This is an expression of everything I would love to say to my father but can’t. There are numerous reasons why I can’t verbalize these thoughts, one being he is not mentally ready to receive it, two, I am afraid to hurt his feelings, three, he has a history of depression and he might have a relapse if I bring these things to him. If I was to rate him as a father I would give him a 10/10 for effort. This is because he always tries to help us (his children)….doesn’t always succeed, but he always tried and still does. He always shows up….doesn’t always have much to contribute…..but always shows up with the little he had and it went a long way. When I remember stories that I have heard from persons about their relationship with their father, I am happy mine did what he did because his presence and effort really did help. And the moments that he was able to contribute, whether it was financially, with food, supplies or just kind words, it was great. 100% of the time he is selfless. He is always giving in whatever way he can for me and my brother. (Of course this is being written from my viewpoint, my brother might have a different story, and my mother and my sister, who is my father’s stepdaughter.) For most of my life, my father was the hero in my family. He was the one I loved the most, looked up to the most, cherished the most, enjoyed his company the most, spoke to the most and wanted to be around the most. He was my person. (Grey’s Anatomy fans know what I mean) He was soooo understanding. Before I left for college and in my early years there, he was my knight in shining amour.
Since embarking on this journey of learning how to be truly happy, I have realized how much my father is more of a stranger than an actual father. He doesn’t know me at all. He never asks me questions, never truly listens to what I am saying, but mostly dismisses my opinions and points of view and tries to impose his ideas, beliefs, and point of view upon me. This was done is a way different from my mother (I will write about this soon) so I didn’t realize that he was doing it until I actually started being aware of myself. I realized that our conversations were not us talking and listening to each other, but him talking to me about a certain topic until I agreed and that viewpoint became my own. This happened a lot while I was younger, and now that I refuse to let it continue to happen, I realize that almost all the time we spoke about a topic, it ended up being an argument or him just dismissing me in the middle of the conversation. This has been happening a lot since I came home from college and now we just don’t really speak anymore. I have learned to let him speak his piece, and then I just say very clearly, that I agree or I disagree, then let him continue to rant. This is how our convos are…..very unhealthy.
My father focused on providing three of our basic needs and only three; food, shelter, and clothing. These were the top priorities for him. He made sure we never went hungry, were always in a position where when away from home, we could return if we needed to. He would even drive for miles to come to get us if needs be or send us his last dollar for us to pay the fare to return. He also made sure we were properly dressed (our clothes always fitted, my father knows nothing about style). I can remember when I was in high school and wanted to go to extra classes, because we were allowed to wear casual clothes instead of uniform, and he asked me if I had the clothes I wanted to wear to the classes, when I asked him why he asked me, he said, if you don’t feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing, then your mind will be distracted from the lesson. This was the first time I can remember my father being aware of my mental needs. He also mentioned something about me not focusing too much on finding the money for school because it would make me depressed. But other than those two experiences I cannot remember him acknowledging my emotional needs. I now know that this was because he was fighting his own emotional and mental demons during that time, and I wasn’t cognitive of his needs either. But truth be told I was a kid and was going through my own version of hell with my mother. But I am trying to tell myself that he wasn’t there for me in those areas because he couldn’t be. He wasn’t taught how to connect emotionally as a child so he couldn’t do so as an adult. And to this day he still can’t. Instead of a hug, my father would give a pat on the back and a gentle slap or pinch. He has hugged me, but I am 25 years old and I can just remember him hugging me twice. My father has no idea how much these little things that he did not do, hurt me. I don’t think anyone does. Only persons who would be able to understand are those who are going through or went through exactly what I am going through.
I have never voiced these thoughts to anyone. I have never said them out loud. But they were deep inside my heart and it is time to let them out. I don’t know if he will see this, I highly doubt it, but it makes me feel heard just to know that someone will one day.