This is my first post about this, and the word still feels too big to come out of my mouth. Ironically it’s only five letters long.
My Mum was abused as a child and she always said “I’ll never let anything happen to you.” and I always thought if someone was being abused, surely they would know. When I started going to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) my Mum went to my initial appointment with me. The problem, in everyone’s eyes, was the fact that I had lived with my Mum in and out of psychiatric hospitals. I went along with this, and so I never spoke a word of my relationship with my Dad.
That was when I was 14. I am 24 this year. Almost a decade later, a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa and Borderline Personality Disorder. Weight restored from the Anorexia. Scars. Hospitalisations. Overdoses. Other suicide attempts. And that word is suddenly being said.
The cost is massive.
The cost has been not just my Dad, but most of my family. Not only now do I have no contact with my mothers family after they sided with her father when her abuse came out, but now I have no contact with mine.
I graduated last week, and this was the first time there was a Dad shaped hole. I’m not sure this is ever going to get easier. I didn’t just cry because he wasn’t there, I cried because I know he would be just as upset as I was. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. He was supposed to admit to what he did, apologise, and we were supposed to move on. That is what I wanted. But he didn’t admit to it, there was no apology, and it all exploded.
This happened in March/April. Things kicked off again this month. I thought I wouldn’t survive it. In April I relapsed into my self-harm on a grand scale, ended up ringing my Mum for the first time ever and she had to come to get me from where I live. I was desperate. Then this month when it kicked off, rather than hurting myself, I called my psychiatrist and cried down the phone. Since then I’ve not cried at all, till my graduation.
He was supposed to be there. Him, and my step-mum. I love them both dearly. The situation when I was a child was complex. My Dad could not cope. I’m not trying to justify what he did to my sister and I, I am simply putting it into context. I didn’t want this to destroy our relationship, I just wanted him to acknowledge what he had done. He didn’t. And that was his choice, but it’s not only him it affects.
My sister has struggled tremendously, she is currently back on the acute ward and that itself has been chaotic. I was always a Daddy’s girl and it’s hard to get to grips with the fact that before March I was close to my Dad, and now we don’t talk at all.
Through it all though, the people who matter most to me have stuck by me, and I try to hold onto that. I try to see the positive. I try to tell myself that the people who walk away because it is easier than facing the truth do not deserve me.
But it’s not really that easy.