);

Who would have thought that at the age of 32, and hearing those words for the first time, from this one person, could have such an impact and bring tears to my eyes. But this morning, that’s exactly what happened.

After 26 years, that is the first time I ever remember hearing my step Dad tell me he is proud of me. And who would have thought, that even now, after knowing how proud I am of myself and feeling all those feelings and hearing that from many others. After achieving all I have achieved, that hearing those words from him, would impact me so much more than my own words could.

You see my step Dad and I had a very difficult relationship when I was growing up. I was stubborn and pig headed. He was burly and scary looking. Well actually, just scary. He looked like Ned Kelly who rarely smiled.

But you see it goes way deeper than that. For us all.

I had deep abandonment issues from my biological Dad not being around. I was living this fairytale, dreaming that one day he would come and ‘save me’. That one day, he would be my knight and come and whisk me away and protect me, as all fathers should, right?

My step Dad too had abandonment issues from being adopted.

And then you have my Mum who was a very troubled young woman, to say the least. She battled with drug addiction for most of her life, and it was the cause of her demise emotionally, spiritually and in the end, physically.

So here you have Ned Kelly (angry addition), Lady Muck (mass attitude, stubborn mule addition) and Lost Soul (will escape in any form addition), plus a little toddler, (my sister) who was the joy and happiness addition, to this world of chaos that formed.

Now as you can imagine, and you can imagine, these three volatile souls, all coming together. And really imagine the world they created together? Can you see it? Can you hear it? Can you feel it?

A world of self destruct that catalysed into a world of rage, of violence, of home bound inner war, as each fought the other, as they were each fighting their internal world, to be seen, to be heard, to be loved.

Add to that, the rejection I projected onto my step Dad, And the rejection I in turn felt from him, that I was the outcast.

He took in my sister like she was his own. She Unconsciously craved and accepted that. And then my brother came along and obviously, he adored his son. Here I was feeling left out, unloved, not good enough and like I didn’t belong.

For most of my childhood my step Dad and I didn’t see eye to eye. We did not get along. To be honest, I hated him then. I blamed him solely for the war that continuously broke out. I blamed him for my Mum creating the mental illness she was diagnosed with.

I blamed him for her leaving. I blamed him for her coming back. I blamed him for her illness, for her irrational behaviour. I blamed him for not being able to do more extra curricular activities, like the other kids. I blamed him for us being poor. I blamed him for everything.

I hated him for the extreme punishments I coped as a kid. I felt like there was nothing I could do right and that everything I did was never good enough. What I didn’t see though, was that he pushed me to excel, (as did my teachers). But I never perceived that, of him. I only ever saw it as a disappointment that I didn’t do better.

What I didn’t consider, was how they would turn up to Athletics day to support me, how incredible they made every Christmas for us, how he bought me my first camera when I was ten and we were living in a Women’s Refuge at the time. How he would cry and say how sorry he was after the events of some nights and how he would tell me how much he loved us all, through the heartbreak that was ever present then.

What I never believed was that he did love me and tried to guide me as best he could, He took in my Mum, who was an addict at the time, and took in her two kids and tried to do his best by all of us, with the resources he had available to him. And it was probably the toughest job he’s ever had to do.

It has been a very long road for us both. We are not close by any means, but we certainly have a bond that goes deeper than I ever imagined possible. A few years ago, for the first time, we talked about the past and both apologised for the parts we played in the turmoil we all created.

If it wasn’t for all the things, all the things I had to endure then, I wouldn’t have the strength or courage I have now. If I didn’t feel all those things, and see all those things from my perspective then, it would not have given me the brut force and bad ass attitude I had to fight for everything I have now, to break the cycles, to search for answers, to dig deep and look within.

So today, when we were Facebook messaging, and we were reflecting on things, with the other kids, parenting, how I felt things were for me then, and now, and I acknowledged how far we have come in our relationship together. He responded with, ‘Yes we have I am very proud of what you have achieved’.

Those words ‘I am very proud of what you have achieved’. I never thought I needed to hear them from him. Nor did it worry me if I ever did, or did not. I am extremely proud of who I am and what I have achieved, particularly of late with my latest accomplishments. But then to hear him say that. Hear him say those words after 26 years, for the first time I can ever remember, it brought so many tears to my eyes and filled my heart so incredibly.

Today, I realised how much my external world had changed to reflect my internal world. And never had I imagined, that those words coming from my step Dad could have such a profoundly beautiful reaction from me.

But now, after hearing my step Dad, the man who raised me, (with an iron fist or not), who has helped shape me into the woman I am today, say those words, it absolutely does matter. It has filled my heart and soul with so much richness, and has bought so many tears of joy to my eyes. I thought, you know what, we absolutely have come such a long way and I am truly blessed.

Life, choices, perception is all what we make it. We can choose to live in fear, to live in anger, to live in regret, to live with unworthiness shadowing our existence. We can choose not to forgive or forget. We can choose to blame others, or ourselves, or be at the effect and say life ‘happened to me’. But you are only disempowering yourself, of yourself.

Alternatively, we can choose to accept what was, appreciate everyone has a different model of the world and that their behaviour is not who they are. That people are only ever doing the best job they can, with the resources they have.

We can choose to forgive; ourselves, and to forgive others, as doing so frees us of the confines of unforgiveness and the constraints of that space in the past. We can choose to move on. To let go. We can choose to survive, to grow, to evolve, as after all that’s why we have chosen the path we did, and created the life and obstacles we are faced with.

We may not have a ‘normal’ relationship. But there is nothing normal about our lives. We have faced the depths of hell together, and we have both come out on top. I am grateful for all the good, bad and ugly he played a role in, as I am incredibly resilient and strong now because of it. He may not be my biological Dad, but he did his best to be a father for me. And let me tell you, I did not make it easy for him. He has stuck around after everything. And I know if I ever need him, he will be there.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be sometimes for him to hear me tell parts of my story, (that refer to abuse or domestic violence), and I know the day he reads my book will be a difficult day for him. But I also know that I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today if it wasn’t for him. And as much as love tore us apart; love I had for my biological father and not wanting to allow another man that ‘right’, a love for a woman I didn’t understand and felt I so desperately needed to protect, from him. And his love for the same woman who he also tried to protect, from herself, and a love for her kids he tried so hard to give.

And today, I think for the first time ever, I Unconsciously gave him permission and let him in. And in doing so, I got the words I always wanted to hear from my ‘Dad’. And that he is. Blood or not, he has always been there, and always will be. That’s what a true father does, and I thank him for perservering, and being that for me, even when I tried so hard to not let him be.

‘I am very proud of what you have achieved’

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Who would have thought, that even now, after knowing how proud I am of myself and feeling all those feelings and hearing that from many others. After achieving all I have achieved, that hearing those words from him, would impact me so much more than my own words could.

Who would have thought that at the age of 32, and hearing those words (I am very proud of what you have achieved) for the first time, from this one person, could have such an impact and bring tears to my eyes. But this morning, that’s exactly what happened.

After 26 years, that is the first time I ever remember hearing my step Dad tell me he is proud of me. And who would have thought, that even now, after knowing how proud I am of myself and feeling all those feelings and hearing that from many others. After achieving all I have achieved, that hearing those words from him, would impact me so much more than my own words could.

You see my step Dad and I had a very difficult relationship when I was growing up. I was stubborn and pig headed. He was burly and scary looking. Well actually, just scary. He looked like Ned Kelly who rarely smiled.

But you see it goes way deeper than that. For us all.

I had deep abandonment issues from my biological Dad not being around. I was living this fairytale, dreaming that one day he would come and ‘save me’. That one day, he would be my knight and come and whisk me away and protect me, as all fathers should, right?

My step Dad too had abandonment issues from being adopted.

And then you have my Mum who was a very troubled young woman, to say the least. She battled with drug addiction for most of her life, and it was the cause of her demise emotionally, spiritually and in the end, physically.

So here you have Ned Kelly (angry addition), Lady Muck (mass attitude, stubborn mule addition) and Lost Soul (will escape in any form addition), plus a little toddler, (my sister) who was the joy and happiness addition, to this world of chaos that formed.

Now as you can imagine, and you can imagine, these three volatile souls, all coming together. And really imagine the world they created together? Can you see it? Can you hear it? Can you feel it?

A world of self destruct that catalysed into a world of rage, of violence, of home bound inner war, as each fought the other, as they were each fighting their internal world, to be seen, to be heard, to be loved.

Add to that, the rejection I projected onto my step Dad, And the rejection I in turn felt from him, that I was the outcast.

He took in my sister like she was his own. She Unconsciously craved and accepted that. And then my brother came along and obviously, he adored his son. Here I was feeling left out, unloved, not good enough and like I didn’t belong.

For most of my childhood my step Dad and I didn’t see eye to eye. We did not get along. To be honest, I hated him then. I blamed him solely for the war that continuously broke out. I blamed him for my Mum creating the mental illness she was diagnosed with.

I blamed him for her leaving. I blamed him for her coming back. I blamed him for her illness, for her irrational behaviour. I blamed him for not being able to do more extra curricular activities, like the other kids. I blamed him for us being poor. I blamed him for everything.

I hated him for the extreme punishments I coped as a kid. I felt like there was nothing I could do right and that everything I did was never good enough. What I didn’t see though, was that he pushed me to excel, (as did my teachers). But I never perceived that, of him. I only ever saw it as a disappointment that I didn’t do better.

What I didn’t consider, was how they would turn up to Athletics day to support me, how incredible they made every Christmas for us, how he bought me my first camera when I was ten and we were living in a Women’s Refuge at the time. How he would cry and say how sorry he was after the events of some nights and how he would tell me how much he loved us all, through the heartbreak that was ever present then.

What I never believed was that he did love me and tried to guide me as best he could, He took in my Mum, who was an addict at the time, and took in her two kids and tried to do his best by all of us, with the resources he had available to him. And it was probably the toughest job he’s ever had to do.

It has been a very long road for us both. We are not close by any means, but we certainly have a bond that goes deeper than I ever imagined possible. A few years ago, for the first time, we talked about the past and both apologised for the parts we played in the turmoil we all created.

If it wasn’t for all the things, all the things I had to endure then, I wouldn’t have the strength or courage I have now. If I didn’t feel all those things, and see all those things from my perspective then, it would not have given me the brut force and bad ass attitude I had to fight for everything I have now, to break the cycles, to search for answers, to dig deep and look within.

So today, when we were Facebook messaging, and we were reflecting on things, with the other kids, parenting, how I felt things were for me then, and now, and I acknowledged how far we have come in our relationship together. He responded with, ‘Yes we have I am very proud of what you have achieved’.

Those words ‘I am very proud of what you have achieved’. I never thought I needed to hear them from him. Nor did it worry me if I ever did, or did not. I am extremely proud of who I am and what I have achieved, particularly of late with my latest accomplishments. But then to hear him say that. Hear him say those words after 26 years, for the first time I can ever remember, it brought so many tears to my eyes and filled my heart so incredibly.

Today, I realised how much my external world had changed to reflect my internal world. And never had I imagined, that those words coming from my step Dad could have such a profoundly beautiful reaction from me.

But now, after hearing my step Dad, the man who raised me, (with an iron fist or not), who has helped shape me into the woman I am today, say those words, it absolutely does matter. It has filled my heart and soul with so much richness, and has bought so many tears of joy to my eyes. I thought, you know what, we absolutely have come such a long way and I am truly blessed.

Life, choices, perception is all what we make it. We can choose to live in fear, to live in anger, to live in regret, to live with unworthiness shadowing our existence. We can choose not to forgive or forget. We can choose to blame others, or ourselves, or be at the effect and say life ‘happened to me’. But you are only dis-empowering yourself, of yourself.

Alternatively, we can choose to accept what was, appreciate everyone has a different model of the world and that their behaviour is not who they are. That people are only ever doing the best job they can, with the resources they have.

We can choose to forgive; ourselves, and to forgive others, as doing so frees us of the confines of unforgiveness and the constraints of that space in the past. We can choose to move on. To let go. We can choose to survive, to grow, to evolve, as after all that’s why we have chosen the path we did, and created the life and obstacles we are faced with.

We may not have a ‘normal’ relationship. But there is nothing normal about our lives. We have faced the depths of hell together, and we have both come out on top. I am grateful for all the good, bad and ugly he played a role in, as I am incredibly resilient and strong now because of it. He may not be my biological Dad, but he did his best to be a father for me. And let me tell you, I did not make it easy for him. He has stuck around after everything. And I know if I ever need him, he will be there.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be sometimes for him to hear me tell parts of my story, (that refer to abuse or domestic violence), and I know the day he reads my book will be a difficult day for him. But I also know that I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today if it wasn’t for him. And as much as love tore us apart; love I had for my biological father and not wanting to allow another man that ‘right’, a love for a woman I didn’t understand and felt I so desperately needed to protect, from him. And his love for the same woman who he also tried to protect, from herself, and a love for her kids he tried so hard to give.

And today, I think for the first time ever, I Unconsciously gave him permission and let him in. And in doing so, I got the words I always wanted to hear from my ‘Dad’. And that he is. Blood or not, he has always been there, and always will be. That’s what a true father does, and I thank him for persevering, and being that for me, even when I tried so hard to not let him be.

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About Krissy

Krissy is the proud founder of #SELFishMums and thought leader in 21st Century modern family thinking and being. 

Krissy dedicates her life to empowering others, (particularly Mummas) to truly step into their power, own their self worth and learn the value of being #SELFish.

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