But I grew up knowing only a father.
My father was there in the physical sense. He provided for the family, helped take care of the children, came home every night... but he was not a daddy.
When I did something wrong... even when it was a simple mistake, he was harsh with me. He was the kind of father that used his hands before his words. When he became this way I was afraid of him. Sometimes his outbursts caused injuries.
I remember wanting to feel special to him, wanting the adoration he showed to my only sibling... a sister. She was a very compliant child... I was a little more head strong.
As I grew older I believed I was a bad child and that no one could really love me.
I remember having a thought... maybe if I could be very very good I could make my father really love me and I could be that special girl that I wanted to be to him. So I tried to be extra good for him, but it seemed no matter how hard I tried, it wasn't good enough. He always found some reason to be angry with me.
Finally one day, I stopped caring, or so I thought... I got angry and I pushed to make my stand... and he pushed back...hard.
There were days I shook like a leaf and screamed in silence for relief. There were nights I cried myself to sleep.
I tried to fill the void of not having my father with things that were not good for me, because I didn't know any better. I just wanted to escape the internal pain.
Then one day I met this guy. He was sweet and kind and when he looked at me and smiled I saw the adoration that I had needed from my father. I felt safe with him.
As I got to know him and we grew closer I realized that I wanted to trust him, I wanted to give him all of me and let him lead me and heal the parts that were broken with his affirmation, but still I was afraid.
What if I really was unlovable?
He asked me to marry him and I loved him so much that I said yes. I couldn't picture my life without him... still I was afraid.
I was afraid once he married me he would find out my dark secret.. that I was bad. That I was unlovable.
We got married and we were happy but soon after my insecurities came out... and I began to fight him tooth and nail. All the insecurities I had, all the feelings that were pent up, all the anger that my father deserved came out at this new man.
At first he tried to help me, tried to figure out what was wrong, but even I didn't know, I just wasn't okay. After some time he began to close himself off. He didn't know what to do any more and we were not doing well.
In time things between us evened out but it was not the same. We were not as close as we had been before. It wasn't until years later, when my mother left my father, that we knew we needed to embrace each other and not let the same thing happen to us.
My husband embraced me again, and once again I felt safe in his arms. He sheltered me from the storm of my parents divorce. Finally I was able to ask to follow my husbands lead. I learned there was a difference between loving dominance and a domineering man. Finally I was able to trust.
I know that many of the needs I have are a result of the hurt that my domineering father put me through all those years. And now that I've learned to trust, my husband says the change in me is like night and day.
I still had areas of trust to work on... submission didn't come over night. One of the rules my new Dom gave me was to rely emotionally on him and tell him everything, good or bad. I had a tendency to rely on others emotionally, still too afraid to be completely vulnerable to him... but in time and with his help and love I learned to lean on him alone. I never knew such freedom as this! Even if I did something wrong or was what I thought to be 'unlovable' he accepted me and loved me anyway. He would discipline me if needed but he was not harsh with me and his love was still there just as strong as it had been before.
If there is anything I've learned so far on this journey it is that I am lovable, and that I am not the things that my father taught me I was. My first dom may have broke my heart but my new Dom has put the pieces back together.