Another Father’s Day.
Another phone call I didn’t make.
I was raised by my lesbian mother who divorced my father when I was one year old. My mother told my father to go away and never come back. And that’s exactly what he did.
It should come as no surprise that this is not one of my favorite holidays. As a child I hated it. It was like pouring salt into a wound. I was so grateful it didn’t come during the school year so that I would have to watch my friends make lovey dovey things for their daddies and feel singled out because I didn’t have one.
Father’s Day was awkward in my home growing up. I would spend most of the day holed up in my bedroom waiting for the next day to come. The holiday was largely ignored except for a phone call to a grandpa to wish him a good day. It stung. I didn’t have a daddy, but not only that, I was never going to have one. It’s not like my mom was single, and someday everything might change. A step dad on a white stallion was not going to be riding in to salvage my parade. A fact I was constantly reminded of.
As an adult, honestly, it’s not much better. Sitting in church today I listened to two sisters share sweet memories they had with their daddies that any child would wish to have, and before I could stop myself I thought “Why didn’t I deserve that?”
I didn’t call my dad today, just like I didn’t call him last year or the year before that. Even though we met when I was sixteen, I struggled to have a dad/daughter relationship with him. As a child I fantasized for years about meeting him, but unfortunately reality often doesn’t oblige our fantasies.
When I met my dad I lived here in Oklahoma and he lived near Denver, CO. He was married and had three more kids. The oldest was around eight years old. My dad rarely came to OK to visit and so all contact I had with him after we met was over the phone, which was not very often. My mothers rule had always been that I couldn’t meet him until I was eighteen. I went behind her back to meet him while he was in town one Thanksgiving. I figured once I started driving I could see him whenever I pleased if he lived close enough. I was so hopeful that I would finally have the father that I had always longed for. But it didn’t happen.
A couple years ago I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why we had never been able to really connect. What was the problem? I wasn’t prepared for what I realized: I had expected him to want me as much as I wanted him and to move back to Oklahoma to be with me. He didn’t. And it devastated me.
I had wanted to build a relationship with him so we could get to know one another. Then he would want to move close to me and because he didn’t, I felt abandoned all over again. Even now it bothers me that he doesn’t want to live near my older sister and I, and our kids. My kids will never have a normal relationship with him. I realize it’s ridiculous to expect a person to pick up their entire life and move just for me. But the little girl in me wishes he would have.
It is what it is, and I know this day sucks for lots of people whether their dads were deadbeats, have passed away, or worse- they don’t even know who their dads are because their identities have been intentionally withheld. I know that pain. Even though I was lucky enough to have contact with my paternal family, my dad’s identity was hidden from me for years. There weren’t even pictures, and no one would talk about him for fear of my mother.
The only thing that makes Fathers Day bearable is watching my husband spend time with our children. I live vicariously through them. It brings me peace and joy that even though I never had what they have, I helped to give my children this great man who adores them and loves them helplessly.
I taught seniors at a “diverse” high school. Many of my students didn’t know who their fathers were. They were angry, and many desperately wanted, like Mrs. Walton, to have had a daddy that loved them, strengthened them, cheered for them, and taught them about the kind of men to marry or the kind of men to be. I had been lucky to have had a wonderful daddy, so my heart ached for those kids who, through no fault of their own, had been denied a man like that. Since they were about to embark on lives of their own, I told them that almost as good as having a good daddy was to marry the right person and either provide a good daddy for their own kids or BE a good daddy for the kids he would have with his wife. When Mrs. Walton wrote that she is doing exactly that, I felt grateful that I had said the right thing and had given them hope.
I’m sorry for your parental experience but it has nothing to do with your mother’s sexual orientation. A father does not oblige to being pushed away from his child. He fights back to gain is parental rights and duties. Otherwise, he was not that keen to be a father to that child either. Probably that was one of the reasons of your mother’s misconduct (does not justify though, a mother should not put a kid against the father even if he’s an asshole). You have a father in your case, a careless absent one. Unfortunately.
I had and still do have a horrible relationship with my father.
Have you looked into the impact your experience has had on your understanding of God’s love and relationship with you?
My view of God changed when I became a father and the talk about unconditional endless love actually fell in place for my perspective of God’s love for me.
I think it’s something we don’t consider when we discuss the parenting of children.
My father and I had a fun, combative and noisy banter. I was a horrid teen to him. He died young. I was devastated. I am so sorry for the difficult path not of your choosing.
Your sperm donor was a lousy cretin and your mother threw away paternal DNA supplier for good reasons.
BE GRATEFUL YOUR MOM SHOWED GOOD SENSE.
FAR BETTER to experience an absent DNA CONTRIBUTOR than a LOUSY “parent”.
Far better caring, commited biological parents, than self-serving parent(s) who create a child with the foreknowledge that they are going to inflict emotional suffering on a vulnerable child so its mum(s) or dad(s) can pretend to play house.
The very act that disqualifies them from the title of parent.
You ungrateful little shit
Her mother kicked her father out of her life, and her father obliged. How is feeling hurt or abandoned evidence of a lack of gratitude?
Her mother had no right to deny her a relationship with her father. If there was a good reason to be concerned about her safety and well being, her mother should have told her when she was old enough to understand and process the information.
Do you think she was ungrateful to her mother? Should children be grateful that their parents fulfill their responsibilities?
Yes, of course, we hope and expect that our children will one day understand and appreciate what we’ve done for them. If they don’t, it’s because we’ve failed…not them.
If there’s a bad dynamic between parent and child…always look at the parent first. It’s our job to figure out how to mother our children…and every child is different.
But this woman’s mother kicked her father out of her life without an explanation. She took her children on her personal roller coaster ride. She put her needs ahead of her children’s needs.
If dad is a screw up or a cheat or a loser or whatever, it’s mom’s job to help her children…even if she’s angry with dad and even if she’d attracted to women.
Ungrateful? For wanting what everyone naturally desires? A connection with their father and for him to protect your heart? Why on earth would you ever say such a thing?
Be the best mother and wife your children and husband could ever have. Let God spackle any holes in your heart.