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It was early. He was my dad, what was I supposed to do? So I laid there. I was frozen. It was 8:30, maybe 9:00 in the morning, and he had come into my room to “snuggle” with me. He was my dad.

You know what happens to guys first thing in the morning? That’s what was pushing up against me as I laid there speechless. I couldn’t move. I didn’t move. He held me so I couldn’t move. I was beyond uncomfortable. I had this weird scented gel candle that I can still smell every time I go back to that moment. He was my dad. Was this okay? Was this normal? He had done other things too though, like put his hand on my inner thigh during car rides. Hug me really tight for a longish time. He would have verbally abusive conversations with me, and tell me not to tell my mom. My mom would tell me I needed to be more respectful; I was confused. Was he the enemy or was she for not doing anything? Did she know?

Fast forward however many years later—she didn’t know everything and he was later deleted from my and my siblings' lives. It’s still weird, it’s like he died, but he didn’t. He lives 10 minutes away from me. He doesn’t know it. It’s bizarre.

Me? Besides from that one incident, he was also verbally and physically abusive to me, my mom and my siblings repeatedly. I’m still healing. As a result from “that night” I’m fucked up for sure. In quite a few ways. I hurt, I don’t feel normal, and sex is the only way I know how to communicate with men sometimes. It’s the only thing I know I’m good at. You would think it’d be the exact opposite but it’s not. I’ve been in therapy. I’ve cried. I’ve mourned. I’ve actively moved forward. I’ve learned a lot. Here’s the thing, yes your dad is the first male example of a relationship in your life, BUT you can rearrange that. You can KNOW that you deserve more and expect better. Our parents are human, sometimes the most broken of humans. My dad is one of them. It took me most of my adult life to come to terms and accept that. I can blame him for a LOT. Now, I’m 30. It’s on me to be better. To demand better from men and to love myself in spite of what my damage has taught me. Please do the same for yourself and more. Always, more. Pass that shit on.

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