Peace. I want to preface this entry by saying that while I am not sure if I love or even like my father, I have always admired him for making himself successful despite his limitations. I know he’s had his struggles and continues to deal with them. But I can’t rightly say it brings me to a point of compassion towards him. It’s difficult for me to write this post. I’ve been wondering if being this bare about a deeply touchy subject would open me up to some ridicule or heavy criticism. I don’t know what the words following will mean for you, but I am totally doing this to clear my head.
I don’t know if what I have qualifies as “daddy issues” as the term itself seems to be traditonally used with women (and I’m not sure if it’s an accepted term) but to say I have a sore and difficult relationship with my father would be an understatement. Ever since my parents split up when I was in 1st grade, the chasm between Father and Child(ren) has grown to an unhealthy monstrosity that I attempt to shove deep into the background. I’ve not been able to totally ignore his presence in the world as he’s never lived more than 60 minutes from me at any point of my life. Still, that hasn’t translated into anything resembling a relationship. It’s been painful, it’s been jarring and I’d say it’s the greatest disappointment of my life.
I know I have something connected to and surrounding missing fatherhood because whenever I witness living or fictional examples of it, I’m moved by seeing it in action. Movies like Field Of Dreams, Sleepless In Seattle, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, The Road and even Big Fish all get me extremely choked up to the point I can barely watch them. It’s so painful to watch something I’ve never got to experience – the closeness of a father and child. I can’t even begin to fathom what that’s like. It embarrasses me to admit that I still secretly wish my father would call me for a game of catch. If my dad called me right now, I’d drop everything to be with him. I’d do almost anything to make it happen. And it simply will not. I have to accept that whatever I need or want from my father isn’t due to me any longer.
I know to my family and friends I may seem despondent or caustic towards my father but it’s just a reaction to the rejection. The pure truth is that I wish my father would act like I existed. Nothing was worse than this year when he called me ON HIS BIRTHDAY to wish me a belated birthday (Our birthdays are a week or so apart). I was let down even further when he answers a voicemail I left him with a text! I have suffered so much disrespect from this man and I just want him to face me straight up and tell me why he didn’t want me or us (my other siblings). Remember this scene from The Fresh Prince? I know exactly what he was feeling there. Almost word for word. My dad would promise gifts and trips and visits and I got absolutely nothing. I remember when my mom finally got the child support to go through; I offered my dad my portion of the support check to spend time with me. I didn’t care about money or any of that, I just needed my father.
I can’t write anymore. I’m crying and barely seeing the screen and I’m full of so much hurt. But what do you do with this energy? Do I keep hoping he’ll build a bridge with me? Do I hold out hope that my dad will remember I’m his firstborn? I can’t bank on it so I have to find a way to close this gaping wound in my heart and soul.