Tomorrow is Fathers’ day. Judging by the tightness in my chest and my furrowed brow, I’m not a big fan of the day.
It conjures up images of a harsh, unloving man who would rather look at pictures of naked women than spend time with his daughter. I grew up feeling like I had to ‘compete’ with these girls – and I failed miserably in every way. Being exposed to pornography at such a young age takes an incredible toll on the blossoming of a flower. It causes the soft petals to dry up and wither and not bloom with the beauty bestowed on it. It strips a sweet child of innocence and clothes her in a cloak of shame that seeps into every cell of her fragile body.
This shame takes a deep, deep seated root when the father abuses his precious child further. Exposing her and using her for his own gratification.
Why then does it come as such a shock to discover, 40 years on, that I still walk in that shame? My relationships with men have been punishing and abusive – afterall that’s how HE treated me. That’s. All. I’m . Worth. My relationship with myself is failing and fractured because afterall, if I’m not worthy of his love and adoration – my supposed protector – then how can I be worthy of ANY love. I am nothing to anyone and that’s how I’ve lived.
Tomorrow I choose to sing about my one true father. The one who formed me meticulously in the the womb. The one who brought me safely and securely into the world and despite my many attempts to run away, the one who is in me, his amazing, unfailing, unwavering love IN ME. He heals me – if I can give him the pieces of my shattered heart, IF I will allow myself to trust him, IF I can let him touch me lovingly where others have scarred me.
Tomorrow is Fathers’ day. I thank you God, that YOU are my Father, my dad, my papa – enable me to forgive and to live loved, as your daughter.