“I want Dadddddddddy,” my four-year-old daughter screamed, sounding in real emotional distress. The sound pierced my ears straight through to my heart. She was crying because I said that we couldn’t have hot chips for dinner. My immediate reaction was not to feel sorry for her that she wanted her Daddy whom she loves, but rather I was angry.
The ‘Daddy’ she was referring to was the one that physically and emotionally abused me for years until I finally gathered up the courage to leave, escorted by police for my safety after he wrote my car off, with me inside it, whilst holding our daughter. He is a real gem.
I have had shared custody of our daughter for the last three years. I do not believe in taking away my daughter’s bond with her father, I’m not like that. Besides, it was me he wasn’t great with, not our daughter. I would never say a bad word about him to her as I grew up with my mother writing off my father to me and that never did me any good.
Strangely, a few months ago, my daughter’s father willingly gave me full custody as he said it was ‘the best’ for my daughter, very out of character for a control freak. Meanwhile, he has since admitted that it was because his current girlfriend gave him the decision between our daughter and herself as she wasn’t getting enough time with him in the evenings.
There was so much behind my frustration to my little princess crying out for her daddy. I wanted to say to her, “well Daddy didn’t love me the way that I thought was a good example for you to grow up with,” or “daddy loves someone else and is living happily ever after on the other side of town now,” or “guess what babe, all those Disney stories I read to you are rubbish and you shouldn’t rely on a man to save you, you need to pave your own life and if you are lucky you can be strong enough to understand and recognise real love, and that way when you choose to let it in you will have your happily ever after.”It was 5.30pm, I had just picked her up from kindy and had been having a huge week with work, was stressed out with finances as always whilst trying to provide a nice home for myself and my daughter, my relationship with my partner was ending and I was just plain old exhausted from life. This cry out for daddy was not the first occasion, this happened at least twice a day. And was not easy to swallow.