Letter From A Sometimes Daughter

I never learned how to fix the pipes under the sink. The sight of a dripping faucet frustrates me. Being inside a hardware store alone gives me paranoia. Car problems (somewhat new) bugs me to my very core.

I don't wanna point fingers or blame anyone. Circumstances are different for each of us and putting a title like "daddy issues" bothers me, because acknowledging it as an issue means it's a recurring thing (and I sure hope this one won't last forever). Rest assured, I don't dwell in this feeling.

As my friend said, this god-knows-what feeling comes in waves. The waves --- sometimes I ignore, sometimes I don't. During those odd times that I don't ignore it, I end up connecting point A to point B (or why my childhood trauma resonate up until now) and it always leaves me with an empty feeling. So I try my best to avoid it using my perfectly honed skill of ignorance and apathy.

If you know me, you would know that I  avoid father-daughter movies like the plague. When I people watch (and I do this a lot), I avoid looking at families in perfect attendance, especially those with dads holding their daughters in the hand. Don't even get me started on father-daughter commercials, specifically the one about that insurance company in Thailand because it will not end well.

Of course I'm better now. Still, fathers intimidate me like crazy. Whenever I meet a father figure like an uncle or a mentor, I automatically put my best foot forward, afraid to show any sign of weakness lest I be considered a failure. Ironically, the moment a father figure shows me affection and care, I transform 15 years back into a fragile, little girl with a balloon. I catch myself doing this a lot and it is exhilarating. I feel like I'm always searching for approval everywhere I go.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not mad, I'm not holding grudges. I don't wish anything bad for my dad. Who he is right now is not the most ideal but I'm not embarrassed anymore. I have actually accepted that I will never know the "dad" I always see on TV, wearing a business suit with a stern look and briefcase in hand, kissing his daughter goodbye as he leaves for work. He won't forget to whisper that he'll bring home her favorite pasalubong. He will always assure the family that he's working late for a brighter future for all of them. That superhero, unfortunately, doesn't exist in my world.

I will never have that father-daughter relationship that most girls my age have. I will never be a "daddy's girl." I will never know why girls cry when their dads take them to the altar. What I do know is that I'll eventually figure out how a car engine works. Learning how to drive was just one of the many supposedly "dad bonding activities" which I did on my own. I will probably still freak out whenever something in the house needs repairing...and that's okay. Knowing myself, I'll figure it out.

Today, I went inside a hardware store and I didn't panic. I might have bought the wrong supplies but hey, baby steps!


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