I do not want to beat a dead horse. However, allow me a moment to explain what Father’s Day means to me. My father disowned me when I was sixteen years old. It is not like we had a good relationship before that time, but I was able to pretend we had the possibility of having a relationship. Now, almost twenty years later, I am still filled with regret and wishful thinking.
I do not blame my father for his short-comings. I think he is sick in a way I cannot understand. He has his own demons, and it is not my baggage. The problem for me is this: being rejected by the one man in your life who is supposed to be there for you sucks. I find myself bordering on unhealthy man-hating. I do not want to feel the resentment. So, I pretend it does not bother me.
Most of the time, it doesn’t. I am living life on my terms, and I am making decisions for myself and my son that I feel good about. I am on the verge of starting a new job, and I am finally excited about the possibilities.
Rejection. Essentially, you are not enough. Or, perhaps you are a little too much. Either way, I was not what I was supposed to be. This feeling has permeated my entire life since the day he sent me on my way.
I have learned something though, this is just a feeling. It really does not have much to do with me. My father does not even know me. He does not know about my education, career, friends, or how I am a loving daughter and mother. He does not know all the hours I have dedicated to making myself a better person. He does not know that I am kinda funny sometimes. He has never seen my tenacity in action, and he has no idea how hard I work. He does not know me.
It irritates me that the rejection I experienced at the ripe old age of sixteen has tainted some of my current relationships. I find it painful to think I lash out, or ignore people as a protective measure. Part of being a grown-up is learning to move past these feelings, and learning to have healthy relationships despite the crap you have endured.
So, while I really have pretty negative feelings about Father’s Day, I am so glad to have so many wonderful fathers in my life. I wish them a very Happy Father’s Day, and I am so proud of them.
As far as my father goes: Good Riddance. That is all I can say. You sir, have missed out on a relationship with the coolest kid in the world. Your grandson is amazing and wonderful. You have also missed out on having a daughter. Seriously. It’s your loss. I may have regrets, but my family loves me, and I love them. It’s really too bad you don’t know what that is like.