do i hate my dad?

this is a feeling i have struggled with for a very long time.

i’ll spare you all the details but my dad is a highly functioning alcoholic and has undiagnosed mental illness.

by my early 20’s i was full of self hatred because my father treated me like i was worthless.

this affected my relationships and finally i had a breakthrough.  i decided to love myself more than i hated my dad.

things took a great turn for the better. i just accepted him for what he was.  i refused to let him define me.

things have been really good for the past several years.  my dad bonded with my husband and things looked good. my dad would actually hug me and talk to me and i took this as the best it would ever get.

then a couple of months ago i went to my parent’s home alone.  

my dad seized this opportunity show his true colours once again and he attacked my (verbally and emotionally) while there was no one there to protect me (my husband).

i thought to myself.  fuck him.  i’m done.  i gave him his last chance years ago and he proved that old habits die hard and a tiger can’t change it’s stripes.

i have felt miserable ever since that day. i think about his hatefulness towards me everyday. i cry myself to sleep trying to understand what is wrong with me.  i feel like i am 8 years old again.

i weep for my mother.  her life has been lost to this man.  she gave up and accepted this life a long time ago.  i longed help free her from him since i was little. i used to beg her to leave him.  she never did.

now all of this is affecting my relationship once again.  

i am so sad inside.  i find myself looking towards my husband to make it all better and that is just not fair.  he has never witnessed my dad’s behaviour and doesn’t truly understand.

i am making unreasonable demands of him lately because i need him to fill the void.  he is the only man in my life that loves me and because i’ve grown up not knowing if my dad loves me i am now looking to my husband to show me an immense amount of attention.

i need him to tell me that i am his world. i need him to constantly tell me he loves me and i am special.  i need constant touch and attention.  i want to be the center of his attention all the time.

that is a lot to lay on someone.  i know he his my husband but it’s not fair to put that kind of pressure on him.

i had a notebook in high school. it was a drawing book for my OAC art class. we had to sketch and submit it to our teacher once a week.  one day i was so pissed at my dad i painted a picture of a crying eye.  i slashed streaks of red, blue and black paint all over it and wrote in black words like “ache”, “hate”, “why?”, “die”, “numb”.  i wrote a note and taped it to the bottom corner.

i did that when i was 17 and i had no idea what i wrote.  i knew it was about my dad and i was sad but i had totally forgotten what that note contained.

tonight i was so mad at my dad i ran to the cellar and pulled out all the christmas boxes to get to my one container of saved high school and college items.  i dug to the bottom and pulled out the notebook.  i found the page and tore off the note.

my husband came down and stood quietly beside me.

this is what i read aloud on that note:

“a hug and a kiss are common for most but not from the man that was raised on the coast.

how is school going? 

how was your day?

these are the things i wish he would say.

if i were a boy would this all end? would he love me more and be my friend?

i pray for sons when i am wed. to have a daughter is what i dread.

no one should feel so mad, full of heartache and always sad.

and for giving me this

i hate my dad.”