Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Life, and fathers (update)

Tomorrow marks a month since I last spoke with my father. By my father, I mean my biological one who I traced down almost a year ago now (I call my step-dad 'Dad' which may confuse some people!).

I haven't updated you much on the whole father situation and in all honesty that is because it's been a terribly tough few months and has resulted in a complete lack of contact. I don't want to waste a whole blog post simply diminishing him because that isn't fair, but to say that I've been left heartbroken by this whole course of events is an understatement. Some days I go through with no thought of him whatsoever, and on some I'll be triggered by the smallest things, listening to Coldplay or Tears for Fears, watching films and reading books about absent fathers, even friends who talk about their perfect relationships with their Dads allow me completely lose my mind and break down into a fit of tears, through no fault of my own.

I hate myself often for being so resentful and so pained by this whole experience, as I tell myself that I lived without him for close to 22 years, so living without him now need not be a concern - or at least, that's what others like to tell me anyway. The beautiful Nancy Tucker, author of The Time in Between (which I reviewed in my last blog post, so check it out), presented me with a fantastic analogy however which allowed me to rethink the whole thing. She said: It is like having been trapped in a desert for 22 years, then given a huge bottle of water, taken one gulp and had it taken away from you again - and then having someone say, 'what, you're STILL thirsty? But you were FINE before'. She is so completely right (and this girl comes up with the best analogies I've ever come across!).

I'm going through a lot of self-doubt at the moment, I feel stressed, unable to fully concentrate, plagued with thoughts of the future and pretty much every other aspect of my life that could be worried about. I feel not good enough and unworthy at the smallest dip in grades which may not seem small for some people but seem momentous to me, and I'll cry and cry and cry and crave to be liked, to be seen as good and worthy and perfect by those around me. Over the past few weeks I've beaten myself up more times than I'd even like to admit and had some ridiculous thoughts which internally, I know are ridiculous yet doesn't seem barricade them in any way.

My father's rejection of me is a slight kick in the face and seems to perpetuate these emotions and I wonder if this is ever something I'll ever be able to shake a stick at. I provided the man who is supposed to love me unconditionally with a chance and that chance, although initially seeming promising, ending up being disregarded. Maybe I am ridiculous for being distressed over this, I don't know, but what I've learned to realise is that nobody has the right to tell me how I should or shouldn't feel about a situation. What I do need to do, is to learn how I can move on from this, if I can, and not let it affect my self-esteem even further than it already has done. I currently feel stuck, and I mention this a lot, but stuck genuinely in a place which has no future, I am worth nothing and can do nothing.

I'm still thirsty from something I'm lacking in life, and if it can't come from the one person I assumed was going to help fill that void I don't know where I can hydrate myself. I can't quite work it out either way. I don't know where I'm going, who loves me, who appreciates me, and what is quite reality. It all just seems a bit strange. I've reached a stage where I'm not even being contacted for internships to say they've received my application, not even an acknowledgement of my existence. Where no matter how hard I strive to make tutors proud of me - I can't seem to get the recognition I crave, firsts are not good enough anymore and 2:1's are certainly not either. I really don't know what I'm looking for in life, what it is infact that I'm here for.

Last week at University we were asked to look at Plath's poem 'Daddy' - a poem I know well due to my poetry tutor sending it to me during a particularly rough patch a few months prior. I remember my personal tutor saying that he hated discussing this particular poem in class as it made students rile up with emotion with how much they hated their fathers, and mothers and members of their immediate family. Whilst that would never be a topic I would discuss openly in seminars - it really made me think of how many others out there that there are who have gone the majority of their lives unknowingly feeling unloved by a presence that was never there in the first place. How many people are dying to scream out to those around them how much they detest the one person who was supposed to provide them with love, how much Sylvia Plath's poem resonates and rings small bells in their fragile minds. I know I am one of many, and I won't be the last.

I apologise for what may be a very in-depth post for me, which hasn't happened in a while, but I was struggling with what to write and I knew I had to get something onto paper. Thank you to Nancy for being fabulous and supportive, and I'll leave you with a poem that even though did not achieve particularly high grades in my creative writing coursework for Uni (which as you can imagine, devastated me no doubt) - I remember being rather proud of at the time. It's a personal one, but I can't keep blocking these feelings and emotions from the world, not at such a crucial and confusing time of my life.

Untitled

You separated me from the world, Placed your offspring into exile, Dragged wool over their eyes With your extraordinary dissociations, ‘I don’t remember saying that’ - Thoughts as distilled as whisky and your death sticks. Your ‘mechanisms’ leave me souvenirs that pluck chords in my psyche, Flashbacks to a five year old lioness, Who wanted to scream, Unable to peel her face from yours.

Have a great week everyone. I'll be back soon with another book review of Natasha Devon and Lynn Crilly's new release, Fundamentals.


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