I have become aware these last few days that my “problem” with my father runs much deeper than I had realised.
All my life, I had thought it was the problem with my mother that prevented me from being fully happy, but I now realise it is actually my relationship with my father that has stopped me.
I left home when I was 19 because of the arguments with my mum, however, it was my dad who asked me to leave, as he didn’t know how to handle our fighting anymore and wanted rid of the problem. Me.
And so I am trying to repair the damage any way I can.
I have been in touch with him a bit more recently, and I feel each contact is progress, even though each brings a little closer how deep the damage is. I know I have a long way to go to full acceptance of my being caused by our relationship.
I know he wants nothing more than for me to be happy, however, he doesn’t realise the importance of his role in that happiness.
When I look back at our relationship, I feel that he was always on the side line, never really involved in our lives – as this goes for my brother as well – as if we were never his responsibility.
I have talked about absent fathers before and I see it is common behaviour for a man whose family has been split. It’s like his children come as a package with their mothers. If things are broken with the mother, they are bound to be broken with the children too. And so they’d rather concentrate on having a life of their own away from the household rather than still be there for the children.
On the daughter/father side of the equation though, this behaviour can mark the daughter deeply. For it is her first experience of love from a member of the opposite sex. If she feels betrayed by the first man she loves, her father, that won’t fare well for her future relationships.
And so at present, I observe my father as he is desperate to find love again and has now found a new girlfriend. I feel cheated truth be told that he doesn’t appear to want to concentrate on repairing the damaged relationships already in his life, namely my brother and I. He seems to have given up on us, this comes through the exchange we have had recently.
I still have hope one day he will understand how we need to be loved and I am hoping to show him how. It’s tough in the meantime, because I realise this damaged part of me needs repairing so I can be fully happy.
And it’s not as easy as forgiving everything, as, as I mentioned before, if someone doesn’t understand what they are doing wrong, they will carry on doing it.
So, as long as he is still alive, I will carry on trying. Because I love him, despite everything.