I initially wanted to use Thursday’s to blog about the terrible reality shows I watch, but I’m not. I may do it in the future, but today I want to write about my reality.
In previous posts, I have discussed my relationship with my father. A quick recap is that he was a very active in my life, but he was also abusive to me and my mother. I left his house the day after my junior high school graduation because he threatened to beat me with the buckle of his belt because I refused to wear a hijab (Muslim head covering). After I left, the relationship was strained, but we still communicated and saw each other quite often. I kind of compare myself to someone with Stockholm syndrome in that I never realized how bad it was until I ended up in Iraq. I recognized as a child how bad he was to my mother, but I always thought what he did to me was something I deserved. I knew my mother didn’t deserve to have a bloody nose or mouth and surely I didn’t deserve to live in a house where I had to fall asleep to her cries, but at that point in my life it was all that I knew.
When I moved to Florida to be with my husband, he mentioned to me that he thought the relationship with my father was unhealthy. I agreed, but had been raised that it was a sin to cut off ties with family. One year, my father came to visit our family. My husband didn’t want it to happen, but we both agreed that he was family and it would be nice for my daughter to meet him. The visit was not the best and after leaving our home, he told people that we were struggling. We were rationing water and air. He told people that I wouldn’t be married long because I didn’t cook and that it was obvious that our home had no love. It hurt to hear those things, especially since it wasn’t true, but I was not surprised. The last straw for my husband came when he gave my cousin my husband’s personal information in which she used as a personal reference in a criminal case. As I have stated before, my husband is in the military and we live off of his income alone, so to threaten his character or even his security clearance angered the both of us to the point of no return.
I continued to talk to my father, although it was more like listening. I didn’t stop talking to him until I went to see a therapist and showed him my call log along with some of the messages that my father left me and he made a very strong suggestion that I no longer speak to my father. The most amazing thing that happened when I took that route was that I felt really happy. I felt like a weight had been lifted. I was no longer irritated and in the long run, my communication and perception of my husband changed. I often used my father as a point of reference in my marriage when my husband had never shown any sign of being like my father. It’s amazing what can happen when you get rid of toxic people in your life. Unfortunately, the toxicity came from a man that played a part in me being here.
So…why am I typing all of this tonight. Well, I blocked my father off of my cell phone, but I can still listen to the voicemail messages that he leaves. I decided to just delete them without listening, but tonight I listened to them and it confirmed to me that what I am doing is right. There were about 10 message in a 6 day period. One in particular stood out to me. He left a message saying that he saw me in traffic and that I seemed to look bigger. The was the first lie because the last time he saw me I was about 40 pounds heavier and I live 90 miles away from. It gets better. Not only did he see me in traffic, but he also saw me in a car with another man and my children were not in the car. He then proceeded to say that it was obvious that I was in a loveless marriage and I was cheating on my husband. Wow! Now, I’m a cheater and I’m in a loveless marriage. He left a message right after that one saying that he understood why I cheated because I couldn’t be with a weak person and my husband was weak. The last message was him saying that he thru up blood and needed help getting to the hospital.
It’s funny, because sometimes I feel guilty for not speaking to him. It is unnatural to no longer have contact with a living parent. During my last therapy session, I told the therapist that I felt cheated. I had an awesome relationship with my grandfather and my children will never have that. I use to romanticize the very small normal moments I had with my father. I wanted a daddy daughter relationship and I still have this hope that he will change, but I kind of know he won’t.
It sucks. It really sucks, but the moral of the story is to let the negativity go, even if it is a parent. I think that toxic relationships need to be destroyed especially if it is a parent because the hurt is so much more deep. I can’t help loving him because he is my father, but his presence only destroys my spirit. Loving him from a distance is the only way that I don’t allow him to control my life and how I act or react to things. I had a habit of relaying my past to present situations and making decisions based on my past. Leaving my father alone has allowed me to live in the present. Because my father is such a negative fixture of my past and has not changed, speaking to him and having a relationship with him kept me living in the past. I know that he will now go to family members and members of his community and tell them that I am now cheating on my husband. I don’t doubt it. I know that if I continued a relationship with him my health, my sanity, and my marriage would suffer. I also know that I need to change my number. That is my reality. I have learned through all of this that I have control to create a positive life and positive surroundings. Unfortunately, a life without the drama does not include my father, but I owe it to myself and my children to live the best life ever. I also owe it to this man who loved me through it all.
Good night, Love and Light