top of page

Happy Fathers Day, Dadzilla

Father’s Day I read through posts on Facebook and view endearing photos of dads with their kids. I don’t think I have one photograph of me with my father. There are group photographs, but nothing of the two of us. I wouldn’t want one. I do have his paintings hanging in my bedroom. I wondered yesterday why. We had a troubled relationship. He would have been jailed for things he did. We didn’t know to tell. Those things aren’t the story. The legacy is. So why, Karen, I asked myself, would you have paintings on your bedroom wall painted by a man who inflicted so much damage on you? Why? It’s because they are evidence that somewhere within this man I was terrified of was something that made him want to put paint on a canvas. There was a soft part of him that wanted to create. That is why.

When he was alive, I didn’t visit. I visited when he was on his deathbed, about five times. His wife always thought the worst, so more than once I made that very difficult journey just down the road to say goodbye. We had never said hello. Goodbye was easy.

I was born into mayhem. There was no reason, no order. He was a man afflicted by disorders that caused him to think that abusing a female child in every possible way was somehow acceptable. I have worked hard on my healing, and advocate for any child who I believe needs it. The legacy is that at sixty I still get triggered, I still need treatment to deal with the fallout of being raised by an abuser.

Still, when he died, I felt as though the ground had been removed from under my feet. It is an odd thing, the tie between an abuser and their child. I know there is this phenomenon known as ‘traumatic bonding’. It wasn’t just that. He was my father. The only one I ever had. So I was supposed to respect him, love him. It was never easy. And it still isn’t.

My father wreaked a lot of damage. But he also gave me my sense of humour, and some gifts of dreams and knowing. I focus on those.

So happy father’s day, Dadzilla, wherever you are. Thanks for making me who I am. Because though I struggle with what happened, and wish terribly much it didn’t, I thank you for any good thing you did. For making sure I had food and clothes. For buying boats and forcing me to go sailing on early winter mornings. For teaching me how to survive in the bush. And I love you. Don’t ask me why, because honestly, I could not dig deep enough into my blood and bones to explain it. It just is.

Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page