By Devin Miller
So, everyone expects me to harbor some ill feelings towards my father who wasn’t present in my life and resurfaced just seven years
At times my upbringing was a bit chaotic, my mother and I moved a lot, we endured a lot of strife, and we were fiscally in a constant state of struggle.
However, given all that, my mother managed to support every dream I had, and she spared no expense in my education, my wardrobe, piano lessons, or anything else that I could have possibly wanted. So, even though there was no father present, I didn’t long for one.
Recently, while watching the OWN Network, I saw Daddyless Daughters. I found very few connections with how these women felt about being abandoned by their fathers and the impact it had on their self-confidence and personal relationships. Ironically, I related more to the male version of this series; The Fatherless Son.
The fatherless sons spoke about their need to want to overachieve and prove to this absent man that without him, they overcame every obstacle and succeeded at whatever they chose to do.
The defense mechanisms that I’ve developed through my childhood woes were based on the rationale that if my father didn’t want to be a part of my life, it was his loss.
Who would want to abandon someone so fabulous? I’ve seen my old pictures; I was even a fabulous baby! So at times I can be a bit arrogant, overly competitive, calculating, and bossy. I also have a habit of ending relationships on my terms before the other person has the opportunity to leave me--as if it gives me some sort of power over the potential heartbreak.
But in the reverse, I can also be too accommodating. I have the keen ability to rationalize the mistakes of those who I want in my life. Some would say that I have… abandonment issues. This is a title that I will never accept but, let’s call it that for discussion purposes. Everyone is human, and everyone makes mistakes, so maybe my father didn’t know that I was going to be this fun to be around, or maybe he had so much inner turmoil that he wasn’t healthy enough to support me in anyway. True I wouldn’t leave my child as an infant and never return, but he’s not me. I didn’t hate him, I really didn’t think of him much, so when we reconnected it was a pleasant surprise.
So of course I thought that after a few short conversations he’d want to engage completely and spend every waking moment of his life with me. Here is when the wound that I didn’t know existed opened up right before me. This is a child’s idea of what a homecoming should be like, not a stable adult. Guess what, he didn’t want to spend every moment of his life with me. He didn’t even want to call me every day.
Still, I wasn’t angry. My mother (though I believe is still angry) thinks that the way I speak about him bodes a “disappointed undertone”. It’ll be something like, “Oh yes, he is supposed to be in town on this day, he’ll be a few hours away so we’ll meet up.” We then don’t meet up. Afterwards she asks me how I feel about it, and I simply say, “XYZ happened so he wasn’t able to make it, I’ll catch him next time.” With every story of rejection my mother becomes angrier for her 30-year-old daughter, and for that I am upset.
My subconscious has finally reached the surface and I can now begin the healing process.
This man left my mother!
He didn’t help her raise me, she was already a single parent, and he knew this. He left her broken hearted, with no time to really address those feelings.
She deserves an apology in the least. Let alone a settlement for the $300k she spent on my upbringing. No woman gets pregnant alone and regardless to if you want a child or not, it should be your duty to help support the children you create. My whole life I’ve had an intense need to make my mother happy, to distract her from real life, so if someone that I know is affecting her happiness, I want to protect her.
My father is who he is, and I enjoy our delightful conversations and I’m enjoying our journey of discovery. Of course, I want more, but haven’t quite figured out if that will come to fruition or if this is just a child’s mere fairytale.
Fairytales can happen right?
Chicago's own Devin Miller is a Freelance Writer, Event Coordinator, and Project Manager who has always used creative expression to promote joy and laughter in a world bogged down with serious people, and serious situations. She is a "dreamer and a planner," and truly believes that without both, you should stay asleep. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/laura.miller.73997, on Twitter at: @80sbaby_83 and her blog site at http://devinmilleralmost30.blogspot.com/.
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