I want to say that I was a daddy’s girl.
I’m almost 40 so some of the memories are a little fuzzy lol. My parents split when I was a little over ten. My father and I didn’t really have many experiences together after that. I never knew a second home with him. When we were together it was always in the street. Having dinner and talking for a few before he took me home.
I always wondered why he never brought me to where he lived. Why he never tried to connect me with his other family. I had a lot of questions then and now. They’ll remain unanswered but that’s ok, I’m not here to tell those stories right now.
From what I remember, my father was never a disciplinarian.
As a man who wrestled with his demons, particularly alcoholism-most of what I recall involves some stage in the intoxication circle. I will say, I never experienced him being violent or mean. I did however, see him get hurt countless times, including a slip and fall in the shower. Several times where he cut himself ( as a diabetic this was a major issue) and the occasional mugging he experienced.
This doesn’t sound like someone who could really take the moral ground. What I remember was a lot of comedy relief, a lot of hugs and kisses with his raspy mustache. ( THAT I HATED! the ‘stache not the affection) and some really random things I’ll save for another post as they are too precious for me to share at this moment.
There were about three times where he played the Dad card.
I can’t really remember the reason, other than he probably had asked me not to run or something like that in the house. Of course I was defiant and again, a daddy’s little girl. He casually threatened me with the chancla. So naturally I ran in circles in front of him while he was watching tv. At some point, the chancla made contact with my tiny baby ass and the world crumpled beneath me.
I felt betrayed.
It didn’t even hurt, and if it had, it still wouldn’t have made a difference. It was the fact that he, my father, did anything else but love me and let me get away with it. I recall immediately crying giant wet tears. I also remember that before the chancla came off my person, he had me in his arms. basically apologizing to me, which made me cry even more. He said he didn’t want me to get hurt, which was ironic, cause did you not just hit me with a sandal? I knew what he meant then. I deserved it because he patiently warned me a million times. Yet I insisted that I needed to have my way and thwack,
the chancla slap heard round the world happened.
As an adult, I can see how problematic all that was. How it also created a soul memory that will later carry into my relationships with men. I demanded to be allowed to do anything I wanted. With no repercussions or protests and although that attitude helped me also survive a hell of a lot of traumatic experiences, it was really toxic.
The second time was when I wanted to hang out with the neighbor’s son.
They lived below us. My mom and his mom were friends, which meant we played together all the time. So mom had to step out and I was left with my dad at home. I reminded dad I was allowed to go play, and he said, “Sure, after lunch.” Didn’t think anything of it. He sat me at the table and says “You have to eat all your food and then you can go.” “OK!” I must have said, or something like that, as I happily bounced on the chair. In a moment, he placed the plate of buttered noodles ( one of my favorite things) in front of me, and my heart sank.
Might as well have put the whole colander in front of me
because let me tell you, there was a pound of pasta on my plate. NO EXAGGERATION. I took the fork and began eating. Long story short, I was at the table, stuffed to the point of throwing up, but hardly made a dent. “Daddy, I’m full now! I ate a lot! Can I go now?” He sat next to me, leaned over and said “Did you finish all your food?” eyebrows raised in question. “No, but you gave me a lot!” I said, annoyed and pouty.
He goes on to explain why I wasn’t going to play. I did not hold up my end of the bargain. I remember arguing the only point I had. Which was that he cooked the entire box and expected ME to eat all that when clearly, I had eaten more than my share, it was just too much.
I never had the chance to ask him why he did that. I can guess it had everything to do with me going to play with a “Boy”. Especially that I would be going to his house, and was totally out of sight. I think my parents had a conversation about it at some point. I don’t really remember being able to hang out with Brian often after that. It was his way of protecting me from men. Was it toxic? Yea, but bless his spirit for trying and not knowing any better.
**( So randomly having a conversation with my mom and I ended up getting the answer to this mystery. At some point I was wearing a dress and Brian lifted my skirts. My father was pissed AF, now we know!)
As a young adult, in a very heated argument with my ex I let fly
“If my daddy was still alive, you’d be dead.”
Somewhere inside of me, I believed, as some little girls do growing up, that their father would protect them. That they would give their lives for you, and probably commit several crimes, including murder. We had been estranged for years before his passing. He was dead and gone, but I gave myself permission. In that instance to invoke his spirit of protection in a moment of danger and it worked.
The third time, I had just gotten my first tattoo.
It was a classic tramp stamp! I was 18 in a crop top and the lowest-low rise jeans invented. I was hanging out with all the loading dock guys. Showing off my ass when he comes flying out all flustered and basically says I can never meet him at his job ever again. We were like two rams butting heads now. Both of us making points as to why the other was being ridiculous and neither of us budged at all. Finally he tries to hit me with
I’m too young for tattoos, and shouldn’t have them, anyway.
I take a step back, observe his late summer outfit of shorts and a t shirt then gesture at his whole person. “Dad. You’re literally COVERED in tattoos ,like there’s no room to even see your skin!” he hits me with the usual “well, I’m a man” and got the famous face I make at men who say dumb things to me.
Eleggua has been with me, watching me, taking care of me, all of my life. The steps leading to being initiated in the ATR of Lukumi /Regla Ocha, I have been fortunate to have a down to earth (literally) connection with this orisha. I haven’t had the opportunity to see many of his mounts in person. Our interactions are mostly through divination and the random eshu in the street. When I say we are close, I mean that any reading I have had, Eleggua manages to speak about all the hidden things I keep inside of my brain. He pulls the thread and releases them into the light to bring me peace and understanding.
I have had the craziest experiences
with random people on the street giving me the advice I so desperately needed in that moment. He has approached me to say that I was beautiful. To keep my head up and smile through my pain. He has complimented my food scraps, and always offers his blessing. His child once entertained me with an air violin. I am truly humbled and blessed.
He has been the father I always needed.
The countless times el saco la cara pa’ mi ( stuck his neck out ) I’ve been in crazy situations that I don’t think I would have survived if he wasn’t always watching me. He held my hand and dragged me through several thresholds I needed to cross. Things were kind of a hot mess before I made Ocha and honestly I didn’t think I was ever going to make it. Then the worst happened.
Eleggua embarrassed me. Publicly.
I wanted to die. I went home and I threw myself at him, cried aggressively and just kept asking why. The way that all went down, was awful from start to finish. He mounted someone I was having issues with. I get left on the floor, and the whole room is staring at me, then I get thrown into the throne, given a very short time line and my “godsiblings” were laughing at me.
I felt so betrayed by him.
Overnight something shifted though and I was walking my basket over to my Madrina’s house. Anyone who in their adult life works towards initiation knows the struggle, and the millions of obstacles. Eleggua sent one of his kids to help us all get there through laughs, fights, strife, tambores on the 6 train, great food, dim sum and the magic that eleggua’s kids bring to a situation – RESOLVIMOS !
Year 2010 :
In Ita as the first to always speak, he straight up said, I never betrayed you. legit, that’s in my book.
I’m your dad, love it or hate it I’m going to show you how awful the world is but also how great it is too. By the way, if I ever have to show you how dumb YOU are, its not going to be cute. Im not going to spare you because I promise that I have warned you, tried to help you etc so
I’m going to let you trip.
When you’re on the ground, bleeding and crying, I’m going to stare at you for a moment. We are gonna lock eyes, so you know I’m literally watching you cry, then pick you up ,throw peroxide on the cuts then take you for a soda float, because you’re my child and I love you, but please, try and see where I’m coming from, so we don’t have to do this. (that’s not really how he said it but but that’s how it came across).
Fast forward to 2019
Eleggua says, hey, you have an idea, and I like this for you, I saw what you started last year and I’m on board, lets get it!
2020 Eleggua says
Ok, ok… there were a few bumps on the road, I know how you get, but can you try to move past them and let’s make it work? You got this , just have to be creative about it, use ALL the things….
Pandemic hit! I shut down, and haven’t recovered.
2021 Eleggua says
You raggedy ass bitch, I TOLD YOU several years ago to get it together and now look at you? This is going to be one hell of a year, you thought it was bad before but child… You’re going to trip if you’re not careful… if you do… remember what I said about that?
:: insert pursed lips:: Also… I’m still trying to help you….
January came and hit me with a bomb I thought I would never recover from but I managed, still managing it, then May happened and I cosmically tripped.
May 2021 OYA says
MOVE ASIDE ELEGGUA, leave her on the floor!!! Did you hear what your father said? Eh? Now we both are annoyed so guess what? It sucks to be you. Now get UP
because no one is coming.
I’ve spent all these months licking my wounds, because there was no peroxide, no bandage and certainly, no ice cream. I’ve been put in some annoying positions and some scary one’s too. I know what loss is, and I’m afraid of it. That’s what has me paralyzed. Fear. I’ve become a coward, a domesticated cat that’s been put out into the wild again and I’m spiraling. The instincts are there, I don’t think that ever goes away, but boooooiiiiii it is taking a long time to kick in! We are in the winter months and it’s about to be cold out there, literally.
I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me
but unlike many people when stuff happens to them, I’ve known about this for a while. I’ve run out of “get out of jail free cards” and have to do the time. I was really hoping for another out, I even rolled the dice, praying for good odds but got a 5 and a 4. It’s fair.
I spent 2021 like a deer in headlights. Standing there, paralyzed by fear, not picking a direction in which to jump because the possibilities were too many and so now at the end, I brace myself for the impact and pray the car that hits me will swerve so I only break a foot and not my neck.
It hit me.
I’m laying on the side of the road, in the dark and no one’s coming.
That was the lesson he taught me this year because I’ve been laying on this road for a lot longer than I thought and just didn’t realize it. No one is coming nena because they are waiting for you somewhere else, and now you’re injured, in the dark, with no map and it’s snowing.
Ive spent so much time figuring out how NOT to fail
that it’s the only thing I have actually achieved in all this time. Failure to even try, haunted by fear. I let everything get in front of me, unable to walk through the fog while having 4 eyes, my ass has been blinder than ever.
Hey rock daddy…
the only thing I know that I can promise for 2022 is that I’m going to try and embrace the macaroni paintings of life because the Botticelli’s are out of reach right now, but that’s not forever, and I know that now. I’m learning that slowly, as I’m still laying on the roadside.
Really… I’d just like to get to the part where I learned my lesson, we are going for a soda float and you’re holding my hand again…
I’m working up the courage to stand up
and take those steps towards you, still in the dark, still full of fear, but now the fear has to be a motivator because the reality is, nothing is worse than the wrath of Oya! (I KID! I KID!! ) There is a lot of work ahead of me.
I appreciate all the time I spent laying down and digging deep to try and figure things out. I still dont know what the fuck I’m doing but I’m happy about that (genuinely) and although I am a ball of nerves, I’m ready to get up, which I think, is exactly where Eleggua wants me to be.