Father’s Day Reflection

My dad is not the worst of the terrible dads in the world, but he hurt me enough times to push me to cut off all contact with him, and refuse him entry back into my life. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have cut ties with many people, and only once have I given it a second thought. What I do not understand, is fathers who have done things which are vile and abusive, yet their sons or daughters, even in adulthood, “make amends”. How can you just let someone back into your life after they have harmed you so much?

There is no such thing as unintentionally hurting someone, even if it is a small offense. When you cast aside the well-being of another person, that is a choice you consciously make. Whether what you said or did was misinterpreted, or was done with the best intentions, it doesn’t matter, because you still hurt that person. You ought to be held accountable for that. Afterward, if the person you hurt wants nothing to do with you, or wants to make amends with you, that is up to them. They have the right to protect themselves from being hurt by you again, or give you a second chance. Simply put, your overall well being trumps anyone’s “right” to be in your life.

Why am I bothering to explain this? Well, some things are worth moving on from and worth talking about and amending. People are not perfect, and we sometimes make the wrong choices.

Then there are people, specifically fathers, who choose to hit, rape, or bully their children. In my case, I was bullied, and sometimes hit. Several people on my dad’s side of family had the audacity to tell me that I should talk to him anyways because he’s my father. The fact that he is biologically related to me, in their eyes means I have no right to protect myself from him. The only thing worse than an abuser, are people who do not advocate for the abused.

I made a disturbing discovery today, that my dad has photos of me from my childhood on his facebook page, and he talks about me as if nothing terrible ever happened between us. I did not have to look at his page, and I knew I’d most likely dislike what I’d come to find. At the same time, I’m glad I did. I am not his daughter, and he is not my father based on principle. He is pretending that we have a relationship. Over the years he has made several attempts to contact me, which I promptly ignore. This borders on behavior similar to that of erotomaniacs, as well as people suffering from psychosis.

The sad thing about this isn’t so much him, it’s the fact that I almost turned into him. We live what we learn, and a year ago I got so close to someone that I made him very uncomfortable. His unwillingness to voice his discomfort didn’t help matters. In general, there were many factors in why we had a falling out, and it was not a one-sided issue. Even though our friendship started off slow, it did not stay that way, and the negativity became unbearable. So unbearable, that without asking him if he wanted to discuss anything or move on, I told him I couldn’t be his friend, and I said goodbye. I second guessed that a couple of times, once by still supporting his art which he didn’t need from me, and several months later asking if he wanted to make amends, to which he never responded. I’ve since come to terms with the fact that he does not need me around him, and I don’t want to be around him. My father can’t do that. He still thinks he “needs” me to be his daughter, and that I need him to be my daddy. We shouldn’t push people to fix something that they don’t want to fix, or just can’t be repaired. This is not how the real world works.

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One Response

  1. Dont ever feel bad about a decision you make in life. Youre an adult, after all. You can not like your blood relative and it is fine! People are under the notion that because a person is blood, they have a special exception of some kind. Theres an opinion that a parent can act like a total jerk and the children just have to learn to deal with it. This is just not true. Children become people eventually. Adults. How they feel and act toward their parent is as important as how an adult would treat their child.

    Even if it is a mental disorder where the person may not have been able to control how they lashed out, its still OK to feel a way other than what the norm considers.

    I listen to a radio show and one of the people on it has a mother who had OCD. This DJ had a very traumatizing childhood because of his parent’s disorder, and it was years before the family knew why the mother acted the way she did. As an adult this person still has cut ties with this woman because regardless of whether the mother got treatment or not, being around the mother is toxic to both the DJs well being and his own family. Theres nothing wrong with that. If you need to shut someone from your life to feel happy and healthy, you have a right to so whats best for you.

    As to your parent, looking from their perspective, one would hope they are reaching out because they feel sorry for the way they acted or regret doing things that led to you removing them from their life. Maybe they do want to mend things? I dont know your story, so you know better than me of course and what the best course of action is for yourself. But if this isnt the case (or even if it is), you still have a right to feel how you feel.

    Theres a thing called respecting your elders, but that doesnt mean you respect them regardless of every irrational experience they put themselves, and ultimately, you, through.

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