My dad is kinda the one person I don’t talk about much. On here, with people, it doesn’t matter.
But now I think it’s time. This is more of an overdue diary post than anything.
Just over 2 years ago, a week or so before my 15th birthday, my dad announced he was leaving my mum (again, he’d done so a few months before then crawled back in). It wasn’t a mutual thing, but me and my sister could feel the tension for months. I can look back now and say I was/am relieved it all ended, but he was the sole reason for the utter chaos that followed him leaving.
I don’t tend to let things get to me. But they do sometimes. This wasn’t the time to let things get to me. My dad told me I had to look after my sister and my mum, and with the two of them crying hysterically as he was leaving I took that beyond all seriousness. I couldn’t hurt for myself. I hurt because they hurt. My mum has always been my rock and to see her be crumpled up at someone’s demand made me unable to function as an individual with my own feelings. I suppose that’s where my resentment started.
It didn’t exactly get easier either. My dad was a cheat. Well, not a ‘having an affair’ cheat (that I know), but he was on dating websites and going out meeting people before he left my mum. How do I know? My sister is like a dog with a bone when she thinks she’s found something. Back when we were seeing my dad he would lie (BADLY) and then after not enough persuading would then divulge his dating life with my younger sister and me. I had friends with split parents, my best friend is an example of where both parents have moved on. My younger sister had none of that. So a few weeks after her and my mum were heartbroken he was leaving he was there telling her that he was happily dating and had, in fact been doing so for months. I think that’s where her resentment started too.
Our mum tells us the truth about everything. After my dad left it was just the three of us and we became ridiculously close. But my dad is a generally selfish man. This isn’t me being bias, it’s the truth. As an only child that always got what he wanted he carried that attitude on through his life, always wanting us to adapt for him so he could have his perfect patriarchal family. But, with my mum telling the truth and my dad telling lies it was clear to see that my dad was simply trying to get his money and in regards to us he would only try half-heartedly.
A few months after the initial explosion my sister decided she wanted to come to terms with the separation in a way that would mean she would have two different lives – one with each parent. There was one room remaining with his things in and we offered to assist him removing it all so we could finally move on. He got angry in this process. He wasn’t ready to leave. He didn’t love my mum, he’d lied to us, but didn’t want to leave his house (which he wasn’t even living in). So to save the next details just imagine the hulk smashing about and you can understand why my sister got scared. I couldn’t cope so walked away, which I regret still because my sister said that was a time she felt so alone and vulnerable and I wasn’t there for her. That was when I decided enough was enough.
There wasn’t too much after that. We communicated a little, mainly my sister. I don’t even remember what prompted the day we had to call the police. He was there, in our house, barging about. There was screaming and shouting. I just called them.
He tried to steal our dog.
He was aggressive when sister when she tried to get her back.
That was the day he called my mum a cunt in front of me.
That was the day I stopped having a dad.
My sister has some processing difficulties, not severe, but enough so have an impact on her life. Over the last 2 years my dad has called her a ‘bitch’ a ‘physcho’, ‘messed up’ and ‘not his daughter’ all of which he retracted or reiterated depending on his mood. My sister was 13-15. My sister has anxiety now too. And bad trust issues. It is his fault.
My dad could finally see how bad the relationships had gotten and decided counselling. I went for the first session and didn’t like it, and had already made my decision so after that it was just my sister. The counsellor told my sister she was too emotionally damaged and had too many issues with herself that needed to be counselled before an additional problematic relationship could be built. My dad stopped paying for the sessions because he didn’t see the benefit for him. My sister, 2 years later is finally booking her first counselling appointment after being put on the waiting list. My sister now believes that everyone is going to drop her, especially if she doesn’t give them what they want. That is his fault.
The divorce went on for ages. Only finished a little while ago now. My mum had a mental breakdown. She felt alone and couldn’t cope with us, uni (which my dad had encouraged her to enroll into) and work. Most of these reasons are his fault.
Direct family were affected, yeah, but everyone else was too. My grandad became consumed with anger and bitterness. My mums siblings are angry too. My baby cousins had to unknowingly make everyone wince when they were confused and asked repeatedly where my dad was. He left all of us. He hurt all of us.
We don’t see him anymore. But he still causes problems for us. He likes to be awkward giving my mum money making it difficult sometimes for us to get by. He likes to flaunt his new relationship on social media, and trash my mum in the process. He likes to try and manipulate my sister into seeing him.
I don’t even reply. He made me the most closed person I could possibly be. Trust is something I lack in every sense, as is personal sensitivity. I’ve shut him away in my mind because that’s easy. I watched him hurt everyone else but I wouldn’t ever let him do that to me. It’s his fault I had to even consider doing that.
But thanks, dad. You have actually taught me that family isn’t always there- but the ones that matter are. And this includes friends, who are often more helpful than every family member combined. You’ve reminded me that it’s ok to have a laugh and a girly night with my mum and sister. You’ve also made me realise my set of grandparents that don’t care if I turn up covered in dirt are far more important and loving than a set who would only see us if we looked immaculate, and were on good terms with you.
You’ve made me see it’s not my fault I’ve had depression and wanted to hide away because I wasn’t good enough. You’ve made it clear that it’s not my fault you left, or that you did so in the way you did.
It’s your fault.