Girl With Daddy Issues

I came across a quiz today about the relationship between a girl and her father. This got me thinking about my relationship with my father.

I’ve already said this a million times in my previous posts, but I’ll say it again – I don’t trust people easily, especially men, and the reason for this is my father. I used to be pretty close to him until I was ten, eleven years old. As I became more mature, my relationship with my father also began to morph.

My father has never been a particularly affectionate person. Even when I was close to him, I was scared of him. He is like a ticking timebomb – no one can predict when he might explode. Yeah, he is short-tempered, but he is also unreasonable and paranoid, which is a very bad combination. He is also dominant, loud and obnoxious. He also used to hit me and my brother when he was angry. On top of that, he has what you might call a male sense of entitlement and pride that all Indian men seem to have. This sense of entitlement makes him treat my mother like a servant – as if her sole purpose in life is to cook for and clean after her husband and kids. He trusts no one but himself, not even his wife and kids. He is also, I’m starting to think, slightly delusional as he thinks God sends him messages, instructing him how to lead his life. He has delusions of grandeur because of which he believes that he is better/more special than everyone else.

Growing up, I didn’t get from him the kind of love and affection you’re supposed to get from a father. Therefore, I’m much more closer to my mother, which is something my father resents.

My father prides himself on his command over the English language. When I told him I wanted to be a writer, he told me I was not good enough. When I showed him what I had written, he told me I was still not good enough and asked me to give up on my dream. On another occasion, he told me that I was nothing special, that I was never going to be a writer and that I should do something more useful with my life. My mother is the exact opposite. To borrow a quote from “Juno”, no matter what, she still thinks the sun shines out my ass.

Slowly over the years, I have started to hate my father. I know for a fact my mother hates him. And my brother also doesn’t seem to like him very much, I think (Like me, my brother also doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, so I can’t be sure). So, yeah, no one likes my father, not even his own family. I just hope one day he can see how much he has lost because of his actions, but knowing him, that’s unlikely.

So, coming back to the quiz, here‘s a link to it. It has only ten questions, so it won’t take up too much of your time. Anyway, according to the quiz, my role in my relationship with my father is that of a “disappointed daughter”. How true. This is what the quiz has to say about me:

Your father might as well be a stranger you met in the street. It’s a chilly relationship between the pair of you, and you are quite aware of this. You are distanced from each other and there is no strong tie. You probably need to grieve for the father you can’t have and get on with finding the real you. You were, at least, given a certain amount of independence when you were growing up, and you have been able to get on with life despite the father-shaped gap. Yet this has also made you slightly distant with other people, especially men, who you always fear will disappoint you. You feel persistent regret at the fact that you have missed the chance to get to know your father. You started off with a negative image of him (perhaps encouraged by what your mother has said) but ended up blaming yourself, coming to the conclusion that you weren’t worth his love. You think to yourself: if my own father’s not even interested in me, what do I expect other men to see in me? Inside there is a little girl who doesn’t understand where it all went wrong. Your father has failed to do his job and he doesn’t know how to show his feelings towards you. Try and talk to him. Better late than never — it’s still possible to form a bond. If you have already tried to contact him and have had no response try to build your self-esteem and remind yourself that not all men are like him. Plenty of them would relish the chance to get to know you… and love you too.

Here‘s another interesting article I read about daddy issues. I can relate to many of the points highlighted in the article like “only dating older men” (I feel attracted towards older men), “confused expectations” (I send men mixed signals – the article nailed this point), “extremely mistrustful” (needs no elaboration), “sexual aggression” (I can be a little promiscuous i.e. I am a slutty virgin) and “Constantly questioning him about his feelings for you” (I kinda obsess about what guys think of me).

So, yeah. I am planning to read more about how to overcome my daddy issues. Let’s see how that goes.

How Can I Be Vulnerable?

For some time now, I have been thinking of myself as a failure as a writer. It was unconscious at first. I would tell my family and friends about wanting to be a writer even as a thread of guilt wound itself around my neck, choking the words inside of me. But nowadays, I don’t talk to anyone about my dreams because I have all but given up on them. I try not to let it bother me, but deep inside, I know I am a failure.

There are days when I chalk this up to my inability, nay, unwillingness to expose myself to others. I am THE most closed off person I know in this world. Hell will freeze over before I let anyone into my heart. The sun will rise in the west before I start trusting someone enough to share my thoughts with them. My friend “Daenerys” (That is not her real name obviously, but that is the first ‘D’ name that came to my mind) is the exact opposite. She wears her heart on her sleeve. I have gotten so used to hiding my true emotions from others that it comes naturally to me. When people ask my opinion on something very close to my heart, my first instinct is to lie. It is a natural defense mechanism. If people don’t know the truth about me, their words and barbs won’t hurt me. The flipside is that the truth and lies have gotten so entangled I can hardly distinguish them anymore. My mind is a convoluted tangle of thoughts.

This character trait of mine, I believe, is not something an artist should have. For example, take Fiona Apple. I don’t know if you have heard of her, but she is one of my favorite singer-songwriters of all time. She is an amazing artist whose songs are raw and full of emotion and passion. She has been in the music industry since 1997 or 1998 and it is a testament to her astounding talent that every single record of hers has been critically lauded. When I listen to her songs, I feel like she has taken what is going through my mind and illustrated it in a way more beautiful than anything my mind could ever create. Take her song “Every Single Night” for instance where she sings of how her mind works ‘every single night’.

Every single night
I endure the flight
Of little wings of white-flamed
Butterflies in my brain
These ideas of mine
Percolate the mind
Trickle down the spine
Swarm the belly, swelling to a blaze
That’s when the pain comes in
Like a second skeleton
Trying to fit beneath the skin
I can’t fit the feelings in
Every single night’s alight with my brain

I am at my creative best only at night when the world is quiet and peaceful. And the above lines perfectly illustrate how I feel when I am creating something – whether it be a chapter in my never-to-be-published book or a pencil portrait of someone. The emotions which the art brings up inside me threatens to fill me and burst out of me in a wave and when I am done creating, I feel spent as if I physically exerted myself.

I hope one day I will allow myself to feel things like Fiona Apple does. But this begs the question – are those who have suffered deeply the only ones capable of feeling so deeply? Fiona Apple was raped when she was a teenager and she also suffered from anorexia. Having been brought up in an upper middle class family with overprotective parents, I can’t say I have ever suffered deeply. Does this mean it’s simply impossible for me to feel things so acutely?