In all the years I have been blogging (over 11 years) I have not spoken a great deal about my biological father. It is one of my relationships that could fill several volumes of books. If I could sum up my relationship with him in one word it would be terror. Total and complete terror. He ruled our house with an iron fist. I won’t even go into how often my mom was black and blue, her nose broken. I won’t go into the abuse my brother suffered. I won’t even go into the abuse that I suffered. No. How about just a few incidences? Hanging me over the ferry and bridges. Beatings with the belt for coughing too loud. Force feeding. Throwing me into the river over and over teaching me to “swim”. Fuck. I really don’t even want to think about it. But. But I do think about it because it wiggles its way into my adult life. Oh, not directly. It sits there with me. Like an unwelcome person sitting beside me on the bus seat.
I don’t have issues anymore about why my father was abusive. I don’t have issues with why he found it so hard to love. It took years to work through it and the understanding that his own father abandoned him makes it easier to understand and easier to endure. In fact, I feel immense compassion for him. His father left my grandmother with three children under the age of 4. I feel sad for him. From what I have been told by my aunt is that his own father was abusive and a monster. It must have been very confusing for that little boy, my father.
It feels like this post is going off course but it isn’t. What I am dealing with now is the traits I learned as a little girl, doing what I was told. Being forced into being a pleaser at any cost. If I didn’t do as I was told there were terrible and drastic repercussions. Beatings. Verbal abuse. Food and water withheld. Isolation. Being sent outside in the cold and rain without proper clothing. The issue now is still feeling like I have no voice. That my needs and wants are unimportant. I do what I am told because of fear. When I am at work I do what I am told by my nurse managers, clients and coworkers. When I am dealing with friends and family I just go along with what everyone else wants.
It all rolled over me yesterday. Never before have I felt such sadness for that little girl. I don’t feel sad for me. I feel sad for that little girl. (It makes no logical sense because I am that little girl.) I was driving to physio and started crying. I wanted to protect her. To take her into my arms and tell her she was such a good girl and that she was pretty and smart and had a good heart.* I wanted to tell her to not be scared anymore. Because I have been scared my whole life. Scared of everything. Scared of speaking up for myself. Scared of men. Scared of of the dark. Scared of making people angry or even unhappy.
I don’t know where to go from here. I am just a scared adult who lets fear of speaking up and telling people how I feel rule my life. I am still as powerless as I was at 3 years old. There is likely no way out of this and I will remain a powerless woman. I don’t feel sad for my adult self because this is just who I am. It is just too confusing to even know where to start to get myself out of this. It isn’t like this fear can even be removed because it is woven into who I am. What if I start pulling threads and the whole fabric of who I am unravels?
OK. This post has exhausted me. That is all for now. I will end this post with a note of gratitude. I am forever grateful that my biological father abandoned us and that my step-dad came into my life and raised me.
*My mom tried but she had also lost her voice and got beat for speaking out. She had become powerless.