Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Drama

I have never cared much for Father's Day.  Never really celebrated it growing up and sort of scoffed at it in general.  But now that I've been married for almost 8 years and my husband has been a father for 5 years, I am required to acknowledge his excellence in fathering with cards, gifts and royal treatment throughout the day.

I was in a disgruntled mood about it yesterday and got in a fight on the way to church because of my bad mood.  My perception is that most dads are just glorified sperm donors and aren't necessarily REAL dads.  I realize that isn't true of all dads and I'm just looking at things through a distorted lens.

My own dad was just uninvolved and a disappointment.  My parents split up when I was 2.  Even though he lived next door and I could look at him out my window and see him waving at me (when I was younger), I was not allowed to see him.  My mom coined him "The Creep", "The Louse" or a myriad of other derogatory names.  He didn't pay child support and he didn't pay his own bills.  He lost all that he had because of ... ?  I don't know - pride, laziness, mental illness?

I was always embarrassed of my family, especially him.  He wasn't conventional by any means.  Maybe it was the tail end of the hippie era and he was a late adopter. He was anti-establishment and a mama's boy combined. He had an anger management issue.  Prone to fits of anger and domestic violence directed to my mom.  He tended to spy on her, stalk her and sabotage any of her attempts to date.  So, yeah, Father's Day wasn't really celebrated.

My dad has been dead over 10 years now and I never really had an adult relationship and I didn't get to say goodbye to him.  Never really had an understanding of what really happened in his life or why he chose certain paths.  I just chalk it up to one of the many things maybe I'll understand when I reach heaven.  Not even sure if he'll be there.  I remember him saying God comments to me as a kid like "Jesus loves you!" but does that really mean anything?  I don't know.

So my anger towards my dad I direct towards all men including my husband and especially bosses.  I have never liked authority.  In my mind I think, "Who the hell are you telling me what to do?" And I size them up in my head thinking they are probably horrible husbands and fathers and I feel sorry for their families.   Except, I'm not always aware I'm doing this.  It's usually just a nagging, angry, resentful feeling that I stuff down.  I never really know how to identify it or cope with it.

The past few weeks leading up to Father's Day I've been thinking about him a little more than normal and dwelling on my lack of a father.  I think of how it affects me and the gaping hole there in my heart and life.  I just take out my resentment on other people too.  At church we learn that God is our heavenly father and He fills that void, but sometimes I just don't feel that nurturing love that I wish I had.  He hear things and realize things logically but it doesn't necessarily affect your heart or your ingrained habits.

I talked to my brother yesterday too to wish him a happy Father's Day and he just scoffed and said "I'm not no father." I said, "Fine then - happy sperm donor day!"  That caused him to laugh and he said he would accept that.  Whatever.  He's fine with being an absent dad too.  I feel sorry for my niece.  The dysfunctional family legacy continues.  He lists a bunch of reasons/obstacles why he can't be there for his daughter and it all comes across as he's the victim and he's resigned to his lot in life.  I refuse to believe that.

But just looking at my own bio-family, I can see how having a good, strong, Godly man as my father could have made a huge difference in all our lives.  Looking at all the brokenness in all of us is a realization of just how important it is to have a father present in their children's lives.

When it comes to me though, I'm still so resentful that I can't seem to forgive the men in my life now even the smallest character flaw.  I look at them with disdain.  I am praying about this and hoping to heal; because ultimately it's affecting my quality of life and happiness.

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