Editor’s Note: This is a re-post of something I had put up originally on 11/24/11. Until yesterday, it had been my highest-grossing blog post. One of my dear friends said something like “Oh, Em! That’s so cool! Many ppl checked out ur blog today! That must feel Awesome!” And I was like, “Yeah, it totally does. But I feel not Right about it somehow.”
And that is because A Ton of the badass that is now Me, actually came first, from my Dad. And the post about him last year got 237 views. I think I actually feel guilty that the post about me as an adult earned 3 more views than his ode did last year.
So now- the Shameless Daddy’s Girl is reposting the love letter I wrote to my Dad years ago.
I Love you Daddy Bear; I am because You are.
I just woke up at Tina’s house to the sound of the baby crying, and I woke up in the middle of an Incredible dream.
My Daddy and I were working very hard to move huge piles and piles of rocks.
In the Dream, we worked on a mountain top side by side and our job was to receive large slabs of stone as they were craned onto the summit.
Our duty was to rearrange the rock towers as they came in. We were runnin around like Crazies, moving these one-two-three-ton boulders like they were made of Styrofoam. It was Awesome! Real Hero shit!
In the dream, it had just become Time for us- having organized and sorted the rock piles so neatly all summer- to start the work of pushing the mountains down.
Me and my Dad were literally moving mountains together!!! And we Loved it!!!
We would look at one section, decide amongst ourselves how to best move it, and then get rip-roaring stoked about how we should best Destroy it.
At around 2:30 a.m. this morning in Real Time, when Jude’s hunger cries woke me up, I had just finished a part in the dream where Dad had been watching me run and leap from one section to the next, excitedly pushing these immovable rock piles over and down like it was no sweat off my brow.
I was making rock avalanches like a Pro and neither Dad nor I were scared for our safety at all.
We were just watching all of our hard work from this summer slide into an amazingly beautiful rockslide that rolled like water into the valley below. There was no Fear.
Me and my Daddy were nimble as mountain goats and sure as Shit that we could move mountains better’n anyone else!!
It was like in Real Life when we watched that fireworks show at the Stampede together in the summer of 2003, and we Screamed our fool heads off with delight each time another rocket exploded.
I think I actually peed my pants laughing that night, when I looked over at my 40-something Dad screaming like a Child on sugar/crack/bathsalts.
The people around us musta thought we were nuts, like we were Clampits or Po’ Folk who had never seen a single firework before.
Or like maybe he or I had some terrible wasting disease and we were actually at the fireworks show on some sort of Last Wish Foundation’s dime- that’s how loudly and excitedly we were whooping and hollering at those pyrotechnics.
But in actuality, we were just that stoked to be sharing such a radical experience together.
This summer, when I was suicidal, my Daddy took me camping.
And Mountain Climbing, at that!
The jury is still out on whether our hike up Frank slide was actually a good idea, because while we did have a great father/daughter day, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about jumping that whole way up that mountain.
Think about that…
Your daughter, whom you love so Dearly and have never been able to understand, is miserable for some reason and you’re completely powerless to save her from her own demons.
My poor Daddy came from his home in BC and lived with my stepmom and I for six weeks- or was it eight?- this (editor’s note: now ‘Last’) summer when I fell off my rails Again.
And I gotta hand it to him, and I haven’t had the opportunity to say this to him personally yet (ed note: I since have; he cried, shhh it’s a secret. Men don’t cry), but he did a pretty bang-‘em-up job that summer.
For what he had to work with, he did the very Best he could.
What the hell is a parent supposed to say?
And how is a parent supposed to feel when their grown daughter wakes up every day, shaking, covered in her own fear sweat and all she can do when you hug her is whisper over your shoulder that she just wants to die?
I WISH I could tell you I was being dramatic and I’m only exaggerating, but I’m crying as I type this because that’s literally the level of pain I put my parents through this (Last) summer.
I literally asked my stepmom when she was holding my hand and we were waiting for me to be admitted at the Foothills psychiatric ward, to please just kill me herself if the psych doctors didn’t admit me to a suicide prevention program that night.
They didn’t admit me that night. They sent me home.
Nor did they admit me the other two times I tried to get Emergency mental health help this (past) summer.
No matter what we told the doctors about my persistent suicidal thoughts, night terrors, 30-pound weight loss, insomnia, panic attacks… they Wouldn’t admit me.
And Cindi just had to keep right on caring for me almost singlehandedly for that first little while until my Dad came east to help shoulder the burden.
I can only imagine how fucking horrible it is to hug one of your only two daughters while she tells you wholeheartedly that all she wants to do is to die, and keeps asking would you please just let her go.
Daddy, I am so sorry for what I put you through.
Mom, Cindi and Victoria, same goes to you too. And to my dear friends who tried so hard to cheer me up and never knew if it was the last time they would see me, I am so Sorry to you too.
Jesus I am (ed note: Was) full-on bawling now on Tina’s toilet at 3 am.
Tears are just plopping onto the bath mat like an airplane food drop in the Saharan desert.
Tears to the Desert of my soul cuz this (past) summer– one of the very worst parts– was that I couldn’t even cry about it! When you’re That Fkn Low, tears don’t even come. You Pray for them, but it’s too much to Hope for. A single tear might prove that you were Worth something; that you could still Matter.
I just knew I was stuck deep in a horrible pit, and for the life of me I didn’t know how to crawl out.
But this is a happy post. It really is.
So my Daddy took me hiking at the Height of my suicidal ideation phase. — Good idea or bad idea– the mental health Grand Jury is probably still out on that one J !
But thanks be to God, when I got to the top of Turtle Mountain and overlooked the destruction of the valley below where the rock slide of 1903 had leveled an entire city and spewed age-old rock for miles, I felt at once really insignificantly small and simultaneously Power-full.
I had hiked Turtle Mountain with Daddy years before when I hadn’t wanted to kill myself, and I had been Way Too Scared to go that extra distance at the crest of the mountain and touch the edge where the rock slide began.
I had been too afraid to live on the Edge. But This year when I got to the top of that bad boy, I practically Ran to the summit.
I walked right up to the mountain’s edge, skooched down low on my belly and eased my body over the lip of the mountain so that I could come as Close as humanly possible to ending my life that day.
But my Daddy was behind me, laughing and taking pictures of my bravery, and I could never Jump in front of a Man like that.
(ed note. Fuck this still Hurts me to read. Thank God I’m almost Done!!)
So.. we threw rocks instead.
We climbed a little bit lower down the mountain and started having the time of our lives.
He would scramble around finding the Perfect big fat heavy rock, and then I would watch as he whipped it down the mountainside.
We would watch together as the missile smashed into trees and other rocks on its way down, filling the air dusty with rock powder and launching a fresh series of mini rockslides down the cliff face.
And then he would watch me; asthmatic, suicidal, way-too-skinny, dehydrated, powerless little me pick up my own damn rock and hurl it confidently down into its own spiral of chaos.
Outdoorsy people call this experience ‘trundling’, but I like to think of it as a mental health exercise.
I had no Control over anything going on in my own life, but man could I whip a rock down a hill Real Fkn Good!
The pictures embedded in this post are from that day, and to the untrained eye, they probably just look like great, happy, sunny father/daughter-day pics.
But to me and my Daddy, they are snapshots of a mental place he and I wish to Never Return.
Depression is a Place where a daughter might go to throw a rock, and end up throwing herself down instead. The difference is in two more grams of weight to the rock she picked, the sound of the wind that day, the feel of the fall in front of her, and then the Security in the Smile of the First Man she Ever Loved, standing behind her, Fully Trusting that she Will Not Jump.
It’s August 1, 2013. Daddy-World-E-community. This is my Promise.
I Didn’t Jump. I will not Jump. YOU cannot Jump. You cannot Let ANYONE else choose to Jump. Depression CAN NOT take another, or a First, of your loved ones again.
My Dad taught me that day that Depression cannot be cured in one day alone. Hell No. That’s just Wishful Thinking.
Depression, no matter how bad it gets, needs One Person. Just One Freaking Person to give a single Shit whether or not YOU jump.
If you’re currently Low, Find that person.
If you know someone who is Depressed, and you don’t think ur cool enough to Be that person for someone, then Become that person. Because a jumper needs EVERYONE on their team to give a few shits from time to time.
So when I woke up to the baby crying just now, and I woke up literally moving mountains in a dream with my Dad, I can’t help but smile a big ole shit-eating grin and thank the God of dreams for putting that one in my head.
My Daddy taught me Three Lessons in Life I needed to know to Get By, and I know them well:
1) All Men are Pigs, (hehe… coming from a man; .hilarious, but very sage advice indeed)
2) Your sister will Always be your very best friend; she’s the best gift your Mom and I ever gave you,
3) And You, my Dear, are the Future Ruler of the World.
I didn’t Know it Last summer Dad, but I carried it with me in my heart anyhow.
Today though, Daddy;
Today I feel like the future ruler of the world.
Cool/Helpful Frank Slide Stuff
Calgary Dream Centre
Calgary Distress Centre
No problem is too small to call.