A father is his girl’s first love but I identified hatred before love through my father’s eyes. In a family of seven, with four boys and one girl, it’s a no brainer that the little princess will be given all the luxuries the world has to offer. More so when she’s the last born. Having four older brothers comes with certainty that you will always be protected and well taken care of. My father was my hero and my role model; he protected me with his life. I thought he did it out of love like my brothers did, little did I know that there was a difference between love and infatuation.
Like every little girl I was daddy’s princess, I would get anything I ever wanted by a blink of an eye. My father did everything for me; he would drop me off and pick me from school every day. He would wait by my school gate an hour before knock off time; he made it very clear that he didn’t want me to chat with other kids, specifically boys. He would always say, “No one could have you, you’re my princess.” I loved hearing that from my father, I felt safe knowing that my father would protect me against the world and all its demons, but should I have been protected against the world and against him.
He worked in the human resources department and my mom was a nurse who mostly had night shift therefore did not sleep at home much. All my brothers were sent to boarding schools as soon as they finished primary, therefore they only visited on holidays. I never understood why they were all sent to boarding schools. They didn’t seem to love the idea of boarding school but by my father’s command they were gone.
Every time my mom would leave for work, my dad would offer to help me with my homework. During those homework sessions he would tell me how beautiful I was and that I was only his. He would touch me and kiss me all over my face but I never saw anything wrong with that after all he was my father. This behavior continued for a couple of years, I would say no but my voice fell on deaf ears. It was almost as though he went deaf at the sound of my refusal; this behavior became very uncomfortable and unacceptable.
Reaching a stage of maturity, I realised that this was not how a father should treat his daughter, and he should never see his daughter through such eyes. The discomfort led me to tell my mother everything that had been happening behind her back. Foolish of me to think that she would believe me over her husband. After pouring my heart to her, there was no emotion displayed on her face as she watched me drown in tears. She stood up and said, “He is your father, he knows what’s best for you and don’t you ever repeat this to anyone.” I watched her leave in disbelief.
The bad behavior became worse after the confession I had with my mom, now I was being physically abused as well. Every time I said no that word escaped my mouth I would be beaten and starved for the day, as he laid his hands on me he would continuously say “I am your father I know what’s best for you”.
I continued to tell my mom in hopes that she would believe me someday but that day never came. I wondered if she already knew the truth and chose to be in denial, but I guess we’ll never know. Whom do I run to, whom do I ask for help? The walls in my house were crowding me, I felt suffocated and trapped. I couldn’t reach out to my brothers because he threatened to end my life if I did. I had lost my voice, I could say NO, if only I had a voice.
When kids at school couldn’t wait for home time, I hoped the hours would be extended because what was supposed to be home turned into a dungeon, where pain was inflicted on me.
Tell us: What do you think of this father’s actions towards his daughter?