I’ve recently been pondering the concept of writing a letter slash email, slash something to get my thoughts out. So I guess this is gonna be it, my outlet? Again, not sure how far it will be reached but either way. Whether or not I send something: put pen to paper, fingers to keys and click send.. is a whole different story.
Anyway, as it so happens as it always does. The thought of my dad has been brought back into my life. One way, or another as it always does time and time again. It’s been roughly two years since I last saw him, and last spoke to him yet the thought of him has always been in the back of my head- haunting me almost.
As a child, I was always told “You look so much like your father!” or “You remind me so much of him” and so it goes. At the time, I guess it didn’t really bother me all too much… I mean it did, but mainly because I didn’t want to be anything like him. As I grew up and matured if you will, I will still being told the same thing and still hated the concept but for different reasons. As I got older, it became more evident to me that I didn’t want to be anything like my dad, for a number of reasons. He was a cheater, he was selfish, bullying and borderline alcoholic. And I wanted to be none of those things.
For a period of time, I lived with my dad, my step mum and their two kids. This was an attempt for me to ‘beat’ my eating disorder and I lived there for about 6 months max. Throughout the time I lived there, I didn’t necessarily get better… I just got better at lying I guess. While living there, I found other means of control: Self-harm, purging and diet pills. So I did not get better, I got worse. Unfortunately, at the time my step mum who was in remission from cancer started to relapse. My dad being the lovely person he was, blamed it on me. Blamed it on me, because of the ‘stress’ I was causing her while living there. I admit, it wouldn’t have been hard to live with me at this point of my life, but in NO way am I to blame for cancer coming back. Shortly after, he kicked me out and I went to live with my nan. However, over the years, we kept in touch. Occasional dinners and birthdays, but it was never a great relationship.
Several years later, my eating disorder got worse. Much, much worse. I was about to be hospitalised. He called me, on my way home from work. He asked me if I wanted to die, that my eating disorder would kill me and that I wouldn’t amount to anything if I let this continue. It wasn’t a pleasant conversation at all. I was hospitalised a week or two after and didn’t hear from him once while I was in there, or once I was out.
Finally, 2 years or so after my admission. I enrolled in my course to study Social Work. I wanted to help people who had been to hell and back, who had been where I had been. I wanted to help people like me to see that, it’s not all about scales and calories. (Admittedly, I’m not fully recovered currently, but I’m doing a hell of a lot better than I have been in recent years)
I saw him shortly after, at my sisters 21st birthday. And while he knew full well what I was studying, he asked me again. “But why do you want to help the bums and junkies on the streets?” was his response; “Because someone has to” was mine. My step mum then asked what my grades were like because success seemed to be the only thing that mattered in that household.
Snap to November 2014, my nieces 1st birthday. Again, the two of them question me about my uni grades and what I want to do when I’m finished. At the time I was averaging a C average and had no idea who I wanted to work with… “Whatever makes you happy and pays the bills” they said sarcastically. And this was the last conversation I’ve had with either of them. More recently, my sister has told me that he reached out to both of them before I was hospitalised, and told them to cut me off because I “would drag them down” with me. This gutted me, but I have no idea why. At this point, I was quite content with the fact that I would have nothing more to do with him anymore, but it still hurt.
I am still, quite content with having nothing to do with him, or them or the life that they preach. I’ve been pushing myself so, so hard at uni over the past 3 years, and finally nailed my honours invitation and will be writing my proposal this week. So, it looks like I can do something with my life, I can achieve something regardless of having an eating disorder and various other ‘mental blemishes’.
I’m quite happy about how I’ve turned out, scars and all. And for once, I can happily say- I am nothing like my father.
Take care & stay safe ❤️