I wish I could share that more in detail with Sebastian. I feel like we may have more things in common than we let on, mainly because he is so removed from his mother himself, but I don't want to go on a rampage against my family.
I'm 25 now. I think it's time to say I'm not longer as stupid or gullible or scared of my parents as I was when I was 21 or 22 even.
A few years ago, my half brother gave me the best single piece of advice he had ever given me. We'd never seen eye to eye on anything, but I'll never forget the day he said "Don't always believe what Manuel [Dad] says."
I came to conclude that my dad was at most times, full of it.
As a father, I truly admire what he's done for our family. He's never been without work for long, and if he has, he has always been able to rely on savings and other resources so that we always had food on the table. We never went hungry, cold, or unclothed. We were never Poor.
I'm sure you've heard the saying that "daughters marry their fathers." And of course that's not in the incestuous relationship I'm referring to, but more on the emotional stance. I never thought I'd say this, but as I go through my twenties, I see that I want someone who can provide for me like my father provided for our family. But, I don’t think I’d be happy if I married someone like my father.
With time, I’ve come to realize that no matter how hard I try or what I do,
I will never be enough for my dad.
It hadn't occurred to me until recently how much of his b*!!$h!7 I've had to endure.
The first time I remember it happening was when I graduated from high school. Honors graduate. Straight As for my senior year. Apparently, that wasn't enough. "Why didn't you get highest honors?" he asked. My mom tried to comfort me and stood up for me saying "She still graduated. And she got honors. That's better than nothing."
That's right. Cause YOU didn't even make it into high school.
Anyway- fast forward 4 years, and we come up to community college. My dad complains that at my age, I'm so lost that I don't know where I'm headed. At my age, he was already way ahead of the game, having left his homeland for another country, and begun traveling the world.
I'm sorry dad…. But at least I didn't have a child when I was only 18 years old- or neglect him either.
2008 comes into view— Incident 1 occurs when I tell him I got the new job at the construction company where I'm still working. He congratulates me like any person would. When he comes home later that evening, he says "Now, you have to find out where the others failed, why they are leaving."
I tell him the current person is leaving for a closer opportunity to her home. He looks at me and says "That's what they want you to believe. They'll tell you anything to get you to accept the job. They'll often lie to you and offer you less money. They couldn't find anyone else to accept their offer."
I have to admit that hurt. It was like basically putting me down for having gotten the job in the first place (after only 2 days from quitting the previous one)-- that I had been offered the job, not due to my abilities and skills, but because they couldn't find anyone else to take it in the first place.
Thanks for thinking of me so highly Dad.
Incident 2—we are talking in the kitchen, discussing what schedule I should follow. My mom who understands the stress of college work (because she's actually gone to college) tells me that it'd be better for me to follow the 8-5 schedule, because starting at 7am would mean I'd have to get up at 5am, and it'd be too difficult since I review at nighttime. I tell my dad that I'd discussed it with my mom already and that I've chosen 8-5 because 7 am was too early for me.
He looks at me with a grin—the grin that says "you're lazy"—and says "7 am is too early for you?? I do it! There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do it too."
I had had enough. I looked at him directly in the eye and finally stood up for myself "You don't go to school—you don't take 4 classes and have a full time job, and come home to take care of my sisters. When exactly am I supposed to study if I were to start work at 7? I study at nighttime because that's the only time I am able to. But thanks for noticing."
Since then, I’ve distanced myself from my dad; when he ventured off to California to assume possession of an auto repair shop, he went to pursue his dream. Now he talks to me expecting me to help him continue the business if anything were to happen to him…. i.e.: DEATH!
He asked me to go joint on his business account so that I’d have access to the money…… and then “asked” to take over the business if something happened to him. I gave it 5 minutes of thought. I figured, why say no and hurt his feelings now…. When he will never know what I do with it after he dies? I’m not sorry, and I’m selling. I’m not going to indulge him and continue living his dream. No, I won’t have it. I already told him years ago that I wouldn’t work in the auto repair industry again because it wasn’t my calling. I have my own pursuit of happiness to follow; even if I don’t know what it is, I know auto shop isn’t it!
"Dad, have you thought of life insurance for the family first?" I asked him.
"No. I should really consider that." he answered.
Uh.... you think? Before you even consider me taking over your business, (which isn't even making a high profit) get some damn life insurance to take care of your underage kids and your wife (my mom)!
It's not that I hate my dad, although at times, I can feel it boiling under my skin. It's perhaps the fact that I'm resenting him more as I grow up. I get to study him as the hypocrite that he tries to disguise; the hate that he has instilled in me because he's biased and prejudiced of everything that revolves around us. I will admit that he has influenced me on a lot of what he believes in and I hate it; the racism, the bigotry…..
When we talk about facts, I just realize I believed a lot of his bullshit due to respect. But Sebastian made me realize that my father ruled by fear. And yes, it did work. I don't have kids. Why? Because both of my parents put fear in me that if I got pregnant, I'd have to leave the house, and my mother wouldn't let me on the streets with a child in tow, which would mean I would end her marriage because my dad wouldn't stay in the same household.
Oh yeah...... that conversation actually happened.
I was gaining weight, and had a bigger appetite for milk.......... supposedly "cravings" my mom said. She demanded I pee on a stick to prove I wasn't pregnant.
I was 21 at the time.
I love my father as a parent and for always pushing forward and never giving up. But I don't like the person he became ever since having landed on this soil. When I spent time in France a few years ago, all his friends told me stories about him, about how nice and joyful he was. I have to assume they're lying to make me feel proud, because it's not the same person they describe.
SO thanks dad for all the "positive" reinforcement you have shown me, for all the manipulative actions you have mastered, the support you only give me when it's convenient for you such as telling me "where am I going to find someone as clever as you when it comes to business negotiations?"