The relationship that me and my father share in one word, "emotionless”. Ive been told I was a daddy's girl growing up, but that hasn't been the case for quite some time. I tell my friends on a daily basis "people change, we just have to adapt" not thinking I would ever need to take my own advice. My father has changed. He doesn’t know me as well as he'd like to think he does. He doesn’t even know the obscure, pointless details of my life, and to be honest I don’t think he cares to learn about them.
Now, our conversations have never been heartfelt or deep because he has always been absorbed in his own hobbies, blinded to see the reality of things around him. This isn't the man that raised me. This is a completely new man. A man with new qualities; features that don't benefit me or my mother. An upgrade that I don't enjoy, but cannot return. Characteristics that I wish were not instilled in me, but are nonetheless there.
Sometimes I feel that I have to love my father because, well, he's my father after all. You cannot live under the same roof as someone you don't love, right? The first things you are taught as a child are how to say mommy, daddy and I love you, this isn't just cruel irony.
My father was raised in the Bahamas by his grandmother; or in his words, his real mother. He has never really shared anything about his upbringing with me, but never seized to tell me how lucky I was to be so spoiled in Canada with my cellphones, computers and television. I wish he would explain to me what makes me so spoiled because this is truly all I know. I was raised to think that electricity and television were normal. That hot water and light are things that everyone had. I know nothing about my fathers childhood, and maybe if I did, I would know where this behavior came from.
I'm no psychology major, but maybe emotionless, unaffectionate, silent love was something that he was brought up with. Maybe this is all he knows, and in his mind I am crazy for wanting a complement every so often or holding my breath for some friendly encouragement once in a while. Crazy for wanting him to read my blog just once without pointing out "you used the wrong 'you're' in one of your posts!" or "yeah, I guess it's nice." Just maybe he could shut up and see how much I enjoy writing about things I love, being the author of something that is semi-successful, and that others actually read. Am I crazy for wanting this from my own father?
As much as I'd like to type paragraphs of pure euphoria about having gone on father-daughter fishing trips, and shared bonding moments over a few root beers, that really isn't the case. My father and I haven't spoken in over a month. Why you ask? Because for once I let my anger form words and "how about you try being a parent once in a while" poured off my tongue as if it was something natural to say to him. A single sentence, 5 seconds of speech summing up most of my frustrations.
This happened during a family visit. They all thought we were just joking, so they laughed. In shock he responded "and HOW am I not a parent?" "When you are ready to hear what I honestly have to say, then come talk to me after everyone leaves." As you can tell from our month of silence, he clearly is not ready to hear what I have to say, and can I really blame him? I mean, who wants to be told by their child that they have failed as a parent? No one. I could see the hurt on his face and I sadly enough felt accomplished for once. I had gotten through to him. I did not care about his feelings, because if he knew how angry I was with him, he wouldn't have the balls OR the nerve to tell me how hurt he was.
So I write this for myself because I am scared. Like father, like daughter is an understatement. I am so much like my father when it comes to hiding my emotions, it is almost sad. We are both hurt, but neither of us can swallow our pride and talk about this problem. It scares me to know that one day I could be just like him. Hurting my family in the way that he does on a daily basis, and not even taking any notice. I could be living life, paying no mind to my husbands problems, and not even truly knowing my own children. These things terrify me to my very core.
I despise my father for not being a parent. I despise the fact that he would much rather watch movies alone, they with his beautiful wife and child. I loath the reality that he would rather go golfing with complete strangers then sit and have a conversation at the dinner table with us. I hate that he doesn't go out of his way to complement me like other parents, or lie about the stupid stuff that parents usually do. I dislike him more everyday, my respect for him has been disintegrating for quite some time, and I sometimes feel complete anger towards him without any real reason. This is the truth in it's raw form, how I have felt for a while, and how I will continue to feel unless change is made.
I don't imagine that my father will ever read this because he's more concerned with my grammar and paragraph structure then with the actual content my blog holds, but if he does happen to stumble across it, I hope that he knows that this is not out of spite, pure anger or remorse, it is just how I feel. He has taught me valuable lessons in the process of his parenting errors, which I guess makes him a parent after all.