At this time of year, I usually write about how in love I am with Superman and how I am looking forward to 2018. While this is all true, 2018 is a new beginning for me for a different reason.
As many of my readers are aware, I have had a rocky relationship with my father. I started writing this blog in 2013 but the issues have started since 2011. Many of my sentiments are echoed in my post in June 2016: Why breaking ties with my father was the best thing to happen to me
I gave my father a second chance in October 2016. I thought he was a changed man, even though I had to be the first to contact him. It would take time but it would be okay. After all, “he said sorry, right?”
That last sentence just gave me chills. It is the haunting tale of women who attempt to escape domestic abuse and are lured back through manipulation. It is exactly what happened to me.
I thought that we were getting better. My father would call from time to time but his efforts were very superficial. It was as if I had to reconcile my previous decision to cut him out of my life even though I gave him the chance to make things right.
He continued to never give me the benefit of the doubt when something went awry. Despite my honest explanations, he was a better legal professional than me by always cross-examining me ad nauseam. I thought I could just tolerate him and his wife, simply put it past me because I did not have to see them often. I felt like my conscience would not be clean if something were to happen to him and I cut him out of my life. Then, I thought what was impossible happened: he hurt Superman.
Superman was the only man I dated that my father actually liked. Superman seemed to get along with him too but when he went out of his way for my father, he was quick to criticize the flaws in the finished product despite our desire to repair it. Instead of oversight, we were painted as deceitful, vindictive people. I couldn’t imagine that a man with a golden heart could ever be depicted that way.
Some people could say to get rid of Superman and the problem would disappear. It really wouldn’t because even though my family tried to get blackmail on Superman, the issue really lied with me. My father thought I was whispering in Superman’s ear and he wanted to educate me on the perception that I was giving. Perception should not matter when you have known someone for almost three decades of their life.
I continue to get harassed by phone from my grandmother about how I should not forget whose blood I have, as if my mother was never involved in my birth, and how they did nothing wrong. I tried to consult these family members for advice and they failed me by simply saying to sweep it under the rug and forget about it.
You may have emotional bruises but just cover them up.
You may have psychological scars but let them go: they have been there for a very long time.
This is when I knew that I had to leave.
I received a lot of backlash from this decision, especially since I made an attempt last year. No one took me seriously.
She will change her mind.
It’s always been like this.
Your father is your father.
How does this empower anyone to escape abuse? I was asked what would happen if something were to happen to my father. I answered that I did try to make things work and my father died when I was 18 years old. A bit of a morbid statement to make but it is the truth. I do not know who the man is that has replaced the one who cared for me during my childhood. That man has disappeared.
I have cut everyone out that supports this manipulative behaviour, which I did not do last time. I received messages as if nothing ever happened and wondering if I was coming to the next special occasion. Love is not about obedience and attendance. Love is understanding and acceptance of others regardless of differences. This family was not about love. It was about keeping all of their ducks in one row.
My paternal family has always relayed it back to religion and have told me how it was a sin to not have my father in my life. I have spoken to a priest who has told me that avoidance is not a sin, especially if people are severely confused and cause nothing but conflict. He hopes that things could work out one day but that would have to be initiated by my father, which would take a true miracle.
I hope that my future children will understand my choice in this and how I want to break the cycle of abuse for them. I wish that they will know love in the quality of our family and not the quantity. I can only pray that they understand what a strong, independent and loving woman their mother will be.
This is how I choose to live in 2018 and every year thereafter: with love, joy and laughter.
Wishing you all the best in 2018!
The Modern Day Fairy Godmother