He was a smooth talker. He knew exactly what to say to capture my attention. He made me laugh. Like a real hard laugh that makes your side hurts. I was always a sucker for a man that could make me laugh. He was just like my daddy.
In public, he was a gentleman. He opened doors for me. He ordered my food for me at the fancy restaurants. He pulled the chair out so I could sit. He would help me put my coat on or take it off. He was the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful man I’d ever met!
He told me every day that he loved me. He actually told me over a hundred times a day that he loved me. A little overkill, but I didn’t think anything of it. He told me how proud he was of me and all of the work that I was doing. He told me I was the best woman he’d ever had. And when he made love to me, he whispered sweet nothings in my ear. He would beg me never to leave him.
But behind those eyes was something dark, something mysterious, something scary even. Behind those eyes was a whole world of pain and unforgiveness and guilt and shame. All of which was caused by a life before me. All of which were hidden behind his smile. He was just like my daddy.
Funny thing is he often called himself my daddy. I never liked for a man that I was intimate with to refer to himself or even expect me to call him “daddy”. It’s creepy to me. But he exerted his control over me in every circumstance.
You see, behind those compliments were knives of insecurities and put downs. Behind those tender words of “don’t leave me” were thorns of “no one would ever love you like I do”.
Here I was thinking I’d finally found the man of my dreams. The man I dreamed of all of my life, but never ever thought he could ever exist for a f**ked up woman like myself. But then he came along and swept me off of my feet. I was madly in love. I only saw what I wanted to see, missing every red flag screaming in my face. I wanted so desperately to be accepted and loved by this man. I fell in love with my daddy.
I had built this man up to all of my family and friends. There was no imperfection in him. He took really good care of me. He made sure I had money in my pocket at all times. He took me shopping and picked out my clothes. We would go out of town often to local surrounding states for quick getaways. We did a lot together and he spoiled me rotten. Now I realize that those were all plots to keep me close to him and away from everyone else. He would plant seeds of negativity that none of my friends or family cared about me. I fell in love with my daddy.
He would call me every hour on the hour when we were not together. I thought it was endearing. I was blind. It was controlling. He wanted to know where I was and who I was with and what I was doing. He tried to break down everything I said to make me out to be a liar. I even started questioning myself. He was good at tearing me down. I fell in love with my daddy.
But when he was angry, he was scary. Who could I tell? Everyone thought he was an angel sent by God for me. I thought he was. Until behind closed doors, he revealed his true colors. He would yell and scream and throw tantrums. He would call me stupid and blame me for being “not the relationship type”. He would say very hurtful things about my parenting skills or my ability to think logically. He would accuse me of trying to sabotage our relationship. And all of those accusations would make me fight harder to please him and calm him down. I would apologize and cry and beg him not to leave me. To forgive me and promise that I’d do better. I fell in love with my daddy.
I ignored all of the signs that something was wrong. The hoarding behavior is a clear sign of emotional damage. I ignored it. The erratic and compulsive outbursts from small incidences such as a waiter staring too long at me. I ignored it. The arguments over the phone when he would call, hang up in my face, call back repeatedly with the same behavior until he was calm. Excessive. Over the top. I ignored it all.
Because after every heated argument came the soft, gentle love making. The gifts. The “I love you more than life”.
I. Was. Exhausted. Trying to keep up with the facade. Trying to make sense out of the senseless. Trying to be rational with the un-rational. Crying so many nights in the shower so he couldn’t hear me. Feeling trapped with nowhere to go and no one to tell. Wanting so badly not to have yet another failed relationship under my belt. Starting to believe his lies that I am not relationship material. That no one could ever love someone like me. I fell in love with my daddy.
My daddy could make anyone in the room laugh. He had the charm of a cold blooded snake. He was mean. And when he was drunk, he was unbearable at times. His abuse was verbal and physical, but never public – that I could remember. He called me his favorite, because hell I was named after him. But he was not a very kind man. He hurt people. People that I loved. I fell in love with my daddy when I met my EX-boyfriend. He was just like him. I fell fast and hard.
Now, I am left with the bruises.