Daddy Dearest

To my Dearest Father,

Where were you? I needed you.

Your absence in my life has caused me more paid than I can even begin to explain. I  know I have said over and over again I didn’t need you, but that was never true. I was trained from birth to be strong, to be independent, to not show weakness. I had to create a brick wall around myself and my feelings. I became so strong I was made of stone. No one came in, nothing mattered. I could cut anyone out at any time and never let anyone know I needed them. Why? Because I don’t know how to need someone, I don’t know how to trust. I needed my father to show me what love from a man looked like, and without that I became hollow inside.

I was abused by my uncle for as long as I can recall. I developed an eating disorder at 9, and lied my way through middle school. I allowed a boyfriend to beat me. I allowed myself to be assaulted by an older male boss in high school. I was groomed by a much older man from when I was 15. I was drugged in college and almost assaulted. I have abused others because I thought that was “love”, and let loved ones abuse me thinking I deserved it. I am broken from what happened to me and having no one to talk to. I never had a male figure in my life I could trust and so I never learned that men were trustworthy. I self sabotaged my marriage and every relationship I had because “all men will leave you in the end”.

I became very good at wearing a mask of independence and strength. I had to learn to turn off my emotions, otherwise I would have crumbled. I had very strong female role models, but none to show me what love and trust really look like. I missed the bond that every girl craves, and by the time a semi-solid male figure showed up I was already well trained to not NEED a man… so I didn’t let him in either. I don’t blame you for what happened to me, nor do I blame my family. It’s MY story, it’s part of who I am… but it’s not who I am anymore. I have been working really hard in the last two years since taking over my Grandmother’s care and I want you to know.

I want you to know that it did hurt me to not have you. It hurt every time I thought you would show up, and didn’t. It hurt me to watch you blame my mom, my aunts, and everyone else but yourself that we didn’t have a relationship. You need to know at the end of the day, that was on you. You could have made it happen, you were my father. You knew where I lived, you knew my grandmother loved you, and you knew my mom worked. You could have come come for me… I wish you did. I wish you were at my wedding, I wish I could have have that moment. I didn’t need you to give me away, but I needed to know a father’s love before entering into a lifelong commitment. It hurt my heart that you didn’t even send a card or a note. You didn’t even acknowledge the biggest moment in my life. I didn’t need you there, but I wanted you there. I never said that to anyone because I thought it would make me look weak, and I was never that on the outside.

But I am on the inside, I’m still that little girl who didn’t get to have her daddy in her life. Father daughter dances make me crumble. I cry and I can’t stop it. Every wedding I go to reminds me that I’m still without that love. I hate that this makes me look weak, and I don’t want people to know but I have to get it out or I won’t heal… and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m growing now. Now that I am free from the chains that tie me to my abuse and my abusive thoughts I am becoming a woman… and I forgive myself and I forgive you. I know you did the best you could with what you had. That you were broken too and just child yourself then. I understand why, and while I wish it wasn’t true, it is.

I never showed you how grateful I was for the times you were there. For the car, for inviting me into your home, and giving me another extended family. I didn’t know how to react to it then, but I am thankful for it now. While neither of us can go back and fix the past, I need you to know that it hurt me. I need you to know what it did to me, and that I’m sorry I hurt you, and that I hope all can be forgiven, even if it will never be forgotten or fixed. I need to me able to move on with my life and I can’t without getting it out.

I don’t know if we’ll ever be close, I don’t know if my sisters will ever be friends of mine. It’s the situation and decisions you made in the beginning, but we both made in the end that brought us here. I hope you can take responsibility for your decisions, as I have for mine. I hope that knowing that frees you a little bit too. I love you dad, even if I’ll never really be able to show you the way you want to see it. And now I know you love me, even though you may never show me the way I want you to. You hurt me, but I can now see beauty in the darkness and pain. It made me who I am today, and while I’m still a work in progress I am proud of what I’ve done so far.

Love,

The Daughter (you left behind)

 

 

The late night call

He gets a text and says, I’ll be back in a bit, I have to make a call. Probably be back in about an hour…

Fine right? Nothing weird here… except Anxiety!

He’s down there talking to someone he doesn’t want me to know about, why can’t he tell me who it is? Why don’t you just ask? Because if he wanted me to know he would have told me who it was. Why doesn’t he want to tell me? Is it because it’s her? Because I’m fine with that, he knows that then why not tell me? Why go down stairs?

DAMN IT! I lose and while I am going to tough it out, and get through it my anxiety has written a beautiful short story about it.

It’s her, you’re telling her that you have to stop talking like this. Sneaking around is no good for either of you. That you guys are both married, and that you should love the one you’re with if you can’t be with the one you love. You talk of how it could be, how you guys love each other, and long for a different world. You talk dirty to each other and exchange pictures before clearing your histories and hopping into bed with your spouses.

The Anxiety Gremlin

All day pacing the halls of records, touching each instance of good with her uncertainty

Which memory shall I ruin today, she bellows down the caverns of my mind

Running her long razorlike nails against the title on each cover she stops for a moment

“Do I dare?” She questions under her breath as she pulls out the album out

No dust here, I come often to look at this but typically its in bad times

I draw on my experiences this day as they are true to my heart

They ground me, keep me sane

“Please don’t” the wind whispers and she opens the page…

 

#MeToo

It’s dark, it smells like weed, and I don’t want to be there.

I’m in the basement with not just your door locked, but also the door to your bedroom

You’re watching what I think are cartoons and tell me to pay attention

I look back and your hand is in your pants and you’re mad

“Turn around!”

I turn around and don’t remember anything else.

***

It’s too hot to sleep up stairs in the bedrooms, only grandma has AC in her room

We sleep in the dining room on the floor, there is an AC there too

I recall the smell and taste of your cigarette stained tongue in my mouth

I dry heave, and then vomit

You tell your mom that I’m sick

I wake up on the floor in grandma’s room

I don’t recall how I got there

***

You lay your full grown up body on top on me and kiss me

I cry to be let go, I scream, I’m crushed and clawing to be free

I yell that your breath stinks, you blow in my face and lick me

I’m told “that’s family you have to be nice to family”

I lay there and take it… this happens weekly

***

I overhear a doctor tell my mom I need another urine specimen

I should not have results like this one, that would have to be in pain

They ask if I’m sexually active, I’m 8, I’m not

Jokes on them, I’d been complaining of pain and they have been ignoring it

I get an antibiotic, a lesson wiping correctly, making sure I wash my hands before and after the bathroom

I have my first UTI, I get them a lot until I get my first period

I don’t get my next one until I do become sexually active

***

Mood swings, suicide, eating disorders, drug use, anti-social behavior, self harm

Teenagers can be unpredictable, but I am violent and angry

Doctors say there must be some trauma, parents say no

They tell them I’m “just dramatic” and looking for attention

I’m told I have an overactive imagination, and I’m reminded that I’m lucky

***

 

Sex is complicated, fun, and guilt ridden

Emotional consistency is shit

I rock and sway, I sometimes recall terrible feelings with smells

… but no visual

I avoid my family as much as I can, but say “I’m all about my family”

I am a walking contradiction

The part of me that is strong and moved on

and the part of me that is still hiding in the shadows

I will never stop trying to remember all that happened to me

But I am okay knowing just this:

Whatever happened, it wasn’t right, I didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t my fault.

Phases of Becoming

So I recently read a little something out there that spoke to me, and I needed to share it with the world. It’s been the framework with which I am measuring my personal growth. It’s been accurate to a T as to what I’ve felt and how I’ve been moving through the phases. As I write this now I am in Phase 4: Lilith, and am anticipating a grand move to Phase 5: Witch. Since I’m writing a few things that reference this, I figured why not link to the original here and explain a little below?

Stage One: The beginning

Phase One: She

When you do what you’ve always done because you never bothered to question why. You live in your self created prison until you realise that you don’t have to. This is the moment you know that there is only before this moment and after this moment.

Phase Two: Becoming

Chrysalis… Simply me right now… stuck in the middle.

Stage Two: The burn down

Phase Three: Eve

Surrender to the process and the “fact finding” phase. I love research and I’m hungry for all the knowledge I can find.

Phase Four: Lilith

Dancing in the fire, yup… dancing around in the turmoil now. I still don’t KNOW things… but I am getting there. Discovery has been a “trial by fire” time and I embrace it fully.

Phase Five: Witch

There is a KNOWing that comes with this stage, and acting on that knowledge that I just can’t muster the strength for yet. But soon…

Stage Three: The birth

When you emerge with your knowledge as your true self.

Phase Six: Goddess

Time to show the world who you have become.

Phase Seven: Me

Enjoying your true self and teaching others.

As I begin my new set of positive affirmations, I hope to push what I have learned so far into forms of knowing. Being able to believe and know in my heart what I have found is true, and then being able to use that knowledge to affect the world around me is huge. I have never had control of my own life before, it has always been varying degrees of beholdenness to the ideas others pressed upon me… I can’t wait to be not just free but confident as well.

To me! Eventually…

Missing you…

One of the terrible things that happens when you start to shed layer upon layer of a person you don’t want to be, for the person you truly are underneath, is you lose people. I have lost a very best friend, a mother, a sister, a step-father, and countless acquaintances… all after the loss of my grandmother to her passing.

So when you find yourself alone, and in flux, with little to hold onto and few to reach out to, you look with in for the first time. You search your soul for the missing answers, you find your own unadulterated opinions. You find out your true feelings without the input of others and their expectations.

Now that would be great if we were solitary creatures, but we are not. We are pack animals, we crave connection and many of mine are now gone. I come to this point and realize that I miss these people. I miss having them in my sphere to talk to, to bounce ideas off… but more and more I realize I don’t miss them specifically, I miss the connections.

Mostly… there is one person whom I do miss with all my heart. However, I cannot even begin to mend that relationship right now. She is so far gone down a path I cannot follow her on any more. She is someone I don’t know now, and I am as well. I hope she will one day see that I just wanted the best for her, and that I was too hurt by it all to go on with her.

It’s terrible to say I don’t miss my family at all… I hesitate to even write that but it’s true. I’ve been more like their parent than a member of the family so at this point it’s like a vacation for me… which I imagine is an even worse sentiment. However, I have made it a point to be transparent here, warts and all so there it is.

I keep my eyes peeled for like minded souls, I keep those that are still involved close to to my heart, and I keep an open mind at all times. People, like circumstances, are ever evolving. Change is constant, and one day these people might start down the path that leads to you, and you want to be there to light the way.

I miss you, I see you, and I’ll keep the lights on.

 

 

From Savior to Villain

Have you ever hear the saying “You either die the Hero or you live long enough to become the Villain.”? Well I could write the book on that if we’re being honest.

I have been there for my family in ways one should not, I have covered up some of the most devious of actions for family members, ignored trespasses, and lived in my own personal hell for most of my life. Why? Because I was the Angel, the Saviour. I always was able to swoop in and save the day for everyone. It wasn’t just with the big stuff though, it was with everything. No matter how small or how large “Chrys” was there to save the day.

I know, in the story the hero sacrifices themself for the greater good and is exalted for it. Happy just to be able to help. But this is not that story and I have said many times this does not and will not have a fairy tale ending. In reality I am human, and I am a human who has gone through quite a bit of trauma. Someone who was in fact abused by family members, someone who has been used and thrown off to the side, and someone who ALWAYS made sure they did what they could to be there. Bent over backwards to step up and care for the family…

I know, Heros are not out for a thank you. They are selfless… and I tried to be. But again, I am not a super hero, I am a broken human being and from time to time I need some help too. Or just a little consideration? Or maybe just to not make my journey more difficult?

I know… it’s been a long time coming but it finally came. I ran out of steam. The hero buckled under the pressure of 25+ years of carrying the load on her shoulders. When she sacrificed LITERALLY everything, my marriage, my job, my savings, my home, my future happiness, all to “save the day”… she didn’t even have the family there by her side. She was alone. She set fire to the ruins and walked through it. She danced and let the fire baptize her. She learned to say No.

No… simple right? But when you’re used to hearing “don’t worry I will find a way”, No doesn’t make sense. It’s Cruel… or at least what I was told. That drawing the line in the sand and expecting grown ups to now act like grownups is Evil. How dare I let them down? How dare I ignore them? How dare I not help? How can I leave them in their time of need?

I’m evil, I’m now the Villain. Simply by putting up boundaries to try and fix my own life I have ruined thiers. I am the Evil Queen in the story of my family now… and if that is what they see then that must be what I am to them right now. But just remember that there are two sides to every story. One day I will get to write my own “Wicked” or “Maleficent” for all to see. So the world will know I wasn’t always this bad guy… and that I am capable of heroic acts.

I was the hero in your story, now it’s time for me to be the Hero in My Story…