I’ve had a few people message me and ask me to write a post about my dad. I was hesitant at first and thought ‘naaahhhh no one wants to hear me blab on and on about stuff that happened 10 years ago.’ But then again, I know that if someone older went through what I had gone through, wrote a post about how they dealt with it and how they’re feeling years on… I would have read it. So in a way, this is a letter to my younger self or to any other littles out there that wanna hear how I dealt with some pretty shitty times.
Now I truly don’t know how detailed to make this because I guess its pretty personal but in a way, this shaped me to be who I am today. I honestly think if i still had my dad present in my life, I’d be a completely different person.
9 years on & I can’t completely sum up how or what I feel right but all I know is that,
I love my dad for all he did right & I forgive him for all that he did wrong.
But it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies and I’m not going to sugar coat this at all because I hated that man. This isn’t going to be some happy go lucky post about love and lessons because honestly I think this is always going to be an open wound for me. But I’ve learnt that letting go of things is the go. Most of the shit we hold onto isn’t even ours to carry anyways.
Growing up, the memories I have of my dad are some of the best. He was always the fun dad. We grew up on the farm and he would always chuck us on the back of the bike and take us to fun hideouts he’d create just for us. He shared my love for salt and vinegar chips and always played my favourite song ‘The Gambler’ because he knew I loved it. He coached rugby and it was one of the best feelings in the world when he would take me along to practices and games. Everyone knew me as his little girl. I was a daddy’s girl and absolutely loved. Life was magical. I truly adored that man of mine.
I don’t completely know all the details about when shit hit the fan and I’m glad I don’t but somewhere along the line, mum and dad fell out of love… and I think that is fine. Years ago, I didn’t. I didn’t understand how two people who created a life together, got married and had babies can just not love eachother anymore – didn’t make sense to me. But from my minimal experiences with my two boyfriends, I get it (on a tiny tiny tiny scale). Some things are just better apart, even if they once fit together well.
I think it all started to fall apart when we stopped farming. Dad got a job at the intermediate and mum starting being girl Friday at Vector.
Anyways, one way or another things went wrong. Somewhere, somehow. I think they tried to make it work for a long time for us kids. Dad moved away to coach rugby in a different town about 4 hours from us. As far as I knew, mum and dad were still together then, he just had to move for work. No worries, you do what you can for your kids.
One memory I’ll never ever forget ever is when dad told us he had had an affair.
He took us to a park and said to ash and I…
“Girls, you know how Chris Warner had an affair with Rachel on Shortland street?”
(Shortland street is New Zealand’s version of home and away & we were big fans)
“Well I did that.”
“What? With who?”
He told us it doesn’t matter who it was…
“Just take care of your mum.”
Honestly at this point dad didn’t seem too upset so I shrugged it off because he did. We went back to mum who was at the house dad was living at in Taupo. She was crying on the couch but said she was fine.
We would travel to stay with dad every other weekend & it was a fucking trek. Looking back mum was a legend. She purely did that for us… Something must have been wrong because every single time we stayed there, mum would sleep on the ground with us in the spare room.
Years later I found out that mum had found photos on dad’s camera of a candle lit dinner. But he’d never had a candle lit dinner with her??? And she found a womens jacket in the wardrobe that wasn’t hers…
He did it again.
Every other weekend when we weren’t there, he had another lady there.
A different one this time.
Shit hit the fan and dad came back to Hawera… only to pack up his things I think. It was around Christmas time and he sat us down, told us “I’ve done it again” and said he was flying out to Australia on Christmas Eve.
He brought me a box of roses and the miles Cyrus CD, wrapped it and left it under our tree. He woke up on Christmas Eve morning, I remember looking out my window to see him with his suitcase, walking to the car. Mum drove him to New Plymouth airport. He tapped on the boot and walked away. That was that. Hawera is so small and gossip spreads like wild fire. So many stories. My poor mum.
That was the last time I’d see that man for almost 3 years. From that point onward I didn’t speak to him. I guess the way that he’d hurt my mum, I just didn’t agree with it. It wasn’t my burden to carry because it wasn’t my relationship to keep. But the fact he would walk away so easily from not only his wife but his two babies. I’ll never understand. Ugh.
He left mum with a huge mortgage and two young girls.
She managed… but she was broken. she hid it well. Think thats where I learnt it from.
My mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer shortly after my dad left. I blamed him so much. But I know now that it was nothing to do with him (i think idk) I blamed myself a lot too. She was sick as fuck. And seeing the one person you’ve got left, be sick. mmmmm my heart.
I was so young and grew up so fast. I clung (maybe still cling) to people I connect with because I don’t know how long I have until they’re ripped from me, or until they leave. I have huge trust issues. I’m scared to love but need love. I love too hard and too easy. And most of the time I break my own heart with expectations of how it should be.
I hated my dad for so long. The last time I saw him was back in 2012, twice. He flew over to New Zealand when mum died. And we stayed with him in Adelaide for like 10 days later on that year. I was lost. I wanted something but it wasn’t him. I wanted the dad I had growing up but because I was older and knew more stuff, I just felt gross looking at him. Its a weird feeling to describe but makes me honestly feel like spewing my guts out.
I talk to poppa about him a bit. I usually go to him in tears and I’m so angry because I just want my dad to love me. I’ve begged him to be a dad and raise me and make rules for me and be there for me. I just wanted him to want to be there for me but he never ever was… I think I pushed him too far away back in the day and now he’s too scared. Which is fair.
Pops helped heaps. We lived with the olds when mum passed away and ash moved out when she was 18. So I had a good few years of living with them alone. Me and pop have had so many chats about my dad. Ash has a different view to me, which took me awhile to accept but I’m fine with it now. She has always had something to do with dad ever since he left and we would CONSTANTLY clash heads whenever she would come back from seeing him.
99% of the time, my view on him is manageable. I just simply don’t agree with the way he handled things because in my honest opinion, if you aren’t happy in a relationship… LEAVE.
But like pop tells me and that man is hardly ever wrong,
“at the end of the day he’ll always be my dad”
People made me go to councillors and try to talk my feelings away, but I hated it. I don’t need some bitch with a clipboard and pen to tell me how to heal. No thank you. I don’t have a recipe that’ll heal how you’re feeling because I’m almost 20 and I still have shit days when I remember what happened. But how I deal with it is this..
I moved. (you probably don’t have to move like idk don’t even listen to this one, I’m just saying it helped ME)
I write a lot of shit down, just to get it out of my head. (Like legit i have over 3,000 notes in my phone of shit ill probably never post)
I stop and look around.
I’m here for a reason, as are you.
I have no idea where I’m heading and I don’t even know how I ended up in Sydney, but regardless. Here I am. Living.
I’m broken because of what i’ve been through. I’ve missed out on heaps but I’m seeing now that my dad is the one missing out too.
I’m still not on speaking terms with him. We’re friends on Facebook but nothing more. I tried to message him but no reply.. same old. But i figure, sitting around and being upset is fucking bullshit because I have so many people who give a shit about me. So why am I sitting here being sad over the ones who don’t?
If you ever stumble upon this,
I love you dad.
I miss the way you’d butter toast – that’ll always be my favourite.
And to the ones reading this or needing this,
time is a tricky bugger.
It heals most things,
but not all things.