Friday, June 20, 2014

Why I Never Mention My Father on My Blog

I'm pretty honest on this blog, but there's something that I've kept from all to myself. The time feels right, so I'm going to share the truth: I don't have a relationship with my father.

I think I've mentioned before that my parents divorced when I was 7. It was an ugly divorce, something that I wouldn't even wish on my worst enemy. My sisters and I had to spend every other weekend with our father for years. They were, without a doubt, the worst weekends of our lives. We'd cry and beg Momma
to let us stay home. I remember being thrilled whenever I was sick because it meant I got to stay home.

I'd like to say that back then, we at least had a good relationship with our dad. But we didn't. He pushed us to be tomboys, to race go-karts. I hated that. I would much rather spend the day inside with a good book. Sometimes he'd take us go-kart riding and drive faster and faster and I'd be screaming and crying for him to slow down but he'd just speed up.

As we grew up, our already-strained relationship just got even worse. I actually can't think of a single good memory with him. All I can remember is the few bits of bad parts-- the parts I haven't forced myself to forget, that is. Him yelling and screaming at us, cursing at us over trivial things.

He was supposed to pick us up one weekend in February, I think it was. But he never showed. In fact, I never heard from him again. It turns out, he voluntarily gave up his shared custody with us because he was just tired of being a father. He never understood what it meant to be a good parent, to put your kids before yourself. He didn't even know me well enough to know I absolutely despise milk in my cereal; I eat it dry with a glass of milk to drink in between mouthfuls.

Honestly, his decision to give up being in my life was the best thing that's ever happened to me. I was finally able to move on with my life and be a normal happy teenager. I honestly rarely even thought about him.

He'd occasionally try to contact us, like when my Papaw died on my birthday or at the holidays. But what I never expected was him showing up to my high school graduation. I walked up to him, with a scowl on my face, and said "Why the hell are you here?" He didn't deserve to celebrate my accomplishments. I earned my diploma without any help from him... or his latest wife, who claimed she was so proud of me. (I replied, "Who are you?!") For someone who was so "proud" of me, he didn't even clap as my sisters and I walked across the stage.

I haven't heard from him since that day, other than on my 18th birthday when he and his entire family posted a Happy Birthday message in the newspaper, as a big F-U since he no longer had to pay child support. Supposedly he still tries to Facebook message my sister, but I've since blocked him and his entire family so I wouldn't know.

Mamaw tells me I need to forgive him "or I won't get into Heaven." My faith teaches that people can commit horrible sins and still be forgiven, and that I as a Christian need to forgive those who have wronged me. Well, that's something I just can't do. The closest I've gotten is "Sorry you sucked at being a parent, but look how great I am. I don't need you."

Sometimes I worry that he's found out about my blog. Owensboro is a gossip mill, you know. Sometimes I wonder if he's reading this little space on the internet, pretending that he knows me. Sometimes it makes me think twice about being a blogger, but I've decided to not let him ruin my life. If he wants to pretend reading a website makes him a father, then whatever. I have had other men in my life actually play the father role, like my great-uncle, a professor, and of course my Papaw. They're the ones I think of on Father's Day, not a deadbeat loser. And of course, my Heavenly Father.



7 comments:

  1. You don't need that kind of person in your life! Hugs!

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  2. That sounds like an ugly situation and I am very glad you don't have to deal with it anymore! I'm glad you had other men in your life that you could look up to as a dad!

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  3. I concur with Chelsea. I'm glad you had real men to look up to as a father. I think you and my mother-in-law would be able to have a very deep conversation. She too had a horrible father (sexual abuse, verbal abuse, everything). Unfortunately, her parents didn't divorce till she was out of the house. She still struggles with the idea of forgiveness. But, she simply looks at it as not letting him control her. She honestly was thankful when he died. He could no longer hurt anyone else and a weight from her shoulders was gone. She doesn't wish hell on him, and she truly hopes he really did know Christ. She'll never forget what happened. But, she's allowed herself not to be controlled by the bitterness and uses her story to help other people. I disagree with your mamaw when she says you won't go to heaven if you don't forgive him. You've confessed your sins to God and believe in Him. God isn't going to drop you because you struggle with forgiving your father. I think so many people get forgiveness wrong. They think forgiving is forgetting. Forgiving is simply moving on and not allowing the bitterness to eat you up. When you let the bitterness eat away at you, you are letting the other person win and letting Satan control your emotions and your heart. One beautiful thing about sharing your story is that you are one step closer to healing from the pain. Sometimes, forgiveness is a very slow process. It's more about healing than anything. I'm so sorry you had to deal with a man who was not a father. Like you said, you have a Heavenly Father, and He is the ultimate father. There is none like Him or better than Him!

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  4. This is a seriously amazingly written post! Thank you for being so willing to share. I think sometimes it's really hard to forgive those types of people, I can't even imagine. I'm sorry you've had to go through that, but I'm glad that the family you do have is supportive and loving!!! :)

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  5. I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I know how damaging relationships like that can be and I commend you for coming out on top! The forgiveness piece is hard and nobody knows the situation and its effects like you do.

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  6. I am so sorry to read about your situation, but thankfully you don't have to deal with it anymore. I appreciate your openness and honesty about your situation. My parents divorced around the same time as your parents too, and mine and my sister's living arrangement was like yours too (mom on weekdays, dad on weekends). For me, it was the opposite and I hated living with my mother growing up. I'm not sure to what extent your dad yelled at you or what things he got mad about, but my mom was (and is) similar in the sense of pushing my sister and I to be a certain way and scaring us into doing everything. I'm not sure if I would ever have the guts to do it myself, but I give you props to realizing that cutting out your dad was necessary. Thank you for writing this post! It was great to read.

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  7. I admire the courage and strength it took you to write this post it is truly phenomenal that are able to share your thoughts and how you see that it is all for the better. I thankfully grew up with great parents so I cannot imagine the hurt you must have gone through growing up but I am so happy that you were able to overcome this hurt and accomplish all that you have so far in life! Continue to blog, you are truly an amazing writer and I love reading your blog. This is the first comment I have posted but I have been reading and seriously girl you are phenomenal and a beautiful person both inside and out. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! :)

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