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?