Friday, February 26, 2010

Fathers and Dads? I have None. A Father-in-law? Just one.

If my blog were a friend I'd have lost it by now. Poor neglected blog. It's weird that I can't make time for this blog when I'd probably gab anyone's ears right off.

Anywho, today's blog was inspired by a very dear Tart. She blogged about her daddy issues, and I'm going to blog about mine. Read her blog! There's a link. Find it, read it, read it, read it. Moving on....

I have very old memories. I have a memory from when I was 8 months old and one from when I was two. I have another memory of throwing rice at a wedding. I think it might have been my own mother's wedding. I would have been two at that time as well. The reason I mention memories is that the memory of my 8-month-old self was of being VERY uncomfortable being held by a strange man. The other very early memories I have do not have men in them at all.

Then, my mom got married. He was in the army. After the wedding I think my next memory was when I was four and we lived in Indianapolis. My brother, Bleys was a baby. Everything is very mixed-up in my head until we moved to Germany. Then the memories become a mix of my older brother being thrown around by my step-dad for things like spilling water on the floor. And my youngest brother was born in Germany. I learned early to stay under the radar. And I was mostly ignored those early years.

Chocolate break....................Seriously tough stuff.

So, when we get back to the States I have better memories. Meaning I recall them better. Let's see. Chores. My step dad is the reason I hate chores to this day. I was never really organized, but when you are forced to be tidy beyond not just your own nature but most people's nature it can take it's toll. I was 7 and every day I knew how it would go. Clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp. I would be sitting on my bed waiting for the inspection of my room. Clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp. He had to inspect other rooms first. My eyes would frantically sweep my room to see if I forgot to pick up anything. Clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp. He would stop, look in my room, and step inside. Getting a pass just meant you had to look forward to the next day's inspection. My tiny feeble act of rebellion was to leave a shoe out of my closet one day. A shoe that was used to hit me upside the head. No shoes out of the closet from then on. Dishes I took forever on and I could expect a spanking for being too slow. But I would take that over leaving dishes dirty. David did that once and was made to wash every dish in the house in the middle of the night on a school night. Yes, the chores often got us into hot water.

I'm going to skip ahead to when my mom had finally had enough. I was 9. I witnessed my step dad beating Bleys' head against the floor. He was just 6. I hid and pretended that I hadn't seen anything. But I snitched. Oh yes, I did! I told my mom every hairy detail. It was something to tell on this man because we feared him. It was not long after that that he and my mother were separated forever. But he tried to strangle her on the last night and gave my teen brother a concussion when he came to my mother's rescue. But he left, and I was relieved.

Only, He spoke to me only a few times more, ever. "Who cares!" you say? "He was horrible!" Yes, he was, but he was the only father I ever knew. I called him "Dad." And he never showed any more interest in me. Really? I still have such a hard time with this. WHY? I guess the only thing that matters is that I felt rejected, and beyond that I still feel that way. What's more I still feel angry at him. I should let it go, but after everything this man did to me and my three brothers he still hasn't changed at all. He'll always be an abusive bully.

Moving on again. Men telling me what to do is still a real sticking point for me. If I feel my husband is being to demanding I will ignore him and not listen to another word he says. Which brings me to the Father-in-law. And he really is an ideal father figure. The type I wish I had when I was growing up. Oh, he has his faults, but his virtues make up for them. He suggests rather than demands. He is soft spoken. He gives advice that he doesn't really mind if you follow or not. He guides and stands by his sons. He's a real winner and worthy of the word "Dad." Yet, I can't seem to call him "Dad" that often. Maybe it is a negative term to me. Or maybe I fear being rejected again. Either way "dad" is a loaded word to me. Maybe I'll get over it one day.