Father's Day And Numerous Daddy Stories..


So yesterday was Fathers' Day all over the world and, like always, I took the time out to read what other people had to say about their relationships with their fathers. I am often amazed when I read all these stories about fathers who are their daughter's best friends, who are their advisors, who are their main fans- the only person who believed in them- their emotional sound boards, somehow I often find that hard to believe- no offense to anyone..... At least, I find it hard to believe that a "Nigerian" father is like that. Maybe because the fathers of friends around me were equally really strict but maybe not so much as my dad.


I honestly feel like people who say such mushy stuff about their dads either had fathers who themselves had an "oyibo" upbringing or, I don't know, maybe the said father was just exceptional, I can't really say but I do know that a lot of people have tales of having had fathers who were rather too strict and though they tend to appreciate these fathers' "strictness" in adulthood and came to realise and recognise it as "love", the fact still remained that the father in question had been quite strict in their childhood.

For me, as much as I realise my father's "strictness" was probably out of love, personally, rather than "appreciate" this "love", I still find that I am a bit bitter about A LOT and if, in my adulthood, I still cannot or haven't gotten to the point where I can "appreciate" the "unecessary discipline and verbal lashings" as "love", then I'm afraid it is what it is- it was abuse and served to damage and never to "make one better" regardless of whatever my father's good intentions were.

People like my mum and grandmum often say they cannot understand why I can and should feel the way that I do and have often asked if there was more to it, say, if I was molested or something- God forbid, my father was STRICT, not SICK! I wonder why one cannot simply accept that it is normal for a person who was constantly berated and tongue lashed throughout the most significant period of their life to have strong emotions towards the person who had constantly berated them- it should be common sense, no?

My father, who himself was the preferred child of his parents- who themselves didn't know to hide the fact that they "preferred" him to his siblings- preferred my younger sister out of all of us and this preference was known by all and, unlike my parents siblings, we didn't think anything of it and rather used it to get her to get us things. No one begrudged her this special love. However, I still feel that had my sister not been a wise person, this preference could have caused major issues between the siblings simply because my father sometimes did not know how to handle issues where it concerned her and "the rest".



I'll give an instance, back then in Secondary school, I had struggled with subjects like Math, Physics, Chemistry- anything that required any form of calculations, I struggled with so, naturally, I was an average student until my SS2 when I took my electives and focused on my core area which was in the Arts. However, my younger sister came into the same secondary school as I in my SS1 (Senior Secondary class one) and right from her Jss1 (Junior Secondary class one) she excelled excellently( I know, tautology). I was so proud! I remember hearing her name being called out in the first three students in her class the term she had joined- I hadn't even heard it, I noticed my classmates in the assembly turning to me and saying something as I really hadn't been paying attention- I was never going to be called anyway. "Your sister is among the first three students!", they said. "What?", I'd asked. "YOUR SISTER IS AMONG THE FIRST THREE STUDENTS!". Wowwwieee! You would have thought it was me they'd called, I'd been so proud of her. This continued throughout my duration until I graduated- I actually now looked forward to those assemblies because I wanted to hear her name and once I hadn't heard it, I'd inquired after what had happened and encouraged her to be more studious.

You see, even though I wasn't going to be called, I knew my sister had what it took to always stay ahead- she was a rounded student- so I kept encouraging her to shine. Now, on one occasion, my sister and I had quarrelled and whilst exchanging words, I called her a bastard. You must know that, at the time, when insulting someone, the go to words were, "You silly idiot, bastard, fool, selfish...", a lot of the times thought wasn't even given to the meaning of the words- it just "sounded" like a good insult to inflict the right amount of hurt you wanted to inflict at the said time. She quickly ran to our guardian's house, telephoned my parents and told them that we had quarelled and I'd called her a bastard but I didn't know this until later....

We'd gone home on the mid-term holidays and, one early morning, my dad called us together for the regular family meeting. In this meeting, he started: "PP did so well at school this term, her result...bla, bla bla.... Anyway, it so happens that you...", turning to me, "..and your sister had a quarrel and you called her a bastard...", shaking his head slowly from side to side with the corners of his mouth turned downwards in deep disapproval and his eyes closed to a squint as though to focus into the future. "Before PP got into that school, our family name was unheard of or only associated with rascality. Your sister's entrance into that school redeemed our family name and made everyone realise that, yes, there is intelligence in this family and yet, you had the effrontery to call her, MY DAUGHTER," pointing to his chest with his two hands to signify that my sister was "his", "a bastard when it is clearly yourself who is a bastard....". I was thirteen years old in SS1 at this time....

You see eh, it's things like this that I could not and still cannot understand when I think about it. I don't understand how an adult, a parent too, could not mediate between two sisters and say something like, "How can you call your younger sister a bastard, do you not know that YOU are her guardian and that you should look out for her?", or some such thing rather than try to create enmity between us. My sister, at the time, came to apologise after this meeting (we had since made up and had long forgotten this quarrel) and told me she had called home on the day- she just hadn't realised my dad would have taken it that far. Because she was a wise person, she stopped throwing us under the bus, maybe because she could see that if she carried on, it could have led to the infiltration of hate into our sibling relationship.

It was about this same age that he first "pronounced" to me that I was a failure. I remember vividly because I had been so hurt by that statement that I went and wrote it down in my diary that, "On so so day, daddy told me that I am a failure". I'd been either 12 or 13 years old too. These are only instances from my childhood/early teenage years, the experiences in my late teenage years and early adulthood were mostly destructive and utterly hurtful but then again, I had gradually progressed to my most rebellious stages in those years so, to an extent, you almost couldn't really blame him but, when I hear, "Your dad loves you, he acts this way because he loves you!", I look at all these acts and, I try to find love in them but I really, REEEAAALLLYYY cannot. I won't tell someone things like this if I truly did not mean to destroy them, so how can you say it was done in love?

It is said that a daughter's first love is her father. If what should have been my "first love" really was my first hate, my first hurt, my first put down, is it then any wonder that I went on to excuse and put up with very abusive behaviour in my relationships? For a long time my relationship with my father shaped my relationship with men: peace one minute and the next, turbulence, katakata, fight, fight, fight, too much fight.... Phew! Thank God I've been able to totally divest myself of all that toxicity and negativity.

Anyway, what's your daddy story? Did you have loving stories to tell on Father's day or were you quiet like me?

Love Always,
Judgejudyjudy...
X

P.S: My parents won't stop reading my blog, I just don't get it! My mum, in the beginning, reached out saying she "felt bad" to read some things I wrote and I said, "Mum, please, it's not about how YOU feel, I'm only writing my truth and if you feel so strongly about it, I'm going to have to block you and dad on social media!". She didn't want to be blocked but yet they're still reading- I don't know what purpose it'll serve but, no worries.

6 comments

  1. I agree with you... my father was not abusive but he was very neglectful... he was with a woman, my ex step mother who abused us regularly. He claimed he had no idea... it took many years to work though that and forgive him.

    I don't think abuse is love, I know some people will take that the wrong way... but frankly people that try to justify abuse as love are filled with guilt. Those people need to ask for forgiveness and really mean it.

    As well, I say forgive your dad... for you... but that doesn't mean you have to tolerate abusive behavior from anyone.

    Love you girl, you are the better person raising your child with love xox ♡

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    1. Thank you so much Launna, I agree with you 100% (unfortunately, haha x). I have forgiven the past but writing about it every now and again is really my way of putting it behind me. It's also very good that my husband knows exactly how I feel about the treatment meted out to me by my dad and he knows that I will not tolerate any man treating my children like that all in the name of "discipline", there is discipline and there is wickedness- I won't stand for anyone abusing my children in any way or form. That marriage would long be over before anyone can make any one of my children suffer emotionally like that- that's just my take.

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  2. Oucccchhhhhhh! You are such a great person. Many people would have hated their siblings for such a long time if this happened to them.

    What your dad did was wrong, but what we do to others is a reflection of what we are carrying inside of us, so I will not be quick to condemn.

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    1. Thanks a lot Ilola. Actually, my sister is such an amazing person, my main support system and one of the people who believed in me and prayed for me especially when I went through those really tough times. She also is one of the people that understands why I act the way I do or why I feel the way I do- maybe cos she is a Dr- but she tends to understand the clinical aspect of why I may have had depression and how that, with the kind of relationship I had with my dad and went on to have in my first relationship, it was inevitable that I would suffer from it. She just totally understands without any judgement: there is no, "oh, but it's all love" and all that cock and bull, she just totally gets it.

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    2. But like you've said, he gave what he knew to give. All his siblings are the very same way and so I understand that he couldn't have given what he didn't know. I believe in being better though, because I was treated like an animal makes me resolved to treat my children way better and to be there for them. It's all about how you choose to use your experiences. I will NEVER treat my child the way I was treated.

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  3. My dad wasn't abusive, but he has a very very very hard heart. Something's he did to us while growing up, I took as normal cos everyone's dad is also strict and looked at like a god. But now I have more understanding, I now see it for what it it really, meaness shikina. He hasn't stopped, do I care? Not really I'm no longer in his face anyway.

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