My father and mother decided to have children when they were young. They had 6 girls, 1 boy, and another boy who died at birth. I was supposed to be a boy, but I came into this world, a girl. I suppose to make up for not having a boy (one he could be proud of) he raised us all to be hardasses. This meant everything that he would give to his son. This meant years of confusion between my father and I and what I took to be emotional abuse. When I would cry, he would sneer. When I fought against him, he was stronger. When I talked to my mother, she talked to my father, and he'd yell at me. My sisters also said that I just had to take it on the chin and wait to get older and away. These are also the same sisters that attempted to beat him into the ground when he threw my eldest into a refrigerator, or when he punched at them. He didn't start with me until I turned 11 and peered into the world of thoughts I hadn't noticed until my puberty hit. When I wasn't my fathers favorite child anymore, and I started to seek the company of other friends, other trends, and potential male and female partners. I never realized until the day things changed. He had been really pushing my buttons lately and that morning we were getting ready for school. I had already finished getting ready and was helping my mother look for her shoes. He came in asking me if I had combed my hair, showered, eaten, put my back pack by the door, how close to being out the door was I really or was I just bullshitting as usual. I rolled my eyes and he fixated on that. "Don't get knocked out in here I'm not fucking playing around. I'm your father and you will answer to me!" Barking at me the way he does those poorly misshapen dogs that still lay around my family home. And for the first time ever instead of hiding under my shoulder line and scuttling away I flinched at him. He proceeded to hoist me from the floor by my neck, holding me in the air while pushing his face into mine saying "You actin out? I will beat the shit out of you" with my mom next to him pleading and slapping at him to let me go. "It's too early in the morning for this Rick" she said, watching the tears barely make it out of my sockets as I stared into his pupils, trying to make him see my face. Fearless. I wanted him to know he would never get the pleasure of touching me that way again and that if he wanted to fight I was ready. Between then and when I moved out years later I was afraid of my father. Afraid that someday it'd be him or me. Afraid that because the women in my family stood idly by while he hit us, ignored us for his beer and cigarettes, and told us we were nothing if we didn't believe what he believed about the world outside our home. He's become soft in his older age now, and not as much of an emotional threat to me or my sisters, but I'll never forget what he did that day, or any other day he made me feel like hurting him. I've come to enjoy what little time I spend with the man, but I still know that somewhere inside of me when I'm at my worst, that side of him is screaming to get out of me and I'm afraid of who it'll hit. I love what he's done, but hated it when it's was happening because it's made me a strong person, but I have a deep problem trusting anyone that appears to be a threat, even subconsciously. I don't like many people-and the people I do like I see as flawed in some way, as I am. Whenever dating a man I have to make sure he is kind and gentle, so I have some sort of leverage when we fight because if we was as my father was, with me being so submissive and open, I'd be in an abusive relationship.