I’m going to accept my father for who he is presently, and stop judging him for who he hasn’t been. -She, June 2011
I read my 2011 Father’s Day Acknowledgment and I’m proud of the person that I’m becoming in regards to the absence of my father. Key word is “becoming” which denotes a process. At the time I wrote that post, I was still in Costa Rica (on his invitation) and since returning to the United States I have seen him about once (around the holidays of 2012). I’m not sure if my father read the post, if he has, he didn’t acknowledge it to me. I revisit the post whenever I want strength and clarity, because I still struggle with forgiveness. Forgiveness for my own sake.
I don’t see my father enough, in my opinion. Yes, I’m an adult but I still deal with Daddy issues on a daily. I deal with residual issues of self-worth, attention, attachment, and with the decisions in the men I choose to date. My resolution was to find ways to get closer to him. The problem, as it stands, is that as an adult, I’m making efforts to get to know a stranger. A stranger very set in his ways.
As I try my best to get closer to him (plan trips to his home state, call him more frequently and tell him about present goings-on) I am expecting him to take on a character he has never grown into. What I want from him is not tangible. I expect him to be a gentle adviser, a listening ear and a cheerleader. I expect him to tell me a million times that I am beautiful. That I shouldn’t settle. That I am worth claiming. That I can get a PhD. That I’ve made some great decisions and have turned out a great person in spite of...
That he regrets waiting so long to meet me. That he wants to optimize the time we have. That he wants to travel with me. But maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he feels my fatherless upbringing was the best thing for me. That he is better at loving me from a distance.
Currently he brags to me about his world trips, the latest watch he’s purchased, and then silence. Silence abounds when we are alone together. It is that silence full of heaviness that makes one want to bring up the weather, the soccer game, the spot in the window, the wall color…ANYTHING! And have the moment pass because what I really want to say is:
I suffer from bouts of depression. I feel like I don’t have a voice, except when I type from my computer. I need attention constantly. I settle for less in relationships because I fear being alone. I become attached to feelings, and when those feelings are not surrendered I drown in self-deprecating thoughts. I have a very small circle of friends because I require a lot. I still don’t feel like a ‘true’ adult. I am angry that you will post pictures of your younger daughters on Facebook, but pretend like I don’t exist. I have some of your best features, but you make me feel like a hiccup in your life. How did you ever quench that hiccup? Did you hold your breath and wait a couple of seconds before saying “I come first, today, and for the rest of my life?”
God blessed you with the gift of fatherhood. You never unwrapped it.