There’s a problem when you have to use google to research what you would say to your own father….
I had to google “reconciling with estranged father”
and that’s exactly what he is: estranged
I honestly haven’t too much about my dad in over a year because I accepted that he is who he is, and he’ll always hurt me if given the chance. That’s all I know from him. Even now that he is out of prison and has made more attempts to reach out to me in the last 6 month then he ever did over the last 10 years, I still haven’t found it in my heart to return a call to him.
But it hurt because I have brothers who are much younger than me, and are at an age where forgiveness and resilience are the highest. At 11 and 13 years old, I would think that it be easier for them to forgive my father than for me. Yet, that is not the case. When my step-mother asked my brother why he doesn’t respond to my father during conversations, his response? ”You taught me not to speak to strangers.”
Wow. I cried when I heard that.
And it wasn’t until now that I put this into perspective: how can I be a good mother to my child one day and preach to them the importance of forgiveness with the acceptance that some people you have to love from afar, but not be able to forgive and accept that fact myself? I’ve never learned forgiveness and moving on because I’ve only been taught to burn bridges and put in the back of my head the negative feelings I have with people who have hurt me. It honestly makes me scared to have children, and it definitely has stifled my ability to make connections with men/friends in general because it usually ends and I don’t know how to end things without it being volatile, and I don’t know reconciliation.
What I do know is: I think often about those I’ve hurt, and I think often about how I hurt them after something negative happened in my life. That’s one pattern in my life that I realize I need to work on, and I do make an effort to handle disagreements and tension with as much grace as possible. I want to look back at my life and be able to say that I tried to be the bigger person and that it just didn’t work.
I also think often about my grandmother and the fact that she has become so anti-social that going into social situations causes her anxiety. I know that she has a sister in which she has not spoken to in over 20 years, probably because of a falling out. She also has an issue with forgiveness and letting go. The fact that she ostracized me because she THOUGHT a poem I wrote about an ex was about her and my father, and since then has not tried to contact me. It hurts. And I don’t contact her either not because I hate her, but because I don’t want to encounter more of the same rejection from her. She was my closest family member and when she cut me off, I went through a serious bout of depression and I did a lot of hurtful things to friends because I didn’t know how to handle life at that point.
However, I think about how I’d really feel if her or my father were to pass and I never attempted to reconcile with them either. Maybe my dad doesn’t know how to be a dad because my grandmother didn’t know how to be a good mother to him either. The same blaming that my dad does and excuses my dad gives to justify his lack of being around is the same as “well I did this and this this just for you to do this to me” type of entitlement that my grandmother does. I don’t want to use a defense mechanism my whole life to justify my shortcomings as a person. I want to grow. I want to not fear having children because of the deep detachments my family has to one another. I want to be confident that my children are going to have a mother who is strong minded, but forgiving and admitting of mistakes. I want my children to see how hard I try to be a good person, so that when I preach to them the importance of seeking internal growth, they understand it’s a life process, but they at least try.
I want my children to have a family outside of just me and my mother and sister. It scares that they may not have that, but it also scares me that I will just repeat the same patterns I’ve seen in my family.
What the media doesn’t show you..
they never change…. Done met the girl and everything