My relationship with my father has never been a close one. Even when I was a child he wasn’t around much. I saw him on holidays and I spent most of my summers in Missouri with him, accompanied by my grandmother. I thought I was fine with our relationship because, well, I was a child and when all you’ve ever had is a part-time dad you really don’t know that it’s suppose to be different. When he came around I knew that I could get whatever I wanted as far as material things. I figured that was his way of saying ‘I love you’–eventually I figured out it was his way for making up for not being around much. Even though I didn’t see him on a regular basis I still thought he was a good father. But that was partly because, at the time, I didn’t really know the difference between a good father and a bad one. It wasn’t until I got older that I started noticing things and became aware of the fact that my father could be doing a way better job. He played no part in raising me. He was more like the favorite uncle that you looked forward to seeing during the holidays and at the family reunion. As I got older the relationship got worse—virtually non-existent. He got married when I was in middle school and didn’t bother to tell me. The summer before he got married was the last summer I spent with him. I went several years without having any contact with him and finally got acclimated to not having a father in my life so I mentally blocked him out. It was like he was dead. I’m now in my thirties and since the age of 12 I’ve only spoken with him maybe 3 times.
No matter how old we get, we still need our parents around. We never stop needing our parents. We may pretend to be okay with that absent parent, but if those of us who don’t active an active father (or mother) in our lives, IT HURTS! The feeling of not being wanted, by your parent of all people, is one that cuts deep. If I had to speak for all women who had a father that chose not to be around, I would say there are a few things we need our father to know.
I cried when you didn’t show up.
Children remember everything. Every promise you made, everything you said you were going to do, every place you said you were going to take me…I remember. So when you made a promise to show up for me and you broke that promise it hurt. No matter how many times you broke your promises to me, I never got used to it and it hurt the same every time.
You were the first man to break my heart.
I’ve had a few failed relationships and had my heart broken more times than I would have liked. But the first heartbreak I can remember is the one that came from you leaving me behind. Tossing me aside like I didn’t even matter. Did you ever think about me or miss me? I’ve recently been in the same room with you and watched you speak to everyone except me…like I wasn’t even there. Fortunately, I’ve learned that not all men are like you and I am now open to receive love and have children of my own.
I wanted you to choose me first.
Everyone wants to be put first sometimes–to be the first choice. I wanted to know that I was more important than everything else you had going on. Choosing your girlfriend, new wife, or other children that aren’t biologically yours should never happen. I should have never been in second place to anyone or anything.
When you hurt my mom, you hurt me too.
What goes on between parents should really have nothing to do with the child. No matter how well, or not so well, the parents get along, the child should always be priority and that relationship should not determine whether a parent remains in his child’s life. But no child wants to see either of their parents hurt. When I saw my mother visible hurt by the things you did and didn’t do, it affected me. I lost a little more respect for you each time I saw my mother hurt.
For some reason, I still love you.
Whenever someone does something to hurt us, we wish we could instantly turn off our love for them. Unfortunately, for our hearts it doesn’t work that way. I feel like I should have no love for you–I barely know you and you show me no love at all. But because you are my father, I still love you.
Fathers, you are the first EVERYTHING for your daughters. You are the first man she loves and respects. She looks up to you and to her you can do no wrong. She will either admire you for the way you treat her mother, or resent you for causing so much pain. She learns from you how to be treated by a man. That can either have a negative or positive effect on what and who she allows in her life. The relationship, or lack thereof, that you have with her mother shouldn’t affect you being there. She doesn’t want your money or your gifts, she wants your time. She wants you to love her and fight for her and protect her. Don’t be the reason for her tears, be there to wipe her tears.
Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.