Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Different Kind of Father's Day Post

It's that time of year again.
Time for Father's Day.
I have always thought that Father's Day, if we want to be accurate about it, should come 9 months before we celebrate Mother's Day. ;-)

I don't get into celebrating Father's Day really.
The holiday has not much meaning to me.
Yeah, I had a father but he wasn't what I'd call a good father overall.

He had some good points but really, as far as being a dad to me, he fell real short of the mark.
As my brother likes to remind me, don't judge him too harshly, after all, he had no role model for how to be a good dad.
Partly true, as my father's father up and left when my dad was about 11 years old.
No one knows why really other than his family cramped his style.

My dad then got a stepfather a few years later.  I really don't know what the relationship was between them, but I do know that my step grandfather didn't particularly like children(but he adored me as I've written about him before).  With my father being a teenager at the time my step grandfather entered my dad's life, I am sure there was animosity on both sides in that relationship because teens are just not pleasant people to be around most of the time. ;-)

My dad had a rough time from the age of 11 but it wasn't a horrible home life.  Nobody was beating on him or abusing him.  He did well in school, played the trumpet and was on the school's championship basketball team.
He married my mother the year after he graduated high school.  He was 19 yrs. old.  My mother was 16 yrs. old.

My mother adored him.  And he expected that kind of attention from all of us later on.

He worked his way up as an office manager and eventually becoming an accountant.  I was told he worked many low paying jobs just to support his little family and when the money was there, he went to night school to get his college degree.  He was 37 when he finished college.

He got that degree, sat for his CPA license, had his own firms for many years and became a partner in a prestigious accounting firm in Virginia by the end of his working life.

He was determined to make something out of himself.  I'd call him driven really.  I don't think, looking back at his life now, that he achieved the level of success professionally that he did because he wanted to provide to his family the trappings of success.  I think his motivation was more about him wanting to prove to the world that he was important and we all were just along for the ride.  What the outside world(colleagues, friends & those of a higher social status)thought of him was very very important to him.  More important than what he thought.

He loved babies.  But as soon as they got old enough to talk and to defy his wishes, he lost interest.
He had to control everyone and everything around him.  He had a black belt in manipulation and was the master of broken promises.   He knew everything and you had to do as he said, not as he did.  Later on in life, if you wanted to be in his life, it was always on his terms.  He was the most important person in the universe and if he did something that hurt you, too bad.  As long as he was happy, the means justified the ends.  By the time he died, he was estranged from many of his family members, including me.
Somehow my mother was able to find it in her heart to forgive him for the significant damage he had done to her.  10 years after his death, I am still grappling with forgiving him for the hurt he inflicted on my life.  I guess I'm a lot like him, in that I am slow to forgive. ;-)

On the lighter side, my dad has become the butt of a running joke in our family.  If someone is being an ass, or overbearing, or controlling, or exhibiting a myriad of mean and nasty behaviors, we tell them that they are being a *insert my father's name*.
I know it sounds mean but this is how we cope with being dealt a bad "dad hand" in life.
He had a few good points when he chose to exhibit those.  But they were few and far between and usually he was being his narcissistic self.  Being in my father's world was not a happy place for me.

I am thankful that I at least had a dad in my life, during the times that he chose to be around.
I am thankful for the monetary support he gave me.   Well give isn't quite the right word really.  The money he bribed me with.  It was more of a payment for putting up with him.  That sounds really mean, doesn't it?  We didn't have a deep emotionally fulfilling relationship, my dad and me, if you haven't guessed by now.  It was more of a financial transaction.  I behaved myself and he furnished a house, food, clothing, a bike, some toys.  I tried to live up to his impossible expectations but I was always made to feel like nothing I did was good enough.

And later on he paid for college and bought me a small car when I graduated, sort of as a pay off.....because he had to put me somewhere as I had nowhere to go as his dependent and he needed to keep his secret life hidden from us all.  I know this may sound ungrateful, after all he paid for college and bought me a car when I graduated.  But you have to understand that these things were given for the purpose of using them to control my life as a young adult and to force me out of some sense of duty to do his bidding.

My brother likes to say that I had it better because I was born later in my parent's marriage, later when they were better off financially.  That may be true but money is no substitute for love or being positively involved in your life.

I guess he loved me in his way.....a truly strange way that I will never fully understand.  I'll never stop trying to understand him however.

I believe that it's the Hindu religion that believes that you are in the people's lives you are in now, because you have issues to work out with them from a past life.  If you don't resolve the issues in your relationship before death, you will come back/reincarnate with that person in your life again, but in a different relationship. I know that in my next life, my father will be in it.  He won't be my father but someone else in my life and we'll keep coming back until we fix things between us.  I'm hoping if I am the dominant figure in our relationship next time I can deal more successfully with his spirit.

Happy Father's Day dad. I hope you found the acceptance from the Universe that you were looking for your whole life. 
And let's hope we get it "right" the next go round. 8-)



  1. From my perspective and with my father, you had a very nice relationship and a lucky life.

  2. Wow, this could have been written about my father. Mine is alive but no longer a part of my life due to me having a desire to control my own life.

  3. That's sort of like the relationship me and my mother had/have, but a lot less pleasant. I too hope I eventually get a chance for a second chance. Because I've given up on this current chance.


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