Why I Chose A Little Princess

Let me start with a question for you —

Have you seen or read “A Little Princess”?

Yes? Good, then you probably thought of it from the very first post.

No? Then you need to watch it/read it.

While I was brewing this cup of awesome in my mind I was stumped on a title. To me, a real literary hero does not write what the people want. They write what they want. What they feel. And as modern teenagers like to put it, that movie “gave me so many feels”. Honestly, the movie was heart wrenching for me and still is to this day. Many times I watched that movie and cried right along Sara when Ms. Minchin told her that her dad was never coming to get her again. I, like Sara – was engrossed in stories and princesses. I agreed – thinking like a princess magically made you a princess. The child in me was attached to that movie and I watched it many times. I memorized the words to “Kindle My Heart” at a young age and still sing it to myself often. I cannot tell you the ending but I can tell you that little Sara and me are no longer anything alike. Although I still try to act like a princess from time to time I find myself missing the most important character in both Sara’s story and my own – a father.

And maybe this still only makes sense to me. But then again, I told you that you were reading my diary.

A Little Princess – Part 4

Sometimes I feel so sick and sad that I cannot eat. This is hard for me since I have hypoglycemia – a condition where my blood sugar drops faster than usual. Often I feel like my heart breaks faster than usual. I don’t think there is a name for that though. Other than sensitive. Lets forget for a moment that we were talking about Dad #2… We are going back to Dad #1.

I am sensitive.

I am sensitive to the fact that I will never know half of what makes me who I am. I am sensitive to the fact that I constantly look for pieces of me within somebody else. Do I sit like you? Do I talk like you? Wait, did we just laugh at the same thing? For all the eating that I do not do, my body eats itself. My stomach swallows my entire heart and soul until I feel like there is nothing left inside of me but the circulation of blood beneath skin.

But what I constantly have to remind myself is that we are made up of more than blood and skin. There is more to me than DNA. There is more to me than my mother and my father’s DNA. What you do not understand is that I already know this. I know that I am who I am today whether you created me physically or not. You created me through emotions, tribulations, and memories. From my history with you I forged a future for myself that I still have yet to grasp – complete happiness.

I thought I was getting closer.

Two months…it took you two entire months to come see the house that I live in. The home that I am making for myself and another. I have not seen you since. That was almost two months ago. We purchased a home – this is a big step in my life. A big step in the right direction I thought. Would you be proud? I had hoped to see a look of pride on your face – an inkling of encouragement that somehow my actions pleased you.

I have always been a people pleaser.

People think that humans like me – those who strive to make others happy – are insecure. I am insecure, yes … that is correct. But I am also selfish and greedy. I aim to please to get that boost of confidence. To assure YOU that I am good enough. Deep down I know I am good enough for anybody. Yet somehow my goal is to make sure that YOU – Dad #1 – know it.

I also look for people who appease me. Dad #2 did just that. He was in my life just in time. It was my senior year – the year where I would no longer be a child and would rapidly be thrown into adulthood.  He was there to usher me off to prom. Taking pictures, telling me how pretty I was., and making sure my boyfriend promised to take good care of me. He came to my graduation and told me how proud he was. He helped me move my stuff out and into “my own place”. He filled those voids that needed to be filled. I began to think to myself – this is the man who is going to give me away at my wedding.

But I have realized some things —

Just as I cannot dream you into a reality nor force you into my life – I cannot force myself to accept someone else into my life.

He makes me uncomfortable.

All the years I spent desiring to know who this man was and then he hugged me. The first time he hugged me I was too overwhelmed with joy  to realize my gut feelings. Gradually I noticed that just his presence began to piss me off. No, this wasn’t teenage angst. This was me fed up with grown men acting like boys. He never had sisters nor daughters so he did not know how to speak to me appropriately. It got to the point where hugging him made me sick to my stomach. I still do not know what it is but I no longer care for him to be in my life. My mother, I hope will learn sooner rather than later.

Because I still have not learned.

I have not learned yet to let go of people who do not want me back. This extends into my everyday life. I care and love to the point of a noxious pain erupting deep within me. I have not learned to turn those away who I think could harm me. I trust beyond reasonable doubt and give more than second chances. You’re humans, not cats – you don’t deserve 9 tries. I  give myself entirely to anybody who will take me then cower and ask myself – “Why? Why did I ever let you in?” For me, I know the answer is that I always hope for the best. Even when tears are streaming down my face and my heart is shambles a part of me will never give up on anything nor anyone. They call it Faith…

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Stay tuned for the inspiration behind the title.

I know what you did.

Have you ever fucked up so bad that even you couldn’t believe it. Have you ever felt that what you were doing wasn’t real – and once you have chosen your weapon of self destruction, the ticking time bomb of actuality explodes and suddenly you know what you have done. You cannot protect yourself or anybody else from the shrapnel of your mistake. Yet somehow it doesn’t quite burn enough.  You still cannot believe it. You have admitted it, accepted it, and now you are already trying to lick your wounds. There is still a fog in your mind – what exactly happened. It sets into your synapses like a slow, seeping release of tear gas. Your brain recoils, your body crumbles but you still cannot believe it. You stitch and staple and bandage but that only closes the wounds – there will be scars. Reminders of what you did and it feels like everyone will know.

A Little Princess – Part 3

You watched over me.

I never knew until you told me.

You asked grandma and grandpa about me. You called while I was at their house and asked what I was doing.

They showed you pictures of me. They told you when I was hurt, when I cried, when I ran away…

You knew everything…like a secret agent.

Is that why it is so hard for you now? Are you so used to hiding in the shadows of your own regret that you cannot step out into the sunshine of what could be a father/daughter relationship?

It is not too late…

I will tell you now, it will never be too late. It has been nearly 15 years and I never gave up. What makes you think I would now?

I will die of old age, wishing the man I wished was my father would wish I was his daughter.

We always want what we cannot have…




REWIND… Back to the age of approximately 2.

What we cannot have….We cannot have our job and drink our beer too. Now, Dad #2 was not necessarily — #2 (like poo). He was a decent man. He is a decent man. He means well, but he just did not & does not get it. Women need stability, and he has about as much stability as a pirate with TWO peg legs.

I will never forget the day he left…

The day he left was burned into my small child brain like when you leave the television on pause for too long. The image stuck. It was nap time at my nana’s. He came over to say goodbye. Mommy had told him to leave. He kneeled down and kissed me on the forehead — his hand brushed my little cheeks. Then he made a promise he couldn’t keep, “I promise I’ll be back…” The little princess that I was expected him to keep his promise.

What my mom did not know was that as I got older (and learned how to use a phone book on my own), I started searching. Flipping through pages of the phone book looking up his last name. Typing in his name in Google and Yahoo search. Considering asking for an allowance so I could pay for one of those letters you get in the mail that tells you everything about them from where they lived previously to where they are now.

While kids were spending summers in the pool, I was digging through phone books – and sometimes my mom’s things. I found her old wedding ring in the filing cabinet. I found pictures of me – one where I am on the roof, his forearm holding me up there. Then I found a home video. We had gone to Oklahoma. I was a little bitty baby.

I remember too much.

I remembered the first time I watched Bambi was at his parent’s house. In the basement. While playing with hand sewn dolls and what was probably a doll house built by grandpa. But like I said, I remembered when he left…

Maybe I am a little obsessive. Spending my life searching for things that are long gone. It was all worth it though, because I found him. Even after you get to the end of all this – I am still going to tell you, it was worth it. I spent my life being told no, so I was going to search for somebody who would say yes.

Dad 2 moved in with us my senior year. He was a lot of firsts for me and I am thankful for that. I always will be. He came to my school for a presentation (Theatre class). He was so excited about it that he brought his video camera to record it. He took pictures with me before sending me off to prom. He threatened my boyfriend – “If you break her heart,  I will break your neck”. To which my boyfriend candidly replied, “Thank you. Same to you.” and then they shook hands while my mom cried. Nobody had ever said that for me. Apparently nobody cared if my boyfriend broke my heart or not. He took me out to a “Father Daughter Lunch” where we discussed our favorites while watching the news about the recent whale attack at Sea World. I had an open faced turkey sandwich at Gerards.

One of my favorite comfort foods.

To be continued….

 

A Little Princess – Part 2

I remember not being allowed to go to my grandparents’ house the days that you were visiting. It would be too awkward.

You didn’t even want to look at me…

But after that day at Pizza Hut, it was like it was ok to at least be in the same room with each other now. Which should have been great right? Things are always better after complete utter rejection.

You came over on Christmas. I always went to grandma and grandpa’s house for half the day. Why couldn’t you have waited until the other half? I think I know why now.

Fast forward 5 years – I am 18 years old. I just graduated from high school 5 days ago.

And then there was tragedy…

My aunt Jennifer passed away in her sleep. I don’t handle loss well – especially not permanent loss. I went with everybody to clean out her apartment and to take over ownership of her dear kitty, Bubba. I was sitting in the truck with my friend Miranda when you came outside. You said you wanted to talk to me. Dear God what do you want from me. Leave me be in my sorrow.

Then you said the words I had waited a decade to hear – “I want to be a part of your life…”

I wanted to punch you square in the gut. But I am a lover, not a fighter. So instead I hugged you as hard as I could and put on my game face.

I will have to talk to Dad 2 about this. That is what I told you. What you didn’t know is that my mom was now dating husband number 2, again. After Dad 3 left.

**FLASHBACK**

I had found him on MySpace, messaged him, and said I had always wondered where he went. I remembered him as a loving father and to my great happiness – he messaged me back that he had missed me for 16 years. He was stationed overseas – Iraq/Afghanistan – but he was coming home for a short period of time. He wanted to see me and my mom.

So we let him come back – he beat you to the punch line.

He did not even hesitate or take time to consider being a father figure – he was determined to be the dad that I needed. He even came to my graduation. (More on Dad 2 coming soon)

**END FLASHBACK**

When we left Jennifer’s I told my grandma what you said and my response. She cried and told me that I didn’t have to let you into my life.

YOU hurt ME.

Your poor mother – she loves me with all her heart and soul and couldn’t understand why you left me. I was shocked by her words but it made me feel better. She was right. This was my choice. You can’t reject somebody their entire life and then expect them to come running to you when YOU decide it is okay. But you knew that – so you waited.

I do not remember if I officially told you that I accepted your offer or if it was just assumed. I think I may have called you on the phone.

On the outside I came off as hesitant – and part of me really was.

I no longer know anything about you – the man that I called daddy.

On the inside though, I was back to being that little girl who called you on the phone – begging to talk to you for even just a moment. And now, 4 years later – I’m 22. I just bought a house with my boyfriend. There are some big steps coming up in my life. Yet I have not seen you in 2 months… we hardly speak.

I still do not know you…

I call you throughout the week. Sometimes it is just once a week. Other times it is up to 3 times a week. You never answer. I’m lucky if you return my phone calls. We are both adults now, but I am starting to feel like that little girl again. The one who waited until she was locked in her room at grandma’s to call you. Looking into that big mirror while the phone rang…and rang…and rang. Thinking to myself – why doesn’t he answer? What is wrong me? What did I do?

Dad are you ever going to pick up the phone?

To be continued….

A Little Princess – Part 1

I do not know who my real dad is.

Do I want to?

Sometimes…

Do I wonder what he looks like?

Sometimes…

In my own mind – I often go back and forth between wanting to know and not really giving two shits who he is. Not out of hatred or anger – I just do not see the point after 22 years of living. How awkward — Hi, you don’t know me … but I am kind of your kid. Well, your adult now but you spawned me 22 years and 9 months ago.

*Sigh*

I have told myself over the years that I do not have daddy issues. Repeatedly. But I have been denying some vital information…

I do like older men – but not like, daddy or grandpa older. 6 years is a good number.

Serial Dater – guilty as hell. I don’t think I have ever been “single” for more than 5 days.

Jealousy – I do… I really do… but only when it comes to women from the past. If you have known them longer than me, it will probably bug me.

But further on the note of jealousy — which I guess really it would be more like envy — other people and their fathers. I saw the most beautiful post today on Buzzfeed. “25 Dads With Daughters Who Are Doing It Right”.

They are most definitely doing it right. I would know, because I know how to do it wrong.

I don’t have very many pictures like the ones in that article. In fact,  I don’t know if I have any beyond infancy. Dad, did we take pictures together when I was a child? Were we smiling? I don’t have those pictures if we did.

Why didn’t you take pictures of us?

See, I don’t know who my biological father is. I know who dads 1,2, and 3 are. They have names but a lot of times I just call them by numbers – because otherwise it is too confusing for my friends/acquaintances.

Now, don’t go getting the wrong impression of my mum here – she is a wonderful lady and I won’t tolerate you even THINKING something is wrong with her. Because there might be some blemishes, but she is beautiful inside AND out.

Dad 1 – My mom’s first husband. The first man I called daddy.  I don’t know how old I was when we did the paternity test. I just remember crying because it hurt and going out for ice  cream with my grandma after. Chocolate chip cookie dough thank you. Grandma, why didn’t you get ice cream? I know now, you were nervous… It’s ok. I was too.

Even though I had no idea what was happening then.

You disappeared… You left me…You forced my mother to tell me why you left me…It wasn’t all her fault. I was not your child but I did not know that. Do you know what that does to a small heart? I was young but I understood – I didn’t belong to you, so you no longer loved me.

I was lucky though, grandma and grandpa still loved me.

By this time, we were long into the relationship of my mother and Dad 3. Mom and 1 divorced before I was even 2 years old, maybe sooner than 1? Don’t worry – I have not forgotten Dad 2… he will come up later… probably in Part 2.

My mother picked me up from school one day… “Mommy, why doesn’t daddy talk to me…I tried and tried calling him, but he never answers. And he never calls me back.”

My poor mother, having to explain AGAIN that you were not my daddy. That dad 3 was my daddy and he was a good man. That he was raising me as one of his own and I should thank him and love him. And I did. When that front door opened when we got home, he was sitting in the blue recliner, watching television. Even though he was reclined back, I RAN to him – arms open and tears streaming down my face. When I wrapped my arms around his neck I felt him look at my mom, “What is this all about?” he said. My response? “You love me, you are my dad and you love me…Thank you.”  I received a small squeeze, pat on the back, and “well of course I love you.” One of the very few moments where my heart burst with joy around Dad 3.

But I didn’t give up hope just yet…

I continued to call you and call you until one day – you answered…I couldn’t believe it. I do know that during this time, I was 13 years old. I was in middle school still. I was struggling with depression and an emotionally/sexually manipulative boyfriend.

When suddenly you appear like a Godsend.

We made plans to get together at Pizza Hut. I do not remember which one. I just remember that we sat at a booth.

My heart was racing when you picked me up.

Is this a date or am I seeing my “dad” for the first time in what, 8 years? The one thing I did not do was count, I never liked math anyways. It was always disappointing. It was, “It has been xxxx days/weeks/months/years since I have seen my dad” instead of “it is only xx hours/minutes/seconds until I see my dad again”. God I had hoped to see you like no other girl had ever dreamed.

I was wearing jeans, a red tank top, and a black “Agape” hat. Oh the irony.

Agape – self sacrificing love.

It started out as small talk, simple really. How is school (how the hell do you think it is?). How is your mom (Wouldn’t have a clue, I am a teenager now). Then we got into the big stuff.

So, what do you want to talk about.

I tried so hard to speak while choking on years of agony – “I miss you,” was all I could get out. You said you missed me too. My conscience called “Bologna”. I tried to tell you about Dad 3. Why I didn’t like him. But to everybody it came off as a rambling teen girl. But teen girls like their dads. Teen girls hate their moms. I hated both at the time. (Not really mom, I always love you – I was just angry and full of angst). I was pining for you to be my father. My head was filled with happy reunions from bad 90’s teen girl movies. A Little Princess was my heart wrencher. I envied Amanda Bynes in What A Girl Wants.

Dammit what a girls wants is a DAD. A Dependable Advocate for Daughters. D.A.D.

I only wished my father’s absence was as simple as Ever After or A Cinderella Story. Something truly tragic, not just my parent’s mistakes.

I didn’t do anything wrong – why did you take it out on me?

I left that day with answers to many questions – but I also left still feeling alone and unwanted. You couldn’t be my daddy. You just couldn’t. But Dad 3 was a great guy, and he loves me. So I should thank him. Yea. Thanks.

To be Continued….

Back in Black

I admit it – I gave up. I lost all hope for a moment. Already telling myself I could not do this. But I can. It has been (almost) exactly two months since my last confession…I endured reading a short comment directed towards me in a hateful manner (this was in response to my last post – about stopping the hate) and I let it break me. I have not experienced being truly “bullied” since high school. I am sure people have said things behind my back, but to say it directly to me (although via the worldwide web) – it truly hurt. I can admit that I do not take criticism well. I never have and I do not think I ever will. I was bullied by “family & friends” from a young age up into my early adulthood. I forgot what it felt like until somebody reminded me. For the past few years I have been trying to be kind to people – trying really hard because not everybody acts like they deserve it. All people and things though do deserve to be treated kindly. Even when they do not reciprocate. After those hateful things were said to me though – I realized that a single person hurting me did not make me want to hurt them (nor myself or anyone else). It made me want to love even harder. I wanted to hug a young child. I wanted to kiss my significant other. I wanted to hold the hand of my grandmother. I wanted to show that person that no matter what they do or say – there is always love. After a good cry about how much it hurt me – I just wanted someone to hold. I am not the type who likes to be held. People will wrap their arms around me – but if they think back – I am always wrapping my arms around them too.
So, to the person who said those nasty things – I want you to take notes.
#1 – My love is much stronger than your hate, spite, anger, or any other negativity you could ever throw like rocks to hurt me.
#2 – No other person will ever see the words you said to me – as I have to give approval for every post that comes to this page.

janis ian