Turns out Daddy is coughing up presents. Ask and ye shall receive. It sure feels like being bought. The judicious side of me, the one that excuses responsibility tells me it’s ok to let him have joy by giving me whatever my little greedy heart desires. It’s also incredibly familiar like the times he would return from overseas trips with ostentatious gifts for a child. Did anyone else get gifted a pink baby G when they were in Grade four because that’s what the Spice Girls sported and his trip to Malaysia was extended two weeks?
I am experiencing loneliness which contrary to popular belief is a fleeting experience steeled from a childhood of being alone. Only child. Star of the show, with a mother that worked as much as required to support a family without a father.
My love language is presents so this whole shitstorm is confusing. You can’t apologise with a present. I don’t want it. You tell me you love me and buy me a gift because you hurt me? Take it back because I would rather you have not hurt me in the first place. “Nice phone” says every stranger. “Thanks, it’s the new samsung. It was a gift”. Like I’m being humble by saying the girl who just asked her father for $800 Balmain sunglasses (gaudy but fun) wouldn’t be so capricious as to want for something so trivial as only the newest and latest gadget. It’s not the bespoke model. She’s still a brat.
To my dearest heroine. Here is ten years of trauma and you are going to process each little piece that hurt you and you couldn’t express as a child because it seemed unfair to be morose when my mother was crying her eyes out from being abandoned by Daddy.
While we play the game of worst memories, maybe to keep in perspective that the good memories Daddy gave me were a morsel, I remember when he left. Which in and of itself wasn’t uncommon, he travelled enough for work to be absent. And we weren’t allowed to pout over it because of course, Daddy only had to go to make money for the presents and the food on our table. I knew from my mother’s actions that Daddy wouldn’t be returning with a present this time.
My mother is sitting on my parents bed. She is wearing Daddy’s cream coloured woollen merino jumper, thick knit (I still have it). She is sitting in a pile of his clothes crying. I ask ‘ what are you doing?’. And she says ‘the clothes smell like your father’. I find her in the morning asleep amongst a pile of his belongings, the spectre of his scent cradling her into this new day where we both know Daddy isn’t coming back. But if the words are spoken aloud they will become true and perhaps she doesn’t have the heart to break both of ours simultaneously with the truth.
I remember when MB left for America and he gave me his t-shirt or I wore it home the last night I would spend in his bed, maybe forever. I remember his scent and his cologne and the way I took it off and folded it neatly away from my clothes to preserve him and our memories. I remember the scent wilting like the roses from his Grandmother’s garden. I remembered my mother’s grief and I felt tied to her in a way I couldn’t relate to as a child seeing her exhausted from crying herself to sleep in a pile of my father’s clothes.
This is not my love story. This is the love story of my parents and their demise. The truth, the balance between two different tellings.
It’s hard to be the interpreter of two realities. And to pick sides because ultimately you do choose sides. You can’t help condemn the actions of one parent against another. Show me a child who experienced an amicable divorce and I’ll show you repressed trauma. Am I a traitor?
I am so fucking lonely and other people are a distraction that won’t help me. Sit with it. Let it burn through you. This is how you learn to love yourself. In the loneliness of isolation. I wonder who I can pay to experience these emotions for me?
My friend did a tarot reading for me and pulled ‘the world’ card. I shudder because it is the card that represents the ending of cycles. And he tells me ‘things have to end for new things to begin’. Depending who’s mouth a cliche falls out of makes a difference apparently. Transformation is painful. I’m tired of endings and frightened of new beginnings because I don’t think I know who I am in this new world.
If human emotion is the thing that connects us because pain is universal, I don’t want to talk about it. I want to think of Stolynisen in the Gulag writing his lines of poetry in his head. Suffering and suffering, clutching to hope because that is God. Or the undefiable human spirit.
I am so fucking injured. And it is my own special pain. The one assigned for me to bear.
“I wish you lose the thing you love the most”, it’s myself.