He was choking me.
The man who I revered and looked up to my whole life was choking the shit out of me and stopped just short of putting me to sleep. My dad had a violent temper, I was often beaten for little reason and the leather belt would leave cuts and welts on my body that would sting at least a week. I even went to church once with a black eye. This time was different, this time there would be no return to “normalcy” for me.
For a good 3 years after I left the nest and joined the Navy I buried the past and did what society and my conscience was telling me to do: make good with my family and pretend nothing happened.
That shit didn’t fucking work.
For a while I had nightmares of the choking among other things, I had zero self-confidence or self esteem. I couldn’t handle sitting through Domestic Violence command trainings and listening to others make light of the topic. At last I couldn’t take it anymore and so I sought the counsel of a Chaplain in 2009 or 2010. Chaps told me to confront my demons and tell my dad how I felt but I didn’t have it in me, I was too afraid. I didn’t have the guts to upset the status quo I had built and it wouldn’t be until October 2013 when I finally stopped playing house and sent my abuser a long email.
When I sent that email and told my dad how I felt and how I wanted nothing else to do with him or my family my entire life and outlook changed. I applied the things I learned from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and in the last 22 months since then I:
-Earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
-Vastly improved work evals and earned Sailor Of The Quarter.
– Became one of the very best at what I do, which is making sure sailors are medically ready to deploy in harms way.
The awards and accolades are nice but the best part is the freedom you have when you get rid of a relationship that doesn’t add value to your life. I have neither time nor desire to “fix” worthless relationships, I have absolutely no desire to be around the people that put me down and treated me like shit my whole life or meet people like them.
Get rid of deadweight relationships and you’ll be glad you did. Hey, it just might be the one thing that’s holding you back.
You got this.
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