The person who is my biological father gave up all parental rights to
me when my mom caught him cheating. Back in those days, Single Moms,
especially Single Moms of Color, were vilified even more than they are
today. So she went out to find another husband. She found the man who
is legally my father.
I don’t call him father anymore.
* Dads are supposed to love and support their daughters. I asked
mine, “do you think I’m pretty?” His reply, “Yes. Pretty ugly.”
With a smile. And the bully’s refrain of “I was only joking, stop
crying” when I, age 5, burst into tears.
* There was the threat of getting beaten for doing anything wrong.
Anything. For not putting the spoons in the silverware drawer
* There was no privacy. He would regularly walk into my room while
I was changing or undressed, and announce that it was his house, and
therefore his room, and nobody wanted to see my body anyway.
* On the other hand, because his relationship with my mother was not
good, he would tell me he would need to get away from me before he
attacked me (that’s sexually, yes, in case you were wondering).
* There was “If it’s not an A, it may as well be an F” for grades,
never mind that certain subjects I rocked and certain I remain no good
at to this day. No offering to help me with my homework — just calling me stupid if I didn’t get As.
* There was the threat of getting beaten for eating _his_ Thin Mints,
even though Girl Scout cookies were bought for everybody in the house.
We were supposed to know, magically, telepathically, without being
told that first time that the Thin Mints were his, he didn’t have to
share, and taking even one without asking was courting a beating. I
don’t even respond well to the smell of those damn cookies anymore,
and I won’t eat them. Ever.
* There was holding me responsible for the behaviour of my
boyfriends, as if I told them to make stupid remarks to him, as
opposed to standing up for me, his daughter, and telling them not to
talk about me that way.
* There was beating my mother in front of me to remind the whole
family he was in charge.
* There was arbitrary offering of privileges and taking them away when
I had followed all the rules because he invented new ones without
* Oh, and his fave —
give me a nice, expensive present at a moment
when I was on my way out the door for school and would be late if I
paused. I’d put it in what I considered a safe place given the fact
I only had seconds to catch the bus so as not to be late — then come
home to find he’d come in my room, decided he didn’t like what spot
I’d chosen as a safe place with only seconds to decide, and would
thence take back the present because I “didn’t know how to take care
These were not one time occurrences.
They were repeated instances.
The rules were arbitrary. They changed on his whim without him telling anyone, and everyone in the house was expected to know a rule change through magic telepathy soothsaying or pay the price in pain.
I pretty much couldn’t do anything right.
And he hit me on top of that. He broke my sister’s wrist throwing
her across a room.
If you don’t consider any of the stuff before the hitting abuse — you
need to do some damn research. Because it’s all abuse. It’s all set
up to control with fear and intimidation, and to break the will of the
person being abused.
so yes, Cowboy Dad threatening his daughter with a gun by shooting
her computer WAS ABUSIVE.
There is no arguing that down or changing that up. Because now, that
child’s head has the question in it: will he shoot ME next time I do
something he’s unhappy with? And will he post THAT on you tube?
The fact that people —including the police— are cheering him on is
nothing short of reprehensible.
UPDATED as tumblr mail cuts off my posts sometimes, and this was one such.