He was my daddy. By day he was ideal. Friend after friend would come to me and tell me they wish their dad was more like mine. He was playful and fun, a big kid at heart. He always played with us and had fun with large groups of kids. We had neighborhood water fights that seemed to get the whole neighborhood involved. He built the worlds biggest snow slide in the winter. He took large groups of girls from our constant slumber parties toilet papering. He went to our baseball games. He took all the girls out for ice cream after the baseball games. He was the all over fun, playful, involved ideal dad. He made me feel special. He devoted lots of time to me, he did allot of things to lighten the mood and make things fun…
I watched Saving Mr Banks today. As the movie pictured the whimsical ideal daddy figure for Helen I scoffed inside and asked, “who really has a dad like that, this is not real.” I was riveted the whole movie. But I hated the moment when the father calls his wife a “mean witch” to his daughter. And I thought the father daughter horse scene was creepy, not happy. I understood as the mother walked in a daze into the middle of the lake, no longer valuing her life.
I left the movie torn with strange feelings of guilt, and feeling judged by everyone and misunderstood. As my husband and I drove home, I shut down more and more emotionally. My husband wanted inside my emotions, he wanted to help me. I told him I would not/ could not share, I did not feel anyone could understand or value me, and did not feel like exposing myself when I was unvalueable.
I walked inside the house feeling my body shutting down, moving like a zombie, trying to get to bed before it hit. Once in bed, I bawled. I came up for air sometimes, got a drink, blew my nose, laid back down to the comforting snuggle of my husband, who stood by in support, though I would not open up, laid there quiet for a while, and then broke out in sobs again.
Sometimes the ideal dad feels more real than the monster he was at night. Sometimes I want to believe in water fights and tickle fights, sledding runs and toilet papering more than I want to believe in rape and molestation. But the fact is my father raped and molested me. And the facts are the perfect good daddy was all just a show for grooming his possibly numerous victims. A lifetime of lies, and yet sometimes the lie seems more real, and sometimes I want to not have a crack in my blue sky. I thought I had a daddy, a good daddy for most of my life.
As Helen came into the deathly still bedroom and saw her father dead and bleeding out the mouth from tubulerculous I felt what she felt. Tonight I mourned the loss of an ideal daddy anew, again.