Father’s Day Hurts

Father’s Day is not my favorite day. Mother’s Day isn’t my favorite either, but for different reasons.

My relationship with my dad has never been the kind of relationship all little girls want to have.

My relationship with Dad was okay until I started developing, physically, mentally and emotionally. I got boobs REALLY early. Like I got my first bra in 2nd grade early. 

From then on, my relationship with my dad was essentially bare minimum. I referred to him as the sperm donor until I was well in my 20s.

I don’t want to place all the blame on my dad or make excuses for him, but the poor man had no idea what he was getting himself in to. He had no example of a father growing up. Poor guy comes from a family of four boys and had only daughters. My grandmother used to exclaim every two minutes, thanks, Dementia, that she had four boys and he had four girls. Dad comes from a broken family in every sense of the phrase. His father was a prominent doctor in the community and had the money to buy anything he wanted. Including a nice little side piece that he left his family for and started over with the new woman half way across the county. His mother never missed an opportunity to bad mouth his father and that has to wear on a little boy.

I genuinely think that because my dad was physically present in the house that he was being a ‘good dad’.

I don’t think he knew/knows how to relate to his daughters. Spending time with him was on his terms. Added to the craziness was a less than stellar relationship, thanks parents for teaching me the extreme importance of communication! and not being able or being afraid to try and fail to support his family. My mother worked full time despite wanting to stay home at least part time and couldn’t. I definitely resented him for that. I know she did too. Can’t say I blame her.

My parents’ relationship has been shit for years.  I remember being in high school and asking my mom why she didn’t leave my dad and get divorced.

When I was planning my wedding, I didn’t want my father to walk me down the aisle. I felt like he had given up any right to giving me away when he stopped trying to have a relationship with me. I didn’t want to totally cut him out on the off chance a miracle happened and we someday had a father/daughter relationship. I didn’t want to live with the chance of regret.

After I got married, bought a house and had a grown up job I guess I was officially an ‘adult’ and no longer his responsibility. Things got better.

Just over a year after B and I got married, my parents separated. His story is she kicked him out. Her story is that she asked him to leave. I wasn’t there. I don’t know. I just know things in that house were better. My two youngest sisters were living at home and their relationships with him are/were infinitely worse than mine was.

For some unknown reason, my dad never saw it coming. He was devastated. My mom packed clothes and meds for my dad and paid for a hotel room for a week. I was his only connection to his family. Daughter 2’s coping mechanism was to pretend that everything was hunky dory and nothing was amiss. Daughters 3 and 4 have not spoken to him unless they absolutely have to and have asked him not to contact them.

It’s hard. Watching your sisters hate your father and voice their opinions on the fact that you have a relationship with him. They’re less than pleased. But what was I supposed to do? Dad was lost. He didn’t know up from down. Our fledgling relationship changed. I was ‘grown up’. I could, would and do tell him in no uncertain terms what I think and how I feel about things. It’s just how I need things to be with us. It’s how our relationship survives.

That man loves my son SO much. How can I deny my child that love? I can’t. End of story.

After 5 years of separation and one of those years (finally!) spent in a bitter divorce, it’s over. It was finally final the beginning of June.

I could almost hear Daughters 3 and 4 whooping with joy. Stab twist.

It’s incredibly difficult watching them hate our father so much. I remember a time not so long ago that I felt the same way. Their relationships with them are their’s. They had vastly different issues. I have absolutely zero right to tell them how to feel or think. It’s not fair for me to pass judgment.

But it’s a two way street.

They have no right to judge me and my relationship with him.

I don’t know if it’s because The Divorce or it being so close to Father’s Day or the fact that his girlfriend was involved, but this year the Hallmark celebration was HARD. It physically hurt. I can’t tell you how many times I threw up this weekend thinking about it.

Hopefully next year is better.

It sure can’t get any worse.