Thursday, May 26, 2011


When I was a little girl, my Daddy was the "King of the World"... and I was a "Daddy's Girl" to the core. The sun rose and set around him, in my eyes. He was such an amazing daddy. I can actually remember sitting on the living room floor with him, building castles with my Disney blocks ... mere moments after he came home from whatever menial job he had worked that day ... never mattered - he always had all the time in the world for his girl.

My parents decided to call it quits some time before my 5th birthday. I don't begrudge them that decision ... I still can't believe they were ever together for long enough to have created a child ... me. If I wasn't so disturbingly like BOTH of them, I would have sworn my mother caught me off a toilet seat. The truth is that, had premarital sex been more socially acceptable back in the late 60's, my parents would likely never have married and I would not be here today (or at least not in my current format).

When my mother finally announced that she had come to the end of her time with him, he was very hurt. He tried very hard to convince her to stay, but she wanted to be happy and insisted they break up. He finally conceded and informed her she was free to go ... but "I'm not going anywhere ... and you aren't taking my baby". Gotta give my dad props for that bold move all the way back in 77, eh? This was how I came to live with just my dad for my first year of school. It was unusual at the time, to say the least. But, it was what worked for us. I got to spend weekends with Mom. We hung out at her new apartment. I can remember Disco Fever used to be on TV and I would dress up in her bathing suit cover up and high heeled shoes ... and dance the show away.

The down side of this arrangement was that my father worked A-LOT of hours ... and often out of town. This meant that I spent a REE-DIC-ULOUS amount of time at my babysitter's house. Often overnight a couple of times through the week. It sucked. (There is a fairly compelling opinion within the medical community that "things happened" to me while staying with these people. Not through any fault of my father's - I am certain he was very comfortable with their set up, and felt I would be safe ... you just can't safeguard your kids against every wack-job on the planet ... it isn't possible.) Eventually, Mom got fed up with the amount of time I was spending there and just took me home to her house ... for good. Daddy didn't fight about it ... I guess he just knew it was better for me if I lived with Mom.

At that point, the roles reversed ... and then I started to spend weekends with him. He also used to show up at my school for my lunch break now and then and take me out for lunch in his new sports car (a Celica Supra)... I felt like the fricken Queen of Sheba! The only problem with this was, by this time, he had started dating again... and his girlfriend had a daughter, too. This began a period of change for me. I was the center of attention, no longer. Now, not only did I have to share my daddy with an adult woman, but with another child, too. I don't really remember consciously having issue with that concept. I was a fairly mature child (which explains the fact that I have reverted so much as an adult). I think for the most part, I took everything in stride ... though I really hated that little bitch of a daughter. Man! What a spoiled little bitch she was!

Then, when I was 7 - Mom met Robin ... who wound up becoming my step father and the dad of my two half sisters ... and Daddy met Dorothy - the psycho-mommy-dearest-nut-case that became my (wicked) step mother (in EVERY sense of the phrase). She had two children - from two different baby daddies (should have been his FIRST clue) ... and they were MESSED UP. I was very close to the age of her daughter, and we got along fairly well. They married when I was 10 or 11, I think ... maybe I was slightly older ... my sisters were around by that point, I think ... so I may have even been 12. 

By the time I turned 13, things had already become strained between my dad and me. Dorothy was a lunatic - and I shit you not! She was NUTS! This was a woman that LITERALLY went behind her daughter with a white glove to check on her dusting capabilities. LITERALLY beat this girl with a metal hanger because it showed up under one of her (the daughter's) sweaters in her closet. I managed to (mostly) escape her wrath ... but it really was only a matter of time. Time that came when I was 14. It had to do with me inviting some kids that I had met at a summer camp I had attended to their place (as they lived in the same community - and at this point, I lived out in boonie-ville with Mom & Robin). I had asked for permission, and it was granted ... but when they showed up, Dorothy had a change of heart and proceeded to embarrass the living shit out of me in front of said friends.
Now that, in and of itself, was not enough to do irreparable damage to my relationship with my father, but what happened next was. 

He took her side.

If you were standing next to me in that moment, you would have actually heard my heart break.

I called my mother and within an hour or so, I was being picked up and taken out to the house of the friends to apologize to them in person and try to smooth some feathers (the whole scene with Dorothy was UGLY ... she absolutely freaked her friggen head off all over me and them ... screaming and acting like a complete psychopath - seriously ... it was bad) ... then I went home. Never to return (or at least never for an overnight visit) again. 

Things have remained strained between my father and I ever since that day. He and Dorothy divorced (not terribly long after that incident - though one had nothing to do with the other) and she took him for everything he was worth ... honestly - any moron could have seen THAT one coming. He then hooked up with the woman he has lived with for the past 20 odd years.

We have stayed in touch (somewhat) over the years, and he was there the day I gave birth to Stretch... being the proud "Papa" (which he is called by his current wife's grandchildren). When I had Shorty, however ... his wife had developed a problem with me due to something I had apparently said to her at a BBQ I had invited them to (almost exactly nine months prior to giving birth, ironically enough)  ... a BBQ at which, I was feelin' pretty groovy ... and when I refused to give her the recipe for my shish-ka-bob marinade (that was from a package, I may add) she informed me that "I owed her" and I (being the flippant smart ass that I am) shot back: "I owe you NOTHING!" (ha ha) 

Apparently, this was a great affront to her personage ... and once again, my father chose his woman over me. 

Honestly, I would have accepted that if he had just been man enough to talk to me about it ... but instead, he told my youngest sister (because he had fixed her computer for her) what I had done ... and how his wife didn't want anything to do with me now - because I had offended her so. She (my sister) then told my mother ... and said in no certain terms should I be told any of this ... and my mother (in typical "Mom" fashion) got me on the horn and dished. Now, I have since interviewed EVERYONE that was in attendance that fateful day, and NOBODY remembers anything even remotely aggressive coming out of me - especially aimed at her. Cripes, I had known the woman 15 bloody years at that stage ... wouldn't THAT ALONE have been enough history to warrant giving me the benefit of the doubt? Write off my behavior as that of a hopeless drunkard? --- which, incidentally was THE TRUTH!

Apparently not.

This little nugget of knowledge was just about enough to seal the casket in my mind, but I had children to consider and this was their grandfather I was about to remove from their lives. So ... I swallowed my pride and tried to smooth things over. We stayed in choppy touch for a year or so, but after he missed Shorty's first birthday (after having made a big deal over Stretch's) I lost what little cool I had left - and I unceremoniously cut him out of my life. This didn't take much, other than just not calling him. It isn't like he had made any effort on his part.

Just about three years passed with no contact between him and me. Bearing in mind that my meddling mother called him - more than once ... and even met with him to discuss our falling out. He still made no effort to rekindle our relationship. In the meantime, Michael had lost both of his parents (well, his father had died 4 days before our original wedding date ... but his mother passed on Stretch's 3rd birthday) and his incessant comments about how much I would regret not patching things up should my father pass away finally wore me down - just this past year.

To be fair (to me) I think that it is HIS responsibility to 'fix' this. HE is the "GROWNUP" in this scenario! I am his ONLY child! MY children are his ONLY BIOLOGICAL GRANDCHILDREN! You would think he would want to have a relationship with us ... no matter what the cost - wouldn't you? All I wanted was for him to smarten up and give a crap about us. Alas, this was not meant to be. He had made reference to the fact that I was keeping my children away from him (when he spoke to my mother) and that he wasn't in a position where he could justify begging me for that privilege.

None the less, I swallowed (hard) and wrote him a lengthy email. I explained to him why I was so hurt. I was very careful of the "tone" of the email ... as to not offend his tender sensibilities. I basically said that I was willing to "start fresh" and just "work from today and go forward", that the girls asked about him often and had a strong desire for family. (Something they clearly had not gotten from me)

He waited EIGHT MONTHS to answer my email. I honestly thought he hadn't gotten it and had considered resending it - but hadn't at that stage. His response clearly indicated to any bozo reading it, that he missed the point by so many miles/kilometers/hectares/acres/aw hell ... PROVINCES that it was actually laughable. Incidentally, my mother firmly believes that his mental capacity has been damaged somehow - as his actions are outside of his normal character.

So here is a question: How much of his crap should I be willing to take after these MANY years of taking said crap?

I didn't dwell on his glaring misunderstanding. I simply attempted to move on and just get him together with his grandchildren. I behaved in a manner befitting a mother that wants what is best for her offspring. I was actually somewhat proud of my bad self (as were my mother and husband) for my performance that first day. He also came out before Christmas to see the girls ... and actually gave them a pretty cool Christmas pressy (one I wish at this point, he hadn't bothered with ... because ...) then, he was gone again. He missed the girls birthdays - AGAIN ... and he is playing the whole: 'it's her turn to call me' game AGAIN! SIGH!

So, how much do I take? When can I safely say "I did everything I could". Just how many things do I actually have to do? This pisses me off so much, I could spit ... and scream ... and spit again!

Why is it that I can not make peace with this?


brite said...

I went through similar crap with my father, the most difficult one was my decision to be a single mom, but in the end I put aside my dashed expectations of what I wanted my dad to be and decided that some kind of relationship with him, no matter how stilted it was at the start, was better than none. And it got easier. And it was worth it.

I'm with your hub on this one are not going to 'make peace' with this by simply cutting him out of your ( and your kids')life. By the time my dad passed away, I was so glad that I had let go of my 'issues' and had spent time with him and that Max got to know him a little as well. Then again, what works for me may not work for everyone. So here's some (((((((hugs)))))) if you don't like my assvice.

melinda said...

I have Daddy girls now have Daddy issues. The best advice I've ever gotten was,
'When people show you who they are believe them'

So, now I believe them.

My girls have a minimal relationship with their Dad and my comments to them is 'he is giving you all that he can, because that's all he can give'
Ya, I'll stop talking now.

Amethyst Anne said...

Late to the party as usual, I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog to that..humm there is some merit there.
So you don't ask the easy questions do you?

I can say is that you cannot make your Dad be what you want him to be to you or your girls.
I think that you (as the adult, who is trying to have an adult relationship with her Dad) have done and tossed out a rope for him. It is really more in his court here.

You as a mother of two girls, are doing the very best you can to teach them to be strong, loving, caring, intellectual women who will know how to stand up for themselves. Their sense of family comes from some where (what youand hubs have made for them) and it is only natural as Mother bear, to want the best for our kids, including a relationship with their grandfather. Which is why I commend you on your efforts.
Because of his actions, he is the one who is losing out on precious time with his granddaughters and in the end that is his decision- not yours!

As for making peace, I think you cannot make peace because you still need something from him.

But then on the flip side, I don't know a lot about shite, but I do know that you are one hell of a lady with a wicked family and anyone that would pass up time to spend with you or those two beautiful girls, is a fool in my book!
And Kisses for all of you!!

Jerry said...

The relationship between a father and daughter rips through so many emotional layers. I am pleased to say that my past with my daughter had more warm and meaningful times than tumultuous periods.

I don't know you, but from reading this entry I have developed a tremendous respect for you. So as an outsider, a bit biased since I am a father, I suggest that the angst shouldn't continue. The actions that both of you have taken have satisfied none and leaves your heart heavy. Perhaps just reestablishing contact with your father without the past dominating might help. As hard as it may be, just leave the past unaddressed -- and proceed anew.

Perhaps, just perhaps, he could be beneficial and enjoyable as he is now without guilt or accusations hanging over either of your heads. Accept him as he is today and allow a new relationship to develop. Maybe later, much later, the two of your can revisit the past in a lighter and more conversational vein.

Here I am...sticking my nose in where it doesn't belong. I apologize....just wanted to share a thought or two.



dauneobrien said...

oh boy.
As you know, I am STILL trying to make peace with my dead father.
It is so very complicated.

I can say that for me, if I had to do it all again knowing my heart now, I would have just given the love with no expectation of anything returned. Then I could have lived with my actions.
Hugs, my friend.

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