One time I asked for an extra chocolate and the dad slapped me across the face and chased me around the house with a belt.
One time I got a conned by the dad saying if I joined a lesser known college, I’d get a bike. Bribery. Oh, I dint get either. No college. No Bike.
One time I saw a big blue bruise on the side of my mom’s face and another on her arm. She told me it was nothing. He told me that she hit herself because she’s crazy.
One time I was wearing a sundress and the dad asked if I should go on a diet because my stomach was sticking out.
When his breath gets heavy, your stomach seizes up.
When you hear his footsteps coming down the hall, you clean up your room as fast as you can. When he’s yelling at someone else you take his side.
When you do something wrong and mom finds out, don’t worry she’ll lie for you to “not cause a scene.”
Having an emotionally abusive dad has made me a shy, anxious, insecure and angry person. Having an emotionally downtrodden mom has taught me to lie, manipulate and cry.
But they’ve also taught how not to act and what not to become. Having an emotionally abusive father has forced me to have tough skin and to not let criticism (especially from men) get me down. He’s shown me what kind of man to avoid – I will not marry someone like him. He’s taught me to not take out my feelings on my family or loved ones.
My mom has shown me how not to be an independent woman. She made me realize I don’t want to get married at age 20 and have a child a year later just to get out of my parents’ house. She’s shown me what kind of man not to marry. She shows me every day what bowing down and doing what you’re told looks like. I know now that I won’t accept this behavior from my future husband. Without watching her deteriorate, I wouldn’t have such strong goals and beliefs to better myself everyday – to exercise, do well at work and be a good girlfriend, wife, sister, friend.
Without him, my mother and I wouldn’t have such a strong bond – something that can only be formed by clenching each other in fear of who/what is coming down the hall. I’ve spent 30 years of my life actively hating the father and everything he was, but now I know that these experiences have made me who I am today.
When he died, I knew he would take away the one thing he gave my mother, her status of being married. He took it away and she is now a widow.
Yet, I never missed him or the feeling of having a father, not cause he wasn’t good to me. But because I don’t know what it feels like to have one.
Watching my other sister and friends looking up at the one man that makes them believe HE IS THE GREATEST, was never really something I could identify with. Even when I begin talking about this, I never really know how to end it.