Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy's Little Girl

Just another day. For me.  Today is Father's Day and there are thousands upon thousands of children, young and old, visiting "dear ol' dad."  All across the country families are reuniting, getting together for lunch, dinner, dessert, perhaps taking in a movie or the beach or a ball game.  And yet, here I sit, in the comfort of my home, writing this post, alone.  Oh don't feel bad for me.  I have a  dad.  He's still alive and doing quite well.  But I don't have what you a "conventional" or "normal" relationship with him.  I've never really gotten along with him.  I harbor a lot of resentment and not so good memories.  Because of this, our relationship has suffered.  I  am content on seeing him every few months -if that. Communication only exists on an "as needed" basis.  This has been the norm between us for years.  In contrast, my siblings have a pretty healthy relationship with him.  My sister moreso than anyone else.  The thing is, my dad and I didn't have a blow-out, dramatic fight to get us where we are today.  Rather, the estrangement was gradual.  Almost like a lit candle losing it's flame, slowly, until it dies.  I feel bad for feeling this way.  I feel guilty and ashamed.  After all, he is my father.  But even still, I just can't bring myself to reach out to him.  Even though I've done it in my mind dozens of times.  The guilt is culminated by the fact that everywhere I turn, be it Facebook, the television, the radio, the grocery store, everywhere, I'm reminded what today is and how sad that makes me feel.  I've been reading statuses from friends professing their love for their dad, their "hero."  Am I a horrible person because I don't share the same sentiment?  Grant it, my father was as good a father as good he knew how to be.  And he worked hard alongside my mom, to give us whatever we wanted.  Sometimes, I think he overindulged us as a way to make up in the areas that he was lacking.  Still, I cannot erase what happened in the past nor can I bring myself to be the daughter that I should be.  I do love him.  My daddy.  I do.  I just can't show him.  So silly really.  I'm one of the most affectionate and demonstrative persons you will ever meet.  My long-term goal, is that one day, hopefully in the distant future, I'll be able to let myself love my father and tell him.  He's over seventy  years old, not sick, but not in the most perfect health either.   I don't want to have regrets.  But I can't force something that doesn't come naturally either.  To those who this post may be a bit offensive or even disrespectful, I apologize, it's not my intention to insult anyone.  It's just my feelings and emotions in the raw, up close and personal, as my blog often is.  I hope your Sunday, whatever you're doing, is a great one and if you're fortunate to have someone you call "dad" in your life, you relish in that love and in them.

10 comments: said...

I can relate, Yvonne. Year after year, I seek out the one Father's Day card that doesn't profess my undying love for the greatest dad there is. He was not a good dad. That's the reality. It hurts, but we shouldn't be hard on ourselves for accepting the reality - our own limitations and theirs. It's too bad, but it's the honest way to be. If more people were honest like you, it'd be a better world!
Have a nice, relaxing afternoon and be good to yourself.
Hugs to you,

Alessandra said...

I could have written this post myself, it's just exactly how it was between my dad and me. I never thought he was a bad father, but I was never able to show him I loved him. My family was kind of like that, you knew they loved you even though they never told you.
Anyway, I always wanted to be able to tell my dad how I really felt. The last few years of his life he fell in a deep depression. I wasn't around, but every time I visited, I tried to spend some time with him even though I didn't feel any love in return. I played the scene in my head so many times, promising myself that next time I would tell him. Until one day, he had a stroke and fell into a coma. He died in less than 48 hours, I didn't even make it to see him alive.
Sorry for the long comment, but I hope you will find it in yourself to rebuild the bridge before it's too late.

Don said...

My long-deceased father wasn't the type person who showed affection, but in the difficult days of the Great Depression he found ways to provide for his wife and 6 children. I think he was the smartest man I ever knew although he had only 4 years of formal education. As far as I know he never told any of his children that he loved them, although in hindsight it seems that he must have. I don't think any of my siblings ever told him that we loved him. I wish now that I had, but its many years too late to do that now.

David Batista said...

If you recall, I wrote a simiar post to this on Mother's Day regarding my mother. I know what you mean about Facebook and reminders everywhere from people trumpeting their too-awesome dads. This is Mother's Day for me every year, but worse since I feel people go way overboard with the Mother's Day love than they do for fathers.

Of course, I never had a father so to me this day means nothing--neither good nor bad. Just nothing.

I do hope you reconcile with your dad one day. Your post didn't really explain why your relationship is the way it is, but apprently a lot of other people have similar situations with their own dads. I sympathize with you all.

Jo-Anne Rambling said...

Unlike the others who have commented before me I can not relate as I have great relationship with my dad, that said I do worry about how my husbands drinking is affecting his relationship with our daughters.....

My husband doesn't have a good relationship with his father either so I know I am lucky to have such a great one with my dad.......

Cinderita said...

At first when I read this, I wasn't going to leave a comment. Just to share what you did takes courage on a day like today. But then I thought to myself "Yvonne would appreciate it if I said something..." so here I am. Saying something.

I don't think this post makes you sound like a horrible person or anything of the sort. You have the relationship you have with your dad. That's for you to have and you have your reasons for it.

The only thing really that I can say to you my friend, is if you are speaking of regrets, and your dad is almost 70, and you mention the words "one day"...all I can say to you is there is no "someday/one day". There is only today. Today and today and right now and right now. You can stay distant from your dad now and one day love him as you want to love him, or you can just love him the way you want to love him, no matter what happened in the past.

We do that to ourselves a lot. Human beings. We rob ourselves of relationships because of thoughts that we have in our heads...Not to say that what happened with your dad didn't happen. I can totally get from what you've shared, you're hurt by things that have happened.

And I suppose we all have choices in life. I have stayed off FB and the blogs today for the sole reason because I miss my dad terribly. I want to be sharing my life with him and I can't. I go to a lot of weddings and watch my friends walk down the aisle with their proud fathers and I cry a little bit each time...because I will never have that opportunity.

So...I guess all I'm really trying to say is make today your "one day" and just take a step in that direction. Because the one thing that comes through loud and clear in your email is that it is what you want. Perhaps you're afraid because you don't know how it will turn out...but you don't know if you have tomorrow either...

yet you'll trust that by going to bed tonight making plans for tomorrow.


Yvonne said...

Robyn - Thank you, I appreciate that!

Alessandra - Glad you could relate. My family is a pretty affectionate bunch. The estrangement is only on my part with my dad. But yes, I totally want to repair that gap in the bridge between us.

Don- Thanks for dropping by and for sharing your experience!

David - Yes I remember that post very well! The circumstances for the relationship I have with my dad I prefer to keep to myself. It's a bit sad yet comforting, to see so many others in the same boat as me. I do appreciate your kinds words. :)

Jo-Anne- Ahh, you're a luck one! As for the relationship with between your husband and your daughter, take it from me, he has to recognize his problem and realize this will damage their relationship in ways he may never be able to salvage.

Rita- Of course I most certainly appreciate your comment! :) Thanks for the encouraging words, they mean a lot to me. As for reaching out to my father, I have and we're taking it one day at a time. ***HUGS***

getyourselfconnected said...

Not a great day for me either.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

I always appreciate your honesty.
The way you put it all out there is so real.
Sometimes we can't explain how or why we feel like we do. But it's great to at least get those feelings out there.
One side of my family is plagued by mental illness and addiction and the other is unknown to me. While I do not truly feel sorry for myself, I do feel somewhat alone for being just about the only one to have survived without succumbing to the madness. It is a wonderful place to be, but a little bittersweet to do it alone.

I love that there is a deepness in some of the things you write about, especially the things you seem a bit uncertain about. It makes you very real and relateable.

Yvonne said...

GYC- :(

YRJ- thank you! that means a lot to me. this is the only way iknow how to write.