Once upon a time there was a girl who, though she loved her father very much the two did clash quite a bit. To say they fought would put it mildly. They fought over things big and small, things insignificant and bigger onto politics and so on.

As a girl, she often felt that she hated him as he could really get to her like no one else could; she suspects this works both ways and that she drove him just as crazy as he drove her. Many of the fights stemmed simply from him caring for her, obviously, and then as a result feeling a need to overbearingly attempt to make her see things his way. This she understood, though it still drove her nuts.

Very strong-willed, (some might say thick-headed) she rarely conformed to anything he said. He often – maybe without realizing it or meaning to – came off as very demeaning to her. She always reminded herself silently that he was doing this because he cared, despite outwardly showing her rage and making things worse between the two of them. She also reminded herself that he raised her to question everything and come to hold many of the values she is proud of today.

She moved out of his house very young because she disagreed with the way he ran it and needed to be free. She never looked back or had any regrets. She always cared greatly for her Dad, although she often failed to show it out of her thickheaded spite. This worked both ways in a family in which the words, “I love you” have never been uttered.

During her twenties and as she entered into her thirties she made a great effort at getting along with both her parents; she would find reasons to spend time with both of them. Poker and trivia with them both and fishing with him, shopping with her. She would always have a great time with him during these carefree outings and games, except for him getting in his digs- reminding her of how fat she was. It always bothered her but she learned to be confident in herself and ignore these comments for the most part. Especially after she lost over 50 pounds and got down to a size 8 and he still went on about how fat she was, she learned that she would always be fat to him, and clearly it was HE who had the body issues. Armed with that knowledge, she sucked up his fat jokes and comments and digs from then on

He had other ways of baiting her and for years she learned to avoid his bait and just discuss neutral topics. She was proud of herself for not ‘biting’. Then one day, he woke her up with an email to her phone going off about not only things he’d already been trying to bait her with for the past several years but another, very sore subject, going so far as to claim that she allowed her beloved daughter/dog to suffer. (Anyone who knew this girl and her dog would claim the dog had a better quality of life than they did. Girl’s life revolved around making this happen.) This wasn’t the first time he’d mentioned any of these things. Unsure whether it was the combo, or the literal rude awakening or what, she finally lost it. She snapped and said things that she knew would be hurtful to him.  Things that will not be repeated here out of respect for him.

Naturally he did not like anything she had to say and his reaction was to respond with several emails, stating what a liar she is, along with other name-calling. Claiming the girl, who has worked hard to accept the person that she is and her value system thinks she is better than everyone. Sending pages long emails that served no purpose other than just to name-call.

She had spent years working hard to ‘agree to disagree’ on certain topics with him and ignore his attempts to bait her. Finally she’d had enough, and sunk to his level. With his derogatory replies and the accusations and the name-calling she decided she did not need it any more. No one needs added drama in his or her life regardless of the source. As a result, she informed him that he would no longer be able to contact her via phone or email and blocked his email and phone number from contacting hers, telling him that she just needed a break.

Things were left with the ball in his court. Should he decide having a daughter with whom he has a civil relationship is more important than belittling her, then he will be welcomed back into her life. In the meantime she will have nothing further to do with him. This saddens her but this great cloud of negativity needed to be cut out of her life –father or not. Daughter spent the last 13 years working hard to have a civil relationship with the man she called, “Dad”. She finally realized that 13 years of WORKING for something that really shouldn’t require so much WORK was enough and if he truly cared for her, he would act like it.

And so the man is left daughterless, and the girl fatherless; with the ball in the man’s court. The girl feels she surely is set up for more heartache but she will persevere, as she always does and she will not let this man get to her ever again.