Some 23 years ago, I changed the course of my life.
On Valentine’s day, I exiled myself from home. I decided it was best for me to go and live in a foreign country than stay at home with my family.
At 19, I left everything and everyone behind me to start afresh in the UK. My relationship with my mum had reached breaking point and something had to give. I felt the best thing for me was to leave my family and establish myself in the UK, a country I loved.
Today, I still feel exiled. Although my parents and I are still speaking, last night, I realised the reason why I feel happier in the UK is that issues with my parents, but in particular with my dad, are still unresolved.
Last night I had a very heated debate with my father. A few days ago I had emailed him explaining how some of his past behaviour had affected me and his response was rather unexpected. He pointed out my “flaws” as if to justify his reactions to me all the way back to when I was still a teenager.
When I opened my heart to him, all I was hoping for was a Sorry. I certainly wasn’t expecting more recrimination. It bugged me, and so I had to explain to him how that made me feel.
Our conversation was pretty brutal. I wasn’t in the mood for nicety last night, I had had a tough day of realisation that most people in this world are proper messed up and I was starting to feel really lonely, finding it hard to associate with those people when I could see the answer, yet I am unable to explain it to them. My father called me at the wrong time, I was in a no nonsense attitude. Or was it the right time?
When our conversation finished, I had to call my brother, the only person on this earth who truly understands me. Why? Because he’s lived it too.
The conclusion was that our parents don’t know how to love.
Somehow though, my mother, with all her faults, has been able to show me she loves me. Even when we don’t agree with something, I know she loves me, she has the right words to tell me, and she has showed it to me many a time in the past 4 years. My father however is a different story. Is it possible for a father not to love their children? I wonder….
My brother and I concluded that we feel we are never good enough for him, and so when we see him, we are on the defensive and the experience is very unpleasant as invariably, my father will make a comment that pushes one of our buttons, usually pointing out one of our failings.
My brother and I also realised this is why we never had children, we didn’t want to risk repeating this cycle.
I respect my father, truly I do, this is how my mother brought me up, however, I am looking forward to the day he understands what unconditional love means and is able to show it to me. He says it is too late for him, I told him this was non-sense, he’s not dead yet.
I hope this moment comes before he does go. I think in this moment in time, this is my only wish.