Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fathers - Saying what needs to be said - It is never too late

I wanted to write about my dad today. He has been on my mind this week before I even realized it was Father's Day this weekend.  He has been gone over ten years and even before that we had a distant relationship.

He wasn't a bad man his only real crime against me was his indifference to my existence. I let this indifference label me and have spent a lifetime trying to feel like I meant something to someone. With my intimate relationships I tend to pick people that also ultimately treat me with indifference.  I see now that I have repeated this practice many times even sometimes with my friends.  I pick people that are there one day and gone the next.

Until now I have taken these departures as personal against me. It definitely seems personal.. They move on to a new life with someone else and you are left to deal with it.

What I have realized is that, because of my dad, I attract this kind of person. They are not evil or mean in fact all of them have been generous and kind up until the moment they disappear. They all have one thing in common and that is that they don't like to share their true feelings. They avoid emotion at any cost.

I think in any healthy relationship you have to have regular discussions about feelings. No two people are happy all the time with everything. My only regret in life so far is that I didn't have the opportunity to at least talk through things before I got to the " I want this person instead of you" point.

It all started with my dad. When I left at 16 my dad chose my stepmother over me. It was the same as all the relationships that followed. " I want this person so much I am willing to sacrifice our relationship."

My point is it you can really hurt someone with indifference. It may feel less messy for you to just pretend that life goes on but for the other person there is not closure. I always blamed myself for people leaving me. I was not good enough in some way. I just wanted a simple explanation which of course doesn't exist.

My ex-husband did send me a letter just before he married the his new love. He made amends in that letter which I have kept all these years. He said he had blamed me for what was really wrong with him. I can't tell you how healing that letter was for me. It wasn't all my fault after all.

I wanted something like this from my dad but it never happened. I did have lunch with him a few years before he died and I ask him why he let me go. He said "every one's gotta to do what they gotta do." I realized that day that that was best I was going to get.  There was no hope that real feelings would suddenly come bubbling to the top. That was it take it or leave it.

I stopped blaming him then for not being enough for me. I have stopped blaming people for hurting me because now I know it isn't intentional. It isn't about me it is about what works better for them. I use to consider this disloyal but now I know it is just part of life and people trying to find happiness.

These are old stories but I thought they might help someone out there that is holding back from saying what needs to be said. Nothing unsaid really goes away even if you leave someone behind. It is never to late to say you didn't mean to hurt someone you once loved.

I loved my dad and he loved me. I am sure he is happy up there with my mother if you believe in up there. Happy Father's Day daddy.


  1. Whew....first of all, I am so behind on reading blogs. I wanted to tell you that I thought your painting that you posted a few days ago, was beautiful.

    This post was so powerful to me. YES! Accepting that our parents lack of care or ability to show they care....was not our fault. They were doing the best they knew how to do....that concept really released me from a lot of of emotional upheaval and pain. They had their own issues that stopped them from loving freely....and it wasn't because we were unlovable! What a gift that awareness has become.

  2. Oh yes - quite a revelation ,...which is so healing ! I had to work with a therapist to get to that point. So glad that you had the insight to realize that on your own. Mine was about my dad too. It was so healing to know it really hadn't been my fault after all.