Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Coping With An Absent Father



When I was a teenager my dad stopped being in my life. I look back now and I know that it was for the best, but it took me up until I was in my thirties to realise that, in fact it was only when I lost my mother that it suddenly dawned on me my dad was a bloody useless father. He was ok until he and mum divorced when I was eleven. I adored him. 

Me and my three younger brothers visited him when he could be bothered to turn up, but most of the time he left us waiting at our living room window, and my little brothers would cry and wait for him all day. He was probably drunk somewhere, hungover from the night before. Mum would try hard to distract us and would pile us into the car to visit our cousins or  to spend the day at the beach. I didn't understand why he didn't want to see us. Still I adored him.

This went on for years, and how my Mum never lost it with him I'll never know. She still carried on coping with the weekly disappointment on our faces, wiping away the tears and even driving around to look for him. He never paid her a penny in child support, and still I adored him.

By the time I reached my teenage years I had started to play up. Not the usual teenage rebellion, I was bloody angry, but at the time I didn't actually know why. I blamed my Mum because she was a strict parent. I got drunk, hung around with boys she didn't like, got into fights, got arrested. I kicked, I screamed. I hated her. My darling mum who didn't know what the hell to do with me and my dad continued to ignore me. Still I adored him.

I then met my now Husband, and his love conquered all. I felt so loved by him, so treasured. My mum became my best friend as she guided me in the right direction. I settled down, got married and had my own family. So did my dad. He went on to raise someone else's daughter with a woman who has no time for her husband's children. It took me years to understand. It hurt that she hated us so much and that dad would sit back and take it. Still I adored him.

I raised my family without a Grandfather in their lives. Unfortunately my husbands father is just as useless as mine. I would feel sad for my kids that they were missing out on a Granddad, but remembered that neither one would be a good influence on their lives anyway. Still I adored him.

Then my mum died. My whole world just crashed around me. I was thirty six but I still needed my Mum. How was I going to go on without her. I was lost. I rung my dad, hoping for some comfort, for some love, but instead he said "Bloody hell Em, I'm at work". I hung up feeling bad for ruining his day. I felt bad! Wtf! Suddenly I no longer adored him. I saw him for what he really is. A self centered man who does not care for anyone but himself. 

I decided on that day that I would never contact him him again. If he wanted me in his life he can come find me. My mum raised his children with no help from him. Financially she struggled to pay the mortgage while he sat in his lovely home, surrounded by expensive soft furnishings, hobbies, holidays to places like Australia and he even owned a boat. I had never realised how selfish he actually was up until I began to analyse the relationship I had with my Mum. And I felt sad for her. Mum never once slagged him off, she never complained about him. She would simply roll her eyes and get on with it. I adore her for that.

Now I'm in my forties, I forgive him. I had to before my resentment towards him ate me up. I just let it go. I accepted him for who he is and Thank god that I chose to marry someone completely opposite to him. My dad's absence did really affect me, especially my self esteem and I find it particularly difficult to cope with rejection, but it has also made me a stronger person and it has taught me to treasure those people who treat me right and to walk away from the one's who don't. 



Do you have a good relationship with your Dad? If you don't how have you dealt with it?

20 comments:

  1. I felt very emotional reading this, you are very wise with coming to terms with your father's ways. It is a hard thing to do. My own father has always been there in the physical sense but my relationship with him is deeply fractured. I felt like an inconvenience to him as a child, a problem, an annoyance. He did not show affection, just control, never took me on a day out and now he is a grandfather he is exactly the same. Sadly my mum is becoming more and more the same in her ways. I'm just coming to a point now where I need to walk away emotionally for my own sake. Thank you for your post, it was helpful to me xx

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  2. Thank you for such an honest post. I am fortunate in that I have a good relationship with my Dad. My children don't have a good relationship with their father though and it worries me. I can do everything for my children to try and comfort them about it but without the comforting words coming from their own father, i feel I am at a loss with it.

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  3. This was a very emotional post. I can't relate as have a good relationship with my dad, but it goes to show how much an absent parent can affect a child's life - their whole life. My ex and I split up when our son had not long turned 4, and he was a waste of space for a couple of years, but, over the past several years now, he's started to step up his game with being a dad to him. It's not the same, and I do cringe at times when he mentions things with his "new" family - yes, even after all these years, because I know our son has missed out on that, but at the same time, I've given my boy everything that I could xx

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  4. I just think your blog posts are so insightful, moving and actually important. We all learn things with age, and it sounds as if you have done just that - but maybe it was a good thing you didn't come to this conclusion when you were younger (I don't know?) I'm really glad your children's dad is doing what you wish your dad could have done. I'm very lucky with my dad - wish everyone was in the same position.

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  5. Your mum was very good and not rubbishing your dad wasn't she? Not sure I would have the strength in her shoes.

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  6. I have written a lengthy reply via my blog, pretty personal and blunt but hey ho.
    I dont really see my dad and used to wish he were an absent parent while I was growing up to be honest.
    It sounds like your Dad is similar to my childrens father/s, it's hard work dealing with deadbeat dads and we get all the blame :(
    xx

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  7. What an honest and emotional post. sending my love x

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  8. wow what an amazing mum you had. I'm sure the mark she left is greater than than the damage your dad did.

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  9. My dad was every girls dream dad. He made me always feel like the centre of his word and his princess. I can not imagine what you went though. I was so lucky to have my Pops, although he died far too young 15 years ago and I miss him everyday

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  10. I am sorry you didn't have a good relationship with your dad.
    I found the relationship with my dad really hard to end. I loved him and he always treat me well (or so I thought). As a father as someone who guided me financially, relationships, politics, etc he was great....but he was still not a nice man and that was hard to accept.

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  11. I had a very awkward upbringing and was passed from pillar to post when my parents split. My dad didn't speak to me for 3 years after I had a baby at 18 but we are really close again now and it has made me much stronger in my own relationship

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  12. Your mum sounds like an amazing woman. I'm sorry your dad wasn't interested, I've never understood how parents can not have their children in their lives but it's his loss and makes your mum sound even more amazing.

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  13. Wow, your mum sounds absolutely amazing. I have an alright relationship with my Dad, he is always there for me if I need anything x

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  14. Aww this brought a tear to my eye. Your mum sounds wonderful, you must miss her terribly, I get that. I lost my Mum too, at 34. It's hard. I have a great relationship with my Dad. He's the most wonderful man I've ever known. So selfless and loving. Funny. Would do anything for his family. He would even get out of bed in the middle of the night to pick up my brother when he was a teenager and got drunk somewhere lol! Sounds like you have an amazing husband and Dad to your own children xx

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  15. I grew up without my dad as a teen , I found I developed a sort of resilience x

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  16. I could cry lovely, this so sounds like what i am dealing with with my daughter and her dad .. sending big hugs to you xx

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  17. What a heartfelt, well written post. It must be difficult not having your mum with you now.

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  18. Your mum sounds like she was a remarkable lady. I am old, and still need my mum, so can understand how hard it must be not having yours around any more. hugs xx

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  19. It's brilliant to see you've come through this with totally the right attitude, but shame you had to go through it at all. Some people are just not cut out to be parents. Glad your mum was great xx

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  20. Great post, very emotional. I am very close to my dad, but my ex partner doesn't behave as he should with our children :( Kaz x

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