To this day my understanding of what love should be is slightly , if not greatly distorted.
A daughter’s first experience with love should be her parents. Of course her mother but her daddy ( or so I have been told) should be her first love. His voice should offer and represent protection and comfort at the least, to a little girl. Reassuring her that his presence would keep her safe and her needs provided for ( even if he had to change dirty diapers or reading her princess stories). But then again this imagery might be faulted to the vast amount of books that I read as a child, or the 80’s and 90’s popular sitcoms. It surely was not based on my reality growing up.
My parents divorced before my seventh birthday, but by then I was familiar to the sounds of my mother’s cry as she faced my father’s verbal attacks, or the vision of her after his sporadic physical attacks. She tried her best to keep these images from me, but I guess I was either a real smart kid or it was just too much drama to keep hidden. I do thank her for not staying ( parents please stop thinking that you are hiding your fights and arguments from the kids, they know)
Somehow the love my father neglected to shower on my mother, was always shown to me. This does not mean that he attended my PTA meetings or helped me with school projects. In actuality my dad never fought for visitation and at many times even forgot to pick me up for weekend visits. I guess his love was an out of sight, out of mind love. Similar to what some people practice today in their romantic love affairs…. but that is another story.There was no doubt however if he loved me when I was with him. And as I grew older I would constantly meet his friends who would tell me of the countless times my dad would speak of me with glowing pride. Yet because of these conflicting and in some ways bipolar versions of my father, I was unable to fully get a full comprehension of what love should be.
How could I Not love a man who I resembled ( I look nothing like my mother)?
How could I Not love a man who as I got older treated me like his queen and even confidant?
How could I Not love a man who so many people respected and looked up to?
How could I love a man who beat my mother, and from all accounts beat his wife before her?
How could I love a man who fathered at his own convenience.? My mom had two kids for my dad ( and in total). He however blessed me with at least “eight” siblings.
How could I love a man who gave the minimum for my maintenance and for some of my siblings, nothing at all, leaving their mothers to struggle?
Did I love my dad? Yes I did. Do I miss him? Yes I do….Did I hate the man that was my dad? Yes I did