A Bitter-sweet Day.

Today, being Father’s Day in the UK is bitter sweet for me. Unsurprisingly, I will not be laying down flowers or cherishing my dead father’s memory. I wonder if his truest fan, my sister, will. I do not look back on this day with pure hatred. There were times, especially as young children, where Father’s Day was an enjoyable event. A time where it was about the love we felt for him. There was no expectation of us and he was happy with a simple home-made card. Sadly, that innocence was taken from me early on. Expectations and presumptions were made that I alone would provide my father with an entertaining and lavish Father’s Day, after all, I chose to live with him, it was my duty to do so.

I longed for the days where making him a morning tea and breakfast with a card was enough. Where it was thought and gesture that mattered. Towards the end of his life and as I grew older, my father began demanding the calibre of Father’s Day and a check-list of tasks that would impress and please him. He would prepare his own Father’s Day essentially. It would be a real chance to get me to do the things I would normally refuse to do, such as cleaning the entire house in one day or cooking him a lavish dinner. I would often argue that this was not what Father’s Day was about. It wasn’t “Turn your Child into your Slave Day” yet to him he felt that it was a commitment as his daughter that I ‘obeyed’ his requests. It would make him happy and if I wanted him to be that then why would I object.

After agreeing and immediate regret one year I vowed never to do that again. I didn’t. He verbally scolded me for that choice for many months to follow. The next Father’s Day was a disaster as my father was still harbouring a nasty grudge against me.

Next year will mark a new chapter. My husband will be celebrating Father’s Day for the very first time.

This will mark a significant shift in our lives and a brand new set of memories will occur.

I  will embrace them.

Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there who would to anything for their children.

No expectation.

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2013 A review: April – June.

APRIL

This month saw many entries on WordPress taken from old journals and diaries I had discovered from the abuser’s home. I looked back on several noted incidents that affected me in some way. I began revealing much more about my father. Not only what he did to me but how he lived his own life, the values he followed and the life choices he made.

April was the first month that I displayed a photograph taken from my father’s house (Post: And he called me “dirty”! April 17th) It showed the awful way in which we both lived. A way that I hated but it was out of my control. My father put many demands and outrageous expectations on me over the years and this photo was just a small example of his control. The five bedroom house was far too much for one person to look after. Especially a young woman with a full time job, friends and a life. I wasn’t allowed “excuses”. I wasn’t allowed a life. My life was indebted to him. I “owed” him for having a life.

On the 20th, I suffered from a severe Asthma attack where I was taken to the emergency room by my neighbour. I received a lot of support and well wishes from the WordPress community. It surprised and moved me that strangers all over the world showed such kindness to someone they had never met. I was not used to that. Thank you.

MAY

May was a busy month for me. In my general life and on WordPress. It was the first time I shared my poetry on my blog with “Control me”, a piece I wrote during the years of severe abuse.

On the 20th on May, I travelled to Madrid, Spain for a five day trip with three of my colleagues and twelve children from work. It was an experience to say the least! I am thrilled to have done it. To be trusted by my superiors and given that responsibility is something I will treasure. The laughs we shared will be remembered forever. It really was a once in a lifetime sort of thing.

The weekend I returned was that of my one year wedding anniversary with David. Although the wedding day itself holds some upsetting memories (a day that I still can’t bring myself to fully blog about with reasons that no one bar David seem to comprehend), it is always going to be the moment I pledged my love and trust to my devoted husband David and that is main reason why our anniversary will be special for the rest of our lives. I wrote you a letter David on our anniversary this year. Here is to many more my love.

The biggest moment of May was when I made the risky decision to “out” some very spiteful girls. Four to be exact as I began a series of posts retelling the story of their betrayals. C & C, H and N were subject to the truth finally coming out. I received many responses to the series. Old school friends and colleagues who understood whom I was referring to offered their support and agreement. Their thoughts were very welcome. However, I did receive one negative comment from a supporter and friend of N. She threatened legal action at my accusations. All I said was the truth. I did not use names, nor did I say exactly where we had known each other from. N’s friend only landed N in it, she basically announced to the world of Facebook who N actually was. She was the one who broke the rules. Her anger embarrassed her and surprisingly, many of our peers from that time spoke out in support for me. She never followed through with her threats.

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
Thomas Jefferson

JUNE

June was a pretty easy month. The weather began to dramatically improve in England and Summer seemed to be fast approaching. I blogged seventeen times this month.

Deliberate Donkey a woman’s story about her journey through domestic violence, generously re-blogged my work. It would be the first time someone had referred to my abuser as a “sociopath” after reading my story. It was a term I began to explore.

http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/guest-post-freefromhim/

(Scroll up to top of page when opened)

2nd August 2012 – The epiphany.

Today would have been my father’s 76th birthday.

A year ago, on his 75th, I was not at the hospital celebrating it with him. I was at home attempting to block out that this was a significant day. To me, it had to remain as ‘normal’ as possible. I did not want to, in the future, associate this day with him.

There was too much pressure and I was really struggling. I needed to keep the boundaries in place, they were keeping me strong. I could not destroy them because my father was dying. I could not ruin all my hard work for emotion.

David, my husband, had visited my father the day before to drop off a birthday card. I wasn’t cold-hearted as he made out. I wanted to give him something. In the card I wrote some special, thoughtful words. I wanted to say something kind to him, I wanted to go against the image he always portrayed me as. I was not a monster, as much as he accused me of being one. I was not heartless, I still remained his daughter. Maybe I was forgiving him in the card. Or perhaps I was forgiving myself. Ultimately, it was the right thing to do.

On the 2nd of August 2012, I received a phone call from my father.

He rang me to say thank you. It would be the first time in over sixteen years that those two words seemed genuine.

Then came the moment in the phone call where I finally thought I would hear what I have always longed for:

An apology

Just one, just one admission for all the abuse, all the terror. He began to cry, he commented on my sweet words and how they have soothed him. I cried too. I was willing the words out of him, just say sorry!

“I often thought, after arguments, Babitago, I regretted shouting at you,”

I was shocked to hear him saying it. It was finally coming, the moment I had waited my life for.

“It was wrong of me, but Babitago; you needed to be corrected.”

However, it was those five words that rang in my ear. I immediately wiped away my tears.

He continued speaking, saying how I would provoke his anger which caused him to react badly towards me and I could not blame him for that. That I was willing him to fight me, attack me and how much I wanted him to berate me. He said I put myself into situations deliberately and taunted him wanting a reaction and needing an argument. After a while into his detailing of me, I had stopped listening. We seemed to be taking a few steps forward for a second but ultimately he was always going to pull me back down.

What did I expect?

I expected that.

Our desires always disappoint us; for though we meet with something that gives us satisfaction, yet it never thoroughly answers our expectation.
Elbert Hubbard