When I look back on my childhood days, I don’t remember many happy times. The feelings that surface are often of fear, anxiety, disappointment and pain. I try to remember the good times but they falter to the dark cloud that followed me throughout life.
My father was in and out of my life since I was a little girl…the majority has been in absence and often times with years of absolutely no communication at all. My parents divorced when I was two. Mom left him and put an end to her abuse and that is when mine began (more on this later in my blog…)
The few memories I have of him have haunted me. He neglected me, never protected me and didn’t have the ability to love me. I grew up without my dad and I yearned for his love and acceptance. I often wondered where he was or why he wasn’t around. He missed so much. As a little girl, I envied my friends who were close to their fathers. I wanted mine.
Approaching my teen years, I had this deep seeded need to know him. I wanted to learn everything I could about him. What part had he played in my life as a child? Why was I so shy and insecure? Why did I feel so unworthy of love and acceptance of others? Could he possibly hold the answers?
I began the search. I turned to his family members and was stone-walled. I searched the internet, family files, anything I could get my hands on. Nothing. I finally asked the one person who knew him best; my Mom. I don’t know why I hadn’t asked her sooner. Maybe because I was afraid to hear the truth. I wanted her to tell me as much about him as she possibly could. I remember that night so clearly…we sat for hours as we both struggled through painful memories. The ugly truth about my father came out. I had a new-found respect for my mother. For many long years she held back her feelings of betrayal and hatred of my father and let my brothers and me discover his truth for ourselves when we were old enough to understand.
You see, that night I learned things about my father that no human being should ever have to endure and it was at that moment, my life began to make sense.
I see now how his absence has shaped my life. Yes, I yearn for my father at times, yes I miss him dearly, yes I long to feel him hold me close to him, but it is a yearning and longing for a father I never had, for the father I built up in my dreams.
Recently, I re-connected with him again. Would this time be any different? I guess a part of me wanted to believe so. He hasn’t changed much, except for the fact that he has aged and does have some remorse. I have learned to accept him for who he is and not for what he can give me. He is a man who is broken and lived his life the best he knew how from what his mother and father taught him. I have come to the realization that love comes from within. It is not tangible and it is not about what others can give me.
I often find myself thinking of him, probably more than I should, but I am here on this earth in part because of him and for that I will always carry a piece of him with me.