Back from our holiday with an exciting future to plan, things were at an all-time high, finally.
As we flew to and from Gatwick we camped in Tunbridge Wells to collect Luna from my Mums and to be fed by Andrews parents, ready for the Journey back to Essex, organised as ever. It was a weekend well spent before having to get back to reality and into a routine again. It was quite surprising that over the weekend my Dad was curious to know whether I was going to be back in time for Monday morning, he sounded a little frazzled. I imagined he was eager to have me back in the office or perhaps he had done something for our engagement whilst we were away.
It would appear that I definitely was needed in the office, due to the stack on paperwork pushed onto my desk but that was a prediction that I had made before I had even left for the 10 days. As for the potential engagement gesture, nothing in sight but that was ok. What wasn’t ok was that as soon as I walked into the office I got a half-arsed hug from my Dad and a better response from his business partner. It would seem my Dad was keen to clock off and get back to his family for an early dinner than to hear what an exciting holiday we had. After all, I was his first daughter to get engaged, isn’t that something to celebrate?
The hope of coming back to a new start and seeing things in a new light got taken away from me, it wasn’t to be. I’m not someone to have the whole world circulate around me but I had been away and got engaged, isn’t that reason enough to strike up a conversation? I had always encouraged and liked to think that in our office we not only ask how people are day to day out of courtesy but being that we were such a small team, if someone were to take time off whether they were unwell or had a holiday, you ask about it. I know I was the only woman but I won’t tolerate that excuse because manners cost nothing. It would also appear that the attitude my Dad adopted didn’t help matters either and meant that everyone followed suit. It was a common occurrence where I felt I had no choice but to accept.
That evening I was distraught, clearly, I wasn’t ok with him overlooking the engagement. I never expect anything from anyone but on this occasion, which is considered a milestone, I did feel taken back. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but was it too much to ask for maybe a small bunch of flowers on my desk or a card to acknowledge the fact I got engaged? Especially when I’ve been the person that’s shoveled the shit and worked overtime to not only keep things on track but would bend over backwards for others, keeping them happy too. I didn’t think so! It would have been something I would have done for my daughter if I was in that position. It didn’t help and was also disappointing to discover that nobody knew or were told, only the ones that were aware I had an Instagram account, as our holiday was well documented.
When my Dad finally chose to converse, it was conveniently work related. He listed out all the things that had gone wrong over the past 10 days and implied it was my fault and that I had to take action, urgently. A great way to start a new week belittled and disrespected. The following morning wasn’t much better either, but after a tearful evening with Andrew, I was determined to see this new day as positive. But no, this was where the pieces completely fell apart and salvaging what my Dad and I had was barely on the cards.
That morning I was clearly drowning in the work that had been neglected over the 10 days and with that and amongst all the problems that were listed to me, I needed all the help I could get. I pushed myself to stay in the most positive and work driven mindset that with some help, in my opinion, we could’ve ended the day on a high and potentially back on track. My Dad, however, didn’t share the same enthusiasm and thought that the day was better spent on the golf course. Fantastic, thank you for once again reminding me of how little I’m valued. That, as well as everything that had transpired the previous day, was what drove me to throw in the towel, I was done with feeling like a fool and being walked on regardless of whether I defended my corner or not. I realised that this ride I was on, was no longer salvageable.
I chose to make up an excuse about my lack of medication and needed to resolve this issue with my specialist back in Tunbridge Wells, for it to actually be an opportunity to attend an interview for a job that was going through an acquaintance. This job had been on the cards for a while now but I was so determined to make what we had in Essex work, that I never pursued it. Now, not only did I want to walk away from the carrot that was constantly dangled, I wanted something even more important and that was a home. After coming back from our special holiday, our place in Essex was feeling more like a prison than a place of comfort which made Andrew and I butt heads. I felt that the things I valued the most became irrelevant and lacked importance but that was due to the people I was surrounding myself with and being influenced by and that wasn’t healthy nor ok.
It took me a year of feeling manipulated and torn in two for a job that had no prospects to realise it wasn’t worth it anymore and to walk away. It saddens me as I look back, reliving how desperate I was to make the combination of work and family happen. I suppose I have always been one to kill two birds with one stone but I think it’s clear here, my optimism on this one was too high and instead, although my intentions meant well, it did more harm than good. I don’t think that makes me come across as a weak person for withstanding mistreatment and lack of respect but perhaps seen as a daughter trying too hard to work on a relationship with her Dad, that had already reached its peak. I think it meant more to me, being a part of a business my Dad had created over 20 years than it did to him. I would’ve hoped he could’ve seen it as a prime opportunity to harness what was so clearly on a plate with so much potential and benefits for both parties. Evidently not.
What brings me some comfort was that in the weeks following his diagnosis, he swallowed his pride and confessed how appreciative he was of everything I put into the company and how much he valued my time there. He missed not working with me and apologised for driving me away as all he wanted to do was put things right, especially once realising who was actually there for him when he needed it most, another detailed post for another time. I’m inconsolable that we were robbed of that opportunity and never got the chance to give it a second go, the right way.
After a couple of calls and confirmation on the job offer, operation ‘move back down to Tunbridge Wells’ was in place. There was no going back and I was hungry for a new start and a happier life. Now to confront my Dad on my decision and how to explain that my time here had reached its end. Not forgetting the fact we had to structure a plan for a swift move back down to Kent and a simple transition into a new job, all within the short window of 4 weeks. Of course we thought it was doable knowing that we’d be happier for it, however, a few hurdles were still in the way and it was only a matter of time before they came and hit me in the face, harder than ever before.