Daddy issues are like fungal infections, hard to get rid of.
When people ask me if I have a relationship with my parents, I usually say not really. I haven’t talked to my dad in four years, minus a phone hand off to my mother a couple of years ago and a text he didn’t respond to on Christmas of 2012, telling him he was an asshole for leaving my nana alone on Christmas.
When someone asks why don’t I talk to my father I usually say, “because he’s an asshole.”
Just like staring at your athlete’s foot doesn’t make it disappear, taking a magnifying glass to my daddy issues doesn’t burn them dead, even when I angle it just right to use the rays of the sun.
It doesn’t quite make anything any different inside of me, or change how difficult it is for me to relate to men in a healthy way, when it comes to trying to trust or date one, to know that he is an a$shole. Even though it is commonly said that the first step is awareness, an alcoholic does not find the help they need when they first begin to know they are an alcoholic. They still have to put the fucking drink down. Then they have the rest of their life to try and not pick it back up again.
In situations that mirror the dynamics of my family, where I am to keep my mouth shut when I am being treated badly, or when other people I care about or have a responsibility to are being treated badly, I continue to find myself fighting the urge to stand up and scream bullshit. It is painful for me to sit still. To not tell the truth. To not point out the undercurrent of dysfunction that no one calls by its name.
The dynamics of my childhood keep finding me. I am turned into a secret holder again and again. I am keeping quiet to keep the semblance of peace. I am the gender that holds secrets in this country, where our binary systems have women harbor the pain of men, even when it comes in the form of the abuse they have endured by them.
It is then, all sorts of problematic that when I get stressed out, I want more than anything to be comforted by a man. I want to know I am okay, that what I am doing is justified. I have an intensely strong urge to have a MAN APPROVE OF ME.
I have a very strong urge to call whatever male I think might come to hold me in his arms and squeeze and tell me it is okay, I am okay, to let me cry until my nose runs and my body trembles and gives into being held.
When I fall apart completely, it is only in front of a man. This continues to confirm for me that men are the only ones who have the power to make me better. To make it even more fucked up, the men I reach out to, have to be interested in me sexually.
In this way, (and my not yet talked about daddy issues that aid in my selection of men that don’t meet my needs) I set myself up to have a man disapprove of my speaking out as a woman, admonish my truth, and in the process diminish me to a object for sex (as in my mind\perhaps in the actuality of the situations I keep seeking out with men, dismissing my convictions as unnecessary or over the top or because of my dysfunctions and history, diminishes me to sex) and again prove that no man can ever care for me properly.
I see how I set this up for myself. I can see how the small child inside of me keeps going back to see if just this one time daddy will show up. The way he used to before I grew boobs. The way he could when he could control my entire world by just picking me up and holding me in his big bear arm grasp.