Quite a few friends have told me to that I should write a book about my Dad. I think they like my nostalgic Facebook posts and they think I have a wealth of knowledge on my Dad and that everything was rosey and tinted in a golden hue. That’s not the truth.
The truth is that Dad and I were like clanging cymbols in each other’s lives. It was not pretty, peaceful or lovely.
On the one hand, Dad and I are (were?) alike in so many ways. So funny because we weren’t biologically related, but we had so much in common. We both loved subtle British humour, rooting for the underdog, believing in magic/miracles, old bookstores, happily wandering about in Museums and Art Galleries, enjoying well-written stories, being open to a hint of adventure, long talks about nothing and everything, meeting new people and making friends.
On the other hand, Dad and I were each other’s worst enemies. I learnt a lot of not very nice/not great things from my Dad:
- That silent treatment can hurt as much as (in often times even more than) yelling can
- how to be begrudging
- how to be passive-aggressive
- how to be a master manipulator
So if I did write a book about my Dad…from my point of view, obviously…it would be a mixed bag, really. I think a lot of people would be shocked that it wasn’t all rainbows and wonderful Daddy-Daughter moments…it’s a lot of pain.
I grew up chasing after and badly wanting my Dad’s approval and he found me incredibly needy and annoying. Not a good mix. Neither of us got what we wanted. We would both end up – more than often – frustrated and fed up.
Dad and I are both deep thinkers. We both read cards and letters and want to know what was between the lines. We both question a lot of things. Dad used to read my (SECRET) diaries when I was a teenager. I caught him doing it and he said he just wanted to know who I was. I got really angry about it. Why doesn’t he just ask me? But I was also a very closed-in person when I was younger. I didn’t want my parents to judge or laugh at me so I hid a lot of who I was from them and just gave them the polite, quiet version.
I got told off a lot by Dad. I felt like nothing I did was right. In turn, I shut Dad out a lot and would turn to my friends when I wanted advice or help with something. We both frustrated each other a lot. It was as if we were shouting a different language at each other and both just so wanted to communicate.
I’d say the last 10-15 years have been better for us both. We both seemed to agree to an unknown, unseen, non-disclosure agreement of coming to a truce and just appreciating each other for what we were – faulty, broken, bruised individuals doing our best to be kind to others in a shaky world. That’s who Dad and I are.
Not really sure I could make a book out of that?
Maybe a “things to do/not do” booklet?