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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