Listen, I’m not going to blog again about why my biological father was a terrible parent. And I’m not going to blog again about how my stepfather was a terrible parent. I’ve done that. My opinions haven’t changed. They haven’t softened, either. Those of you who’ve read my blog know that I am a survivor of some of the most horrific child abuse. Emotional, physical, and all the other “als” that can race through your mind.
I know that for every person out there who has posted a smiling Facebook photo of them with their father, there are others who pray every night that their father never contacts them – never calls asking for money, never calls to berate them for not growing up perfect; never contacts them to make them feel like less of a person.
I know that for every person out there who writes glowing memories of their father, a man who was called to Glory too soon, there are others who still recall the late nights of waking up at 2:00 a.m. for no discernible reason, save for the hope that their father goes into his own bedroom to sleep off his hangover and not into your bedroom for anything other than sleeping.
And it’s hard. You see the smiling faces and you say to yourself, “Why couldn’t I have the smiles as well?” “Why couldn’t I find a way to appreciate what my father achieved?” “Why is this holiday so hard?”
These are the days, these are the times, when one wishes beyond any prayer imaginable, that they could just sleep through the holiday weekend and wake up on Monday morning. It’s that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach, a feeling that should never be there in the first place, a feeling that was given to you by someone who was neither fit to be a parent nor capable of the challenge.
So if you feel like this today… if your heart aches because you can’t use the word “father” without the words “hurt me” following…
I’m going to suggest some links. If you need to, please visit these links and understand what can be offered. Help. Care. Understanding. Support.
None of us need to go through these nightmares alone.
- Prevent Child Abuse, New York Chapter
- Adult Children of Alcoholics
- RAINN: Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
- Veterans’ Outreach
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region
- Parsons Child and Family Center
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
And there’s so many more.
Look, I don’t have all the answers. I’m not sure I have any answers. Trust me, the parenting I received – or the lack of parenting I received, to be more precise – certainly affected how I raised my daughter. Even today, I still feel that I could have been such a better parent had I learned the right things and the right ways and the right concepts.
But you didn’t come to this blog post today to listen to me mope. Take your father out and treat him well. Necktie. Lobster dinner. Pipe and slippers if that works for you.
I think I’m just going to make a sandwich and stay in for the day.
Hope you understand.