Dads Without Boundaries & Donald Trump
I’m fairly sure my dad is a narcissist. He has so many of the traits and behaves as if the world should revolve around him. I never asked my mother before I stopped speaking to her (again), but I would not doubt my parents (or at least my dad) are voting for Donald Trump. I’m sure they’re still watching John Hagee and Pat Robertson. I’m sure my mother is praying for my stone cold heart every night and crying in her alcohol asking herself how she went wrong as a mother without actually listening to my feelings. I have to email her for her to listen because on the phone or in person, she’ll cut you off and yell over top of you so she doesn’t have to hear what you have to say. The strange mix of alcoholic married to a narcissist blends a special type of dysfunctional family fuckery. This last time I decided I was done with her for a while wraps around her defense of my father’s behavior and a start to a lecture of how marriage is a special relationship as if I was 5 years old and not married for 15 1/2 years myself. And besides… “he’s your father.” No, he’s a sperm donor and she was literally standing by him no matter what. Choosing blind devotion over acknowledgement of abusive behavior.
I have flashbacks of my sperm donor using physical intimidating and yelling to force me into conformity and obedience. So imagine my anxiety as I watched Donald Trump on the stage of the 2nd debate using physical intimidation on Hillary Clinton and calmly, but firmly asserting she will be in jail if he’s elected. I was watching my father get into my face as a teenager all over again. The rebel oldest girl who wanted to mow lawns, listen to music that wasn’t country, learn about cars, and go to college.
And since women everywhere opened up about sexual assault, I have been reminded of two particular incidents with my sperm donor that I haven’t forgotten, nor ever spoken about except with my husband. Please know that saying this in public is hard. But its so necessary.
I consider myself lucky as I’ve been reading about sexual assault stories for now years, particularly in Christian churches. I haven’t been raped, nor have I been groped. The more stories I read, the more I feel like I’m in a small minority. I have been exposed to other violations and trauma though and I want to speak about those.
I want to clarify that I’m not joining my voice with others here to get people to say “that’s enough!” about Donald Trump. I was done with him when he first started his campaign. I rebuked an in law family member the summer of 2015 when she said he was right about Mexicans and decided I never wanted to go to their family get together ever again. I have been adamantly trying to bring attention to his racism and sexism for a while now and his fascist rhetoric that white people who support him or intend on voting for one of the 3rd party candidates want to downplay to justify their positions. No, none of what he said about “grabbing pussy” and “just start kissing them” shocks or surprises me in the least. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t ripped open wounds, however. Especially with people who defend him and try to normalize sexual violence.
My dad knows no boundaries.
When I was in 5th grade, I got the basic birds and the bees talk from him. It was the only sex talk I would have with either one of my parents. After he was done drawing a uterus and ovaries and having the lecture part of the basic sex talk, he sat on the couch – half laying, half sitting up. And he exposed his penis to me to show me what one looked like. It became hard and he asked me if I was curious and wanted to touch it. I felt weird and dirty. I politely declined. He was ok with this and slipped his underwear and pants back up and then told me if I ever was curious to just let him know. At the time, I didn’t think he was trying to be sexual with me. It didn’t feel that way. I’m still not sure, but I know it was wrong. But god damn was that inappropriate as fuck and demonstrated he knows nothing about boundaries whatsoever.
When I was about 17, I had a job and bought my own bras and underwear. I had a set that I loved. It was dark green with flowers on it. I put them on after my shower and wrapped a towel around myself before heading upstairs to my room to choose what outfit I wanted to wear that day. Before heading upstairs, though, my dad stopped me when I got out of the bathroom and wanted to see me in my bra and underwear. I protested and he got angry with me. He believed that since he changed my diaper as a baby, there was nothing for him to see he hasn’t already seen and totally violated my right to privacy as if he, as my sperm donor had automatic rights to my body. He didn’t comment on my body, but I’ll never forget feeling violated as he looked me over and I’ll never forget him being angry with me and his clear message that my body was not mine, but his.
Those are my earliest experiences of being sexually harassed and they came from my dad. Even those of us who aren’t groped or raped are told our bodies don’t belong to us. That we don’t have rights of body autonomy. That men can and will violate us whenever they want.
I believe electing a woman president is a huge “fuck you” to all the men who are angry we are rebelling against the places they want to keep us, where they can violate us whenever they please, however they want too, without consequences.