Tuesday, 1 August 2017

New Year, New Name

(From the archives: 6th January 2017)

Hello everyone!

As I’m sure many of you have noticed, I’ve re-branded myself with a new surname; Davis. Today I’m going to explain why I’ve done this and the events that have lead me to finalise this change.

My parents got divorced when I was three years old. My father cheated on my mother and then packed his bags and left. Being so young, thankfully I have no recollection of this nor do I have any memories of my father living with me.

My father and I always had a rocky relationship growing up. From the tender age of six, I was introduced to my now stepmother, and told to ‘just get used to it’. Unfortunately, I refused to accept this as all I wanted at that age was for my mother and father to get back together. Through the years, I probed my father with difficult questions; why did he cheat on my mother? Why did he leave me? Why did he hurt us? He always laughed off my questions, rolled his eyes at me, and never once gave me an honest answer.

My father always bad mouthed my mother to me. He’d call her lazy, say she never cooked enough, say that my mother was responsible for their split. It really hurt, and I always saw it as very immature and rather rude. I’ve heard the story of the divorce from both sides; the main difference is that my mother admits her faults whereas my father doesn’t.

From the age of just ten years old, I realised that my father would always choose his current partner over his children, something that even to this day is completely unforgivable and wrong.

Year upon year he would hurt me. As I grew into adolescence, I started to briefly consider letting him go as he was clearly a toxic figure in my life who couldn’t take responsibility for his actions. But I was too scared. My father is a very intimidating man, so I was too afraid of what his reaction might be.

So I just ploughed along. I would dread every time he came to visit me, as he’d bring his wife and they were often rude to me. I didn’t see the point. I never had a moment with him to myself, and if I did, it was often spent in silence. He took less and less interest in my life, even though I often asked how they both were.

When I turned 20, I decided to take notice of my emotions. I felt so lost and unloved. I didn’t know what to do. The whole situation with my father caused a lot of instability and anxiety in my life. I needed to make a permanent decision so that I could move forward.

One evening in late December of 2016, I was feeling very low and going through a period of anxiety attacks and depression. I felt like I had no one to talk to so I thought I’d call my dad for the first time, to see if he’d be able to help as he suffers from anxiety and depression too. I rang him and, amidst crying, told him how I was feeling. I said I felt very unloved and pushed aside. I told him how I felt like any good relationship we once had was crumbling apart. His response? He laughed at me, told me I was being stupid and hung up on me.

I was completely shocked that he could do that to me. Surely he could hear the fear and distress in my voice. I couldn’t believe that my own biological father would be so unwilling to help in a real time of crisis. From that moment, I made my decision; I don’t want this person in my life anymore. That’s the last time he’ll cause me pain.

In my eyes, my father was everything a parent shouldn’t be; a cheater, a liar, untrustworthy, cruel, unloving, and cold. So, I sent him a very long email explaining everything he’d made me feel ever since I was a child. I let out all the emotions I’d held inside me all these years. I begged him for an apology, and for him to understand where I was coming from and see his wrongdoings. He responded by calling me a child, telling me my mental health issues were fake and nothing more than whiny complaints, and of course, no apology.

I gave up on him after that. He’ll never understand what I’m going through and I’m not going to put myself through the pain of trying to get him to love me anymore. That’s why I’ll be changing my name sometime this year by deed poll.

Hello 2017, goodbye Swift.

Thank you so much for reading.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Tweet me at @petalsandchains or write a comment below and I’ll get back to you.


Laura J Davis x

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