The Little Girl Inside Me Wants to Cry and Hold Daddy’s Hand
Yesterday, I had a bad day; which was nothing out of the ordinary for this week because my husband switched his hours from nights to days. Usually when that happens we are all tired, cranky, and just end up having a bad week until we get use to the new hours, especially since we have a baby and he’s a little harder to get switched around. But that is just the basis for this story because what this story is really about is my parents.
If you have read my blog before, you probably know that my parents got divorced when I was younger. Actually I was 12 when their divorce was official. And you will have also probably picked up on my “daddy issues” as well. My whole life, until last night, I have felt like just a disappointment to my parents. Not to mention, I have felt since I was around 7, that my dad didn’t want me or didn’t love me. And that feeling just kept getting worse and worse as I got older because my dad pulled further and further away from the family. I never truly understood why. I mean, come on, I was just a kid. I wasn’t even in high school yet!
However, I did understand one thing as I got older; like how dad had to work a lot so we could have money and the things we wanted. Still there were things that I was told that I just didn’t understand. When I was 7 my mother told me that my dad always wanted a son, and not me because I was a girl. So that was why he didn’t spend much time with me. It was because he didn’t like me, and he didn’t want me. And that must mean he didn’t love me. To a little kid, that is very confusing. But that’s how I grew up, thinking that my dad didn’t really care about me, and that he didn’t want me.
Everything added up. My dad didn’t spend much time at home. And when he was, he was working, or spent time in his garage working on his motorcycle. I felt it was because he didn’t want to be around me. And that is where I started feeling like a disappointment. I wasn’t a boy like my dad wanted, and therefore, I was a disappointment to him.
But it didn’t stop there, as my parents relationship went completely downhill, I felt like 1) this was partially my fault, and 2) that another reason my dad didn’t want to be around me was because everybody kept telling me that I looked like my mom. This made me feel even worse because not only was I not a boy like he wanted but now to top it all off, I look like the woman he fights with all the time. GREAT! That is all I needed. This all being the basis for all my “daddy issues” and feeling like I wasn’t wanted, and a disappointment.
When my dad moved out, my little sister and I saw him on our scheduled days, but as I got older, I quit going as often. And then I quit going to see him all together. It wasn’t until my Senior year of high school that I couldn’t stand being around my mom anymore because I felt like a disappointment to her as well because I got pregnant in high school, and so my dad let me move in with him. He was never really home though. He spent a lot of time at his girlfriend’s house and only came home super early in the mornings to work, and then stop by in the afternoons to drop equipment off, check my work (since I was working for him answering his phone and taking messages etc.). But as soon as he was done with that, had a quick shower, and grabbed clean clothes he would hurry off back to his girlfriend’s, a lot of times saying things like “were going to dinner”, “she’s waiting on me”, and so on.
That was short lived as well though because even while I was there, I spent a lot of time with my boyfriend, who I later moved in with. So I then moved out of my dad’s and back to my mom’s pretty much keeping to myself except for my boyfriend. And that was the way it was until, my boyfriend became my husband, and we lived with his parents awhile, and then moved back in with my mother. Then everything started coming back up and reminding me of my childhood.
I was going to a “Domestic Violence” class, which was really helping me learn to deal with things in my life, like my overbearing mother, and things I experienced growing up, that I now as an adult, have a better understanding of. I have seriously been in and out of so many therapists offices, and heard so many things that have not really helped me. Then I go to this class, and was able to see things from a different light. Now I understand how to deal with my emotions better. And I have so many emotions held inside from when I was a kid, and I felt so bad about everything. It’s no wonder why I was so depressed all the time. Nobody should have to live like I did. Feeling like I was a disappointment, chasing after every “wrong guy” because I just wanted a man to love me like I wanted my dad to love me, and then being criticized by my own mother for it and many other things, instead of being loved and welcomed with open arms when I needed my family the most.
This was the majority of my childhood, and I kept it to myself for a long time because I wasn’t sure how to talk to my dad about any of this. And every time I talked to my mom she would just remind me of what hurt me so bad in the first place. Well after dealing with this for years, taking that D.V. class, and learning how to deal with my emotions; I finally found my voice. I started being more vocal about my feelings to people and actually standing up for myself. That was like a couple months ago.
Recently, I started thinking about all this stuff with my dad again. I’ve talked about it so many times in therapy before, and it was even brought up like two months ago in a therapy session with my husband. We were talking about my parents, and my husband’s and my relationship, when my therapist mentioned that maybe the reason my dad wasn’t around a lot was because he didn’t want to be around my mom. So I started to ponder that for awhile. My husband had told me many times before the same thing almost. He would tell me things like “your dad loves you and little sister, with all his heart. It’s your mother he can’t stand.”
I began to think that maybe they were right. I started looking back on things and putting things together. I was already really surprised that my dad actually was happy for me and my husband when we got married. Also that he actually wanted to give me away at the wedding. My dad was starting to show an interest in my life, and I didn’t understand it. I tried making excuses for it, like he is only showing an interest because he likes my husband. They’ve hung out before, drank some beer and stuff, shot pool, you know, guy bonding stuff. So I thought that was why, but then I got sick. My dad actually called to see how I was doing. Now that I just couldn’t explain. I never remember him doing that when I was younger. I never remember him doing that period. We even talked the other day, like just talked. He never use to do that. And he always tells me he loves me when we talk on the phone. I just kept thinking, “since when does he care like that?”
That started to bring up all these feelings and emotions. I decided to just try and accept it that he has changed and he realized that he wants to be a part of my life. However, those words my mother told me so long ago just wouldn’t go away and I realized that I could never be truly happy or accept his kindness, until I found out why for like my whole life did he act like he didn’t want me. And because of that I felt what gave him the right to care now?
My dad has made a lot of mistakes in my life, and maybe he wasn’t always the best dad, but as I discovered last night, he tried. I finally got up the courage to talk to my dad about what has been bothering me for years. I started out by texting him about why Mom is so bitter and angry all the time, and if she was always like that, because I had already left the house because she made me so angry. Then I asked him about what Mom had told me and what my therapist said and if my therapist was correct and if Mom was wrong. I also told him how I felt like I’ve just been a big disappointment to him and Mom. I told him how Mom isn’t happy that I got married to my husband, and how she has never really supported us, and how it’s killing me inside, because all I’ve ever wanted is for my parents to be proud of me. He told me he was proud of me, and that I was a good mom. Him saying that to me and telling me that he never said that he wanted a boy and not me, it really made me believe him. I actually believe that he really loves me.
For years, I’ve dealt with feeling like I was unwanted. For years, I’ve dealt with my “daddy issues” by going out with guys that didn’t really care about me and just wanted sex. And with a lot of those guys I had meaningless sex, desperately trying to make up for everything I was missing. Trying to fill this big huge hole in my heart, that I have now started to realize was ripped out by my mother! All these years, and she has seen me deal with depression, and pain, and has done nothing to even try to make me feel better. Instead, she has lied to me my whole life. She has criticized my life choices and made me feel bad for who I am. And I don’t know how I will ever be able to tell her how I feel because whenever I try she doesn’t listen. And anytime I bring up Dad she gets defensive. But tell me I’m wrong to feel the way I feel. To feel like I’ve missed out on things in my childhood because of what she has done. To feel like I am just now starting to build a relationship with my dad, now that the air has cleared, but I’m scared that I may not get to with my grandma Ginny because we haven’t had the money to go visit and there is a slight chance that I may only get to see her a few times before she dies (not that she is dying anytime soon because she isn’t THAT old but anything can happen, and we may not be able to afford to visit. Just to clarify).
Still this all makes me so angry! I’ve seen how she can’t seem to put her feelings aside for me, when she first decided that her feelings about me getting married were more important than my happiness. But to tell a child that her father doesn’t want her because she is not a boy, because she herself, hates the father, is just wrong! That little sentence set the stage for the rest of my life! And she seems to not even care! But you know, it’s not really about whether she lied or not. I mean I imagine if she read this or if someone read this and told her about it, she would deny everything and say that “He just forgot he said it” or something to that effect. But the point is that regardless of whether he said that to her or not, she should have never said that to me. I would have much rather her said something to me like “well he loves you in his own way.” or “he’s just gotta work a lot so we have money, but he really does want to spend time with you”. Why couldn’t she have said things like that to me as a child.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that Dad isn’t really in touch with his emotions and he doesn’t do well expressing them or talking about them. I’ve learned to deal with that accordingly and just remind myself that he just does things in his own way. So I mean she married him you would think she would know that. She could have tried to explain it to me, instead of saying what she did.
I’ve learned that my dad shows love through buy/giving gifts, same as my grandma Ginny which makes sense, since that is his mother. That is actually one of the love languages, if you have ever read that book you will understand what I’m talking about, but for those of you who do not. The Five Love Languages are just five different ways that you express love to others. It simply explains that lovers show their love in different ways and if you and your lover aren’t expressing love in a way you both understand than you will end up getting divorced because you will be unhappy in your relationship. You aren’t speaking the same language. I understand that my husband, also, is not good at expressing emotions and does it by doing nice things for me and like my dad and grandma, by getting me gifts. He might bring me my favorite soda, or cookies that we like or candy to share. He’s gotten me chocolate before, or he likes to take me to dinner sometimes. All of those are acts of love. When I realized that about my dad and grandma, I realize that they both love me very much because they have gotten me lots of things. When my dad went on his little “honeymoon” type thing to Mexico with his new wife, he brought my little sister and I each back a little box with a bracelet from there.
So it’s been established, my dad loves me and he is proud of me, which is what I’ve always wanted my whole life. I should be happy right? Well I am kinda. I have mixed feelings because on one hand I got what I always wanted from my dad, but on the other hand I just found out how really bitter and hateful my mom is that she would go as far as to lie to me my whole life and make me feel horrible. But why? Why has she done this to me? I get the feeling that she is so bitter towards my dad that she has decided to take it out on me. Or maybe she is so miserable with her life that she has to make everyone else miserable too. Regardless of what it is, right now I’m hurt, disgusted, and angry with my mother. Maybe someday I’ll be able to talk to her about it. But right now, she is just some woman that gave birth to me, made my life miserable, broke my heart, and doesn’t seem to care about my feelings or happiness, and is now deemed someone to not be trusted.
It’s official, I still need my therapist! I guess inside I will always be a troubled teen at heart. My goal is to just not let it get me down, but instead to focus on the good in my life. I have a wonderful husband who has always had my back and who loves me dearly. And a wonderful son, who is so smart and happy. I know I won’t make the same mistakes with this little baby. And as I’ve recently discovered, I have a dad, who loves me with all his heart, and a grandma who was right about my mom (not that she ever said anything about her to us, but based on what I’ve heard from others), and that my grandma loves me too! They all love me for me, regardless of who my mother is. And honestly, that’s all I could ever ask for <3
This is dedicated to my Dad, Grandma Ginny, and especially my husband who has always reminded me of how much I am loved.