Sunday, June 19, 2011

I effing hate father's day

I don't remember ever loving my father. They told me I used to love him when I was a little baby, but I don't remember ever having positive emotions about him. I remember hating him, wishing he would go away, wishing he were gone. I fucking hate Father's Day. I fucking hate Father's day because I have a father who did whatever he could to crush my self esteem and punish me for things I didn't do and brutalize me for the things I did do. I didn't believe any kind word he ever said to me. He has never seen fit to apologize to me about one single beating, about any time he bashed my head into the wall, about any of the times he threw me down the stairs, pulled my hair, slapped my face, shook me repeatedly, bruised my body, blackened my skin with his anger and hatred and misery.
He used to take us down to Baskin Robbins when I was little. It was walking distance from our house. One time, when I was about five, I let him get far ahead of me and I crushed his head between my fingers. When he would go on business trips, I prayed he would just not come home.
I can't help but wonder these things. If he hadn't been there, would I have this much fight in me? Because he was not going to defeat me. He could beat me black and blue, he was never, ever allowed to own me, to have my spirit, to defeat my goodness and to take away my light.
I just wanted him away from me.
The only way I can deal with him for any length of time is to be away from him most of the time.
I will never love him, I have come to terms with that a long time ago. It is not necessary to love your father in order live a happy and healthy life and be spiritually healthy. I did however realize I was a walking wounded girl, so I did seek therapy. I went to see several therapists to work through this issues. In the first session, I would say "I hate my father."
The therapist would say some platitude like "No, you don't. You have abandonment issues. You'll see that you love him, really."
I walked out the door. Choosing a therapist is a very serious commitment, I tried on a few to see who I liked. I thought I would need a woman. I was wrong. I chose a man.
When a therapist finally said "That's okay. At least you're honest. Do you want to love him?"
"No. I want to get over what he did to me and choose better men in my life."
And that is what we did.
My therapist said "If you met him on the street, would you be expected to like him? Would you think less of yourself if you didn't? Sometimes we don't like our parents, and the pressure to love someone who you just don't is a source of guilt we just don't need."
I have given up the dream that the past can be any different than it is. And I don't like my father. I can see that he is an intelligent man, I can agree with him on many issues, political and social and I can see that other people love him. I can see that he has great good in him. He has done great good in this world, and in an odd way, I am proud of that. I am proud of his accomplishments and his drive, ambition and good work ethic. But he gave all the good away at his job and brought none of it home to me. I can even be proud of his accomplishments and happy for him when good things happen to him. But I just don't love him. I can muster some feelings, but they will never be love. Most of the time, these days, because I don't live with him, I can downgrade it from hate to apathy. But he is not the only reason I hate father's day.
I fucking hate father's day because my first three kids got even worse dads than I had. I was not done punishing myself with men, apparently. But I refused to let my kids grow up with that cruelty. I left when my mother would not. I hate father's day because it makes me sad that Cory, Cassie and Derek didn't get the father they deserved, that father's day is an empty ache for them- a place that was never filled, and that it's mostly my fault.
They did, eventually, get the world's most amazing stepfather.
I'm jealous of Marissa and Isabella sometimes. Their father is amazing, and exceptional. Loving and accessible. I keep my hatred of father's day locked down deep so they can enjoy it, because there is more goodness and kindness in that man that I could ever express in words. I force myself to go shopping with them every year to pick out something wonderful for the best dad in the world- but somewhere in me my heart breaks again and again. It breaks for the little girl that never bought a father's day gift for someone she loved. I have never and will never get a father's day card or gift for my own dad. There were a few men, my best friend's father, in particular, who had a lot of patience and love for me when I was a kid- who told me when I was out of line in a way that let me know I had disappointed him and when I felt the shame of that- he knew that was enough. And I used to feel very safe in his house.
I don't know if I will ever get over my hatred of this day, my hatred of the event. I choke it all back but I hate every last bit of it. I'm happy for all of you that had wonderful dads. I really am. The world needs more of them.
About five years ago, I came home one day and saw Marissa and her dad in the dining room. When I went to see what they were doing, my heart just swelled. He was making paper dolls with her. They were drawing them, cutting them out and coloring them. He had made the backgrounds for them, too. I want very much to have that in my heart on father's day. But I got a long way to go. And if I never get there- I can forgive myself that.
So for today, I will allow myself to hate father's day, cause that is honestly the way I feel. It is what it is. I am happy for my husband and for my daughters- but for all of you out there that got a raw deal- go ahead and hate for a while, I got your back, girl.


Julie W said...

I feel you. I love my Daddy, and I was a total Daddy's girl. But he was so mean in so many ways...I could never please him enough, I could never get his attention, and while I know he was proud of me in some ways, it seemed like the minute I started becoming a woman (puberty and onward) I was constantly disappointing him. I wasn't who he wanted me to be (like him), I was a female (he's a dyed in the wool misogynist, even though he would never admit it), and he didn't understand me (I was a wild child artist free spirit kid). He said cruel things, and while he never hit me, or laid a hand on me (that was my mother's job....I feel about my mother the way you do about your father- I don't know how to love her and I don't know that I ever will. The abuse was too severe, too much, and she never, ever protected me from my dad,or anyone else. I wish I knew what it was like to have that Hallmark commercial Mom, all sunshine and cookies and hugs. That sure as shit wasn't her.)
I constantly want and wish for some sort of healing to take place with me and him, but I don't wait for it. This father's day was particularly painful for me for some reason; I think mostly because I've finally realized that even if I did everything he wanted, I still wouldn't be enough.....but that doesn't have anything to do with ME. *Sigh*

I could go on and on....but thanks for having my back. Right back atcha. XOO

jeweltee said...

Hello, I was never physically abused by my parents, I cannot imagine how scary that must be. I feel though much like Julie in that I was Daddys little girl and then nothing. Never good enough. When I was little I remember my mother and step mother being jealous of my fathers affections towards me. My mother despised any looking up I did of my father. I was two when they divorced. My father is a handsome man, Tall quiet, unfaithful, intimidating with a tendency to go off and when I was young was violent when he drank, often of a jealous rage. He no longer drinks but he still has my step mom walking on egg shells at times. I dont hate my Dad, I just no longer want him in my life. Favoritism of my convict brother and his children while never contacting mine, repulses me. Here is my issue, I am attracted to men just like him. They lie, are handsome, keep secrets, treat me great at first, then ignore me. I want to say they are almost narcisstic, but not. My husband now is extremely passive agressive and witholds affection from me to vent his anger as he is unable to talk to me, out of fear of conflict. He too has a tendency for violence, although not with me. I am so alone and thought my eyes where wide open when i went into this. I even journaled and I just dont get why I keep seeking what is not there.
julie p

VanessaMRR said...

Julie- you know I got your back.

Jeweltee- I dated so many guys who manifested parts of my father- it took years of therapy to break that cycle for me but I did it and did it so successfully- I really believe we can overcome these things- I wish you the best- I had to do a lot of inner work to get there but I finally did. I hope you do as well.

Anonymous said...

I understand why you feel attracted to those guys- the ones who have nasty similarities to your fathers. I'm really mad at my dad, too. But I hope to god that I never get stuck with someone like him again. I was once the favorite girl, too. I just happened to realize how twisted he is early on. And yeah, the idea of father's day makes me want to leave him behind for good.

Anonymous said...

My dad was never physically abusive, but more emotionally. He is manic depressive and bipolar, a pathological liar, womanizer, leaching master manipulator... so my and my sisters' childhood was crazy fun when my dad was up, but very very bad when he was down. He cheated on my mom when I was 9, threatened suicide to get out of defrauding a company thousands of dollars, and then disappeared from my life until I was an adult. He's been married a handful of times and has been in and out of homeless shelters since. I thank god he had a vasectomy back when he was married to my mom. He had a massive heart attack in 2005, which prompted lots of peace-making. Since then, he expects our relationship to continue as if I was 12. He's a parasite and I worry that he'll attempt to ask me for money or show up at my doorstep as I grow in my career. I hate Father's day. I always tried to avoid it--only to be guilt tripped later with multiple voicemails from dad.

The only other father figure I had was my step dad, who was a red-headed southern preacher--very strict, melo-dramatic, and stubborn. I never really connected with him.

So I hear you. I'm lucky to have a good husband who has a sweet (but super weiny wimpy) dad. Good fathers are so vastly under appreciated.

Anonymous said...

My father was molested as a child and he went on and molested my sister and me. I have watched him battle depression and alcoholism and try to banish the demons that haunt him from his past. I have been I therapy for years and can say that I've dealt with a lot of my "stuff" but it never goes away. It's hard to reconcile because you can't. I don't think I'll ever feel the way I wish I could. Just forgive and move on. What does that mean? Form me, my father broke me, broke my heart and I have spent a lifetime trying to repair the damage. You'd annot fix that. That is the hardest thing to realize. It was what it was and is now what it is. My dad is loved by many. If you meant him, you would like him. He is hilarious and show immense compassion for people around him. He has apologized and said he would do anything to make it up to me and so now it is all on me, now I'm the monster because I cannot forgive or rather, cannot understand or stop the fear that wells up inside of me when I am around him. I cannot fix this but I can take care of myself today in a way that he never could. It's my life now and I need to claim it and make it my own and be the person I can feel good about. I have come to see that for me, that doesn't mean taking care of him or trying to fix anything.
So to use the words of Pema Chodrin, today, fathers day, I breathe compassion into my heart for me and the millions of other women and men whose hearts were broken by their fathers. Including my father. Hugs for all of you today.