My sister had her baby on Step Dad Number One’s birthday. At the hospital we talked about how my mom jinxed her. ‘Yea, Ma said she was gone be born on Daddy’s birthday.’ She always called them Ma & Daddy as if we completely shared them. I had no problem with her calling my mother Ma, almost everyone did. I even liked that she referred to him as Daddy & not ‘MY Dad’. It was like an invitation to share that I had never RSVP’d for. I didn’t know how.
Well that was about Step Dad #1 but what about Buddha?
My younger sister, or my father’s daughter as I’ve grown accustomed to calling her was pregnant with her second child at this time. We had spoken about a week before this hospital experience…and she said to me ‘Daddy asked about you…’ Well this set me off for two reasons. He’s always been my father, but I’ve NEVER called him Daddy. Why was she so comfortable calling him Daddy when to my knowledge she had only seen the jail bird three times in life? Why was she so used to calling MY father Daddy when I couldn’t formulate those words to address him if I wanted to?
How is it that a woman who didn’t know he was her father for the first half of her life could call Buddha Daddy yet it made my face cringe every time she tossed the term in my direction? “Daddy asked about you?” It was almost reflexive for me to ask “Who?” as if momentarily forgetting that he was the tie that bound us to begin with. In such a short time she developed a relationship with him that I decided at 17 that I didn’t even want. My notes on the manner continued.
This brought me back to a time years ago when my youngest sister was about three years old and she realized my father & her father weren’t one in the same. Thinking back that’s odd to me that a child so young could comprehend such a complex situation, but I guess because I always addressed him by first name she knew what was up. I remember how hurtful it was to have a three year old tell me “You don’t have a Dad’ & respond ‘Well how come I’ve never seen him?’ When you quickly negate their observation. As blunt and hurtful as her preschool words were I remember how in her Sour Patch Kid attempt at redemption she said to me ‘It’s ok, you can share my Daddy’ Nice offer kid,but I don’t want your Daddy I want my own.
I was thirteen in that exchange with my youngest sister. Yet 10 years later the memory of that moment still haunts me. I don’t like listening to “Daddy” by Beyoncé, or other songs commemorating positive relationships with one’s father. I can’t connect to them. They make me feel uncomfortable. Remind me of what I didn’t have. My notes on the “D” word ended as follows
I don’t want your Daddy. I want my own. I barely want the one God assigned to me, but the feeling of possession was something I desired. I wanted my own Daddy and I was about 20 years old when I realized that I had never even called anyone Daddy. (7/27/14 9:02 am)
My thoughts on the “D” word are morphing at every exchange with my siblings. Every opportunity to examine other people’s relationships.These were the truest and rawest reflections I had on my own experience & just the surface of where my Daddy Issues began.