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2.18.2009

Daddy Issues



I have like 3 or 4 other things that I keep saying I'm going to blog about, but this one is sticking with me right now.

Glennisha did a post about her relationship with her father and that got me to thinking...

I think of all the blogs I've had over the years (and from 1999-present, I've had QUITE a few) I've never talked about my father. Not in passing, not on accident, not jokingly... nothing. I think it's just a testament to how much he isn't a part of my life. I don't think about him hardly ever. He doesn't cross my mind. I don't wonder what he's doing. It's hard for me to even imagine what life would be like if he played a larger role. The ever-psychoanalyzing side of me, however, thinks it's more 'cause it's easier this way than just your run of the mill "it is what it is" attitude.

At 22, I've seen my father twice. Once when I was in the 3rd grade and then again the summer after. He spent 2 weeks with us the first time and 3 months with us the second time. He left and that was that. He called me a couple of times. One time sticks out in my brain pretty hardcore. I was young. Had to be only 9 or 10. He called and the convo was something like this:

Him: How are you?
Me: Fine.
Him: I'm going to start calling you more
Me: [Silence] (even as a young child I could pick up on some B.S.)
Him: You don't believe me?

I could hear that he was hurt thinking I didn't believe him. At 22, I know how to make a person think I do believe them when I don't, but at 9 I thought (and, maybe rightly so) that you had to really believe someone to say you did and so I immediately believed him. That was the end of that.

The next time I spoke to him I was 16, and in the 11th grade. By this time I had met 2 of the 7 half-sisters I had that no one (not even my mom) told me about (that'll be a story for another post). He had re-married and relocated from AL to CA. Palo Alto, CA, to be exact. As luck (for SERIOUS lack of a better word) would have it, that year I went to Stanford for their first (or maybe second) hosting of Harvard's Model Congress. I found my father's number, and contacted him shortly before my trip, against my mother's will, to tell him I was coming. He seemed excited.

I got to San Francisco and called him again. He asked me not to call his home anymore. Apparently (though he totally beat around the bush with his explanation) he didn't want his wife to know I had the number and was calling. But he promised he would pick me up for dinner that night.

So as my friends and chaperones are making plans for dinner, I keep saying I won't be going because my dad is coming. Lucky for me I had some responsible chaperones who didn't want to leave me until they knew he was coming. He never called, he never showed. That was when it clicked. I understood that no matter what, he had his priorities and I wasn't one of them. I also understood why my mom had been so against me reaching out to him because she knew all that too.

That was 2003. I haven't spoken to him or had any other form of contact with him since then. He called my mom a few months ago. He asked about me and my mom told him if he wanted to know how I was doing, he needed to call me. Like I said, I haven't spoken to him since 2003.

You know, it is what it is. I'm always shocked at how shocked others are when they ask me if I have contact with my father and I say no. It seems like second nature to me. Do I have Daddy issues? Hell yeah. I think we all do. Have I handled them in the best way? Probably not -- we don't come equipped with knowing how to handle abandonment, but I think I've made the best of a not so wonderful situation. Lord knows it could've been WAY worse. I used to always say that I felt like I used his absence as fuel to my fire. I needed to succeed and be good at whatever I set out for to prove that I could.

These days, it's usually something like Glennisha's post or questions that make me think about him. Otherwise, he would probably never cross my mind...

6 comments:

glennishamorgan said...

You know what, I use to be like you. When I was younger my Dad would very rarely cross my mind. I never thought about him until some family member would ask me if I knew he was in town. I don't know but, last year I actually began to think about him. I guess because I was reflecting on how my life was going and how much I have changed. I just thought like wow my father doesn't know shit about me. I bet he has no idea about x,y,and z. After I got over my hurt from what took place @ my grandmother's birthday party it's like whatever to me. The only thing is I don't want him calling my phone anymore but, I know one of my fam members will end up giving it to him.

pinkchocolatesunshine said...

what is wrong w/ people that they think its OK to just walk away from their responsibilities.

even though my dad was in my life, he did somethings that showed his life and things was more important than mine. and i grew up knowing how he was. how my mom scarificed everything for me and my dad wouldn't even give a dime. when i was pregnant i told him about himself...i guess he forgot because he still wonders why i dont call him much...wow...

too bad there isn't training on how to be a halfway decent dad.

abrowngirlgonegay said...

Sometimes I wonder if it's better to have a half assed father or not to have one at all.

It's a debate I have often because I've never met mine, but when I hear stories of the BS people go through with theirs, it makes me glad I don't have to deal with him.

A.Smith said...

Glennisha- When my mom told me she had told my dad he needed to call me if he wanted to know about me, I was PETRIFIED that he would call, because I know that conversation would be so bad. I'm actually a little happy he didn't call me.

Pink- I don't get it, either. I wrote something one time and I said "I just don't understand how he (my dad) could live his life knowing he has a child out there that he knows nothing about. Not my whereabouts, not how I'm doing, not if I'm ok..." I mean, I just don't understand it.

ABrownGirl- My ex and I had this argument all the time. He said I was better off not having any relationship than having a fucked up one like he did with his father. His father was present physically and financially, but not emotionally. I argued that at least there was a chance it could get better. At least he was there, at least he could be found. Mine was M.I.A. and apparently could give a shit. But, the more he and I argued over it, the less I felt comfortable with my argument. I'm not sure.

glennishamorgan said...

Well it's good he didn't call if was going to make you uncomfortable.

A.Smith said...

You're right Glennisha. A little piece of me wanted him to call so I could be a jerk, but ultimately I'm glad he didn't.

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