It’s not a secret that I have never had a close relationship with my father. You might have noticed, I don’t hide much:) Good or bad you will hear it or read it. On Father’s Day I smile and sometimes shed a tear at the sincere and heartfelt exchanges between people I care about. I do have a heart, trust me, it’s in there.
In between the sappy sentiments though, I roll my eyes and shake my head a lot at all the comments I see from people about the ones I KNOW have shitheels for fathers but still insist on flowering it up to make things sound nice and smell sweet like a happy ending of a story. Hey, if that gets you through the day and truly makes you feel better about things I totally understand, however, life isn’t a fairy tale. Life is life and people make choices through their lives that have consequences. One of those consequences is that some of your children will not all grow up with the desire to lie to themselves, and to you, and to the world about what kind of parent you have been to them.
I will tell you like it is. I am my father’s daughter.
Everyone wants to think that a father/daughter relationship is precious and special. Sometimes it is and that’s beautiful. I know people who adore their fathers and those fathers have earned that adoration. I don’t have those feeling for my own father. Now, don’t get all defensive and shit. Don’t be like “Ohhhh you have NO IDEA how hard it is to be a father so you MUST respect him mo matter what..” Bullshit.
I have come to respect my father for very specific things. I haven’t been brainwashed or bullied or forced into my feelings by people who want to think for me, or Hallmark or Lifetime movies or facebook memes. I have come to my conclusions by thinking, by digging deep to understand, and by observing from a distance as get older and have a different perspective. These things I have found to admire ain’t from a fairy tale. There’s no sweetness and light shining out my behind.
I am my father’s daughter.
First, I have respect for him as a person, a human being living his life how he knows best or how he is able to get through each day. He was him before he was my father, hell he was a son, a brother, a husband, and father to three other people before I came into the picture. I cannot judge nor want to judge any choices he has made as a result of his collection of those life experiences. He is who he is and my existence has no impact on that, which in a weird way makes me think more highly of him than if he had put on a fake version of himself to win me or anyone else over.
That leads me to another thing I do respect, even if I have despised it, wallowed in feeling of self pity in my youth because of it, but the fact he is who he is, the good the bad and the ugly stuff. He has never pretended to be something he’s not. Even if I didn’t like who he was or his behaviors. For the most part, I know it’s more valuable to be who you are than to live your life being someone else. Your choices can cause despair, pain, and hurt for other people in your life, this you must be accountable for and live with it just like they have to, just like we all do. Unfortunately this is part of life and we can’t turn back any clock or undo anything that has been done. I wouldn’t change him or rewind time to change our lives, even if I could.
There was never a time when I was a “daddy’s girl” nor do I have any good memories of time spent with him, not at all. It might be hard to hear, but for me he was more of a stranger in our house than the person who should have been there. Again, it is what it is, and he is a grown man living his life. He doesn’t need to answer to me or anyone else, however, that means there is a distance that cannot be filled no matter how long or how hard we try. I’m cool with that at this point in my life and I am going to say he probably is tooJ There is enough of bridge to get across when we need to.
People live and decide day to day who they want to be, or succumb to who they feel they can’t stop being, and I understand that completely. If you want a full list of my shitheel behaviors in my younger days, just let me know and I will fill you in sparing no gory detail. There are no stones to through from my basket of life, so don’t read this and think I’m judging anyone for who they have been. This is about the truth of my experience as a daughter to my father, not a fantasy, not a lie, not pretending, not a Hollywood Disney Father Daughter make over. If you like all that, fair enough, but none of that comes naturally to me, and it kind of turns my stomach.
I am my father’s daughter.
One last thing I feel a deep respect for in my father is that he perseveres. He’s tough. He holds steady and rides every storm leaning forward into the wind ready to face whatever comes. I might do things differently, but I would trust him with my life. I would want his intelligence and creativity and “get it done” attitude to get through it all. Some might say his personality is built like a brick shithouse.
I am my Father’s daughter, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.