Thursday, 16 June 2011

Fatherless Father's Day

This Sunday, it's Father's Day.  I guess for most people, this is a happy day - a day to celebrate having a wonderful dad, and showing your appreciation for all he's done.  For people like me, it's a very painful day. 

It seems as though everywhere I turn, there are painful reminders that I don't have a dad.  He's not dead, but he's not in my life.  And when he was in my life, it wasn't something to be celebrated because he hurt me in ways no father ever should.  I still love my dad, and that makes things like Father's day hurt all the more I suppose.  He's still my dad, even though he's not, if you know what I mean?

There seems to be a trend on places like Facebook these days, where people post things 'in honour' of certain things relevant to upcoming holidays or special days.  Today I saw this:

"If your Dad is, or was, a hard working man, and is your hero, has helped you no matter how good or bad you were, and is just the best Dad ever, if you are blessed to still have your Dad, or if he is the brightest star in the night's sky, paste this to your status and let everyone know you are proud of your Dad. You can replace a lot of people in your life, but you only have one Dad."

Ouch. :(

Sometimes it seems like from every angle, people around us are rubbing in the fact that our fathers weren't who they were supposed to be, and it's so painful! As for the above status... on the one hand, I kind of agree - you can't ever really replace your biological father.  He is who he is. However, I believe you have two families in this life - the one you were born with and the one you choose. 

Yes, I long for my dad to be my dad... to love me and treat me as he should... to love me no matter what and to do everything in his power to prevent me from harm... to accept me for who I am and be proud of me.  Truth is, he hasn't ever been that and I don't think he ever will be.  When it comes to my biological father, I have to accept that I will always be 'fatherless'.  That hurts, and it's okay to admit that. I don't know if that pain will ever go away. 

At the same time, I have other people in my life who do love me and who do treat me in the way family is supposed to.  In spite of the pain that comes with being "fatherless", I am learning what it means to have a family - a real family.  I am grateful for that and I know I'm truly blessed to have found that after everything I've been through.  Maybe one day, Father's Day won't hurt so deeply. Maybe one day I'll stop trying in my heart to chase after something that I cannot have.  For now, I choose to allow myself to feel what I feel, to accept that I can't change who my dad is... and to learn to trust the new 'real' family in my life.  

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Living Life to the Full

The recent #alicebucketlist trend on Twitter as part of an incredibly brave teenager with terminal cancer's list of things she wants to do in the time she has left made me think. Abuse can be totally devastating and has the potential to destroy our lives. Having a reminder that life is worth living in spite of it all can be empowering! It can be so easy after all we've been through to slip into depths of depression and hopelessness. It's easy to give up on life. Yes, so much was taken from us, but there is so much more out there than that!

I don't know about you, but the things I've been through make me realise all the more how valuable life is. The years that were taken from me, I can never get back... but that makes me all the more determined to make the most of the rest of my life and take back more than was taken from me!

So... I thought I'd write some kind of 'bucket list' myself. A list of things in my hopes and dreams for the future of my life. Things to live for and things to fight for.

1. Get better! (I've been ill for most of the past year)

2. Get my PhD!


3. Meet as many new people as I can, from all over the world, and learn from them.


4. See the world!

Image: Total Law TM

5. Have an art exhibition at a good gallery.


6. Live a life where I'm not afraid to stand up for what I believe in and where I am not ashamed of being me.

7. Do a Post-doc in Israel. (random I know but hey... it's my list!)

8. Own a horse.

9. Learn to speak another language fluently. (or several!)


10. Make a positive difference to other people's lives.

11. See the Northern Lights.

12. Camp in a desert for a week.

13. Attend a masquerade ball.

Image: graur codrin

14. Make a quilt by hand.

15. Take tea with the Queen.

16. Write a book... and get it published.

Image: Surachai

 17. Name a star.

Image: nuttakit

18.  Own a Beulah dress.

Visit: Beulah London

19. Watch one of Shakespeare's plays in the Globe Theatre.

20. Raise £1000 for Love146.

What would you put on your list? What would you regret not doing with your life? Do you have dreams or ambitions?  You deserve to live life to the full, and to reach for your dreams. Life is what you make it... don't waste it!


 And thank you Alice for inspiring me - I hope you get to do as many things as possible on your bucket list. xx

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