My father exited my life when I was 12
Next time I saw him again, I was 15 and I had already gone through all the stages of grief.
Seeing him again didn’t fill me with any anticipation or desire to have answers.
The expectation of him to show up dwindled with every bell that asked parents to leave at the end of every school visitation, where he didn’t show.
All the questions I had for him had been asked and answered by me, myself and our imaginary friend.
I sat with him on a pavement, looked at him, and we made small talk. He didn’t volunteer any explanations and I was grateful, because there was now a numbness about our relationship that was comfortable.
Then I grew up and discovered the phrase, “daddy issues.” The label we receive for not having our fathers present in our lives.
It was cool at first. It made me feel special on some level as if I had an enviable unique characterisic.
Before I could settle into my newly acquired title, I realized, it was just a mockery of my character. Some sort of explanation for how I behaved, spoke or responded, so I resented it with every fiber of my being.
I promised myself to be the opposite of what having daddy issues ‘dictated’ I should be.
I saw him again, this time, I was 19, getting ready to join university. Our conversation lasted longer than the last time.
We talked about going to law school and how he was worried that the course would put me in harm’s way.
He suggested a few easier or safer choices, I agreed with him so I didn’t have to explain myself.
He held my hand and walked with me for a while and we parted ways just a few safe meters away from mother dearest.
After that day, I realized how far apart him and I were. It hurt like hell.
I wanted to talk to him about why going to law school was important to me. It was so heart wrenching, almost like a desperate need for approval.
I wanted to confide in him about my fears of going to campus, because well I had been in a single girls’ school and the idea of sitting in a classroom with boys was really disturbing my 19 year old brain.
I also feared that telling him those things would remove the comforting numbness from our relationship and replace it with a feeling I couldn’t control.
So I let go of his hand and disappeared into one of the toughest phases of my life, and I have survived, for the most part.
It’s safe to say, that in a way without trying ,he trained me to love with restraint and forgive at a reckless speed.
I would let go of your hand before you have an opportunity to let go of mine.
I would run way before you have a chance to walk away from me.
It worked, until now,
I grew weary of being cautious in the name of being careful.
Somewhere along the way I healed from all of it,
It’s no longer the story of my life, it’s just part of my story
And because Uganda Blogging Community is insisting on all this telling this week, I get to share it.
Otherwise how are you doing?