As a child, her father dotted on her. She would wait for him to return from work. He would come home, tired, after a long and grueling day; but all his wariness would vanish like a miracle, once he saw his daughter's lovely face, yearning eyes and the innocent smile. He would wake her up each morning to take a goodbye kiss from her. She would sleepy-eyed bid 'tata' while he merrily went to work; now that his day was made.
She was the apple of his eyes. His life was a bundle of joy with her, he played with her, he fed her. He waited for her birthday all 364 days a year. He planned for his doting princess' birthday months in advance, saved money to buy expensive silks.
He was in awe of his daughter's skills, her knack of learning things. For him, she was the most beautiful and the most intelligent child on earth. For her, he was her "Daddy". He was her hero, the omnipotent being who was her provider and protector. Life was bliss for the father and the daughter.
As she grew, she realized that all was not rosy between her father and her mother. They fought all the time, they got violent, much to the shock and dismay of their two angelic kids. She tried hard to be composed at such tender age, manage to hold on for she had her younger sibling to look after to. Things got worse each day, grown ups behaved like kids. They fought for trivial issues, they despised each other, they were suddenly strangers to one another.
Domestic violence, verbal abuse, physical abuse. She was taught that these were 'normal' in a household. She saw her father abuse her mother, she saw her mother abuse her father, she saw them both growing harsher towards each other. It was unbelievable for the poor soul to witness demon like behavior from her parents whom she thought were picture perfect.
She understood that her parents were less than kids, immature, egoistic and selfish. The trauma grew deep within each day. No one to talk about it; as it would be a matter of ridicule. She always wondered why didn't her parents love each other, why didn't they go out as a family; like all her neighbors did, why did they hate each other so much that they hurt each other. She tried to come to a conclusion............
She missed a happy family outing, a laughter-filled family dinner. She missed her family at the school function where she would bag most awards, and she would be speechless when other envious parents asked her to introduce her parents. She would walk home alone at night, fearful and weepy; when her father did not come to pick her up from extra classes. She knew he was busy elsewhere, satisfying his selfish needs.
As she grew up as a confused teenager, she would eye her classmates with jealously when their fathers would come to school to pick them up. She would be left out in the crowd during lunch hours when each girl talked about what each family did on a weekend and time spent with their dad. She would just smile when someone showed her her father's surprise gift. She stopped going out on excursions and outings as she had no one to fetch her back home at odd hours. When asked why she dropped out by her friends, she just withdrew and learnt the art of lying. She would long for a reprimand by her father when she scored less in academics.
As she grew to be a woman, she missed being disciplined, she missed being protected as fathers of other girls would do. She would long to be questioned when she came home late, that authoritative question. She missed him when she wore skinny low-hip jeans; for she knew her conservative dad would never allow that. She wanted to complain to her dad about the guys who teased her, who passed out remarks at her; she missed him the most then. She missed him when she got her first job, she missed him when she got her first paycheck, her first car, her first home, new family......She spoke to her father once in a while and when they spoke, it was a formal chat between two unknown strangers. She called him up all excited on her birthday, her beloved daddy long ago prepared for her princess' birthday months in advance............................only to realize that her father has long forgotten he had a daughter, let alone her birthday, as he was long gone to lead a separate life.
The daughter has moved on, counting her blessings, yet the trauma visits her and she misses her dad......
"Being a Father means
....................coming home to a hug after a long day at work
....................pride in the accomplishment of your sons and daughters
....................making sure your child has all the benefits of having YOU in their life
....................being involved in your child's life"