trinsy: (don't be so daft)
**I feel like this is way more coherent in my head than it is here, but I think this conveys the basic idea...


Here’s the message I’ve been sent since I was a child, and I don’t think it’s specific to me: “You are less of a person because you don’t have the daddy-daughter bond. You are less of a person for something you have no control over. You are not worth as much. You are inferior. You are less than.” I actually used to believe that, too. They throw statistics at you all the time, and it’s hard not to assimilate the idea that you’re messed up because you didn’t have a daddy. You never stop to think that actually, it could just be you’re messed up because people are telling you you’re messed because you didn’t have a daddy. You actually can have only one parent and still be fine, funnily enough, as long as you don’t have people insisting the opposite or you’re smart enough not to believe them. It’s a rare person who’s that smart when they’re nine.

I figured it out eventually. Looked at my life one day and realized that, hey, incredibly, I was okay. I lived in an all-female household, and we were all okay. We did basic household fix-it jobs (painting, plumbing, putting up the Christmas tree, etc.), we made it through, we were happy overall, and we didn’t need any men to do it. I’d always been told that I needed a man to take care of me, and suddenly I realized that, actually, I didn’t. I’d been taking care of myself for years, and my entire life I’d been taken care of by women. And I was fine. I am fine. My entire life is one big argument against the idea that every woman needs a man in her life. You know what I found out after I realized that? To society, realizing that isn’t okay. After I started telling people about my epiphany, I was warned that I needed to rid myself of that notion at once because no man would ever want a girl who didn’t think she needed him.

I used to be pitied and patronized because the man in my life left me. Now I’m condemned because my very existence proves the societal myth of female dependency is a lie. Apparently, if you don’t have a dad, you aren’t allowed to be happy. You aren’t allowed to be okay. Your fate rests in the hands of that man, and if he doesn’t choose you, you can’t win. Ever. Maybe one day, if you somehow, incredibly, manage to stumble upon and/or seduce some other man who, against all logic, actually wants and chooses you, but even then there will be whispers of “daddy issues” or “problems submitting”. Your dad sets the tone for your entire life, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

That’s dumb. Even the women in my life have perpetuated this idea, and it’s not true. My mom says that maybe I’m right, but “I have to accept the reality of the world.” I have to accept the reality of a society that won’t accept me because my dad couldn’t be bothered to know me, and yet I refused to let his selfishness break me. I’m too scary to fit in, and that’s “just the way the world is”.

You know what? I’m not going to keep apologizing because my sense of self doesn’t conform to societies expectations for me. “That’s the way the world is” is the argument that sustained slavery, and it’s just as unsound in this case. Perpetuation of oppression does not validate it. You’ll never get me to pretend that it does.

You know what else? If –– whether because of social constructs or your own insecurities –– you need me to downplay my own strengths to make you feel better about yourself, you don’t deserve my respect. Especially if you feel it is my duty to do this simply because you happened to be born with a penis and Y chromosome and I did not.

Also, men don’t get to claim “respect” as their gender-specific desire, any more than women get to claim “love”. I am a woman, and I also desire respect. That’s really the issue. I’m being told I have to choose one or the other (and to a lot of people, by not valuing love above everything, as my gender supposedly dictates I should, I’m essentially choosing neither). I want both. Everyone wants both. I don’t think anyone, male or female, would say, “I hope to die unloved but respected,” any more than anyone would say, “I want to be a person everyone loves and nobody respects.” They’re both important. We all want both, whether we pee standing up or have menstrual cycles (or both). Honestly, I fail to see how sexual organs and hormone levels would have any impact on these basic human desires.

Contrary to how I’m sure it appears, I don’t actually hate men. I really, really don’t. I’m just sick of being told that I’m wrong. Not that I’m wrong about this issue, but that my very essence, my awareness of who I am as an individual is wrong. And yeah, men get the greater part of my ire here because apparently they’re the ones who are too insecure to handle the existence of girls like me. But that’s their problem. Why should I suffer for their insecurities? You know what the whole issue stems from? It’s insecure men trying to make women insecure so they can feel better about themselves. Well I’m not playing, and threatening me with a lack of romance isn’t going to get me to do so. If that’s what romance costs, it comes at far too high a price, and honestly, why would I want it? Why would I give up my independence and individuality to become a kowtowing bimbo for some chauvinistic asshole? That sort of romance sounds like it sucks. It definitely doesn’t sound like love.

My existence is not wrong. I don’t need a man to take care of me. My father’s inadequacies don’t get to define me, and neither do the insecurities of other men. And society may condemn me for that, but it will never be able to convince me otherwise.
trinsy: (I came back)
Dear Dad,

I’m turning twenty in two weeks, and it’s putting a lot of things in perspective for me. I know we haven’t spoken in five-and-a-half years, and I know you never had a clue who I was even when we were talking, so I thought I’d tell you a little about myself and who I’ve become over the last twenty years.

I’m graduating from college next May. I’m actually genuinely terrified, which is strange. I’m not really one of those people who was meant to sit in a classroom –– my imagination is too active –– but it’s been the only constant in my life for the past fifteen years, so to have that all end is a pretty terrifying prospect, especially since it’ll mean I’ll pretty “officially” be an adult. This is who the almost adult me is:

I like to think you’d be happy to know I am and always have been a genuinely good kid. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I don’t have sex, I don’t cut, and I don’t have an eating disorder. I pay for all my own groceries at school, and I’ve never gotten below a B in any of my classes. Mom thinks I spend too much time on my computer, but if that’s the worst thing she can say about me, I think I’m doing pretty good.

I’ve never had a boyfriend, and my whole life my friends have always been prettier than I am. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I can accept that, though. I’m never going to be gorgeous, but I’m not ugly either, and it’s not like it’s my ambition to be a model or something, so I’m not beating myself up about it. Beauty isn’t just physical anyway, which is one of those dumb things everyone says, but I actually get it now. As for being single, it’s awesome more often than it sucks. Sometimes I get jealous of what my friends have with their boyfriends, but it’s not very often. I have amazing friends, so it’s not like I’m lonely, and my sense of self isn’t wrapped up in another person. I’m happy I’m an independent individual.

Mom told me once that she hoped one day I’d talk to you again, just briefly, to say thank you. I blew her off then, because I couldn’t imagine what I would want to thank you for, but I do want to thank you for something now. I know it wasn’t your intention and you might not like being thanked for it, but you did it and I am genuinely grateful you did, so here goes:

Thank you for never being there for me. Thank you for never protecting me. Thank you for never supporting me. Thank you for never teaching me to do anything. Thank you for never telling me I was beautiful. Thank you for never telling me I was smart. Thank you for never telling me you were proud of me. Thank you for leaving me to fend for myself. Thank you for never being a part of my life. Thank you for not being a real dad.

You are not the reason I am as strong as I am. I am the reason I am as strong as I am. They told me I’d be messed up without a father figure, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. I had no father figure and I am awesome. I am a strong, independent woman with a healthy self-image and no self-destructive vices, and you didn’t contribute in a positive way to any of that. No man did. That is all because of me and the amazing women in my life. So thank you. You are the reason I will never believe the lies that I need a man in my life. You are the reason I know I am worth more than what any man thinks of me.

I used to think I missed out by not having you in my life, but I know better now. I didn’t miss out. You did. I am an amazing person, but you’ll never know that and you’ll never be able to claim credit for it. I’ve had and still have an incredible life, and the only person who lost by your absence in it was you.

You are not the reason I’m an amazing person, but you are the reason I know the truth of why I am, and you are the reason no one will ever convince me to believe the lies.

Thanks from,
The daughter you couldn’t be bothered to know
trinsy: (I came back)
So I spent Thanksgiving with Kira and her family, and you know what? It was fun and fantastic, and I could not love her family more. Her family is so fun and funny and just nice to me, and I love them all, from her crazy grandma to her sarcastic little brother. But I was really struck by something yesterday morning as we were driving to brunch that has a lot to do with her family, but not just her family.

We were driving to brunch, and her dad asked if we should go to Cheesecake Factory or some other place I’ve never heard of, and Kira was like, “Well, that other place is really expensive.” And her dad said, “Nothing is too expensive for my girls.”

And that hurt a little, because even though that’s really sweet of him, the truth is, I’m not “his girl”, but more than that, I’m not anyone’s “girl”, and I never was, and I’m never going to be. Kira’s ringtone for her dad is ‘I Loved Her First’. I don’t have that. I’ve never had that. I was born not going to have that. And that sucks.

We went to her brother’s football game over the weekend, and we had to stay in a hotel with his team, and her brother forbid her from swimming with the team because he didn’t want them making comments about her. And she complained about how “overprotective” he is, and I really wanted to be like, “You know, at least you have someone who cares enough to be ‘overprotective’.”

Over the summer, I stayed with my uncle for about a month, and his girlfriend bought me this tank top, and he was like, “You can’t go outside in just that!” And I laughed, and rolled my eyes, and said he was just being overprotective … but honestly? It felt really nice. It felt really nice to have someone actually care about how guys were looking at me. It felt really nice to have someone want to protect my modesty or virtue or whatever.

This is something I have such a hard time with, because I totally believe in the independence and self-sufficiency of women, and that they don’t need to be protected, and all of that. But the truth is, I’m that way because I had to be that way. I had to take care of myself, I had to protect myself, because there was never anyone else to do it. I didn’t have a dad; I didn’t have brothers. I never chose to be an independent woman. I was born an independent woman. And you know what? That’s awesome. But sometimes I see what Kira has and … a part of me aches for that. It just does.

And I hate that.
trinsy: (I'm always all right)
I always think about my dad in May.  May is when he moved out, and for some reason ever since I was nine and noted the one year anniversary, I've always counted up the years in my head -- one year, three years, seven years now -- like it somehow makes a difference.  But I've been thinking my dad more often this May because this year it's the ten year anniversary of my parents splitting up, and I can't really believe that it's only been ten years.  Last year in February it was officially half my life they'd been split up, and I knew it because in a weird way I'd been counting down until I could say that, like somehow them being split for the majority of my life would give me a license to do ... something.  Be okay with it, or move on, or put it behind me.  Stop getting those looks from my friends when I talk about it like it's no big deal.  Something.  And when that didn't happen, I started counting down until the ten year, like that one would actually make a difference where the halfway mark couldn't.  And in a weird way it has made a difference, because I've had fifteen more months to think about things and sort them out in my mind.  It's not going to change those looks I get, but for the first time I know what I'm planning to do with this situation, and I know why, and I know that I'm strong enough to do it.  That does make a difference.

After my parents split up, everyone told me it was a bad thing that good things were going to come out of, and as the years went on they would point out these "good things" like they were trying to justify this point of view to me.  But I didn't need it justified because I don't see it as a bad thing that good things came out of; I see it as a good thing that a lot of bad things came out of.  The more I hear about my parents' marriage, the more I'm amazed it lasted the nearly twenty years it did.  It seems like it should have ended so much sooner, and it's hard for me to believe that when two people so utterly wrong for each other get married, their inevitable divorce is a "bad thing".  But the things that resulted from it?  Yeah, those were bad.  My dad yelling at my mom in garage, and my grandparents sending my mom hate mail, and my dad falling into depression, and my sisters and I forced to go out for an awkward dinner with my dad once a week.  The emotional wounds and scars were bad things.  But the split needed to happen.

I've been thinking about that recently, but more I've been thinking about the awkward dinners, and the fact that I haven't spoken to my dad in four years.  When I first stopped talking to him when I was fourteen, everyone told me that it was fine; I just needed space, they said, and time to work things through.  "But someday," they would add, "someday you'll have a relationship with him."  Even my mom told me that.  Even my grandma.  And I always wanted to ask why this was such a given, but I didn't because I couldn't really justify why they were wrong.  I can now, though.

It wasn't until I was sixteen that I finally worked out why I was so angry with my dad.  In January of 2006 I wrote what I believe is the single most revealing diary entry I've written to date, beginning with the words, "I don’t know why I reacted the way I did to my parents’ divorce."  What followed was a thousand word entry, around the middle of which I was finally able to verbalise what made me so angry: "My dad never showed the slightest interest in me for nearly nine years.  The whole time he and my mom were together he couldn’t have cared less about me.  He didn’t care about spending time with me.  It wasn’t important to him to make it to my birthday parties or plays or piano recitals.  He didn’t have a clue ... who I was or what I liked or anything about me!  But suddenly, after he left ... then having a relationship with me was his topmost priority!"

Maybe the split was a wake up call and he actually did want to get to know me afterward, I don't know.  But to me it looked like a power struggle with my mom, and I was the weapon he was vying for; and even if that wasn't the sole reason he wanted to spend time with me, I do know that that element was still there.  I'm his daughter, and I'm sure he loves me in his way, but throughout the years he's seen and treated me as a responsibility, a duty, a weapon, a trophy, and a right.  He's never seen me solely as a person.

People think that because he's my dad he has a right to have a relationship with me; he thinks that.  But they're wrong.  He isn't entitled to a relationship with me just because we share DNA.  That's something you earn, and he didn't bother trying to earn it when he had the chance.  Sure, I can look back and say that I was a "Mommy's girl", and that I hid behind my sisters, and that I didn't seek my dad out, and that's all true.  But at the end of the day, he's thirty-eight years older than I am.  At the end of the day, it wasn't my responsibility as a three/six/eight-year-old to plan out father-daughter dates.  Cultivating our relationship was his responsibility, and he didn't bother to do it.  And now it's too late.  He's never given me a reason to want to have a relationship with him.  I'm not going to "rebuild" our relationship, as people keep telling me I will, because there's nothing to rebuild; there's no foundation; there's nothing.  We didn't have a relationship to begin with.  And I don't even have childhood memories to incite me to start one with him now.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't have a heart of stone.  I'm sure it must awful to be fifty-seven years old, and divorced, and have three kids who won't talk to you.  But you know what?  It's not my fault that that's how things turned out for him.  Those are the consequences of his choices and his mistakes.  He screwed his life up, and it's not my responsibility to fix it for him.  And I couldn't fix it even if it were!  So I'm not going to be guilted into having a relationship with him.  It's not fair to me, and it's not fair to him.  And it wouldn't be worth it to either of us.
trinsy: (Default)
I hate it when people refer to God as our Father.

We were talking about it in Bible study tonight, and I was reminded of just how much I hate it.  I just finished reading Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller, and in it he talks about his struggles with his own dad.  He says, “Today I wonder why it is God refers to Himself as ‘Father’ at all.  This, to me, in light of the earthly representation of the role, seems a marketing mistake.”

I so get that.  I said it in Bible study too.  “I would never apply the term ‘Father’ to God,” I said, “because it just has too many negative connotations to me.”  Everyone just looked sort of blank after I said that, like they didn’t know what “connotation” meant or something.  Then Aubrey, a well-meaning but annoyingly ignorant freshman, went on some rant about how people like me (she didn’t say me, exactly, but it was obvious it was directed at me) just don’t realize how good God can be.  I wanted to tell her that she doesn’t realize how bad fathers can be ... but I didn’t.

To me, if I were to think of God as my Father, I would think that he just doesn’t care.  If I were to speak him as a Father, I wouldn’t feel like he was really listening.  I think I’d half-expect him to get out his God-sized cell phone and start checking his messages or something.  That’s just not how I connect.  Father God is there, but distant and mysterious, and he’s never going to get closer, and he just doesn’t care!  He probably wouldn’t even come to my birthday party.  Even if I asked him.

I’m always so jealous of girls who have great dads.  It’s horrible, and I hate that I’m jealous, but I am.  I always wondered what it would be like, you know, having a real dad.  Like maybe I’d feel more comfortable around boys or something.  And maybe I’d be okay with having a round face, and a horrible profile, and a “meatier” frame.

I don’t know.

But I really wish we’d stop having these Father God discussions.  It drives me insane.

And it hurts me so deeply.

Icon

Apr. 23rd, 2006 04:11 pm
trinsy: (Default)

Note: The making of this icon was inspired by the story I'm writing.  You know, the one I posted the excerpt of.  Where the girl's dad dies.  Yeah, that one.


trinsy: (Default)

So, I’m writing this short story for school. And, unlike my last one, I actually really like it (so far, anyway). I haven’t written the beginning yet, but I have written quite a bit of the middle. The following is an excerpt, and I must say, I’m really rather proud of it.

confusion )
trinsy: (Default)
  • that even after all this time, it still upset me;
  • that I cried myself to sleep last night for such a stupid reason;
  • that it’s been over 24 hours, yet my hands are shaking as type this, because just thinking about it upsets me that much;
  • that at the sound of his voice it all came back, yet I can’t properly explain what “it” is, so when I try to tell people that, it just sounds stupid;
  • that he has this kind of power over me.
trinsy: (Default)
I like the idea that when I grow up I’ll be able to move away.  Far away.  And I’ll have a different telephone number and email address.

And – unless I want them to – no one will be able to find me.
trinsy: (Default)

If I could ask you one question,

I would ask you, “Why?”

Why did you ignore me?

Why did you always lie?

 

Why didn’t you make an effort?

Why did you never care?

Why did you always push me?

Why couldn’t you play fair?

 

Why did you get on your cell phone

Whenever I got in your car?

Why did you say you wanted to be close,

But always stayed so far?

 

Why did you keep harassing me?

Why don’t you leave me alone?

Why can’t you simply let me be?

Why can’t you move on?

 

Why is this so important,

When it never was before?

Why did you change your priorities

After you walked out our door?

 

Why did you insist on using me

As a threat, or as bait?

Why was it, when you finally “cared”,

It was too little, far too late?

 

Why can’t you seem to understand

I want nothing to do with you?

You’ve hurt me far too deeply,

And our connection’s finally through.

 

I don’t want to be around you

‘Cause you’ve always made me cry.

But if I could ask one question,

Then I would ask you, “Why?”

Flashbacks

Dec. 7th, 2005 10:23 pm
trinsy: (Default)

You know how in movies, such as The Borne Identity, the main character will see something or hear something, and then they'll have a flashback, indicated by an image/voice flashing on the screen/in the speakers?  Well, I don't know about you, but always thought that was something that didn't happen in real life, that it was just a movie thing.  You know, the flashing images/voices.  However, after this afternoon, I can most definitely assure you that it does happen in real life.

You see, I went over to Christi's house this afternoon to work on a Government project (fun, fun times *gags*).  And to make a long story really, really short, one of her friends has a really bad home situtation, and has therefore been living with Christi's family for the past month, and while I was over there a situtation that had arisen climaxed, and this girl's mother and stepdad showed up at the house, and everyone was in the kitchen yelling at each other.  In the midst of all this, I slipped into Christi's brother's room (he's at college, so it wasn't like it was awkward to go in there), which is off the kitchen, which of course means I could still hear everyone yelling at each other, but at least I was out of the line of fire.  So anyway, I was sitting on this couch in the room, listening to stuff they were saying, and these parents were such (for lack of a better word) bastards, and as I was listening to them it brought back all these memories of my dad (which were not good memories, but did make me thankful they were not as horrible as what this girl is going through), and I kept getting these movie-like flashbacks of the two (yes, only two) really honest conversations I ever had with him, and it was just like... whoa.  I can't really explain it any other way.

You know, it's funny, because since I was eight (well, really, my whole life, but technically since I was eight) I haven't really had a dad.  I mean, I haven't even seen or spoken to him for two years.  But it's only been in the last few weeks that I've started to feel that it's weird.  I mean, here it is, almost eight years later -- he hasn't been around for almost half my life -- and I'm just now starting to feel like I'm missing something.  And it's just so... bizarre for me.  Because I've never really felt different.  And I still honestly don't believe I'm different.  No, that's not accurate.  I know I'm not different.  I've heard and seen so many things over the past sixteen years that I am convinced that I'm normal.  It's just that now, for the first time, I'm feeling that it's weird to be normal.

Oh...

Nov. 17th, 2005 09:53 pm
trinsy: (Default)

Tonight I discovered the reason children are supposed to, ideally, have a mother and a father.

I also realized my mom has been wearing both hats for way too long.

The Difference Between Guys and Girls:

Mother: Your sister's cell phone has been stolen. I -
Girl: Ohmigosh! When? How? Is she okay???

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Mother: Your sister's cell phone has been stolen. (pause) I need to cancel the plan.
Guy: Okay.


Jerry the Frog Spoof Line of the Moment: Aragorn: Arwen, you’re dang hot, but I think this whole war and death and doom thing might make our relationship difficult.
Elrond: No daughter of mine will be going out with some shiftless mortal!
Arwen: I hate you, daddy!I’m going to go to my room and waste away pathetically.
Aragorn: …And that’s the story of my love life.


Deep Thought of the Day: As we were driving, we saw a sign that said, “Watch for Rocks”. Marta said it should read, “Watch for Pretty Rocks”, and I told her she should write in her suggestion to the highway department, and she started saying it was a joke, just to get out of writing a simple letter! And I thought I was lazy! ~ Jack Handy

trinsy: (Default)

I've been thinking about my dad a lot lately, and consequently I made these four icons with lyrics from songs that make me think of him.  The first is especially about him, because it's Carmen from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, who I obviously relate to.  The lyrics are from the song Walking Away by Lifehouse.  I don't particularly like that icon, because I made it about a six times, and could never get it to look the way I wanted, but this was the one that was closest.  The other three, all of which I am infinitely more fond of (especially the last one), have lyrics from the song Tomorrow by Avril Lavigne, which has always reminded me of him, and is basically my song to him.

And I want believe you
When you tell me that it'll be okay
Yeah I try to believe you
But I don't.


When you say that it's gonna be
It always turns out to be a different way
I try to believe
Not today...


I don't know how I'll feel
Tomorrow, tomorrow.
I don't know what to say
Tomorrow, tomorrow is a different day.


It's always been up to you
It's turning around, it's up to me
I'm gonna do what I have to do
Just don't


Give me a little time
Leave me alone a little while
Maybe it's not too late...
Not today....


I don't know how I'll feel
Tomorrow, tomorrow.
I don't know what to say
Tomorrow is a different day.


And I know I'm not ready...
Maybe tomorrow...

And I want believe you
When you tell me that it'll be okay
Yeah I try to believe you
Not today...


Tomorrow it might change...

* Tomorrow *

~ Avril Lavigne ~

June 2013

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