My Dad is not a tyrant. He is a good man. He is hard working, has a strong sense of responsibility and delegates himself fairly in all aspects of his life. He is compassionate, albeit a little passive, and he is ultimately a very forgiving person. And yet, for the greater part of my memory, these qualities of his have always been something I’ve seen as opposed to felt. I don’t necessarily believe my relationship with him has been dictated by these characteristics.
So, dad, if you should ever read this, I want you to know that I resent you a lot. I love you and would never wish for a different man to call my father, but I hold a very deep-seeded grudge for you and here I will try and tell you why.
At one time I use to think of myself as a very beautiful person. And I don’t mean for vanity’s sake, I mean ever since I was little I’d always felt like people appreciated me and always acknowledged that I had a brightness within me that shone brighter than anyone else. I try to say this modestly, but I’m having a hard time translating my thoughts–
I used to feel like a good and true person. And I used to attribute a lot of that within me to you. I used to really admire you, and I still do respect the same qualities in you as I always have. But I am a grown person now. And my thoughts and my reasoning have changed considerably. I know I am still only a naïve child in your eyes–believe me, I’m still a child in my eyes too–but I have a brain and a heart that work and have the ability to see things for themselves. I don’t see things the way you want me to anymore.
And this is where my resentment comes from. My feelings and thoughts are invalid to you. They are disrespected and inconsequent. I become invalid. I become inconsequent. I don’t understand you like I once did, because you fail to understand me. And what has happened to me as a result is now I don’t even understand myself. Because you were someone I looked up to, and because you were someone I attributed the good in myself to, I struggle with understanding what kind of person I must be today.
Does that make sense?
I am so hurt and I am so uncertain of myself. There has not been a day in years where I have looked in the mirror and told myself that I am good enough because I am good. It doesn’t work that way for me anymore. I am not good enough and I am not good.
I know you think I must be so disrespectful. I know that anyone in their right mind would probably see me as being disrespectful. But I don’t. I see myself as protecting what little I have left to call my own. When I am disrespecting you, I am holding the memories of my younger self, and I am defending them. I am remembering a little boy, who was good and whole and innocent, and I am trying to prove to him that everything that he is today is okay. I am trying to make him feel like he is still innocent and he is still beautiful, no matter what you make him feel like. I am trying to teach him that his father is a tyrant that has no influence over the kind of person that little boy has the potential to become, to save him from the place I’ve found myself in here and now. And yet, I still feel like nothing. You still make me feel like nothing.
I try and make you out to be the tyrant of my life’s story. But all you ever do is make me feel like the tyrant of yours.