Here’s the thing.
I love my Dad. I will always love him and I have never looked up to anyone or craved the approval of anyone as much I did my whole life with my Dad. That man could make or break me with his very word, honestly.
The thing I struggled with is that Dad knew precisely how to hurt me and he did. Often.
When people die, it is said the people they leave behind immortalise them and remember them in a rose-coloured lense – as perfect and wonderful.
That’s now how I remember my Dad.
I remember the mind games, the guessing. Was I a good daughter or was I a complete waste of time? I remember the passive-aggressive comments that my sensitive heart didn’t know what to do with. On the rare occassion I stood my ground and asked “what exactly did you mean by that?” I was either met with pride “Well there you are. A fighter after all” or sarcasm and hurt. More often the latter.
I have nightmares almost every week about running from my Dad, you know. The Dad who loved me, looked after me, made me laugh, told me daggy jokes and was my hero…is the same man I’m cowering from in the bathroom while he pounds on the door or forces his shoulder against it so that the door rattles against it’s hinges and I worry for my safety.
That never happened in real life.
I got smacked a lot (by golly) but I never got beaten and I was never in fear for my life.
But now that my beloved Dad is dead…these dreams shake me to my very core. The fear there…it’s real. Where did it come from? What does it mean?