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#431827 - 04/20/13 02:19 AM Re: I needed my daddy [Re: ThisMan]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3378
Loc: somewhere in Africa
me too. My real father died just before I turned 3. Mom married the step-dad when I was 5 ½. They asked me if I wanted a new daddy and I said yes. I should have said no. not that it would have made any difference. It didn’t turn out like I expected. He was verbally, physically and sekually abusive.

I have heard the saying that anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad. I had to reverse that because of my own history and the associations with the two terms.

The way I have referred to mom’s second husband has changed over the years. When I was a kid – from the day he married mom, when I was 5 ½ - I HAD to call him “daddy.” That changed when I was about 13 and I started to call him “dad” – because I didn’t live in the south, bill! That lasted up through the time I started therapy the first time in my mid 30s – I started referring to him “my stepfather” – I rarely saw him in person by that time and didn’t address him directly if I could help it. More recently – I guess since shortly before I started this round of therapy less than 2 years ago – I started to call him “THE step-father.” I didn’t want to own any kind of personal connection – especially a possessive one. Now it is usually “the step-dad.” I reserve the word “Father” for my real, blood father.

So I don’t say I needed my daddy – I say I needed my Father – but I definitely know the feeling. It has been a deep aching black hole in my life for as long as I can remember. And the difference between what should have been – and the real-life experience with the step-dad – was such a stark and blatant mockery of what fatherhood means – that it is obscene to use either of those words in connection with him.

When I got past age 27 – the age at which my Father died – it was such a strange feeling – to be older than my father had ever been. Now my son is past that age – another weird feeling. It used to be that I couldn’t even stand to look at photos of my Father – it just hurt too much. There have been some very surreal moments – my grandparents (who I rarely saw) used to slip and call me by his name, though our names were not the same. Once I found a document that I couldn’t remember writing – it turned out that my father had written it – and my handwriting looked just like his – though I had never seen it before. I found an insurance form he had filled in and our heights and weights were the same.

The only way I was even able to think of trying to be a father myself was to try to do everything the exact opposite of what the step-dad did.

But – yeah, the deep hurt is still there.
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#431831 - 04/20/13 04:17 AM Re: I needed my daddy [Re: ThisMan]
GT13568 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 129
Loc: California
Hi ThisMan, 

I needed my daddy, too - or my "dad" in my SoCal home. I mean I had him, my parents stayed married, but he started to sexually abuse me - and otherwise ignore, punish, and humiliate me - when I was real small. There was no chance of praise or positive reinforcement in my family, nor any chance of learning anything good from him.

I wish I had a man for a father. In the best light, my dad was sad and messed up. In the worst light he was a monster.

I wonder sometimes if I love him. I don't know. I don't know what that love would be like. Even though he is long dead - by his own hand, and without ever saying a word about what he did to me - I'm still afraid of him, and ashamed of what I did for him. When I dream about him I feel angry and sad and powerless and trapped.

Powerlessness is the worst. Back then, all I could do was freeze and disappear inside myself and take his abuse. There was no fighting back. It was like a bargain we had - he and my mom put me in the hospital for "brain treatments" (whatever that was) when I fought back when I was four. It could always happen again, that was made clear. Similar hospitalizations did happen again.

So yeah, I needed a dad. Sometimes I found one then, and sometimes I still do; in friends, in my partner, in strangers who I see doing kind and honorable things. 

And, (-: sometimes I find a dad in myself. I guess he's the real one.

Thanks for posting this, and thanks to the men who so beautifully and powerfully shared.

Geoff
_________________________
I won the moment he hurt me, because he poisoned his soul, and I did not poison mine. I did not hurt anyone. He did. He was the perp. He tried to make me into a victim, but I became a survivor. Yes.

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