It took me years to come to terms with the word “Daddy”. It felt weird and incestuous to me, and for a long time I described myself as a nurturing dominant instead.
A friend who is a little told me though: “If it walks like a Daddy and talks like a Daddy, then why do you hate the label so much?” For a while I toyed with the idea of using “caregiver”, but in the end I decided she was right. It’s a perfect match for who I am, my style of dominance, the way I tend to laugh at brats right up until the moment I put my foot down and things happen as I say.
I don’t want to write about my struggles with the label today though. I’d like to talk about my dark mirror image, who sometimes is… well, just me. Let’s call him Dark Daddy… sounds like a supervillain, right?
Daddy tells you “You can do it, I believe in you. If you need help I’ll be here.”. His dark counterpart tells you “Here, let me do this for you. That’s too much for you”.
Daddy holds you while you cry and softly strokes your hair. His dark counterpart brings up subjects that will upset you, just so he can support you.
Daddy has your back and will support you, but also tell you when you’re wrong. Dark Daddy will push you aside to confront whoever hurts you, to show the world that you are owned and protected.
Daddy builds you up. His dark version keeps you small and dependant on him.
Daddy wants what is best for you, but is aware that his needs are valid too. He can’t take care of you if he’s a mess himself. Dark Daddy talks about the sacrifices he made for you, and secretly resents you for it.
Daddy acts out of love, warmth and caring. Dark Daddy is driven by fear of not being enough and wants to compensate that by giving. By supporting, by caring, by being needed. Ultimately Dark Daddy is more focused on himself than on you.
So yes… Dark Daddy has a name, it’s Codependency and I’m still recovering from it. I play this little game in my head every day, asking myself which of the two I am. Most days I’m Daddy. Some days, not so much.