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Stand up straight
Don't look at me
Look at me
What's that on your boot?
Not "where?" WHERE SIR
Polish your boots
Now? - Now, Sir?
Don't you ever come back here with your boots unpolished!
Constantly having to polish dirt I couldn't see off my boots. That's how it felt living with my dad. Kinda like the drill-sergeant above, during the one month I lasted as an air cadet.
My dad is the epitomy of the military man. He raised me like the epitomy of a soldier. To this day, I still hear the drill in my head:
Do it this way
Don't do that
Think this way
Take this bit of advice
You'll never amount to anything
I would have done better
In my day
My mother stopped being able to take it 18 years ago. It took that long for me to finally follow suit and say enough is enough. I've said it a few times before, but I never really meant it. This time, I was clear as day.
The email: dad, this is it. Relax a little. Grow up. I'm sick of this father-daughter soap opera.
That evening: walking down the street to take pictures; having a panic attack because I couldn't get his potential reaction out of my head, which is why I went out with my camera in the first place. I filtered his address in my email account to be sure not to come across his come-back. I still checked - he didn't write back.
You'll never do anything right
No wonder you get good grades, look at how you dress (like a whore)
You are disrespectful, misbehaved
No one will ever love you.
My friends and other family members love me - love me a lot even. The only person in the world who seems to hate me so much is my dad. The only person still in my life - well, until three days ago - who can make me feel like crap, is him.
Do you think it's a wonder at 17 I ended up in the beds of men my dad's age? They all thought I did everything right. All of a sudden I was the smart, beautiful and nice girl I'd always wanted my dad to see me as.
But like I said before, I adore him. I really do. I believe my dad has - much as myself - personality issues. In my case, these issues have been created by long-term abuse. Not only his, but clients'. In his case, I don't know what it is, what happened to him to make him so angry at the world and everybody, including his own daughter. He lacks the specific trait that makes most of us humans: empathy. Yet, despite what my dad does/says/thinks of me, I always forgive him. I excuse everything: he doesn't understand what he's doing. He doesn't understand where it comes from. He has no insight into himself.
I've got 16 or so years of psychoanalysis in me. I think I'm starting to have insight into myself. In this instance, that just because some people are your parents (and as a kid you were real impressed by an illustrated bible containing the ten Commandments, which were seared in your brain - respect your parents) isn't a reason to allow yourself to be disrespected by them all the time. Worse, be subject to constant verbal abuse.
Lucky for me, I was a quick learner so he only hit me twice. I'd associated his raised voice to his raised hand, so whenever he started yelling I'd coward down in a little ball. I still do that. The last time I had a face-to-face blow-out with my dad, I instictively got myself behind a sofa. I was still standing, not hiding, but I needed furniture between us. I was a grown 30+ year old. That move made him yell more. WHAT, YOU'RE SCARED OF ME NOW?
Yeah dad, so scared I have to end this. I left my pimp-boyfriend, I left the trade, I left everyone who ever treated badly because, suprisingly, I do have respect for myself. You're the only one left standing. Because I loved you. But this isn't love, it's terror.
I'm sorry dad, but I think next time will be on your death bed.