It’s funny, my dad is dead but I’ve thought about him all day long; last yr on Father’s Day I felt so much anger towards him, I posted a facebook status that wished all fathers a happy day except for my own. Last night, a very wise Dom told me that I wasn’t really sad because my dad’s not here, but that I was sad because my dad wasn’t the father that he should’ve been.
It’s true, all these months that I’ve been mourning my father, but I’ve not been mourning the man who died on September 21, 2012. Lately, the song Somebody that I Used to Know/em>; has been the one that comes to mind, and slips through my lips when I’m experiencing my deepest moments of anguish.
I guess it’s kind of fitting that this song represents the two most important men in my life, my father and my husband. In the beginning they were both the forces that could make the sun shine in my life, now they’re the forces that bring the storms and clouds. Perhaps, I put them both on pedestals that would’ve been difficult for any man to remain on; in actuality, I think the tainted love that my father created in my life found a way to seep into other relationships.
After all, my dad was one of the biggest influences on my deciding to pursue my husband. I wanted to be with someone who was as different from my dad as possible, my pale redheaded husband is about as different as I could get from my brown skinned dad. Growing up in in my father’s house I learned one thing for sure, I wouldn’t marry a man who would beat me or my children. My father taught me how to fight, no it may not have been during a scheduled lesson, but I learned how to kick some ass from him. Hey, a girl only lets a bat get broken on her back once. At the time I took it as a compliment when my mom was driving my 17 yr old self back to the place where I was staying, and she said, “Girl, you really know how to fight. You didn’t just scratch and claw, you were punching him!”
Today as I think about that afternoon, I realize how entirely fucked up it was for my mom to compliment me on my fighting skills. It’s those situations that led to all the tests that my husband had to pass. To be completely honest, I would’ve left my ass; there’s no way in hell I would’ve tolerated someone throwing raw chicken at my ass. It would’ve been on, like Donkey Kong. The first time someone would’ve thrown something at me or used their hands to strike my body, that would’ve been the end.
But, somehow he was able to see beneath all the hurt and anger; he knew I was a diamond in the rough. I guess that’s part of why it’s been so painful to go throw all of the shit we’re going through right now. He loved me at a point when I didn’t truly love myself; he helped me grow into the woman that I am today. Unfortunately, now that I’m stronger I am able to see things more clearly; I am able to see through all the manipulative bullshit that he tries. My dad was the king of manipulative behavior, I’m just surprised it took me so long to see what was right in front of me.
I guess since it’s father’s day I should thank my dad for all of the wonderful things that he taught me, I’ve got a feeling my list is going to be a little different from my friends lists’. Here we go. THINGS THAT MY DAD TAUGHT ME:
1. No man better ever hit me, and if he does there’s no need to apologize because I’ll be gone
2. Be careful what you say, because you never know how the other person is going to throw it back in your face
3. Just because someone seems nice and loving in public that doesn’t mean that’s their true self
4. Size up your opponent, look for their weakness, give them a strong right hook & then kick them in the nuts if you have to
5. No matter what I do, it’s never going to be good enough for you
6. The people you love are the one’s who can hurt you the most
7. That I should be ashamed of my body
8. I’m going to grow up to be a worthless whore, that no one will ever love
9. If someone is choking you, hold your breath and the might actually believe they’ve killed you…in my case it did make him quit choking me
10.it’s possible for the person that you love the most in the entire world, to tell you they’re thinking about killing you and then themselves
11. Any time that I experience sexual pleasure, I should also feel shame & guilt…although, I’m not entirely sure if you wanted me to experience shame & guilt or just not have sexual pleasure
That wise Dom is correct, I am NOT sad because you are gone. I am sad because the father I loved died the first time that he beat me. I guess I spent the rest of my life hoping that somehow, someway, that amazing man would resurface; and to be completely fair, he did show up from time to time.
I remember when I was going to graduate from college (it was my first graduation, the quadriplegia kind of fucked up that whole high school thing for me), I didn’t have enough money to buy my cap and gown. He sent me the money, even though he knew he wouldn’t be allowed to attend.
I also have fond memories of things that he did with his grandchildren, taking them fishing, buying them clothes, taking them to the zoo. He even barbecued for one of his grandchildren’s birthdays; on a hot and sweaty July day, he didn’t complain when he had to cook on two grills, using separate tools so that our Muslim friends would be able to celebrate with us.
I’m mourning these brief glimpses of time, when he was that AMAZING man. I’m sad that that man died when I was in fifth grade, but I’m also sad that it took me until today to realize it. Since my father’s no longer here, I will never know why he changed. There are times that I wish he were still here so I could ask him, what the fuck happened?
I want to know how a person can go from being the most amazing father one day, and become a horrific monster the next. I’ve tried to examine everything that occurred and see if there were any common factors, besides me of course. I’m pretty sure his problem was me & anyone with a cock. Maybe, he thought I’d remain a virgin for the rest of my life….his beatings had the opposite effect, they sent me into the arms of anyone who showed me love.
Somebody That I Used To Know