I was never a Daddy’s Girl. My father and I butted heads pretty much the moment I left the womb. He was not the person I ran to for support or for understanding. I can directly link a number of my weird mental blocks to him and our relationship. To say it was volatile would be putting it gently; our relationship was a volcano exploding and the damage was so vast that the ash circled the earth for years. It was Mount St. Helens in human relationship form.
It’s interesting to look back at my life and my relationship with him. The reason we had such a tense relationship is because, whether I wanted to admit it or not at the time, I am JUST. LIKE. HIM. As I’ve grown older and matured, I’ve been able to look back and see this. I can see how alike we are, and why that makes our relationship different than most daddies with their daughters.
But as an adult, it has created this unique and amazing thing. We have this strange relationship built on knowing we are exactly alike, avoiding situations that will cause one or both of us to explode into fits of anger and frustration, but also, a tenderness that seems to be a result of our mutual silent acknowledgement of the situation we are in.
He may not be the person I turn to when I need someone to talk to. Goodness knows that we rarely discuss things we know we disagree on because the aftermath of the argument can be felt for months. But he and I have something so precious. We have a silent bond and understanding of what makes us both tick and what makes our precarious relationship so special. We are EXACTLY ALIKE.
It is in this tender bond that I have healed a lot of wounds. We fought so violently at times that it felt like we would never be able to speak cordially to one another. I had times where I screamed to be heard over his yelling until my voice was horse. He could be so difficult and, frankly, so mean, that there were times when I questioned my love for him and his love for me. And yet, as an adult, this unspoken understanding we share has shown me that everything we went through was because of love. You fight with those you care about because you care about them.
When I was 18 I realized that all I wanted was to hug my dad and know that it wasn’t going to start or end a fight. And I took it upon myself to fight for the relationship we deserved to have. We are both so pigheaded at times that it took a lot of time to undo our mutual damage. And yet, I was able to walk up to my dad and hug him and just let it be that.
To this day, we tread lightly when necessary, but I can always rely on him for a hug that is more than just a greeting, but a true happiness spread through his arms, a true joyous hello and a heartfelt nice to see you. I get hugs from him that I cherish because I know how special what we have is. We are two stubborn mules and who better to understand us than each other. And with this understanding he and I have ushered me into adulthood and a mature relationship with him. We may never have a “daddy’s girl” type bond. We may never have the closeness that so many claim, but what we have is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.
We have healing in the form of unspoken words. We have understanding in the form of tearful hellos. We have each other to understand us in a way that no one else in the world can. And we are lucky. So few are so understood by others as we are by each other.