Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Daddy Syndrome

Yeah I've got it. I have issues. I know that. Most of these issues stem from my father. I need to see a shrink one of these days and unload.

On Easter Sunday, I remarked to my girlfriend that I spent half an hour on the phone with my father. It was almost alien to me, a foreign concept. We talked about everything except my STBE, which was weird because he hates him and would jump at any opportunity to disparage him.

My dad and I had a loving relationship until I got up in age, say around 12 or so. My dad was not around when I was growing up. My mother was his mistress so to speak. I did not understand that. I just knew that my dad lived abroad and would come home every year for 3 weeks at a time, and he would bring me all the toys my heart desired, we would go on vacations and do fun stuff. I always had nice things. Shoot! I was the first person on the block to own a Nintendo when they just came out!

But as I grew up I learned a few things. I had other sisters who had no knowledge of my existence. My father had a wife he was still married to and lived with. It was too much for my simple mind at 9 years old. My mother tried to keep it a secret for as long as she could but eventually I found out.

I did not care about any of the extramarital stuff, all I knew was that all my other friends had their dads in their lives. Dads to pick them up and drop them off at school. Dads to teach them all the things that moms couldn't teach them. I had a telephone to say hi to mine and to tell him what I wanted.

I went through a rebellious stage in my teens. Can't say I was over the top, but I had a lot of anger and took it out on my mother. I saw how she was. She was a lion in his absence and a lamb whenever he was around. When I was about 5 or 6 she had a boyfriend who lived with us for a couple years. My father found out about it and the man was gone. Her boyfriend was a surrogate father to me. He took me out to the circus, the beach, amusement parks, wherever. He was kind to me. He joked with me. He took care of me. He was the father I had but never had. Then all of a sudden he was gone, and I was left with her.

It was not until I got older that I realized why my mother was so miserable while I was growing up - because of him.  I remember once when I was 8 years old I caught her in the kitchen crying. I asked her what was wrong but of course she never replied. So she was miserable, not being able to have the love that she wanted, and felt obligated to wait for the father of her child to finally marry her as I am sure he must have told her.

She waited for many years. In fact, I was married before she was. Here's the punchline: his wife had died and he had a stroke when he decided it was time to marry my mother. He made comments publicly about going to her so she should take care of him. Before my mother married him she asked my opinion and I told her not to. She went ahead and did so anyway. And so, all she got was the shell of a man whom she used to love, who was more like a child because she had to be there for his every call and beckon. She married him and he sold all his property and divided it among himself and his other daughters. Then he moved into my mother's house, living there bill free, and commanding her as if she were a hand servant. She is, because she wants to be. She has never been able to tell this man no. Her reason for marrying him, she claims, was so that she could get right with God. I scoffed when she told me this. Do you get right with God by living a lie? You are in a marriage of convenience. It is now convenient for him to be with you because his wife is dead and you are the only woman around who will take care of him.

So, I did not grow up with my father but when I was 17 I went to live with him and my step-mother God rest her soul. This was against my will, but my father used the promise of a college education to coerce me into doing so. I stayed there for a while, enduring all sorts of hardships until I met my future husband and got out of dodge as fast as I could. I never intended to be with my STBE husband when we first hooked up but the problems I had with my dad and step mom helped drive me into his arms.

I did everything I could not to be like my mother, yet still I ended up being a single mother to not one, but two girls. I also found my way into an extramarital affair. Luckily, I was smart enough not to let him impregnate me when he expressed his desire to. To this day he still laments that my two children should have been his. I understand to some extent the power that blinding love can wield over a person, but I did not let it dictate my life.That time I caught my mom crying in the kitchen, was probably the only time I have ever seen her cry in my entire life. I knew my dad was at the root of it.  No way was I going to let a man who wasn't mine have me crying like that. For that reason, I broke it off with my married ex. But as fate would have it, I got separated and my pussy was jumping so I found his number and called him up a couple of times. I think I am done with that. I am done with greedy men.

But yes these married guys are greedy cake-men. Love to have their cake and eat it too. And why shouldn't they? Women allow them to carry on with their b.s. If my dad loved my step-mom he should have been a true husband to her and end his affair with my mom. If he loved my mom more he should have been a man and ended things with my step-mom. But both women are to be blamed as well because they allowed it. My step-mom died of cancer, but really, she died of a broken heart. She could have treated her cancer from an early stage but decided that life was not worth fighting for and gave in. I never want to be her. And I never want to be the woman that was part of that doing. I also never want to be in a marriage like that. Because of that I have always been distrustful of men. My STBE used to get frustrated with me because I (subliminally, never outright) accused him on several occasions of cheating. He could very well have been, I don't know for a fact. But all I know is I trust no one and it is bound to cause ongoing conflict in any future relationship that I should pursue.

In retrospect, my dad was not always a bad person. I have some fond memories of him and our time together when I was a youth. I remember us baking cookies, him taking me to the river to catch fish, going swimming with him at the beach. He was both selfish and kind. He did so many things for so many others. I just wished he did more for those closest to him. But he is still my father, and even though it is Father's Day I will not pick up the phone and wish him a happy one because I am so overcome with a numbness. I cannot even say I am bitter. I don't hate him or wish him ill. But I can't love him the way a daughter should love her father.

Happy Father's Day to all the responsible dads out there who not only provide for their children financially, but take the time to be an active part of their lives, molding them, supporting them unconditionally, reassuring them of their worth, and constantly showing them love. Shoutout to all the single moms who have to be dads too. Your burden is great but never unappreciated! ♥

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