I’m glad this was the last weekend (until next year anyways) where we’re supposed to celebrate our parents and all the wonderful things they’ve done for us. It’s hard to be grateful for the people who caused, and in some cases are still causing, so much of the pain in your life.
I feel like a broken record but sometimes life just nails you in all directions. So this weekend (and a few days before it), rather than reading and posting and being exceptionally negative, I pretty much avoided all forms of social media because I wasn’t feeling much like connecting with anyone.
On Saturday, I took the boys to the beach. I’ve been waiting months to go back and it didn’t disappoint although I must admit that Lake Superior this time of year weighs heavily on the absolutely freezing cold side of the temperature scale. The boys didn’t seem to mind though (I think they just might have some issues) and spent most of the 5 hours in the water.
The beach is one of my absolute favourite places to go when life feels too overwhelming to keep it together. I can be with the people I want to be with and I’m not forced to interact and have conversations I don’t want to be having, there isn’t anyone nagging me about how I’ve done something wrong or should be doing something differently, the voices telling me about how life would be better for everyone if I wasn’t in it sort of die down a bit and the sun and sand calm my soul. The boys can be loud and run and play and just be kids. It’s the perfect way to spend the day.
Sunday was completely different though, and I woke up with a sense of dread.
Father’s Day! Ugggghhh!
It’s a painful reminder of what I don’t have — not only because my father isn’t here physically, but because my father was an abuser. I struggle to make it through the day without being reminded of some of the worst parts of my childhood. Until the day he died, I was absolutely terrified of him.
Not everyone has a superhero father. Not everyone has a father who loved you unconditionally, who was there no matter what, who had tea parties and comforted you and celebrated with you. Fathers are supposed to be protectors. The ones who should shelter us from bullies, hold us when we’re scared, threaten to beat up the monsters under the bed and tell us they will fix things for us.
Sometimes though, they don’t do the things they are supposed to do for us. Sometimes they not only fail to protect us but hurt us as well. Some fathers are more like villains than superheroes.
For a really long time, I tried to go along with the hype. I wouldn’t say much about the day or how horrible I felt about my father and the things that he did. But, I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t sit here and put up Facebook postings pretending that it’s fine. It doesn’t make things easier really, and in many ways, admitting that I had a not-so-great father and feeling what needs to be felt brings it’s own level of hell to the situation.
This morning I finally went on Facebook. I should have waited another day though because not enough has been posted to wipe away the messages and pictures that others have shared regarding their fathers and husbands. I scrolled through as fast as I could, but you can’t avoid it entirely. And it hurts. It hurts and I can’t change the way that it was.
I once asked T if things got easier once a person who caused so much hurt in your life was dead. He looked at me like I had three heads and said ‘you would probably be better able than anyone to answer that question‘. I guess the answer would be, not always. At least with my father it isn’t. It’s horrible. It’s hell. It’s hell now and it was hell having a father who was physically and emotionally abusive.