By Sandi Boucher
If Dad hadn’t died, I would have been Prime Minister by now.
If he had lived, I would have continued on the path he so carefully built for me. I would have continued believing in his view of me, believing in my abilities, believing in my intelligence. I wasn’t ever better than anyone but OH MY GOD the way my mind worked! He was in awe of my intelligence, of my problem-solving abilities and he SHOWED it, and I ate it up.
I ate it up.
If he hadn’t died, I would have continued believing … but he did. And without his constant reassurance and encouragement, I was the dancer without an audience, the singer without music to accompany me. I was lost and floundering and looking for someone … anyone.
If he hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have latched on to the first man who told me I was beautiful, the first one to promise me a life, the first one who told me I was special. I would have remembered I was but I didn’t.
So when the false praise turned to criticism, I tried harder. I needed that praise. I wanted that praise. I knew I could EARN that praise. I just had to try harder … but he wasn’t Dad and he was never going to give me that praise. No one could, except for me.
So if Dad hadn’t died, maybe I would be Prime Minister right now … but I would have never learned how important self-esteem is or how it comes from SELF and not any other source. I would never have learned how low I could go or that I was strong enough to climb back out again.
And I would never have learned to stand as tall as I do now … if Dad hadn’t died.
Food for thought.
Note: Sandi Boucher, is the founder of Traditionally Speaking.ca Indigenous Speaker’s Network