Ever since my Thin Line piece was published, I’ve been feeling guilty about not telling you the whole story.
Here’s the first part, in case you missed it.
* * *
My dad turned sixty-four today. My son and I showed up at his door this morning with a dozen fresh birthday donuts. He greeted us with a wonderful smile and a big warm hug. He teared up a little bit too. I’m sitting here unable to control my tears running down my face because that’s a huge improvement from a few years ago. I didn’t even know my body was having an emotional reaction until I realized my face was wet.
It’s about time. — Time to release all those toxins I’ve stuffed down inside of me for the last three years. I am grateful for getting to see him on his birthday. Like, really see him.
I feel like I got a little bit of my dad back today.
* * *
Sure, there were traumatic moments in my childhood. But most of the time, I was overwhelmed with how much my parents loved me. Every day I was flooded with how much they cared.
I truly felt like I was on top of the world when I was with my dad. Sure. I had moments where I thought I hated him (spanning from the age of twelve to eighteen like every other teenage girl on their period). But looking back, I was always safe. I was always loved.
I am feeling so much right now.
The only way I can manage to process everything is to make a list of all the reasons why my dad’s OCD is one of the best things that could ever happen to me. It shaped me into the woman I am today, and for that, I am forever grateful.
5 Reasons Why There’s A Bright Side To My Dad’s Mental Illness
- His severe anxiety made him hyperaware, and the most vigilant father a daughter could ever be so incredibly blessed to have.
- He was the most empathetic man I knew but took shit from no one when it came to his family. He was already overwhelmed with his obsessive thoughts of doing the right by us.
- His OCD caused him to be overly diligent in everything he did. He was present and emotionally available when it came to spending time with us.
- He was always there. (Even when I didn’t want him to be)
- Being an imperfect parent made him a good one. The best, in my opinion.
* * *
That’s all I can emotionally churn out right now.
Thank you for listening. ❤ Dy Thin Line p
Previously published on Medium.com.
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