Fathers and daughters

My blog is about my thoughts on my life and although my father crosses my mind on a daily basis the thoughts leave an aftertaste of bitterness and regret behind each time that I’ve been reluctant to write about him. I guess it’s because I don’t know where my words and my post would take me or how much of an open wound this whole process would leave behind.

After talking to a friend though about father-daughter-relationships I changed my mind and decided to write this post. 

You see, mine isn’t and has never been the smoothest of father-daughter- relationships, to say the least. We haven’t talked to each other for over two years and the last thing my father told me on the phone was that he loves me but that in this life, the two of us are done … And then he hung up.

I know I didn’t deserve this … Even if I had done something terrible, which - in my eyes - I haven’t, I don't think that any child deserves to be told something so cold and hurtful from a parent. But the last thing I want to do here is depict my father as someone cruel and heartless because 1) his action is cruel and heartless but he is not a cruel and heartless man and 2) no matter how shitty his behavior is, I believe that every person has a story, a background, a path they have consciously or subconsciously decided to walk and it helps to look at that story and that person in their context. 

Also, I’m not trying to make an excuse for him; I’m merely trying to look at my father from a distance to see … a man in his good and bad moments. A man, who drank and was occasionally violent at home, who is often right with his wise predictions but lacks in bringing his message across in a peaceful way, and in whose presence I always felt I wasn’t good enough, that I should be better or different or non-existent at all.

But he is also the man, who helped me with my homework till late at night, who stayed by my side when I was sick with fever and tried to bring it down, who taught me self-defense, ping pong and how to walk through life with keen eyes while questioning status quo, who watched Tom & Jerry with me and laughed tears, who passed on his love for philosophy, Martial Arts (Bruce Lee forever!) and talent in drawing and other creative skills on me.  

He clearly shaped me in who I am today, with all my flaws and my strong points.


Moments of tears and anger

I have my moments when I’m angry with him, sometimes in the most absurd situations, like when I clean our restroom and take my frustration out on the toilet brush.

When I watch movies with scenes in which a father is incredibly understanding and always there for his daughter I often feel amused in a bitter way (Yeah, right!) but I still cry and sound like a howling wolf and the tissue box becomes an extension of my hand. I usually lose it though when in those same movies the daughter acts bitchy or rolls her eyes on her father or finds him horribly annoying. All I want to do in that moment is reach into the TV and strangle her in persona. “What’s wrong with you?! He’s a loving dad!! What else do you want!!??”


Pretty obvious what’s going on, even when you’re not a counselor.


And then there are moments I instantly feel incredibly sad but try not to let tears escape my eyes because I’m in public. Instead it feels like pinning needles in the tip of my nose. I guess that's how tears try to say "We'll find a way out. Just you wait!" 

All it takes is a man, who remotely reminds me of my father. It can be their grey hair, a round suntanned face, a gesture, the way that person laughs or even the fashion that person wears. Frankly, anything!


Same trigger 

The other day I was about to fall off my chair in astonishment when a friend of mine told me the exact thought that I had when I watched the news about the assassination of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia. Somehow the issues the two of us have with our fathers seem so identical that we both felt reminded of our dads when we saw the last moments of Kim Jong-nam on the airport security footage: when he’s being attacked, when he runs to the officials to tell them what just happened, and later when he is in a chair, already dead.

Like my friend said, it could have been the slightest resemblance, like the way Kim Jong’s shirt was falling over his belly, that set off a trigger in her mind that reminded her of her father, and strangely enough the same news had triggered the same things in ME about MY dad. It seems to be a mix of emotions we have for our fathers that: from anger, sadness, worry to frustration.

Heaven knows what kind of a person Kim Jong-nam was but to my friend and me he looked like a calm teddy bear-like man, who just wanted his peace and nothing to do with the fucked up leadership in his country.


A man and his own story

Deep down I think that I see my father as someone fragile; a man with grey hair, who has never learned how to express and deal with his feelings, who had never been given the chance to live a normal and happy childhood. Instead he was a little surviver - for a while even a shoeshine boy - in the streets of Turkey, who tried to protect his sisters while his dad was a guest worker in Germany until my grandfather brought his whole family over to the country I was later born in.

Ironically, to me it feels like as if the older my father gets the more he acts like a stubborn child. A child that is in his own way, that feels lost but has no one to guide him and lean onto. Maybe I’m worried he’ll never learn to let his guard down, to trust and to express his love. I’m worried about my father as if he was MY child. Reversed roles.

I guess, as daughters we want our fathers to be this untouchable, strong man, who is our wise guidance in life. But that's not always the case. Sometimes they have their own struggles, their own battles, and their own demons. I need to accept that all that has nothing to do with me. I need to focus on my life and lick my wounds and heal again. And maybe ... some day that man ... my father ... will walk into my life again. Who knows.

Over to you

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