Sometimes A Punch In The Face Is All It Takes – To Find Out Who’s Your Daddy

Sometimes A Punch In The Face Is All It Takes – To Find Out Who’s Your Daddy

My dad has called me a lot of things in my life: Megs, Meghan Beghan Ronald Reagan, and even, on occasion, mama’s baby. But, he never got around to calling me Daddy’s Little Girl, which was the one thing I wanted so desperately. Like, I wanted it more than I wanted a Barbie Dreamhouse. I wanted it more than I wanted Punky Brewster’s style. I wanted it more than I wanted my first kiss with Chris King to be seen by the entire 6th grade class. I wanted it more than I wanted a driver’s license. I even wanted it more than I wanted my first roommate and I to live a lifestyle similar to that of Laverne & Shirley. Really, I never stopped wanting it.

The only consolation to not being Daddy’s Little Girl was knowing my older sister wasn’t either.  It was comforting knowing the rejection wasn’t anything personal. My dad just wasn’t the touchy-feely type of guy. Living in small town Iowa, he was a construction worker; one of those big, tough guys, you know? He wore steel-toe boots, ripped jeans and plaid, flannel shirts. And, kept his feelings neatly tucked under a hard hat. During the week, my dad would venture off to places like New York where he’d throw together a skyscraper or Minneapolis and work on the Mega Mall; on the weekend he’d come home to us, a cooler dangling from his sleeve, not his heart.

These boots are made for…kicking some ass.

I can count on my right hand the number of times my dad told me he loved me. Maybe that makes it all the more special when it does happen? Maybe. But, I would argue it makes it all the more awkward. Mostly because my dad is so utterly uncomfortable saying those three little words. And, when he does say them, it sounds like he’s just eaten three tablespoons of peanut butter.  And, the only impulse I have is not to say ‘I love you’ back, but rather to hand the man a glass of milk.

Either way, when I was 22, I found my very own older man to call me his little girl and in certain situations, I could call ‘daddy’ – and moved right on in. The pressure to marry T mounted about 6 months in. I would find jewelry store catalogues lying around the house, the engagement ring section marked with post-its, and random rings circled in red marker. I was confused; wasn’t I supposed to be doing this? Side note: T had been married twice before. I had no intention of being his third ex-wife. Yet, I found myself infected with a platinum, princess-cut engagement ring. I hated it. But, I hated hurting people’s feelings even more.

I didn’t know how to get myself out of the situation, so I stayed away. And, the more I stayed away, the more controlling and aggressive T became.  One night, after enjoying a happy hour with a few co-workers, T met me at our front door.

He was all decked out in a suit. He slurred, “Well, you said you’ve never seen me in one before.” Clearly he’d been in the company of Jim Beam all night. Seeing where this was going, I told him he looked nice and went into the bedroom to get ready for bed.

Apparently, while I was out, T found some graduate school applications I had filled out, without telling him. He was furious. Why hadn’t I told him? Who did I think I was? Was I really planning on moving away and leaving him? Really, my 22-year-old mind hadn’t thought about any of that. I was just trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. Either way, I apologized for keeping him in the dark.

My apology was met with a blow to the nose.

The punch hurled me onto the bed, T hovering above me. Stunned, I leapt up and did a maneuver similar to the limbo underneath his arm. On my way out of the bedroom, I grabbed my cell phone before shielding myself behind the locked bathroom door. As I was desperately calling my brother, M for help, T was punching and kicking holes in the door. I waited for M to come and wondered at what point my life turned into an episode of Cops.

M came to the rescue and took me to our parents, where I stayed for the following three months. My mom helped me move all of my stuff out of T’s house the next day. The only thing I left was his ring, which he eventually gave back – I’m sure out of guilt. My nose was black and blue and it felt like I’d been punched in the face. Because I had.

No one pushed me to defend myself by pressing charges or anything, which I really needed in this situation. Plus, wasn’t my dad supposed to walk out in overalls, wild eyes, and carrying a shotgun? That’s what happens on Lifetime. But, mine just stood idly by, which made me feel like I’d been punched a dozen more times.

It wasn’t until six years later that I found out the truth. M and I were having dinner and drinks at Zipp’s, when he let it slip, “Dad did stick up for you when all that went down, you know. He scared the shit out of T.”

What?! How could I not know this after all these years? I demanded details. M told me that the day after it happened, Dad ordered M to get in his truck. The two of them drove to T’s where Dad barged into the house, grabbed T by the front of his shirt and pinned him against the wall; T’s feet dangling, his face turning as blue as my nose. “Don’t you ever touch my daughter again you piece of shit, you hear me?!” Dad bellowed in T’s face. T whimpered “like a little bitch.”

“It was so awesome! Dad was quite the stud,” M boasted. M went on to tell me that Dad asked him to keep it a secret. Why? I have no idea. Maybe he thought I would get mad. Maybe he was being humble. Or maybe having me know and the emotions involved was far too uncomfortable for him. Really, it doesn’t matter. What matters is I’m my dad’s little girl.


193 thoughts on “Sometimes A Punch In The Face Is All It Takes – To Find Out Who’s Your Daddy

      1. I think that’s it – they’ve got so much inside, and it’s so important to them, and yet perhaps they feel they won’t be understood well when they show it all. Glad you found the truth about how your dad loves and protects you.

  1. “Some people just aren’t comfortable with emotions. The part I find interesting – they’re usually the most sensitive ones!”

    It’s interesting you should say that. I find it uncomfortable to say “I love you” to just anyone, even to my own family. But I’ll say it to a boyfriend if that’s how I feel. And I’ll say it often, too. In fact, when I’m in a relationship I’m incredibly emotional and loving with the person I’m with.

    My parents never said it to us much when we were growing up (I don’t think my father ever said it to me once, but he’s out of the picture now and has been for 16+ years.) which I suspect is why it’s a strange thing for me to say to people – who I’m not dating. I’m single again (sadly) so I haven’t said it out loud to anyone for almost a year now.

    1. I think you’re exactly right. You didn’t grow up with your family saying ‘I love you’ and therefore it’s not normal and/or comfortable for you to say it – to them. But, I think it’s awesome that you’re able to say it to your boyfriends! People need to hear ‘I love you’ which you’re not doing with your family, so you do it with partners. Makes sense 🙂

    2. Ditto here. It’s so weird for me to say the words out loud to my family- it’s just not what we do. But I can and do say it to my boyfriend, and it feels lovely when I do. Of course, nothing beats the feeling you get when someone says it to you.. 🙂

      Beautiful post.. Sometimes good stuff comes out of bad situations- all we need to do is watch out for it. 🙂 Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  2. My dad truly is a real piece of… ‘work’… and my mom has a difficult time showing any sort of emotion, but I know she loves me in her own way.

  3. It seems to me that those who don’t necessarily wear their emotions on their sleeves have the strongest ones. I know it may may seem like an absurd example, but I was watching Say Yes to the Dress and the entire episode on fathers. The fathers that were the biggest and toughest looking were the ones that broke down the quickest when they saw their daughters in their wedding dresses.

  4. This story kicks so much ass. “My nose was black and blue and it felt like I’d been punched in the face. Because I had.” You crafted the telling of it masterfully – it did not go where I was expecting at all, which is, of course, part of its genius. And your awesome writing aside, I’m so impressed with how well you handled the situation, and was totally cheering when your dad showed up at T’s door. It’s a tough, and beautiful, story – thank you for telling it so well.

  5. This is so freaking sweet. I have two boys and can’t imagine having a daughter experience a man hurting her. I’d go ballistic. Thank you for sharing this story, so worthy of being Freshly Pressed!! 🙂

  6. Wow. Kudos for having the guts to tell this story. When I read the title I didn’t think that it would literally fit the story. Congrats on being FP’ed. Be prepared for a barrage of comments and new readers!

  7. You have a great way of making a horrible situation sad and funny all at the same time. I admire your unique voice and your bravery in sharing this story. Thank you and congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  8. I don’t have kids.. But if I did, I know I would do everything in my power to make sure they never hurt. You’re so right about the sensitive ones being the last to show emotion… I’ve learned to come out of that shell a bit, but it’s still very difficult!! Glad you’re no longer in that situation!! 🙂

  9. I can’t imagine the number of drafts you must have gone thru to get the amazing flow you achieved. I have to admit, I was a bit offended at the title when the first few paragraphs didn’t seem to fit. Then you snuck in the 6-months-in pressure to marry, and I kept reading. I’m glad I did. I would have missed a tragic tale told terrifically.
    I am going to venture a guess that your dad didn’t want it known he answered violence with violence; he sounds like a gentle giant.

    1. I’m glad you kept reading Melanie! And, I’m even happier you enjoyed it. Some people think fighting violence with violence is wrong – and it some situations it is – but, I think in this one it was appropriate. I also believe a lot of dad’s would have handled it similarly.

      1. I agree, twice. T needed to feel that moment of helplessness and a lot of dads would do the same. I know my dad wanted to. He kept saying “if only I was younger; if only I was stronger.” Mine was out of town while my family was helping me move out and then we went 1000 miles away, so my dad and my ex were never in the same room or town together, so he never really got the chance to find out if he could be younger and stronger.

  10. My dad is from Iowa, he was not very compassionate when I was growing up and I hated him because he’d hit my mom when he got like T. He has a load of guilt that he lives with everyday. I, too, always wanted to be a daddy’s girl, but it’s been a long haul. Your story and the way you told it definitely deserved a Freshly Pressed. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much! Guilt is a terribly useless emotion. I feel like most parents do the best they know how and I really hope you and your dad’s relationship is getting where you want it to be, because you deserve it 🙂

  11. Whoa what a crazy story and yet very beautifully told. I was also 22 during my first and ONLY abusive relationship. I’m glad that you got out of it immediately and didn’t stick with it like so many other girls do.

  12. I’m conflicted. I love the post, the story was very …captivating…but I’m sorry this is the way it had to happen for you to find out how much your Dad loves you. Some men are really just what I like to call “emotionally constipated.” By the way you write, it seems like your Dad maybe is not around anymore(?) But if he is, maybe you could try writing a letter to him, telling him the things you may not feel comfortable with saying…Who knows? maybe he’d like the idea and write you one back! ❤

    1. “Emotionally constipated”, I like it 🙂 Yes, my dad is still alive and kicking. I’ve written him letters before…the man isn’t much for writing, either. I’ve learned you just have to accept people for who they are – if you really want them in your life.

      1. Absolutely! And you know he DOES love you even if it’s hard for him to say.
        My husband is pretty emotionally constipated at times, due to the way he was treated by his step-father as a kid. I will say one thing though; my little girl is the apple of Daddy’s eye and that’s one thing she’ll never have to question thankfully!

  13. aww! I love it! My Dad’s the same way….words aren’t his thing. Actions on the other hand is his way to go. I’ve never actually been punched in the face so I cannot relate to that. But my Dad did drive 200 miles to pick me and my stuff up from a cheating boyfriend…and then proceed to threathen my ex with the pounding of a lifetime if he ever approached in any way ever again….I’m Daddy’s girl forever more! 😉

  14. I wish your post could be required reading for all boys in order to date or become fathers. The world would be so much better if men and fathers could learn from this beautifully written story.

  15. What a great story (well, not great in the sense that you got punched in the face, obviously), but that you, in your way, came to understand your own special father/daughter relationship. I really enjoyed reading this.

  16. Megan I too feel for you punch in the nose! The difference is that my boyfriend when I was 16 lived across the street, the day he decided to slap me my dad went tearing across the street trying to break down his door!! Must have scared the crap out of him & his family because even his Dad wouldn’t open the door. Probably was a good thing that my dad never got his hands on J!! Of course I was glad until my dad chewed me out for letting the slap happen! Good & bad

  17. This post really warms my heart because my uncle is the same way. Very stoic at times but it’s only later that you find out how much he really does care and how much he does in the background that I don’t find out about until years later.

    I’m so glad you got out of that relationship and that you found out that you’re daddy’s little girl after all 🙂

  18. Oh this story touched me. Sometimes we think we know and we don’t. I try daily to let my kids know how much I love them so they don’t end up with a nose puncher in the first place. I also tell them that if they do, I will step in-front of a bullet for them.

    I wasn’t loved. Long story, but it was until I was 19 before I found love. Good, faithful, rescue me love. That was nothing but God’s grace. This isn’t a post to convert people or anything like that, if you read my blog I am funny not beating people with God. I will say though, I should have ended up with someone bad for me.

    I am glad you found your way out. ((Hugs))


  19. I love this story! I mean i’m fortunate enough to have one of those ‘clingy dads’ that wears his heart on his sleeve, but honestly I think you are so right, it doesn’t matter about the labelling what matters is you know exactly how he feels 🙂 x

  20. I love your style of writing – it seems like you write this down just for yourself, not for the whole wide world to read it. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you are in a much happier and more balanced relationship right now or will be soon (if that’s what you wish for).

  21. It’s true though, often times the most passionate people are the ones who are most quiet about it. Generally preferring to show their love through actions rather than words. Unfortunately for those who prefer verbal reinforcement, it can be rather confusing sometimes.
    But when that extreme circumstance arises that hurts someone they love, you better believe they’ll be the first to intercede. My dad is totally the same way, I didn’t understand it as much when I was younger but I totally get it now and I think it has caused us to become closer now than we ever were before.

  22. I know your Dad, I have the truck driver version. I’ve learned alot about him though as I’ve gotten older. Like how his emotions run like a spring; how he loves deeply and has an impossibly hard time figuring out how to act sometimes. Struggling with getting those emotions to the surface without them drowning him. Thank you for sharing…you have the heart of the true storyteller. 🙂

  23. I’m happy to be able to tell you that I tell my little girl I love her dozens of times a day. She know’s she’s daddy’s little girl, because she says it all of the time, because I tell her all the time. I have a half-dozen nick-names for her, and if anybody ever tried to hurt her then God help us both. Excellent post, very nicely done.

  24. I love this story! Very real and genuine. I enjoyed it very much. Especially the twist at the end. Nothing hits home deeper to a girl than a protective man in her life, especially if it’s her dad! 😉

  25. I’m a bloke and I expressed similar desires when I was younger, I just wanted to make my dad proud but, like you, my dad wasn’t the ‘affectionate’ kind. I’m not saying that my dad was a bad father to me, he wasn’t, I learnt other things from him and, looking back, I had LOADS of respect for him but could never understand why. I think if he was affectionate with me then I wouldn’t have looked upon him the same way.

    All you can do is hope that when the time comes to have your own children you can provide them with a home which is complete with 2 loving and affectionate parents!

  26. I started reading this not because it had been Freshly Pressed (congrats by the way, it’s fun isn’t it) But because of the title and the fact that your name is Meg. My daughters name is Meg and she is, coincidentally, 22. She shares a house with me and is looking after me after a heart attack.

    I could feel myself in your Dad’s shoes and marvel at the control it must have taken not to kill the sob. I am not so sure I could have acted so admirably in his situation.

    Great post and it just goes to show that actions do speak louder than words.
    Cheers mate.

      1. No problem! My dad was one of those taciturn and stoic types. He’s mellowed now that he’s older. Yeah, Meg and I have a very special relationship one forged by our mutual interests (gaming, films, et al) and a support that was needed in an unhappy time in both our lives. 🙂

  27. What does that one girl mean it could have had a better ending? It was not expected and I had tears for you that your dad is a mans man and handles things the way is not seen now a days. He kicked butt for you. We don’t always have things the way we would like them but sometimes the surprises are the gravy on our mashed potatoes when we usually only have butter . 🙂

  28. When I started reading your post, I had no idea it would be followed by a horrible situation. (The title of your post and the picture led me to believe differently. I though it would be another humour / rant piece.) But I love how you told your story. Instead of just saying your boyfriend was a jerk and hit you etc., you also brought your father into the mix by giving the reader a glimpse of his character and his relationship with you—which was so sweet and beautiful. A well-deserved FP! 🙂

  29. It’s so weird to hear about a defense after the fact. Nothing this crazy has happened to me but my Brother, Z, has rarely shown me “big protective brother” which is what I’ve always wanted. It took him to be seemingly unsupportive in a big life decision I made to call our mother and tell HER he was WORRIED and CONCERNED–which she later passed on to me.

    Congrats on getting out of a bad situation. Way to be strong woman!

    1. It is weird. But, I guess, if it’s all I can get I’ll take it 🙂 I’m glad you found out from your mother how much your brother cared. But, yeah, it would be nice to hear from the actual person.

      Thanks for reading!

    1. Thanks for the compliment. I’m sorry he makes you feel useless – sounds like your dad is uncomfortable with emotions as well. But, I’m happy to hear you’re able to hear about the praises he gives!

  30. Dang, girl you deserve SO much better anyway!! 😀 My dad is a martial arts instructor…you can imagine what happens when people mess with me. Dad’s are amazing and it’s great you have one too! After reading this I want to punch someone too!

  31. I hate that this happened to you but the way you crafted this story is impeccable. And your dad kicks ass, figuratively and literally. 🙂 Looking forward to reading more from you.

  32. Wow, your dad’s ways are so classic and so much like mine and I’m sure many, many other women. I totally “get” the business of them making the, shall we say, “clear and direct” point to men who are disrespectful of their daughters without feeling the necessity of telling the daughter herself–after all, he assumed you loved that troll, T, and lots of daughters would react by sticking up for the creep once Dad got involved, and even going back to him. Strange but true.

    I think love that is behind you in true, heartfelt actions such as the way a father works for his family and stands behind you like a knight when you need him whether you know it or not is the real kind, not the t.v./movie flowery stuff that’s all show. Someone can say they love you a thousand times and not mean it . . . .The wife’s answer to the husband’s question “but do you love me?” in Fiddler on the Roof says it all, for me!

  33. Reminded me of my dad a little. I made quite the crusader of him, but never the poet. He has told me little about how he feels, but I learned that I can have that (in another form), and less of a battle on our hands. I still feel lucky. Every father must me some part bodyguard.

  34. Captivating read. I, too, did not expect the twist and turn to domestic violence, but I sure cheered when you learned what your Dad did to protect you.
    Men – gotta love ’em as they come. Except no violence, of course.
    Congrats on being FPd! Enjoy the ride 🙂

  35. Wow! One punch was all it took. I’m glad you got out before it was too late. Too many women (and even some men) stay in a horrible, oppressive and even abusive relationships. I guess your dad showed you, maybe vicariously, just how much he loves you.

    Wonderful piece you wrote, thanks for sharing!

  36. You’re lucky to have walked away from this. Of course T would whimper “like a little bitch” because only cowards hit women, a clear fact of life.

  37. I’m glad to hear you found out — albeit after the fact — that your dad had your back. Plenty of domestic violence victims don’t have a support system to help them with an exit strategy.

    1. I didn’t get any contusions. I always try to add a dusting of humor to my writing, but there wasn’t much in this one so I’m not sure which part you found funny?

  38. I have always been in a similar situation, with a constant debate about how my parents felt about me, but it seems to be that parents love their children unconditionally. Thank you for reminding me.

  39. This made me cry. I can’t really say why. I’m so happy you got out and stayed out the first time he put his hands on you. I’m so happy your dad put him in his place. And I feel like your dad didn’t tell you because he didn’t want to make you feel like he thought you couldn’t fight your own battles. Of course you could, but it’s also nice to know other people are fighting alongside you. Thanks for sharing this.

  40. Awful that you had to get punched, but lovely that you now understand your dad’s private way of loving you. As a Daddy’s Girl myself, I know exactly how you feel wanting him to acknowledge it!

  41. Lovely post!

    While words are a great way to show affection, nothing says love like action! I would say your dad is a man of action and of course you are his little girl!

    Adieu, scribbler

  42. Wonderful experience overall ( From the shitty context it happend ) Thanks for sharing it,

    We tend to have expectations in the way we demonstrate and share our feelings or emotions (i.e: verbals or emotionals ways), and because of these expectations we might not see when another have a different way to share or express them.
    It´s like trying to reach FM radio´s on the AM frequency, it doesn´t match.

    However I am sure your father has different way in his perception of emotion, a lot of those “strong men” and families dad perceives the work accomplished as a demonstration of love, and some persons even defines the emotional expression into materialistic values ( The bigger the gift, the more love is expressed) and these are only examples …

    Thanks again for sharing it, a great lesson for all 🙂
    Love !

  43. Love you, Dad’s lille girl..( I intentionally spelled it like that) I dont know about my father, but my bro treats me like his little girl…it feels great..

    But dont know why this violence never ends…what is at fault? We, me , you, the society or something else? Is it the cruel mentality? Can’t be sure…
    But, what ever…

    Wish you stay happy forever… 😀

  44. Oh man. Thank you for sharing this. I’m sure you’ve got some backlash for this post – it’s a complicated issue after all – but you’re right, all that matters is knowing your dad did something.

      1. I somehow assumed there would be (due to indignation or misguided notions about abuse) but I’m awfully glad you’ve not had any at all. That’s great!

  45. Oh wow, this post gave me chills and made me tear up! I’m so happy you were okay after what that jerk off did to you. Yes, it would have been nice to know that your dad had your back right after, but I guess better late then never. Obviously he really loves his little girl! Great post!!

  46. Your father did what all fathers should do. My 17 year old was once my baby, and at times your baby needs defending. God help the man that ever thinks of touching my daughter like that. Your father, like mine, is an old school guy who may have trouble saying “I love you”, but actions can speak louder than words.

  47. This post was so moving. Your dad’s actions are a true testament to the fact that sometimes the best things in life are those you can’t see.

  48. Loved your post. I can sympathize on how hearing 3 words can make a world of difference. I grew up a very insecure kid and my mother rarely told me she loved me or that she was proud of me. But there were so many other ways she showed her love and pride, she just isn’t an emotional person.

  49. Our adviser in school is very… hmm, how do I put this? SCARY! and… she rarely smiles. But when we saw her smile, we acted like it was the first time we saw the light, it made us feel special.

    But compare it to this. A normal teacher, who normally smiles, when she smiles to you, you’d be like, ‘Oh maybe I should smile back’ and your conscious would be ‘Like DUH!’

  50. Reblogged this on My Life with Christ. and commented:
    Have you ever heard the song “When you say nothing at all”. This song can relate to this post.

    Our adviser in school is very… hmm, how do I put this? SCARY! and… she rarely smiles. But when we saw her smile, we acted like it was the first time we saw the light, it made us feel special.

    But compare it to this. A normal teacher, who normally smiles, when she smiles to you, you’d be like, ‘Oh maybe I should smile back’ and your conscious would be ‘Like DUH!’.
    – MFDYP

  51. Same is the situation with me and my parents, but somethings are better felt than said. They may not say the three words but i know that they do love me.
    Btw it was very well written, hope you are living a happy life now..:)

  52. Every once in a while I go blog surfing. Tonight I stumbled upon yours. This is quite a story. As a mother of 3 adult daughters, I can tell you that T is every parent’s nightmare. Thank goodness you got away from him. And you are indeed Daddy’s little girl.

  53. I am glad that you were watched over. Don’t be afraid of hurting people’s feelings. You are entitled to your own feelings just as much as anyone else. If someone asks you to go hang out with them somewhere you can always say no thank-you. If they get upset, they chose to get upset. Everyone makes a choice as to how they react to things.

    I have done that a lot in my life. I am only twenty but I am finally realizing that I need to give to myself sometimes, instead of just giving to others. If someone doesn’t like you just because you said you weren’t interested in whatever was offered, then were they really your friend or just someone who liked taking advantage of your attention.

    Thanks for this post. It was very neat. Have a good day and God bless.

    Isaiah S.

  54. Not all dads will be up front with their emotions. For a certain generation, namely the baby Boomers, this is an especially foreign concept. Your dad did his best to protect you without making you feel more helpless than . already had. It is good that M. let it slip after time had passed to allow you to gain perspective.

  55. Great post! Found this through a WordPress email and I’m glad I did.
    Wondering: did you ever find out why he didn’t want you to know? I wonder if he wanted you to know that you were capable of rescuing yourself? That is what you did, you know. You got away, you called for help when you needed it and you left. Not everyone is able to do these things.
    Like any great Dad, your father did what he could to make sure the man never bothered you again. And evidently “what he could” was considerable. But he also made sure you got the rewards of standing for yourself. I don’t even know you and I’m proud of you. I’m sure he is far more so. At least as much as you are of him.

    1. Thanks Cheri! No, I never found out why my dad kept it a secret. He doesn’t really talk about his feelings. Also, my brother asked my not to say anything, so I didn’t want to betray him…I maybe didn’t want to have an awkward conversation with my dad either 😉

  56. Brilliant post.

    Both your courage & strength to walk away from a bad relationship, and what you learned about your Dad too.

    I have the same sort of Dad, never ‘says’ he loves me, but he does it show it in a multitude of small ways. The quiet, undemonstrative ones are hard to understand when you’re younger, I don’t think we see that love, miss the subtle signs. Once I came to understand my dad’s ‘love language’ (for want of a better term) it brought us a lot closer.

    Thank you for sharing.

  57. I have the same kind of dynamic with my father. Related so much to the sentiments of this post. Almost teared towards the end.
    Thank you so much fo sharing (and writing it so wonderfully) =’)

  58. I really was moved by this post. Thank you for writing it so beautifully. I had exactly the same relationship with my father. I knew I was Daddy’s girl (because of the things he did for me) but he never said it, or said he loved me. He was 83 when I went to visit him in South Africa from England, where I live now, and I said to him, ‘Listen Dad, I cannot come out again, so don’t pop your clogs soon, OK?! I am here to see you while you are alive and I want to say thank you for all you did for me over the years. I love you’ and I gave him a big hug! He was not a touchy feely person either. He got all embarrassed and muttered ‘Well, you were my kid!’ That’s the closest I got to ‘I love you too!’ He died 6 months later.

    Thank you again for your pot. I WAS in tears at the end!

  59. That was a lovely post about a frightening and painful (in more ways than one) event. I have two beautiful daughters I am trying to raise to be strong, independent women, but I can see how essential it is for them to know that I ‘have their back.’ Frankly, it frightens me. I am not a violent, nor particularly physical man. I cannot imagine the anger I would feel if someone hurt my daughter. It would be awesome to be able to lift them off the ground. I can understand your father wanting to keep that event from you – worrying that it might be crossing a line into interfering in your life – but I’m glad you found out just how far he’d go for you. I’ll bet you haven’t seen all of it yet.

  60. Sometimes Dads just don’t want their daughters see how close to the surface their emotions really are – and how difficult it is for them to hold back sobs and tears – for some, it is not a ‘manly’ thing. The love is there – but from childhood, they have been coerced into keeping emotional displays hidden.

  61. I love your post because it reminds me of myself, a dad of five children, two of them girls who I adore more than anything else in the world. The I LOVE YOU that they most desperately wanted ,was always within me but never said until later in life, mainly because I assumed that they knew I felt that way.
    Being a transport driver, away a lot of the time, I always thought that they could see it in my face when I came home after missing my family so much, laughing and playing around with them and just being a dad.
    I love you, was always in my mind not only at home but far out in the country when your thoughts are with them.
    BE ASSURED, your dad loves you more than you will know and I too would have backed you up just like your dad.
    regards Brian

    1. Thanks Brian – I can feel the love for your children coming through the page. Yes, now I know my dad loves me; however nothing quite compares to hearing those words 🙂

  62. Being daddy’s little girl is something that I feel many women strive for. It took me a long time to learn that I was daddy’s little girl too, and it was the most amazing feeling in the world. You obviously have a very loving father despite how conservative he is about showing it. Thank you for sharing this lovely story.

  63. Hi Meg, wonderful post gut wrench and a bit hard to read. I’m a father and a grandfather and I always make a point of telling both my oldest and youngest daughter I love them as often as I can. Recently my youngest who also happens to be the one who blessed me with my first grand daughter. Recently she was beat up pretty bad by my granddaughters dad. They have since broke up but (I’m a combat veteran and a former cop,) told him in no uncertain terms if he ever laid a hand on my daughter again, he nor his family would ever need to worry about him going to jail. By the time I was through with him there would be nothing left of him to take to jail. My children are my gift from heaven to include my granddaughter Mia and until my last breath I will always protect, respect and love them. Hell help the man that harms them cause Heaven’s Gate will be locked to them and they will have to deal with me.

  64. Well done you! great retelling . My dad didn’t bother , but eventually I worked it out and gave back the ring. Glad you found out young how love can look like very different animals. My dad died when I was 40, and I felt I had lost what I had never had. Yet I do remember a dad that was funny and charming when I was pre teenage. I have concluded he didn’t like children once they started talking back!!

  65. Hi Meg,
    I could relate to your story totally. Even my dad is same, never expresses his emotions. But just like your situation i too went through one and at that time my dad was like rock solid. He literally scared the shit out of the guy. Then only i could understand that my dad has trouble in expressing his emotions, but he loves me very much.

  66. Thank you for sharing. Control / abuse is horrific and so glad you got out of it immediately. It does a number on our heads and I honestly would change an abusive relationship I endured in my 20’s if I only could. I’m out of it now and blessed to be out.

    Not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings is very much who many of us women are. Enduring the internal pain versus hurting someone else hurled be into dark depressions that left me wanting to die. So over many years I learned it’s okay to be the “authentic you” as it creates harmony in your soul and world. The truth delivered in a compassionate manner can set you free! Have a blessed day and here’s to all the Great Daddy’s we all know and love!

  67. What a situation and such an amazing turn around.
    I came from a family that didn’t show love, in fact they hardly showed they cared at all.
    I went on to marry twice. Both men were over affectionate in public and I fell for it. Once married they were totally manipulative and abusive with mental cruelty and physical threats.
    I wish I could have 1 more day with my parents and whilst I probably wouldn’t be able to tell them that I love them, I would let them know that I have learned from them. That I respect the straight forward parenting they gave me and the sacrifices that meant from them.

  68. Forgive the lateness – I’m catching up on Freshly Pressed emails I’ve neglected to read over the past year. This post will probably stay with me the most today though. I hope it isn’t offensive to describe it as “beautiful” – both for your eloquent delivery of the story, and for its uplifting resolution. Thank you for sharing, sincerely.


  69. I Have just come across this post and can really relate to you Meg. My father couldn’t even hug us never mind say “I love you” My sister ended up doing something similair to you at 18 with a total loser who was 11 years older. I chased acceptance for years. Glad to say my sister left him eventually. I don’t think you can ever fill in the scars completely but you can deal with it. so glad you escaped a bad situation and got something from your dad. That was a brave thing to do.

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