Monday, June 15, 2009

Fathers, Fathers, Fathers

In light of this months blog carnival theme, I went looking for a prior post that would fit the bill. Lord knows that posts containing "father content" are plentiful in my little snippet of the blogosphere. Perhaps it's the multi-tasker in me, but I tend to wrap more than one topic into a post so many were only partially applicable. One post I found was great for the carnival...apparently it was so great for the carnival that I'd already submitted it last year. :o) So here I am, one day to go til submission deadline, and I've got some serious bloggers-block.
While I perused "father issues" posts from the past 16 months I came across alot of valuable things. Some things a reminder on what I need to focus on and other things a realization of what I've accomplished. Father issues are prevalent in my life. Starting with my own father and carrying over into Bianca's lack of a father.
From an old post: There is no point of my trying to talk to my father again. I have said all I can say to him. We (my T & I) discussed the idea of forgiveness and what it means to me. I came down to expressing that it means a release of the memories, thoughts and pain that hold me hostage. I said I understand that in my brain but it just doesn't really translate. The question I posed at the end of my homework was "what do I gain by holding this pain so tightly to my heart?" As T began to speak to this, I was FLOODED with emotion and burst into tears. I realized that this pain is ALL I HAVE of my father. And once I let it go, I have NO father. And no hope of things ever becoming different. It's that last thread of hope. That blasted unrealistic shred of HOPE that the piece of damaged, demented, sick, twisted, cold-hearted crap I called "Dad" could actually turn into a decent person and try to make it all up to me. This pain is our only connection. And I don't know how to release that without falling apart.I guess the answer is that I actually need to allow myself to fall apart. I have to let those emotions come through me to let them go. And I need to grieve.
I'm happy to say that I feel I've made some progress in my own father pains. Ever since I wrote the "Dear Father" letter, I've been able to let some things go. I don't think I realized that until I began this post, so that's positive! But then again, it's hard for me to tell how much progress is made because I project my own stuff onto issues with Bianca's father & "daddy".
Her father issues are tougher than ever. She is at an age where she is aware of the difference between her family dynamic and that of her friends. She speaks of her Daddy frequently. I've been doing my best to field the comments and questions with sensitivity and honesty but it's a highly emotional issue and I feel so inadequate in my replies. As I look back over the many posts highlighting her struggles, I see some recurring themes:
* Regret over not using better judgment with my Ex
* A gut reaction of feeling like I need to run out and get married just to get her a Daddy
* Wanting her to have "more" than I did as a child
I realize that none of these are particularly rational but I do see them as things I get wrapped up in. In fact, I didn't realize how much I get wrapped up in them until I read all these posts in one sitting. It's an eye opener for me that I need to let go of those unproductive thoughts and only focus on the things I can exert at least a modicum of control over.
You know, I think I've done alot of overall work on the father situations. I've done some grieving work with my own father. I've put Bianca's bio-father into perspective as basically a sperm donor. I have the most trouble with my XBF, the man Bianca knew as "Daddy" for 2 1/2 years. I guess it's because that is the one that she clings to and the one I'm trying to explain the disappearance of to her.
I guess what remains is merely the “father fantasy”. The "Daddy's Little Girl" images that catch my eye. The Dad in the park with his little girl up on his shoulders; the one in church with his daughter climbing onto his lap. The fantasy that all Dads love, cherish, comfort, protect. And stay. As a parent myself, I have a really, really difficult time wrapping my mind around rejecting your child. Somehow I need to come to a different grip with that in my head. I continue to open up this painful wound, MY father wound. I continue to feed the pain, the loss and the longing. What I am doing is setting a script for Bianca that says: “You have a father out there who doesn’t want to be part of your life.” If I characterize it as a rejection, that he doesn’t want her, then I will define her life and her worth as such. She doesn’t need to grow up this way. It's bad enough that I did.


Colleen said...

Beautiful post. Very open. Thanks. The whole father thing never seems to be over does it? I get better but still, there is always something to deal with. Blessings.

Patricia Singleton said...

We do want to hold onto that fairy tale image of a perfect daddy who loves and protects his little girl from all harm. I had to look at this again when my dad died back in 2000. My children never had a relationship with my dad because I couldn't trust him to not hurt them. Father and Mother issues are some of the hardest to deal with. Thanks for submitting this to the Carnival.

Vicki in AZ said...

I am looking forward to getting to know you.
The ebb and flow of father pain is so constant, I wonder if it is supposed to be like the tide?
I really appreciated your honesty here.
I hope for you a peaceful day.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Thanks for pulling this together for The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. It sounds like you've done a lot of work in this area. I'm glad going over this pointed that out for you.

April_optimist said...

Hopes and dreams are the hardest things to give up. How profound when you realized that if you gave up the pain you gave up all you had left of your father. Big ((((((((hugs))))))))).