I try not to get too personal, too often on this blog. I often spare the personal posts that I write for my outside writing gigs with The Huff Post or even Matador; but there is nowhere that I would rather write this post then right here on my most treasured place in the whole wide world, so hang with me because it’s going to be turbulent, emotional and extremely different from what you’re used to reading from me.
There was once a time when I idolised my father. I was his little Princess and he was my hero. I would hang off of his every word during the times that his eyes weren’t blood shot and distracted, when he would recount stories to me about how he’d driven the Spice Girls round in a taxi and about what I’d missed from the Tottenham Match he’d just gone to watch.
I learnt at a young age that everything can change in an instant, and that it really doesn’t take long for someone to bulldoze through your entire life, leaving you standing there, looking at the rubble and wondering how and what exactly just happened.
I won’t go into all of the in’s and outs about what exactly happened. I’ll just tell you that very early on in my life, my Father’s addiction to alcohol and god knows what else came out trumps to the life that he led with his family – the life that he led with me.
It’s a funny thing living through abuse and someone else’s alcoholism.
“You’re a credit to yourself” – is what my friends have said when I’ve told them the story
But I’ve come to realise recently that I am completely the makings of my Father which is why I feel I owe him both everything and nothing.
My dad made me completely open to friendships & love
When you watch someone spiraling and spiraling, quicker and quicker until they hit rock bottom. That person that you love with all of your heart is at the bottom and refuses to take your hand and get back up again. He doesn’t want your love; he doesn’t want anybodies.
You never forget the flinch upon the face of that loved one when you go to hug him; because you never want the same one to flash across yours when someone is offering love to you. It’s because of my Father that I really do have some of the most wonderful friendships a girl could ask for.
I don’t have friends; I have family.
My dad made me an adventurer
My Father was Superman to me once. He would do anything, go anywhere & I was always waiting to hear about his next adventure. I then watched that person completely change. The only places that he would ever go was home and the pub. It was very rare for him to venture anywhere then those two places.
Ever since we left my Father, we moved back from one part of Scotland to another, from there to Wales, from Wales back to London & then I headed to Cornwall for University. Since then I have been lucky enough to live in various locations in Spain and Italy too, and then adventure adventure adventure as much as I can.
I may be partial to a drink myself, and see the inside of the pub regularly at times, but thanks to my Father, I need to see the entire world before I will settle and lead a life even remotely similar to his.
My dad gave me the confidence to speak to strangers
When the person that you love and live with has put you through absolute hell by the time you’ve even reached the age of 7, you have absolutely no qualms with approaching that random group of chaps to see if you can join them when you’re travelling solo.
What is the worst thing that’s going to happen? They’re going to get drunk and hit you? Lol, you’ve lived past that person, you’re not scared of someone just saying no that you can’t hang with them, because that really is the worst that would happen.
My dad has made sure that I will never settle for anything other than wonderful
When your should be Superhero, is actually an absolute Dick who has put your mother through the unimaginable, it will take something pretty damn special to make you commit and call that your life.
If a guy wants to shout and swear at me? Lol, bye.
Got a temper? Cya buddie.
Wanna tell me what I can and can’t wear? Yeah, nah.
I get to look at how my Father treated my Mam and I and look for the exact opposite in a person. And the person that I do find that is the exact opposite of my Dad is going to be a really, really good cookie.
My dad taught me how to forgive, but never forget
I can’t tell you when or how I realised I had forgiven my Father, but one day I just had. I looked around at all the great things, people and adventures that I had and realised that wherever my Dad was; his life would be the complete opposite to the one that I was leading.
It was from that day onward that my feelings towards him changed from fear to pity.
And when you pity someone, forgiving them kind of comes with the territory. I wouldn’t go and hunt him out and accept him back into my life or anything, but it is good to know that wherever he is, whatever rock he is probably under, I don’t hold any bad feelings towards him anymore.
If I can forgive him, then I can forgive anyone.
My dad taught me not to expect fuck ups, but not be taken off guard by them either
We’re all only human and everyone is bound to mess up at some point or another. I’m not exactly sitting around waiting for them to happen, but I won’t be emotional and lost if and when they do.
I also now know the difference between a fuck up beyond repair, and one that deserves your patience and forgiveness.
My dad has taught me that I deserve everything that I could possibly want
When you’ve grown up thinking that weren’t good enough for your dad to stop drinking. When you thought that you weren’t good enough for him to not hit his family and to want to be like the other dad’s were. When you thought that if you’d done something differently then you would have deserved to have the happy family life that you wanted so badly.
One day there will come a point when you wake up and realise that it wasn’t you that wasn’t good enough at all. It was him that wasn’t good enough. It was him that chose all of the actions that he made and there was nothing that you could have done to stop him.
When you realise this, you will also realise that you deserve every happiness, and everything that you could possibly think of.
My dad taught me to say ‘yes’ to things
He made me realise that everything you think you know could end in an instant anyway, and so to just get out there and say yes to adventures before it might all fall out from under you.
My dad taught me to say ‘no’ to things
As strong as I think I am some days, I also suffer with pretty bad anxiety. My dad taught me that it’s okay to want to curl up in bed with your emotions sometimes and not see anybody for a while.
He also taught me that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable with certain situations and to just say no and get the hell out of wherever you don’t want to be. Nothing is worth jeapardising your happiness & I owe it to my dad for knowing how easy addictions & darkness can fall upon you.
My dad taught me that trust is to earned and kept every single day
The first people you know and trust in the world are always your parents.
When one of those people let you down in a way beyond imagination, it’s hard not to have your guard up against every other person you meet in the world. I don’t think that’s a terrible thing though. I’ve learnt that my trust isn’t just a reward to give to everyone. It’s something that is to be earnt and proved to be kept upon every passing day.
“To lose one parent may be regarded as misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness”.
I suppose my biggest teaching from my dad is that I have the bestest mum that I could ever ask for. Someone who has sought to protect, love and care for me. Someone I am not only ridiculously lucky to call my mum; but also incredibly fortunate to be able to call my best friend. He taught me to love, respect and cherish not only my mum, but all the good that I have in my life, and for that I will always be grateful.