Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Happy Birthday dad - how the past can affect us.

Good evening all,

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday and I often find myself feeling low and reflective at this time.  I'd love to say that this year, I was treating him to dinner or buying him the most amazing present but I don't know what he likes to eat and would have no idea for a present.  I haven't spent time with him since I was about 13 - I'm now 32.  Well, I did meet him a few years ago...

It was the holidays and when I'm not at school, I think too much and thinking always leads me to my dad.  I arranged to meet him, to talk to him, to get my childhood off of my chest.  I had to contact him because since my parent's divorced, he has made no effort to see me. 

We met at a local pub and I offloaded.  I told him that I was terrified of him growing up and that I used to hide in my room when he returned from work.  I recalled how he used to belittle me for studying and told me I should find something better to do.  I told him how afraid I felt when he used to pin my head down against a wall to assert his dominance and reminded him of the time he spat in my face and demanded that I stayed in my room until he returned.  He was gone for hours and when he got back, he shouted at me for doing as he had demanded.  In his head, my actions had made him look bad in front of my aunty, who had been visiting at the time and who had tried to coax me out.  I used the word reminded earlier because he had forgotten these memories.  These memories that have haunted me my whole life and have affected me in ways I still probably now don't realise; he had forgotten. 

My dad was a bully.  He bullied my mum and his children because he had to feel in control.  He would shout, stomp around the house and make me feel stressed and nervous.  I was an extremely quiet, anxious child because I was too afraid to say anything in case he would get angry.  My dad's temper stifled me and I never really expressed myself until he was gone.  After he left, he tried to hurt my mum in any way possible, blaming her for the breakup.  She should have left a long time earlier but she was controlled and afraid more than any of us.  I remember at the age of 14 desperately trying to push my dad away from our house as he attempted to grab my mum.  He used to just laugh at me. 

I finally decided last year, after the odd card from him for my birthday, that I didn't want a relationship with my dad.  He had abandoned me as a child when I needed him (I have needed him on many occasions) and now a relationship with him seems pointless or even damaging.  I don't like him or respect him as a person.  I should make it clear that my dad was abused by his father so there are reasons for his behaviour but this does not justify it - not in my eyes anyway.  The only saving grace was that during our encounter, he did apologize and showed some remorse, although he made no effort with me after.

I don't have a dad and never really have but I wish I did.  I'm a sensitive and emotional person and having that support and love would have been life changing.  Knowing my dad still lives but that we don't have a relationship often makes me sad.  I am however extremely lucky to have an amazing mum who has always been there and has shown me more love than I could ever imagine. 

Happy birthday dad - I wish things could have been different.

Won't be beaten

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  1. Wow, so brave of you to share this. Am sorry you missed out on having a dad. my dad died when I was 20 but at least we had 20 good years with him. Was really difficult to deal with at the time as my teenage years had been turbulant to say the least! Even now as a family we don't talk much about him - stiff upper lip and all that! x

  2. We have both felt a different type of hurt. It must be hard to lose a parent young. Thank you for reading and commenting x

  3. Hello me on the other hand well I know it all so well to know what it feels like to be abused in some sort of way but actually not loved by your father. U C my father didn't even love me at Birth.I disgraced him and his family,I guess.You see if my dad is Caucasian and my mom is Jamaican and Panamanian which two Society they label her as black or African American. And my father's family, well they didn't like that very much because you see me being born meant a blemish in their purity. I can remember being really young around 5 and I remember my mom driving me hours to their beautiful home,where my father lived with his mom, to visit and I will never spend any time with my dad matter fact anytime my mom ever drop me off to visit my uncle at the time which I think he was like 14 or 15 would always take me and go play with his friends down the street and my dad would be making up some sort of excuse why he couldn't be visiting with me because he was fixing on a car. So all these years all I would ever do was to try and do things to make my father proud. But the one thing that I couldn't do that I guess he wanted more than anything was be the same color as him.

    1. I’ve only just read this. Very sad to hear. The thing I ever did was talk to my dad as an adult and tell him all the hurt he caused me. I was lucky that he let me even do that. I felt liberated and realised that now it was my choice not to have him in my life. I took control of the situation