My adventures & misadventures in parenting & life.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Letter To My Father.

To my father,
I can remember as clear as crystal the day our relationship broke irrepairably, the day feelings & emotions began to wither & then to die under the cloud of your disregard & neglect.

I wish I could say it was just a misunderstanding or a tiny blip in our friendship & that we recovered & went on to higher & better things. But we didn’t did we, you had no desire to & just took yourself away from me. Not physically, I could have borne that better, understood it a bit better even. You just stopped noticing & caring about me.
Me, your first-born, your daughter. You even went so far as to disown me, in your eyes I stopped existing, I was as dead as a dodo. You showed me your dislike & disappointment by showering your other daughter with all the love, attention & money you possessed.

I still find it impossible to believe that the cause of your dislike was something that just seems trivial to most other people. I wasn’t running a meth-lab in the basement or committing various crimes & hurting people. I wasn’t evil reincarnated or nastier than any other preteen in existence & there are some really nasty preteens around. You only have to look at your local town centre on a Saturday to see that.

My crime that you could not or would not forgive was being diagnosed as a diabetic & the shock & horror of having to inject myself with insulin just to stay alive.
You found that this “defect” was something you could not tolerate. You were ashamed that you could be related to someone afflicted, to someone “not normal” maybe even “sub-standard”. Maybe my diabetes hurt your feelings of masculinity, somehow made you less of a man, I don’t know. It definitely made you much less of a father. The reasons have never been discussed & now after more than two decades I don’t care enough anymore to want to know why.

You should have been proud of me, at ten years old learning how to inject myself & living life with a controlled diet. Just forgoing the chocolate bars I so loved as a child was a great achievement but the shame of it must have just eaten away at you, like acid until there was just feelings of shame when you looked at me, shame & embarrassment not pride.

Do you remember that work do we went to as a family? The one where my blood sugar levels went low & I needed a doctor to give me an injection of sugar just to equal out the levels again?
Do you remember telling everyone I was suffering from sunstroke even though the day wasn’t sunny or even particularly warm?

Crowds always gather to watch someone in the middle of a medical emergency, it’s better & more entertaining to them than their favourite tv show & this was no exception but instead of being there for me, helping me, you spoke to as many people as you could telling them I was suffering from the effects of the sun.
I can still remember today the shaking of heads, the disgusted looks, the pure disbelief directed at you when you walked on to the next work friend to tell them of the terrible effects heat can have. I thought that they didn’t understand about diabetes, I thought you were trying to educate them but no it wasn’t that way at all was it?
The looks of disgust & disbelief were for you, for the lies you were so obviously telling, the looks of pity, which were directed at me, were for me having to not only deal with diabetes but also with a parent so obviously ashamed by it.
You were trying to distance yourself from the cause of your embarrassment, trying to sweep me under the carpet & hide the shameful relation out of sight. I think you’d have had me put in a sanitarium, out of sight, out of mind if you could have.
To those watching you were the one that was shameful. You lost more respect by telling those lies & for caring more what strangers thought than you did for your own family. Did you ever realise that? Did you ever realise it was your doing that made your colleagues shy away from spending more time with you than they had to? Or did you just lay the blame at my feet?

We both know the answer to that don’t we? After almost two & a half decades, I’ve barely had a conversation with you. We’ve spent no holidays together, no birthdays, no Christmases & you’ve not spoken more the fifty words to me in total in that time.
You didn’t even phone the hospital when I was lying in a coma, expected to die in my early twenties. You’ve never seen your grandson & he doesn’t understand why he hasn’t got a granpa. I don’t know what to tell him, how to explain your indifference . Someday soon though, he is going to realise that his aunties dad is also mine & he’s going to wonder why you have turned your back on him.

You have lost the opportunity to know a wonderful, intelligent, funny & affectionate little boy. I used to hate you for that, hate you for the eventual hurt you will cause my son through no fault of his own but I will comfort him & help him to see that this is your loss not his & how even grown ups can be wrong & silly but sometimes you cannot change that. It it just how things are.

I don’t hate you any more, it all means nothing to me now. I just use it as a reminder of the kind of daddy I do not want for my son. If anything in that respect you’ve been exceptional.
There’s an old saying that I completely agree with that pretty much sums up this whole situation for me “any male can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad”.

3 people have experienced mischief:

awannabe said...

This is sad...

Loralee Choate said...

I thought I had heard just about every horrible thing that there was to hear about bad parents.

This takes the cake.

My god.

I am glad that you have indifference. It is a sign that you are healing.

Pardon my language, but what a piece of shit father he is.

Sylver said...

I come from a bad background as well. It takes a lot to get to where you are, so be proud of yourself.