On my 29th birthday this past month, my Uncle sends me a message telling me my father says he remembers it is my birthday and he never forgot.
I haven’t seen him since I was 9 or 10 years old. I remember him disappearing in what seemed out of the blue. He was there watching movies with us, playing catch and riding bikes and then one day he never came home again. I knew he was in trouble. My friends whispered the rumors, stunned that my father had ran away. I walked with shame for awhile. Why couldn’t we be like everyone else? People laughed and used it against me like I had something to do with it. Kids can be so mean.
My father was alive, drunk and far away in Puerto Rico. Daddy that I knew and loved and was my hero died when he left, and I never admit I miss him.
My older sister stayed quiet and was happy. She had all the reason to be. He was not nice or good to her. As I got older I realized how he bruised her and made her scared. He beat us younger girls, too. But, I know she had it the worst.
I tried to protect and comfort my baby sis. I still do to this day. For both my sisters, I will fight. Because baby sis and I were only 2 years apart, we spent all our time together. I never showed her how it hurt and how twisted I felt. I wanted to make her laugh and forget that she felt abandoned. I wanted to make her so happy and prove we didn’t need him for anything. We were enough.
Baby sis talked to him a few times between when he disappeared and now. She told me it always ended badly. Each one attacked the other and there would be an explosion. I hated him more for popping in and out of her life and making her feel anything less than good. He had the power to destroy over and over her and he used it.
I dealt by ignoring the loss of my Daddy. I was tough and didn’t need anyone for nothing. But, I always felt resentful that he didn’t teach me things Daddys teach their little girls. He wasn’t there as I grew older to protect me from the bad things. The bad things hit me head on and I figured them out myself. I was scared for a long time. I am scared sometimes now.
I thought I was lucky and got away without having Daddy issues. I made W so unimportant and little in my life that there is no way he could effect me. But it comes out in my self defense mechanisms, in the men I fall for, in the way I treat those I feel are attacking me. My favorite way to handle those who hurt me, but not the worse hurt, is to pretend they are dead to me. I become cold and plastic. I forget your name.
But, for the ones who hurt me the worst, who physically and emotionally abuse me, I am relentless in my attempts to make them love me. I know its wrong and no good. But, I can’t stop. I wish I could.