TW- I know for some folk, Fathers’ Day is a massive trigger and hurts a lot to think about. If you don’t feel safe, don’t worry about reading this. I’m only saying nice stuff, but sometimes that hurts too. ❤
Oh, daddy. You’re asleep in that chair again, or watching Formula One with me, or playing with the puppy. Maybe you’re mowing the lawn on Saturday, or maybe you’re annoyed because you were trying to fix that database and it’s screwed up again.
It doesn’t matter. If I wake you, or call you, or text you, you will answer.
I was sixteen, the first time I truly realised how amazing your love for me was. Of course, I’d been told the stories of you lifting my infant form to the curtains, to the sink, the flowers, the windows, and telling me their names, but it never really sunk in til we took Terry for a walk and you told me you would rather me ring you than cut myself. I was shocked. You do love deeply, and you would rather use ten words to express something than a hundred, but you told me that and I knew you meant it instantly.
It happened again after I broke up with that narcissist, my ex. I remember feeling destroyed in the worst possible way but you were still there to hold me close and tell me you loved me. Even if he didn’t, you did. Then later on that holiday, I got a text from my ex telling me he loved me, after all the shit he’d put me through. I know that your anger made me realise what I’d been being force-fed since being 15 was wrong. I was angry too, but secretly proud of your anger. It meant you cared.
You even showed up in the porch to collect the things he was returning to me, and I am glad you stood there with your stern Norman countenance. My personal 1066 elite guard, mon papa.
I had my breakdown, and you were there for me. You kept telling me you believed in my dancing and you believed I would recover from my injury, and I knew that you meant it. I was drowning in voices and despair and you kept trying to grab my hand to save me.
When I found J, you and he got on like a house on fire. It was nothing to do with him sucking up to you- this was true, real, mutual friendship and appreciation. It was the most lovely thing to see after all the hurt my ex had fired your way. J’s honesty was beautifully refreshing and it made you respond to him the way you respond to family. You are sociable and chatty when the mood is on you, and that’s how you were with the new man in my life.
When I crashed and burned and broke again, there you were. Again. You visited me every night without fail in hospital, and you did crosswords with me and hugged me when I cried. I am here because you wanted me to win over the PTSD and bipolar and voices and terror. You wanted me to win, along with another universe of people, and I’m here.
Thank you is not enough, but it is a start. Thank you for accepting my panic attacks and the voices and standing by your bruised and battered daughter. You love me, and that’s enough some days. Thank you.
From your loving child.