If you'd asked me that question 10 years ago, I'd probably answer you with a solid 'Father'. But if you're going to ask me that now, there's no doubt and no second thoughts that I would choose my mother.
10 years ago, I was a certified ‘Daddy's girl’. My father meant everything to me. He is my definition of perfect and super man. I didn't realize that there isn't anything perfect in this world then. To me, no one and nothing compares to my father. I love him so much and I respect him so much. Whenever I hear or see people respecting him, I feel so proud being his daughter and I just wanted to brag him to my friends and to the whole world that I've got the best father ever.
Before I go to sleep, I will always thank God for giving me a father like him. And whenever my mother and I had a misunderstanding I would always run to him. Well, my mother and I always had misunderstandings before because I feel like she hated me and that she likes my brother the most. My father would always be there to comfort me, he would carry me and spin me around and buy me something that would make me feel better.
There are even times that I dreamed of having a boyfriend or a husband like my father. A responsible, kind-hearted, man with principles, family oriented, and a good person. A total definition of my father. I did really believe that every woman's first love was their father.
But then I guess it's also true when other women say that their father can also be their first trauma.
Yesterday was Father's day. Like usual, I would end my day with just facing my laptop or cellphone and scrolling through social media trying to kill time. Most posts on my feeds are all about father's day greetings and people celebrating the day with their fathers. While me on the other hand, couldn't even post or say a simple greetings for my father--well, more like I wouldn't dare. I will not. More likely, not anymore.
If it's still 10 years ago, then I would probably greet a long sweet and appreciation message to my father. When everything was still alright. When he was still my hero and first love. And when he was still the person that I respect and look up so much for.
But no. Things had already changed. A big change actually. I guess there's just really things that won't stay forever. Just like our father-daughter relationship.
Those happy memories with my father seem like a fairytale dream now. Even if I would wish and work hard for it again, I guess there are things that should remain on what they are now or I would hurt myself more along the process. My father, who is my first love, also became my first heartbreak and trauma.
I won't tell everything or the details but things actually started to change when I got in high school and became a lady. Being a teenager, of course I was going through puberty and adjustments, but I am still a 'Daddy's girl'. So, since I was very active in every 'gala' with my friends during high school I would always fight with my mother. But I respect and love her though. She would always contradict my decision so I would always end up asking for my father's help.
Things started to change when there were times that I would come home late for extra curricular activities or group practices. My father started to say mean things and sometimes raise his hands on me. He will also predict that I won't finish high school because I will get pregnant early.
Things like that would easily hurt me since I knew from myself that I am innocent and those are all baseless accusations. It is like he was telling me that he couldn't trust me and that he didn't trust me. It feels like he didn't know me at all and that he looks too low of me so much. My mother, even though we have some misunderstandings, she never tells me things and she never predicted my future like that. She would warn me but she never said things that made me feel like I am no better like those girls with ruined futures.
I started to get distant from my father and became more open to my mother. Though I am still close to him but not like how we used to be closed before. Everytime things like that happen, I would just tell myself that it is his way of disciplining me so I won't ruin my own future. I never did anything that could ruin his trust in me.
I was in third year high school when I discovered something (I won't tell it anymore). At first, I couldn't believe it myself and it hurts me so bad to believe it. I just couldn't pull myself to believe it. That pushes my relationship with my father to become more distant.
I couldn't talk to him anymore like I used to but I was acting civil to him. I still respect him. I just couldn't accept what I have discovered about him. No matter how I force myself to forget it but my mind just couldn't. Things went forward and I became more awkward towards my father. Until it was a week before my 18th birthday, when I witnessed it and that forced me to finally believe it. I’m not stupid but at that time I wish I was so I couldn’t understand what is it all about.
I wanted to cry and shout so much during those times. I wanted to tell my mother but I am also afraid. I wanted to at least tell my best friends but I couldn't dare to speak a word to them. I was very afraid. Very hurt, and I felt so alone at that time. I would cry myself to sleep but I was being careful in the house because my mother might have noticed it, so whenever I got to school I couldn't help but to cry in the comfort room. It's really funny how I found comfort in the comfort room.
I just couldn't stop crying that it took me days. My friends got worried and asked me about my problem but I just couldn't speak the truth to them so I ended up telling them that it's about my approaching birthday. When my birthday came, I decided to skip class and go to the city. I wanted to stay in the church so badly and just cry my heart out all day but then a friend of mine accompanied me so I couldn't do that. I didn't even know that they were preparing a surprise for me that they skipped class too just to do that. It warmed my heart honestly, and it somehow comforted me.
I never told any of my friends about it. Even one. I planned to keep it all inside. I am willing to act like nothing happens actually for the sake of my family but things became more awry and I just snapped. Totally. It was when I got home at 9pm when I went out with my high school friends since it's been so long since we last hang out. I was already in my second year in college at that time. After a busy finals, my high school friends or 'barkadas' decided to hang out and to catch up with each other's lives. We eat and talk a lot on the seashore.
I was having so much fun that I didn't notice the time. So when I got home I also got a slap from my father. He was raising his voice and he said so many mean things about me being an indecent woman. He even counted the things that he buys for me like my phone for example. It was his gift on my 18th birthday. I never demanded anything from him, even that goddamn phone, so I returned it to him. I have so many things that I wanted to say but I stayed quiet like I always do and returned him the phone.
I told my friends that I had a fight with my father and I returned my phone to him. They laugh and make fun of it and I just laugh with them. They would tell me how high my pride is and I would just laugh. Yes, I know they think it is all about my pride and that I am being rebellious but I won't correct them. I will let them think what they want rather than explaining why it is very hard for me to make amends with my father.
They just don't know how it hurts me if they talk about me being 'mapride'. But I would just laugh it off since it is not their fault though. Anyone who didn't know the story would probably think the same with them. They didn't know how much I envied their families and the relationship they had with their fathers but at the same time I was happy for them.
There are times that I wanted to leave home. I asked my friend for help and she asked my reasons. I just told her that I wanted to be independent when in fact I just wanted a place where I can feel safe and less scared. I don't care if I will be alone as long as I won't feel anxious. But then I just couldn't dare to leave my mother behind.
The relationship that my father and I had is totally ruined. I couldn't just forgive and I'm pretty sure I will never forget what he did. I will always remember it for the rest of my life. Haunting my waking and sleeping hours. And no one can ever understand me, not even my closest friends.
So when my cousin asked me why I haven't posted anything about father's day, I just lied and told her that I already greeted my father personally--it is true though since I greeted God father a happy father's day. Not my biological father, since I really couldn't pull myself to act civil to him anymore. It's funny how other people think that our family is great but they don't even have a single idea how I envy their family.
My mother becomes my coping mechanism. Everything I do, I dedicate it for her such as finishing college and hand her my diploma, rebuild our house for her, take her to any places so that she could relax, let her experience everything she haven't experienced before, would do the honor to take care of my grandma and uncles so she will not have to worry about anything, and let her live comfortably.
I love my mother so much but I do not wish to become like her. I take back everything that I wished before, my wish to meet someone like my father. I don't ever want to meet or marry someone like him. I used to love him but not anymore. I love my mother better now.