Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One of the many skeletons in my closet

I don't know my father. I have never seen his face. I don't know what his voice sounds like. I have never held his hand or kissed him goodnight. I have never known a father's love.

My father only lived 10 minutes away, but he never came to see me. My father paid child support for 18 years, but he never once requested a visitation. When I was a senior in high school, my mother sent my father a picture of me. He returned it and asked not to be contacted again.

By and large, his absence and unwillingness to love didn't bother me. I never knew what it was like to have a father, and it is hard to miss something you've never had. As a teenager, I likened it to being born without your eyesight. It is almost impossible to pine over something you've never experienced. The idea of a father sounded great, but it was just that - an idea. Not my reality.

Now that I am an adult, with my own children, I sometimes feel a simmering of emotions under the surface. As I watch my husband play with Porgie and Izzy, and I often feel a twinge of sadness. Why was I so easy to forget, to brush aside, to dismiss? John loves our children with every fiber of his being. Why didn't my father even want to see my picture?

Although I have no intentions of contacting my father (EVER), I do sometimes wonder what he thought about me. What were his motivations for ignoring my existence? Does he regret his actions? Has he told his other children about me?

I guess my curiosity stems from one simple question - How can a father not love his child?

16 comments:

Midwest Mommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Midwest Mommy said...

Ok, I reread and then saw the answer to my question. I just don't get it. There are even mothers who do the same thing...how?

Just Jiff said...

I don't get it either. But my guess is that if he had other kids and a wife, then it was "easier" for him to just pay for you and pretend you never existed. Then he wouldn't have to arrange visits with you, swap holidays, etc. It just sucks and unfortunately he missed out on a great daughter.

Just Jiff said...

And even more so, he is missing out on awesome grandkids.

Clare said...

i can't imagine!! sending you hugs!

Nellie said...

I don't understand how someone can do that either. Mothers especially. I worked in a child support office for a few years and it was the hardest place I've ever worked. Sending smiles :).

Jenny said...

i think it is shocking that a dad would do that to his own child. it seems very heartless. obviously your mom gave you lots of love to make up for it because it seems like you have a wonderful family!

amanda said...

i wish i had the answer or some wise words....

i don't get it either. never will.

thankfully you gave your kids john and they will never ever know that feeling or have those questions.

Mama Kalila said...

I am so sorry... I don't get it either.

Eva said...

I'm sorry buddy.

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Lainey-Paney said...

I can't begin to answer that question.

Lainey-Paney said...

But---I think that the fact that you are now a parent would certainly make you see your own parents differently. The good, the bad, and to question the motivations behind their actions and choices....all of it. Becoming a parent changed everything for me. EVERYTHING.... So I understand that it would bring feelings to the surface...

Laura McIntyre said...

I cannot answer your question, i cannot start to understand it.

My 7 year old neice does not have her dad around, he was sort of there the first 2 years then moved away. For a while he phoned once a year but then stopped that. He moans about my sister , how horrible she is and now and then sends her a message saying he will go for custody but never makes any attempt to be in her life. He does not pay child support, every time he starts working and the child support agency catch up with him he quits the job. My neice is an amazing girl, i cannot understand why he does not want to be her dad.

dani said...

i know your question was probably wholely rhetorical, christy; but, i would surmise he feared knowing anything about you. men really are cowards... especially with matters of the heart.
more than likely, he was scared that knowing/seeing you would create a yearning or a bond, which would make his life more complicated. hence, not seeing you was easier.
you know... that is why most women are advised not to see the babies they give up for adoption.
i am relieved for you that you have been able to, for the most part, compartmentalize him in much the same way he has you.
it is HIS greater loss, though.
much love and a hug,
dani

msprimadonna67 said...

It's really beyond comprehension the way some people choose to respond (or not) to their own children.