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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Where’s Dad??!?

 

Statistics show how damaging it is for children who grow up without a father in the home. I don’t know about everyone else, but looking back on my life now as an adult, I can see the huge ‘hole’ in my life because my father was gone.

My father served in the Army, involved in WW2 & Korean Wars. That is hard on every man. According to mom, he had many frustrations, & issues. Even tried to get help from the military doctors,only to be dismissed & laughed at. Those he needed for help, failed him.

All I know of my father is from my mother’s memories, as I have none of my own. Though she told my sister & I about our father so much, her thoughts became mine.

I was born in 1957, {yes I am ‘old’}, I was a preemie. Weighing in at only 4lbs, which the hospital kept me for a month, in order to give me time to grow & gain a few pounds. My father did get to see me through the nursery window. As far as I know, he never got to hold me. Things happen for a reason, & purpose, which takes a lifetime to figure out, if ever.

The very exact day that I as an infant that I was to be coming home from the hospital, to join my family, my mom, dad & sister. A day that should have been filled with joy, laughter & love. Turned into a major tragedy, a day full of sorrow & heartbreak.  Because that is the day my dad, for whatever reasons, known only to him, decided to blow his brains out while sitting in the car, in the driveway at home.

Leaving my mother to be the person to find him! What a terrible, horrible thing to do to someone! No one should have to discover their loved one dead ..ever! I won’t go into the gory details or anything, but this one choice he made, immediately broke up our family. Destroying everything that could have been.

He left a note not saying much, except for us to forgive him. After all these years, I do forgive him, though I never really thought about it growing up, because he was gone, I never knew him, it seemed not to matter much. Can’t know what you miss, when you don’t have a reference point to know what you are missing, if that makes sense to anyone.

But many years have come & gone, mom passed a few years ago. Her memories given to me of dad are fading, but looking back over my life, I now realize, that one choice my dad made…ruined alot of things in my life. He left a huge hole in my heart & life that took me a lifetime to figure out.

Emotionally, not having a dad, left me very insecure, no self confidence, low esteem, years of panic attacks, anxiety, & the feeling of never belonging anywhere, never quite fitting in. Why? Because security comes from a father, since my father was gone, there was no security, no assurance that I was alright. His protection was not there. Yes, my mother was the best mother in the world, she was everything to me, did all she could for my sister & I, the one thing she could not do was… be my FATHER!

The damage has been done, the results life long. The wonderings, & what if’s, of what could have been…. all the things I did not get to enjoy with my dad… such as:

  learning to ride a bike, teaching me to drive a car, walking me down the aisle at my wedding. Family vacations, or just to have enough money to be able to join in school activities, even having a family car, since mom never learned to drive, we had to walk everywhere. Along with a million other things.

Yes, there was love in our home, mom, my sister & I. But life was harder extremely for my mom, trying to raise us alone. I don’t say we were in poverty completely, because we had more than some. But we did without alot, always had the basic things,needs, a few wants.  But not much else. Isolation was hard, just because of the situation, friends, so-called, forget about you if you can’t join in, nor do they offer to include you or provide transportation. Can’t be a social butterfly, if you can not get to the ‘social life’. Which continues to explain, the never fitting in, feelings.

So many other things, damaged by no dad in my life. Looking back, yes my life was easier than most, I was never abused, never involved in drugs or alcohol or that kind of thing. Which is good, but social isolation, growing up without much extra activities, made for an average uneventful childhood.

I could go on & on, but let me just say, if you are blessed to have your father in your life, even if he is not perfect, no one is, cherish that relationship. You don’t know what you miss if he was not there.

Society bears out the huge damage missing, absent fathers has done to generations of children, affecting them into adulthood. So take time to heal & restore that relationship with your dad, if at all possible while you still have time.

Thanks for listening….

 

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