Father’s Day & Sad Memories of Child Abuse

As someone whose memories of child abuse, domestic violence, hurtful words, and emotional abuse overwhelm the happy memories of childhood, holidays are usually tinged with sadness and anger. I should be able to celebrate Christmas with my dad, but I can’t feel happy, safe, or calm around him. I want to be able to have my dad over for Thanksgiving, but I can’t rest easy while he’s around his grandchildren. How could I? I fear he might say or do something weird, disturbing, or inappropriate. After all, he was always a bully to me. Can I risk exposing my own children to that?

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. All my friends are honoring their dads with loving cards, phone calls, visits, and even Happy Father’s Day cakes. They’re posting photos of their dads on Facebook, Tweeting nice little notes about how their father went to all their baseball games, took them camping, taught them to drive a car when they were sixteen … yadda, yadda, yadda …

Why can’t I have those memories? Why can’t I enjoy the sentimental bliss so many seem to enjoy when remembering their dads or reminiscing on their childhoods? I should be able to. It’s really not asking for very much. I was a good daughter. I tried so hard to make my dad happy and proud of me. Sadly, that just wasn’t possible, because he didn’t love me in the way a normal, healthy parent should.

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My dear sweet husband, Jason, and our beautiful daughter. She and I are so blessed to have such an amazing Daddy in our lives! Photo courtesy of http://www.LaughlinPhoto.com

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