to the contrary of my own opinion. I do not think I would have such a wide and very eclectic group of friends if I was very judgmental. Hell, if you told me 10 years ago that one of my very best friends would be a drag queen from Florida I would have laughed you off the planet! I was way too conservative for THAT! 😆

8. Of course I don’t filter myself… DUH! And if you know me and you love me… like truly love me 😀 … you know that and accept that about me because I have been that way FOREVER! In fact, I don’t even want you as my friend if I have to filter myself. My true friends love me as I am and they call me out when I am wrong and I value them enough to consider their point when that happens. It has happened time and time again in the last few years and I think I have very gracefully and humbly admitted when I was wrong. I do the same to my friends. The ones who couldn’t handle it are no longer my friends, and I prefer it that way. Filtering myself is NOT ME! And I don’t intend to be someone else for ANYONE and I shouldn’t have to for family especially. I do know how to be polite and will not state my opinions in certain situational environments but I refuse to actually filter myself. Sorry, dad!

So yeah… I still have some daddy issues to work out. Like I said, he has a certain perception. He’s entitled to it. But I also have a perception of it. And I’m entitled to mine. At the end of the day, we will part ways. We will never again travel together and there are tough times that will be coming up for us, but… I’m still his daughter and he’s still my father. That is my opinion/perception/truth. He can choose to see it however he wishes…

I’ll be stateside in 36 hours or so and cannot WAIT to sleep in my bed!!! Thanks for putting up with all my ragginess for this trip guys! Love you all!

(PS: Special thanks to Nate for saving my life one night during this trip. And for reposting pictures for me at EP when I was losing my mind. I love you!)

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