After a few rough weeks of therapy, facing my depression and also an eating disorder, after digging into my past, exploring my feelings and crying a lot, the stormy cold waves seem ridiculously gentle as they flood the beach with a crash. The ocean has always calmed me down after a storm and I´m more than ever aware the storm inside me is still raging. I let myself sink into a beach chair, inhaling the salty air as I remember her words.
»Write it down. Everything that comes to your mind. Don’t think about it too much. Write it down and then let it go.«
I pick up my pen and notebook and start to write.
I wont’t call you dad, or father. Not this time or ever again. It’s not that I didn’t want to call you dad back then but you aren’t my father. Not for me. Calling you dad is like wearing way too large shoes. I could retie them again and again, walk carefully, attentive, cautious. But when I let my guard down, I’ll stumble or worse – lose them. Like I lost you. Over and over again.
I won’t try to find the words for what you’ve done to me. The pain pulsates deep down inside my heart and soul, that no word could describe the consequences your manners and behaviour had on my life and still have. My lifelong company is a deep grief, a mourning misery clinging to everything I touch, infecting every relationship and decision I make.
You are the shadow of my life. Pulling me down, making me feel anxious and weak. You made me live my life on the safe side so I don’t get hurt.
I’m writing this because I need to learn to let go. Let go of your shadow and live my life unfiltered. Bare and vulnerable. I need to learn that you’ve never been the dad I deserved or needed. And you never will. Someone else did your job and he did everything he could to fix the mess you made but these itchy scars remain forever.
You let go of me a long time ago so why can’t I? Whenever I needed you the most you abandoned me because you failed to face yourself. I wanted to be loved. By you. I played a role and lied just to please you. Only you. It was never enough.
I was never enough.
The world always revolved around you and your narcissistic opinion. Maybe that’s why I often gravitate to people like you. People that inhale all my energy until I disappear completely. Like a black hole inhaling stars you stole all of my light.
I learned to live without you when I was a child. I knew things might never change but I’d lie if I said I hadn’t hoped that they would. For me and you. Maybe if I had been the way you wanted me.
Stronger. Better. Perfect.
I forgot I was just a child. You forgot I was just a child.For a very long time I used to blame myself for your lack of love for me. I was sure I didn’t even deserve your love. That I was unworthy of it.
Unworthy of any kind of love.
Unworthy in general.
I didn’t know I was emotionally abused by you. No surprise my first boyfriend was narcissistic like you. Toxic like you. Abusive like you. But the sexual abuse could never numb the pain you made me feel. The pain of a little girls broken, abandoned heart. I was a misfit in my own body. A misfit in my own heart. I had no idea of love. Actually I didn’t think love was even a thing anymore. A romantic lie at least.
You weren’t man enough to take charge of what you did, cravenly hiding behind your mistakes. In fact you thought you were the victim, proud of how you dealt with things. I had to learn the hard way but I’m finally awake.
You have no more power. Not over me. Not anymore.
And while all the girls back in school were talking proudly about their fathers and boyfriends I smiled, quiet tears running down my face. I will forever miss the father you should have been because only a coward smiles while his daughter drowns in tears.
I close the notebook and take a deep breath as familiar voices are drifting over the beach. My sons and husband are strolling up to me.
»Mommy, look what I found. A seashell. Isn’t it beautiful?«, my 4 year old says.
»It’s broken. I told him to pick another one but he didn’t listen.«, my 7 year old adds with a shrug.
»So what? He likes it.«, my husband says, ruffling his hair.
He then takes my hand, looking up at me.
»There’s beauty in everything. Even in the broken.«