Friday, November 20, 2020

A Confession in Three Brief Reverse Haibuns for my Father


Image copyright Bill Dodd

college professor
he overthought everything
scrutinizing all

His thought process was on so many levels that he gave himself a phobia of heights.

dithering daughter
mind off in all directions
embarrassing girl

Random words in front of other random words create a random sentence.

despite his sharp mind
he thought himself a failure
he could not fix her

I come from a tribe of head-hunters, so I will never need a shrink.

Write a "confession" poem.

I was also inspired by the D'Verse Poets Jisei prompt. However, I won't include this poem in the blog hop because these are not actually Jisei, and because I have 12 lines total rather than 10.

My father will be 10 years departed from the world on the 28th of this month. I had a strained relationship with him. On one hand, he loved me. On the other hand, I was a great source of disappointment and distress for him. The only way our relationship would not have been strained is if I had been someone else. He did not know how to deal with a girl who was not meek and compliant and who was terribly troubled--as it turns out, mostly because of trauma inflicted on me by other people rather than because of an organic anomaly in my brain, which is what I believed for many years.

For many years, I thought that I had type 2 bipolar disorder and "borderline personality disorder." It is my strong opinion at this point that I do not. I stopped taking Lithium last year and have experienced no extreme mood swings. I do have a tendency to depression and anxiety. I have ADHD. But the thing that led to my extreme mood expressions when I was younger was not bipolar disorder, it was complex PTSD.

I have come to the opinion that "borderline personality disorder" is a bullshit sexist diagnosis. This diagnosis is overwhelmingly applied to girls and women. Looking at the histories of women with this diagnosis, they have all been traumatized, often sexually, and their trauma has been belittled and minimized. 

I was not only bullied on a daily basis when I was growing up, but I was also sexually assaulted on more than one occasion. I came to realize that one event in particular that happened when I was 15 years old affected me much more than I allowed myself to believe it did. Looking back, I realize that I started acting out a lot following this event. If anyone cares to read my thoughts regarding this matter, they can be found here.

My father came from a different time with a different set of values, and he did not understand me, which is not to say that he didn't value me. He always helped me monetarily, but I always wished that he would actually hear me. As I got older, I tried to accept him as he was. I miss him and I hope he has found peace.


This poem was posted to these places:

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)

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  1. Painful and beautiful. The anniversary of my father's death is the 24th - four days after his birthday. Yes he probably loved me, but he did not value me. If I stepped outside the parameters HE set I paid the price. Sometimes a high price. We put our hostilities on hold when we knew he was dying. If he had recovered they would have resumed.

    1. When I was 19 or 20 years old, my father called the counselor I was seeing and asked her "how are we going to fix her?" He became upset with the woman when she told him that she couldn't discuss her patients with other people.
      My father very likely had ADHD himself. He also had obsessive-compulsive disorder. He was very high-strung, and anyone or anything that didn't fall in line with how he expected it to behave would be brow-beaten into compliance. He rarely hit me, and when he did it was a swat on the butt kind of thing. My mother hit me more often than my father did. What he did was instilled in me such a deep sense of doubt in my own abilities that I second-guess myself on everything and I have a very low self-esteem. People who hold themselves in high regard seem to me as if they come from another planet. I can no more hold myself in high regard than I can do a handstand on a tightrope.


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