Tears of anger, grief, comfort, & joy ~ Father's Day
Posted Sep 29 2008 11:55pm
I have always hated Father’s Day especially when James was around. Both my mother and James made it difficult for me. At the beginning, both insisted that I call him “Daddy,” which I adamantly refused…so I did have some fight in me that was never beaten or threatened out of me. Then, the same story of everyone getting angry at each other and I end up getting slapped, slugged or beaten for causing a fight or disobeying my mother. Eventually, she annually just bought a card and gift and made me sign the card and give it to him. I hated her for making me do this, but I still never called him, “Daddy.” The card was addressed to James and that is what I called him. He would accept the gift and usually like it, but would say to me things that made sure I knew I was not his family and he did not want me to be there.
I remember one Mother’s Day when my mother asked James why he didn’t give her a Mother’s Day card. He responded, “well, you never gave me any children, so you are not a mother to me.” I was really angry that he said something so mean to her and I went over and hugged her and told her Happy Mother’s Day, you will always be my mother. Makes me sick to think I said that to her knowing what I know now. My life was so confusing. Often times, I don’t think I understood what reality was and what was normal. Still don’t to some degree.
My biological father and mother divorced when I was 3 or 4. My father was really hypercritical of me. He also had some OCD issues that he expected the same detail in things that he did, from me. He criticized my mother in what she was teaching me and just how I was as a person. He criticized how I spoke, had my hair done, brushed my teeth, walked, that I spoke too much, how I ate, how much I ate, my grades, how I rode a bike…basically, seems like everything. He slapped me in the face frequently too if I was doing something improperly according to his standards which no one would ever be able to live up to. I remember my hand being slapped suddenly, when he felt I was using chopsticks incorrectly and because I was supposed to eat only one french fry at a time…I was eating two.
My father always made promises that he was “going to call every week and see me every other week,” but it never happened. Not a telephone call, not a visit, not a card…nothing. I last had contact with him in sixth grade and at high school graduation. I stopped trusting what he told me and hoping that things would ever be different. Never could talk to anyone about it…kept it all inside…just made everyone angry to bring him up. The last visit I did not cry at all, but I felt like I was so close to crying…no one ever asked how the visit went, so I never told anyone. I learned to stop talking and not to let anyone in. Also, I stopped asking questions and tried to obtain information from other sources or went without. I always assumed that each visit with him would be my last. Somehow, I knew that after this visit, I wasn’t going to have any contact with him again.
I wish I could tell you that I am angry and hurt, but that would be a guess because I am so numb and trying not to cry. However, my Grandpa was the one who tried to fill in the best that he could. He was/is my primary attachment because my mother certainly wasn’t. It was his passing in 2002 that started this major depressive episode and PTSD. I had lost my only real positive attachment and my protector.
Grandpa knew that he was going to die and started to wrote a small biography which is such a treasure. When he got to my part he wrote, “It was a great day when Clueless was born…those were fun times.” I’ve always found that to be a comfort. He really was the only one that wanted me. I miss him terribly (okay, I’m sad and crying now.) He used to pick me up from school, purchased my first real car and proudly walked me down the aisle when I was married. I think he was more happy than I was…he kept crying. I tried not to, you know the make up and pictures…more important and expensive. I really miss him this year. I think because of realizing how many losses that I have…grief builds up and becomes greater than it really was in the first place. He was such a blessing to me.
Many people have asked me about how I am able to relate to God as my Father. What I tell them, is that it was a lot of work via church ministries and therapy to get things straight in my head let alone in my feelings. God worked on my heart. His love was like a sieve to me. I could sort of hold on to it, but it would strain straight through and get filled again and drain. On thing that helped was writing out all the versus that talked about Him being a Father.
In closing, I want to share a couple of comforting versus for me. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT) “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NASV)
I love you, Lord! Happy Father's Day!
I love you and really miss you, Grandpa! Happy Father's Day!