The next few years will be full of this debate.

by

Coming here in a bit of a fuddle this evening. Bouncing back and forth – am I selfish? Totally justified? Why the fuck is my ‘family’ so fucked up?

Long and short, my father did not bring gifts for the babies when we met with him over Christmas. He promised to send some. Here it is, the first of February, and not even a couple of cards for Snort and Coconut on this, their first Christmas.

My father’s mother also gave him money for me and TMD – no mention of the babies. Surprise, surprise, we have not seen the money. Now, I don’t really care about a small sum of money that much, but it’s the fucking principle of the thing. My aunt apparently saw a card when she was at my ‘grandmother’s’ house, from my father. He thanked her for the money for us and said he would use it to take us out for a meal.

So the one hour meal he spent with us? We apparently paid for it. (He refused to take a full day off work to spend with the babies, and his partner didn’t even come for the lunch.)

There was also no mention of the fact that my grandfather had two great-grandchildren in the obituary. My father never even called or emailed to tell me that he had died. He still has not gotten in touch.

This shit pisses me off, brings up every situation that has passed like this – a long line of disappointments and doubt.

I was used to the idea of never expecting anything from my father. In my early twenties, I can recall exactly one time that my father brought me anything but misery, guilt, and anger. Since that point, no. My teen years? Don’t make me fucking laugh.

My childhood? Oh, what a jumble. What a fucking borderline personality dreamscape – full of absolute terror one minute, laughter and relief the next.

It’s not about me anymore. It is about my children. Do I want to have to explain to them when they are older why their birthday(s) will always be forgotten? Do I want them to understand, far too early, that some people are not to be trusted – and these are people who claim to love you? People who have their blood running through your veins?

This year Coconut and Snort are too small to understand who the jolly, fumbling, disconnected fat man who briefly cuddled them is. Next year they will be too small. But time has a way of passing, and history has a way of repeating itself when people do not want to open their hearts. Is this what I want for my children?

I have not had a moment of pure joy with my father since I was very, very young. What is there for my children?

I feel like a heel. The man’s father has died, my father has never been capable of a normal human relationship – why do I expect change now, etc etc. I do not wish to bring pain into anyone’s life. I kind of thought, ‘Oh, what’s the harm. They’ll see him once every few years, he’ll be a kindly stranger, they’ll have fun on his boat.’

The proof of harm comes here, in the form of a 31 year old non-daughter, who still feels such burning pain and hatred and confusion. I want to stand between our children and this man, this selfish little boy, and bear all the hurt for them. But can I grin and bear it, not be true to my children or myself, spend the rest of his life making his excuses for him?

There is no point in reasoning with my father. There is also no point in confrontation, even when I know I can use my gift with written words to wound, slash, blame. I have done it before. He cannot hear. He is false promises and lies, he is self-centred and genuinely innocent (in his mind) of these actions that hurt others. He twists me up in knots, and I feel hate in the middle of my chest. It’s hot.

This is not something I want to feel. This is not something I want my children to feel.

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8 Responses to “The next few years will be full of this debate.”

  1. PottyMouthMommy Says:

    I too have a… um… complicated relationship with my father. It was a difficult decision to let him be in my daughter’s life. But I allowed it, and I truly believe that while it lasted, it will create good memories for her.

    It ended when the good memory-making stopped. My father is a hateful, vengeful, horrible man who loathes anyone he can’t control. My husband (not my daughter’s bio-dad) cannot be controlled by my father- and so my father spent an entire week attempting to indoctrinate my daughter into hating the man who’s been there for her more than anyone else in her life (besides me). That’s the last time she saw or spoke to him, and it’s the last time she ever will as long as I have a say in the matter.

    I don’t envy you having to make this decision. I still worry that I’m somehow damaging my daughter by denying her the relationship with her grandfather, but when I think of how damaging his hate and anger can be- I realize that it’s better this way. Best of luck!

  2. litemochamom Says:

    My heart reaches out to you. While I have a tremendous realtionship with my father, I am completely estranged from my late mother’s (she passed when I was 4) family. I mean 0 contact for many of the same reasons you mention. I made this decision years ago after a serious confrontation with an aunt. I didn’t tell them I was getting married, my grandmother doesn’t know she has great grandchildren. I don’t want them in my children’s life. There was so much stress and hurt and once I decided to keep my life separate I felt a sense of peace. I’m not suggestng you should sever all ties, I’m just saying that you should do what is right for you and your family and feel no guilt. Your children come first, you should also be a priority. Feel empowered to do what feels right.

  3. nic @mybottlesup Says:

    i weep for you in reading this post… your heart, bare and raw. i am anxiously awaiting a trip to meet my wonderful friend who has met the love of her life after being hurt many times over. she has a child via IVF and has since created the family of her dreams with her soon to be wife. quite honestly, their story is the greatest love story i have heard of all time. their family is beautiful, loved… complete.

    it breaks my heart to read of your disappointment, angst, etc… though entirely justified.

    sending you peace.

  4. saralema Says:

    I’m so sorry you are going through this. It royally blows. I can only offer my perspective as a child who’s maternal grandmother was fairly absent from her life.

    Grandma Y lived in Florida my entire life. I only remember seeing her maybe a ten-twelve times in my life (she died when I was 23). I spoke to her on the phone occasionally and she did send cards/gifts, but I didn’t know her any better than I know my UPS man.

    Grandma Y probably did the best she could as a mother, but she was a bitter, mean, and somewhat evil, woman. The summer my Grandpa was seriously ill and we stayed in a camper near the hospital with her. There was an argument (over what? my 8 year old self didn’t pay attention) and I remember my Grandmother telling my mom she wished she never had her. It wasn’t just something said out of anger- she meant it.

    I can honestly tell you that I don’t feel that I lacked because she wasn’t around. I had my parents who I knew loved me and an AWESOME Grandma and Papa A. I didn’t miss her presence as a kid. As an adult, I do wonder what she was like and what made her the way she was, but I don’t feel pain or loss. Who I do feel pain for is my mom, because I know how much and how deeply my Grandmother hurt her. The absence of my grandmother from my life hurt her far more than it ever has or ever will hurt me.

    I once heard Dr Joy Brown talk about grandparents being the icing on a child’s cake. What matters most to them is their parents and receiving their parents’ love. I liked this analogy. I truly think that Coconut and Snort will be just fine because they have you and TMD and their cake will be iced by the circle of friends and family you build around them.

  5. Megs Says:

    I have to agree with saralema. I think that your children will be just fine even with limited or no contact from their grandfather – they have TMD’s parents & Bil’s family in Country B, they have your mom & bear & blondie in Country A (yes, i had to reference your ‘Everyone Else’ list to get the code names right) And most importantly they have you and TMD – i think that is PLENTY!

  6. Jen(theremotejen) Says:

    I could write volumes on this. Suffice to say, my bio mom took off when I was 7–my step mom and dad don’t give a shit and abused me in multiple ways–and I, too, am trying to figure out how they’ll fit into L&E’s lives. Right now, it’s “if they want information, they’ll call for it.” I don’t call them anymore, becuase its too much strain on me. So, I haven’t spoken with them since CHristmas.
    It’s a tough situation. I want the babies to have grandparents. But if those grandparents are destructive? I’m not sure where to go with that.

  7. Darlene Says:

    No one can have power over us unless we give it to them.

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