Warm Love, Bitter Truth and Cold Desolation

So I went home after a long time. I bid Hyderabad a happy goodbye and boarded the bus to my hometown. I had so many plans, so many things I wanted to do. “Dulhaniya Dilwale Le Jayenge” was playing on the TV. I love that movie. It maybe old school, but something about the movie brings out the romantic in me. The bus stopped at a highway restaurant at about 9 pm for dinner. I was eating roti and paneer butter masala with my dad, who was accompanying me on this trip (my mom has this crazy idea that someone might do something to me if I travel alone) at the restaurant when my dad got a call. It was bad news. My forty six year old uncle had just died of renal failure.

In my twenty two years, I haven’t had to deal with a loved one’s death at any point. Granted, I wasn’t very close to my uncle. We had exchanged a few words at family gatherings and that is it. But I was very close to my aunt and she had just lost her husband. Also, the fact that someone whom I had seen just a few months back is now dead made me feel lost and unsure about my own life. It wasn’t a full-blown existential crisis, but it was close.

The day I arrived at my home, we packed our bags and left for Tirunelveli. The mood at my aunt’s house was depressing. Me, being the selfish bitch that I am, couldn’t handle all the crying. I wanted to leave and then, come back when everything was better. But I stayed. I had to. I consoled my aunt as best as I could. After a day with the mourning family, we came back home.

My uncle had just died, but I was determined to make the most of my visit. I dragged my mom to restaurants and malls and street shops. Thankfully, my dad had some work to attend to, so he had left town for a couple of days. If he had been with us, he would have brought our spirits down to rock bottom.

I spent a lot of money and didn’t feel guilty spending it. I had delicious home cooked meals. I spent hours talking to my mom. It was wonderful. My mom who had been miserable living alone with my dad seemed to like having me around. Then, my dad came back.

My dad has this power to make everyone around him wish they were somewhere else. I had been so happy to come home, but when I started to spend time with him, I wanted nothing more than to take the next bus back to Hyderabad. I am not quite sure if I completely hate my dad, but I hate at least 99.9% of him. He is loud, obnoxious and rude. He picks fights with everyone. He is controlling. He is paranoid. He treats his family like shit. He is a top-class asshole.

A few days later, I left for Hyderabad. I felt sad and guilty about leaving my mom with my dad again (for some reason, he doesn’t treat her so badly when I am around). But I couldn’t stay in that house any longer. It was depressing.

It had been a weird trip filled with death and heartache and love. On the way back to Hyderabad, I kept thinking about what I took away from this whole experience. But the truth is – nothing. I still feel like the same person. I haven’t been enlightened. I have one less person in my life and I still can’t stop thinking about how much I hate my dad. I still can’t stop trying to isolate myself from others. I am a lost cause.

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.