Paternity

6 12 2007

I have dad issues. My dad has issues. We all have issues. What’s new? Most of my friends have “normal” relationships with their fathers.

My relationship with my dad is non-existent. I’ve tried, but it’s not there. Many letters have been written but never sent. Many numbers dialed but few conversations. I would like to have a healthy relationship with him, but I’m convinced it’s not possible. I don’t know who he really is. The few times I’ve spoken to him, it’s always been a shell of a person, a mask over who and what he really is. A charade.

You see, physically and mentally he’s a wanderer. He’s constantly in new circles of friends, business relationships, organizations, life philosophies and religions. I remember him studying Islam when I was younger. Later he was involved with Elk Lodges and masonry. The last time I saw him he had on clergy attire. He used to changes job very frequently and move often too. His attention seems to fade quickly from all things he gets involved with. That’s one trait I’ve partially picked up.

I understand that not all people are meant to be parents. Not everyone can put their personal goals on hold long enough to ensure a future for their offspring. Not everyone can deny their desires to indulge in disposable goods for the sake of another being. Everyone is just not cut out for parenthood. And that’s why I resent my dad. We all know ourselves well enough to vaguely predict certain behaviors. I’m sure he knew that he would not be able to put aside his ever changing interests for the well-being of another person (spouse or child). I resent his dishonesty to my mother, to all the women who have ever been in his life. I resent his selfish intentions. I resent his patronage of my grandmother. I resent his failed marriages, his fatherless children, his unused education, his waste. He has made it hard for me to trust men.

Nevertheless, I appreciate some of his influences. His involvement with a woman (a mistress) who cared for foster children is what first exposed me to adoption and caring for people you don’t know. His involvement with another woman (an ex-wife) exposed me to photography as one of her sons was a professional photographer. His inability to keep a job made me a committed employee. His lack of focus drives me towards the finish line.

He’s not a horrible person. He simply doesn’t recognize his limitations. His limitations make me afraid to have my own children. It would really hurt me to know that there’s another person just like him in the world…and that I’m responsible for them.

I need to release myself from the bondage of him in my mind. I hope this helps.

Dear Dad,

I’m not trying anymore. You know better than anyone else in the world that I’m likely to change my mind, but today I’m stating that I will not attempt to build something with you that we are both incapable of maintaining. I am accepting who you are, what you are, what we are and what you stand for. I pity you for not accepting this as well.
I’ve inherited enough of your characteristics to know that a physical relationship will benefit neither of us.
I have done well despite (and in spite of) your influence. You would be proud. My mother is extremely proud. She’s provided the support of 2 parents for 25 years and she deserves to feel a world of pride. I’m building relationships and making positive memories. My future will not include you.

Your daughter and namesake,

Coop

I think I’ll mail this one.

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One response

7 12 2007
stephanie

all great things start with affirmations!

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