Today’s instalment of #ThatsMentalHealth is a little bit different to what we’ve seen from week 1 and week 2. The piece comes from a 22 year old woman who has written about the support of her father during her struggle with mental illness.
Trigger warning: This blog post contains descriptive language about OCD, suicide and self-harm. Please be considerate of this before reading, especially if you are affected by the conditions described.
Things I Never Appreciated About my Dad, Until Becoming a (Kinda) Adult
Telling people your best friend is your dad is something you would hear someone under the age of 7 say, but mentally I am close to that, so I think I can get away with it. These are the things I never fully appreciated about my dad.
Always knocking before coming into my room.
Not throwing anything away before asking, in case it was something to do with a toy or game he didn’t know about.
Always supporting strange habits I had, i.e. keeping ring-pulls and doing things a certain amount of times – like turning the light switch on and off 5 times before leaving the room.
Taking me to the cinema to see the latest film and not eating the next day or so due to not having enough money.
Not ever saying goodbye when dropping me back to my mum’s, because he knew I thought goodbye meant forever, and still to this day he never says it.
Never cancelling one first Sunday of the month which was the only time I got to see him, even though he knew he had to work.
Allowing me to choose my bed time, which showed me the responsibility of taking myself to bed and getting up in time for school, and damn it took a long time for me to realise bodies need sleep.
Bringing my medication to me every morning.
Sitting with me in the office at lunch during school to make sure I ate.
Letting me stay off school if I needed to if I was having a down day.
Supporting every fashion choice, hair colour and band I have ever been interested in.
Not always agreeing, but listening to my point of view on things.
Driving me to gigs and staying in the car to make sure I got in safe.
Sleeping on my bedroom floor next to me when he knew I was suicidal.
And lastly responding with this when I told him about my self harm:
‘Next time you want to do this, do it to me, because every time you make a mark on your skin, it leaves a mark on me too. I’d rather you hurt me physically than yourself. Take your pain out on my skin, not yours. When you have a child, you think they are perfect, and regardless of any scars, you will always be perfect to me’.
My dad is honestly the most frustrating person to live with, but he is my best friend, and a father I wish upon all those who never had the chance of having.
Also, you know you’ve got a good dad when he lets you put your hair piece on him so you can style it.
A massive thank you to Rubie Godridge who sent this in.
You can follow her on twitter here: @RubieGodridge