I don’t speak to my father. I haven’t had a conversation with him for over five years, and I haven’t seen him in nearly ten. As some of you know, my mother was murdered when I was a baby. He’s my only parent, yet I don’t return his phone calls, emails or texts. I’m basically ghosting my own father.
For awhile I thought my dad was a good dad. Perhaps I believed that because I needed to feel protected. When you’re young, you have no one to judge them against. So in my eyes, not only was my dad perfect, but he was also my hero.
But then you grow up and move out of your house. You move to a different city. You meet new people who have different dads. You then try to reconstruct the truth of your past…was my dad actually a good dad?
My father never hit me or touched me, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any abuse. Sometimes the damage can be elusive, and then it can be as clear as a scientologist going clear using only windex and white vinegar…making it pretty fucking clear. ( I know that’s not how scientology works, but what if…?)
Our parent(s) plant mental and emotional seeds in us, and those seeds grow as we grow. I reached a certain age and realized that the “garden” I was standing in…was actually suffocating me. It was filled with voices and warped belief systems and literal voicemails of my father begging me for money.
“If you don’t give me money, I’m going to be out on the streets.”
“The bigger the breasts, the more womanly you are. You should consider breast implants.”
“Your aunt doesn’t truly care about you. Don’t trust her. I’m the only one with your best interest.”
“When you get rich and famous, hook me up with your hot friends.”
Instead of air, I was breathing in lies, secrets, excuses and pure misogynistic toxicity.
For so long, I didn’t want to expose myself and with that, my family. (Still don’t. Trust me, I’m withholding a lot). I avoided making genuine friendships and became painfully shy and lonely. I also had a distorted sense of loyalty with my father. He was the only one who truly understood me because we shared the same lies and a fucked-up overall way of being.
I had made myself invisible. Growing up, I was okay if I wasn’t seen or heard. It was better that way. I was tired of being ridiculed anyway. But my lack of confidence and self-worth was coloring every aspect of my adult life. I knew I wasn’t being my true self. I wasn’t living the life that I longed for, and something wasn’t sitting right. I also fathomed that I could change my life if I wanted to. I finally desired to become seen.
In order for me to become visible, I needed to gain a strong sense of self. In order for me to gain a strong sense of self, I had to get honest. In order for me to get honest, I had to ask myself, regardless of family input, how do I feel? And what do I actually think about my childhood? I had to acknowledge my anger and pain and honor my genuine feelings. I needed to uproot old behaviors and beliefs and plant new ones, healthier ones. And then…I had to disconnect from my own father.
Some of these toxic parents that we cut off are so troubled themselves, that they evoke an extreme sense of pity. So, it’s fucking hard.
But I have to breath.