How I Escaped the Abuse of Patriarchy

How I Escaped the Abuse of Patriarchy

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!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Advertisements
Stop Interfering with Your Child’s Childhood

Stop Interfering with Your Child’s Childhood

Hello everyone,

It’s been a long while since I last wrote but I will do my best to post at least once a month or as often as writer’s block will allow me.

You are probably wondering: isn’t the point of parenting to interfere with your child’s upbringing? I submit that it’s not.

I was watching Dr. Phil the other day and he said that “the purpose of parenting is to prepare children for the next stage in life”. This is true but you also have to balance that with allowing your children to enjoy THIS stage of life. I, along with many other children, had an imaginative spirit, which was also met with the often disdained reply:

“Grow up”.

If your child is under the age where they can drive, this is an unnecessary comment. It is comments like these that make adults resent their parents because they didn’t have a childhood. Life is too short not to enjoy it, especially with having a period of life without worry.

I would also argue that it’s important for a child to develop their own judgment of character. If you see that Sally is not being a good friend to your child, only interfere if the behaviour is very serious. By simply saying, “You are not playing with Sally anymore”, your child resents you for a lack of independence and they are deprived from valuable life lessons. Instead, ask your child why they are upset and what they think they could do if someone isn’t nice to them. You can also give examples from when you were younger and that way you are a role model, not ruling with an iron fist but rather with guidance.

This translates into when your child is ready to date. Heartbreak is going to happen and your child is going to get hurt. I never learned anything from anyone telling me that I should break up with my exes. I learned from evaluating those situations and knowing what to look out for. Compared to 5 years ago, I have a better judge of character and that came from experience, not instructions.

Children are meant to live, laugh and grow. Growing is only through learning. Trust the process.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Why Breaking Ties with My Father was the Best Thing to Happen to Me

Why Breaking Ties with My Father was the Best Thing to Happen to Me

This Father’s Day had a sting to it. For the first time in over twenty years, my father did not get a warm wish, big hug, or a card with a gift from me. In fact, he probably  had no idea what I was doing today. That is because a little over a week ago, I had cut ties with my father.

I understand the severity of that decision and I had thought about it for almost a month before making it. These past five years, I have been on an emotional roller coaster with my father.  I do not know the person he has become and there has been that inner emotional conflict, resulting from desperately needing the father with whom I was raised. I always held hope that he would want to spend time with me, get to know me and be proud of me. Five years later, I have lost that hope.

Somehow along the way, my father shifted from being involved to being disengaged. I went from hearing his loud whistle at every Christmas concert I performed at to reminding him what I had been studying at university for the past five years. I can no longer have a coffee with him without it turning into a lecture of how I am an imperfect daughter and can never do anything right. Any issue I have with him becomes my fault.

As the result of his actions, he is missing out on many special events in life. He has just missed my graduation and he will miss my future occasions such as getting my first job, my first home, getting married and having kids. The worst thing is that he won’t care. He has become very self-centred and it is not something I can tolerate.

Then, I realized that the horrible relationships that I have been in before mirrored the relationship I had with my father. I sought approval and validation that I lost myself. It took me a while to accept that I am a great person who has truly excelled. I had to learn how to do it without expecting a pat on the shoulder or someone jumping up and down. I had to be happy for myself. I had to break the cycle so that my future children will never experience this.

I have grown quite tired of appeasing everyone and being in my mid 20s, it is about time that I put my emotional well-being first. To all the people who have left abusive relationships, I commend you because it takes so much strength out of you, especially in my case where the love is still there. I have understood that you cannot change people unless they want to change themselves. I have a future ahead of me and I cannot permit toxicity to affect it.

Maybe I should just go love myself.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

We have officially reached over 3000 views!

We have officially reached over 3000 views!

Hey everyone!

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother has officially reached over 3000 views! This is amazing 🙂 Thank you all for your support and kind words. I would like to reach 10,000 views by the end of the year, so we will see what happens.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

What your children are thinking of your second marriage

What your children are thinking of your second marriage

You are getting remarried. You have either divorced or had your spouse pass away but you have found someone truly special and with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

If you have children, this decision can bring up many mixed emotions. If your spouse-to-be has a good relationship with them, it is often easier to move into that transition of having a stepparent around. Nevertheless, it’s a change and change can be met positively, negatively, or both, all at once.

My father got married this weekend. We had been planning the wedding for months and it was definitely a change for all of the four kids. My father and stepmother have lived together for the past few years and a marriage was not a big change in lifestyle. It was the matter of ups and downs I had with my stepmother, her changing her last name to mine and of course, just the general concept that I was witnessing my father getting married, something that as a kid, you do not imagine because your parents are already married.

I am very happy for my father because he has truly found his best friend but the wedding brought up both happy and nervous feelings, which many children of parents who get married again do face. Here are some of the emotions and thoughts your children might experience during your second marriage:

1. Happiness. They love you and enjoy seeing you happy with someone you truly care about and cares about you. They are looking forward to a great relationship with a new stepparent.

2. Hope. They are hoping that everything works out between you two as well as hoping that the relationship with the new stepparent is a good one, especially if they have had some rough patches.

3. Doubt. If you are divorced, they are probably thinking that if the first marriage didn’t work out, what will make them think that the second marriage will? They may also think you are a hypocrite for even considering being married again.

4. Anxiety. It is a big change for children to see their parent getting married again and may believe that you are trying to replace the other parent and remove them from their lives. They may also think that your priorities may shift from being a parent to being a newlywed.

5. Uncomfortable. It’s weird seeing a parent get married because they never thought that this would be something that they had to go through. They may also feel like they are betraying the other parent, especially if they are included in your wedding party.

6. Closure. Peace can come with second marriages. Children may finally realize why it didn’t work out between their parents and why it is better with someone else. They may also understand the reasons for why a parent would get married again after the death of a spouse.

It is important to talk to your children about these emotions and to not disregard them as silly, irrational or unimportant. Listening to them, explaining and reassuring them that they are still loved and that the other parent is not being replaced is crucial for a smooth transition.

After all, people have a lot of love to give and just because a child has love for a stepparent, it doesn’t take away from their love for their parents.

Have an experience like this to share? Sound off in the comments below!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Media Love vs. True Love

Media Love vs. True Love

It’s no surprise that the media portrays a very unrealistic version of love. However, it is a surprise of how young the media is targeting.

Today, I was doing some notes and working on some networking projects. My stepbrother (8 years old) and my stepsister (11 years old) went through a marathon of shows on family channel. We watched:
Good Luck Charlie
Jessie
ANT Farm
And The Next Step.

Although these shows can be quite funny and adorable at times, they carried messages that did not promote a healthy relationship. Some behaviours included:
making someone jealous to get back together
Putting someone through impossible tests
Liking someone only for their high status
Making people remember minuscule details

If I were a parent, I would boycott these shows. Where is the confidence, the forgiveness, the sincerity and the unconditional love that is needed in healthy relationships and marriages?

No wonder divorce is a common option.

Sincerely,
The Modern Day Fairy Godmother