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Hey guys, my name is Brenna. For a long time, I had a great relationship with my dad. Until I revealed a shocking truth that changed our lives forever.
It’s always just been my dad and I. My mom, Flora, died when I was just a little kid and my dad never talks about her. For most of my life, it wasn’t a big deal. My dad was just like every other dad, and even though I was sad I didn’t have a mother, I still felt like everyone else. But when I hit high school…things started to change. Oddly enough, it all started with a tank top. I ran out the door to school one morning and my dad grabbed my arm. He snapped: “Where are you going dressed like that?” I was super confused. For a few years, that tank top had been my favorite. On top of that – it was 90 degrees outside! It’s not like anything was showing. I told my dad there wasn’t anything inappropriate about my shirt and he started berating me. He asked how I could live so shamefully – disrespecting my body and disappointing my father like this, dressing like a girl who ‘got around’. I felt…dirty. I went upstairs to put on a sweatshirt. For the first time ever, I felt gross looking at my body. Should I be ashamed of it? Did I look like a…like a girl who got around? Why had my dad said such awful things?
When I got home from school the next day, I was completely shocked. My entire closet had been taken out. My tank tops, skirts, low-cut shirts and dresses had all disappeared. My dad had thrown out half of my closet! When I confronted him about it, he told me I “shouldn’t miss those clothes.” So…I started wearing only the t-shirts he left in there. I couldn’t help but feel sleazy, like it was somehow wrong that I wanted to dress like my peers.
But that was just the beginning of my dad acting weird. Whenever I tried talking about my friends, my dad would shoot me down. He would ask for an insane amount of details: “Who are they?! Do they act up? Why are you hanging out with them? Who are their parents?!” It was like an interrogation every time I opened my mouth. I stopped talking about friends, about school…about anything. It started to seem like he was jealous of anyone in my life. One Halloween, I asked to go out with my friends like I did every other year. It. Didn’t. Go. Well. My dad started YELLING at me. He asked why I didn’t want to spend Halloween with him. Was I too good for him now?! What was I doing out there that was more important than spending time with him?
I didn’t know how to answer any of those questions. I mean, he was my dad! I loved him. But…I was a teenager. I wanted to go out with friends and there wasn’t anything wrong with that. So, I stood up to him. I told him he didn’t own me, and I was allowed to have fun without feeling guilty. He grabbed me by the arm and threw me into my room. I couldn’t believe it! With a click, the door locked on me…and I sat in the dark. How had my dad become so obsessed with me? How did he expect me to live like this?!
Within the next few days, he made me write down all my account passwords. He made me give him my phone at the end of each day. I started to notice all the boys on my social media accounts were blocked, even friends I had had for years! I couldn’t even say anything, because every time I opened my mouth, I could practically feel my dad's hands on my arm again. I was…scared, honestly.
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