I have grown up with hate licking my ears more nights than not. I have watched my mother been beaten down again and again by my father’s words. In my father’s world, something is always wrong. It’s never his fault, it’s yours.
I have learned to cope. I have learned to stay calm. I have stepped into the footsteps of my mother, choosing to dissolve the anger in my heart rather than react.
Tonight, I tried again to listen, to learn, to try and accept. My father is not a monster.
But it is hard when someone purposely belittles you. It is hard to hear your father speak to you in a tone of voice that is reserved for male locker rooms. It is hard to have him make you the enemy and speak to you like a stupid fucking democrat who doesn’t know anything.
The word fuck sounds disgusting when it is spat out by a grown man to his own daughter.
I try not to let it bother me. But when I am lying in bed trying to sleep I can hear his words pounding in my chest. I am stupid. I am uneducated. I am a dumb millennial who doesn’t listen to the radio or watch TV. I am retarded because I believe that we should pay taxes. I am not smart enough to know that the earth has been here forever and therefore we shouldn’t do anything to try and protect it.
My father is not a monster, and I am not his daughter when he starts to talk politics. I am the enemy. I’ve tried reason and fact-based arguments, but those are useless.
I am not alone. We are all living in a broken two party system of government. Everyone who has ever tried to reason with someone of the opposite political party has felt anger blossom inside of them. It is a giant game manifested by the elite to tear our society apart. It’s working, destroying us from the inside out, creating monsters out of fathers.
As he lays in bed peacefully sleeping, I am awake trying to make sense of how to expedite healing in his heart. I sit here at 2am typing because the alternative is letting the crushing emotion force me into bawling silently into a pillow.
My father is still the person who taught me to surf, his strong arms pushing me into the waves. The one who threw the lacrosse ball with me everyday after school in our side yard. The one who would take us out on the boat till sunset. And patiently help me with math homework no matter how hard the problems were.
I turn my focus to these good memories and feel the tears start to drip down my face. My nose starts to run. The stark contrast between those memories and the way it is when he talks politics makes me want to forgive him again and again. I am crying harder than I wanted to tonight.
Next time he starts lecturing on far right conservative insanities I want him to catch a glimpse of the little girl he raised. I want him to recognize through the hate filled anger that falls out of his mouth, that I am still his daughter. I want him to care about more than just being right in an argument. I want him to wake up from his hate filled slumber.
Please. Wake up.