“I never wanted you. I only took you on because of your mum”
This is what my stepdad told me, at age 17. It was after he had cheated on my mum with his secretary, who wasn’t much older than me. But what I was most upset about is that he punched my mum so hard the night she found out that she ended up in hospital. He lied to me and told me he was merely trying to restrain her and for a while, I believed him because I loved him and did not think he was capable of such a thing.
So I challenged him. I literally wanted to kill him, or for him to lose it with me and kill me, thus putting me out of my misery. But I backed down as I was scared of him; which is when he dropped that bomb on me. Ever since then, I have come to the conclusion that my childhood was a lie. The father I thought I had didn’t even want me to begin with. All of my worst fears came true that evening. I remember it like it happened last week. The feelings of abandonment have never left me, which were also caused by my biological father choosing to have nothing to do with me from the ages of 10 to 17 – when I needed him the most.
The truth is that I never felt like I was a part of that faux family unit, especially after my 2 younger half brothers were born. They were his “normal” and intelligent kids, while I was just the fuckup ugly older stepchild and a relic of my mum’s previous failed marriage. But I loved him as my dad and I thought he loved me too. There were many occasions when he was there for me. I remember a time when I was crying and he went out and bought me a toy, or he’d comfort me when my mum sometimes seemed cold and diastant. He chased off bullies for me a couple of times.
But then he had a side of him that gave me the impression he didn’t want me. When we play fought, he would play rough. When he punished me, it was close to a beating. There was one time I was around 9, when I called him a “pig” in anger. He chased me to the nearby park, where he smacked me repeatedly, right in front of other kids. As I hit my teens, he would call me a “scruff” and would try to force me to like boys clothing (you can guess why I didn’t). As the marriage deteriorated after my mum lost both her parents within 2 years, I heard him blame me for their relationship failing, because he felt that my mum favored me too much (in reality, I was the least favored of the 3 of us). He once told me that I wasn’t smart enough to study computing (or go to university, period). I’ll never forget the time both he and my mum said that I was “practical and not academical” (which is basically saying that I’m thick, because there’s nothing ‘practical’ about me). But that comment has stuck with me all this time.
I’m not expecting answers. I haven’t seen or spoken to my (ex) stepdad since I was 18 and have no intention of ever doing so. I’m sure he feels no remorse and like everyone else in my shitty life was glad to be finally rid of the ugly, depressive and problematic stepchild he never wanted, but only took in because of my mum (and because my biological father didn’t want me either).
I could never have told him that I wanted to be a girl. Even back then, I did. I hated being a boy, but even then, I tried to conform and appear as ‘normal’ as possible. And for what? It did me nothing but harm. I’ll never get those years back.
Most of my childhood was a lie.