We all have issues. We all have junk in our past that we don’t like that has shaped us into who we are. We all have junk that maybe we’ve used as an excuse to be less than we could be. Some of us have mommy or daddy issues. We may have health issues. Some of us may have been a victim. We may have victimized someone else.
I’ve been thinking about this post for weeks. Should I post it? If I do, what should I say? What should I not say? What good would it do anyway? That kind of thing.
I’ve been volunteering with some students at church the last few months. And doing so has given me the opportunity to talk openly about some of my issues with some amazing young ladies. And some of them have similar issues. I see myself in these kids. And some of what I’ve talked with them about are issues that I have had with my dad.
As far as I can recall, I’ve blogged about my dad once. And that was when I made my blog private years ago because he found it and tried to track me down. I later got over it and decided he could read to his heart’s content. I decided not to let him determine another decision in my life. And he could be reading this now and that’s fine.
There are a lot of positive things that I can say about my dad. Things that are true. These are the things that everyone in my life saw. You see, my dad was not absent. My dad was not an alcoholic. I rarely heard my dad curse or even raise his voice. My dad was not physically abusive. My dad was not a dead beat. He was at every school function that I had. He supported me financially. He even bought me a car when I started college. He did everything “right” on the surface. People even like him. Sort of.
But all of the good things that he did were wrapped up in lies and manipulation. None of it was based on unconditional love. My relationship with him was so odd that it’s really hard to even describe. I could get into specifics of actual instances or things that he did, but I don’t want to do that. And it’s not the individual instances that were even the most damaging. It’s just the whole relationship. The whole package. I can’t really put into words the weird that is my dad. And I’m not talking about a good weird. Just odd, strange, off, not right kind of weird. And that, mixed with many inappropriate behaviors that I’m not going to get into here, just made for a father/daughter relationship that wasn’t what it was supposed to be.
I have one memory of ever hugging my dad. I’m sure there must have been more, but I only remember the one. And it’s not a good memory. He hugged me the day our house burned down. I guess he hugged me because he was glad I was alive. I just zoned out until he let go. Maybe when I was really little, I would crawl into his lap, but from my earliest memories, I didn’t want him touching me. He made my skin crawl from as early as I can remember.
Thankfully, I saw less of him after my parents divorced in 3rd grade. And I saw even less of him when he remarried a woman who wanted very little to do with me. Shortly before mine and Phillip’s wedding, I finally had enough of everything that he is. I was tired of him tainting my life anymore and I knew that I wanted my new life with Phillip to be free of him. I knew that I could never allow him around any children that I had. I began to realize that he shouldn’t be around any children at all, for that matter.
And so I cut off all contact with him about 12 years ago. Unfortunately, his mother and sisters only chose to see the surface. They couldn’t or wouldn’t see what he really is. They probably saw me as an ungrateful brat. Maintaining any contact with them became more and more impossible until eventually I never saw them again either. My grandmother died without ever meeting Jackson. I didn’t see her before she died. I didn’t go to her funeral. I have regrets about some of that, but I was protecting myself.
So anyway, we all have issues. I guess you could say that I have “daddy issues.” And I know those issues have led me to do or believe things that have gotten me into trouble over the years. Those issues have tainted many aspects of my life at one time or another. But ultimately, I’m responsible for my life. I’m responsible for my choices and actions regardless of the hand I was dealt.
This is part of who I am that I’ve never written about openly. And I’ve only talked about it in small circles. And for whatever reason, I just felt that it was time.