Mumblings of a Muddled Mind

I like to write about what matters to me and to raise awareness for mental health. I suffer from mental illness but that does not define who I am.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Avoiding Dad

I reckon that I am pretty much the master of avoidance. It's quite simple to do, especially if there are feelings involved. My relationship with my father is a strange one, that's for certain. He seems to want to love me to the best of his ability (it's an odd thing, his love) and I seem to want to avoid being loved and also all of the hurtful feelings that surround the man who is my father.

When I was young and living with my mother, I was not allowed to see him. It was her decision because he was a biker (BADMAN!!) and I guess he wasn't shaping up to her standards after she became impregnated with me. I have to wonder however, how she justified being with such a person if she was so opposed to having him in my life after my birth. Apparently he lived with us until I was 2 when my mom had decided she'd had enough of his biker ways. After that he was sent away and told to never try and see me.

I spent a lot of time as a child wondering who my father was and why he wasn't around. I got some very flimsy excuses from my mother but never the truth. The truth being that she had "banned" him from seeing me. I was told she didn't know where he was all the while he was living within a 1 km radius of my apartment. I recall running into him at the grocery store when I was very young, he spoke to my mother and I remember after, asking her who he was and she told me it was my father. She did more harm than good by banishing him from my life. My childhood was spent very angry and frustrated. I took a lot of tantrums and I cried a lot about the father I never had.

I felt it was my fault somehow that he didn't want to see me. I must have been a bad girl; not worth loving enough to stick around or even to try to contact me or have visits every now and then. I was just an accident. One that was not supposed to bind this man and woman together for the duration of my life. I was told that he didn't want anything to do with me and of course, I believed my mother. I would find out later, after she passed away, that this was not quite the case. Or was it?

I overheard my grandmother and my mother talking one night after they had a few drinks in them. I was over at my grandparent's house and I awoke at some point in the night after being asleep for a while to use the washroom. I could hear some arguing going on downstairs and so I eavesdropped on them, as most curious children often do. I found out a couple of things that night as I listened from the top of the stairs. I found out that I was a mistake, that I was a bastard. I also heard that he raped my mother and that's how I came to be. I heard my Nanna asking my mother if she ever planned on telling me the truth about what happened. I suppose it was to quell the beast within myself by telling me that my father was a really bad man. My mother never told me. I kept these secrets locked away in a safe place in my mind. To this day, I don't know if the rape story is true but I am a bastard. This I know all too well.

After my mother passed I became very angry with her for keeping me all to herself and not at least allowing supervised visits or something, anything! Then I tried living with him out in Alberta but that failed for reasons already stated in this blog. It wasn't until I attended a 10 day super-intensive personal retreat that I realised that it was not just my mom who was to blame.

The retreat I attended was one in which the focus is placed on your parents and the traits you either a) adopt from them or b) adopt but rebel against with in the first 12 years of your life. The mission of this organisation is to allow you to recognise these traits and free yourself from them as they are your parent's and not yours. It's objective is to stop the never-ending cycle/vicious circle that supposedly rules our lives without us being aware. Well, it worked alright. It worked too good. It opened up a whole new can of anger and sadness that I didn't want to admit existed in me.

I was sent there by my request via my grandmother as it costs a pretty penny and I could not afford the fee at the time. I was going there with the intention of finally forgiving my mother and letting go of all of the pain that surrounded her and her death. My main focus was to be on my mother. We were asked questions in a questionnaire before our arrival so they could assess and tailor your treatment as best as they could. I answered most of the ones concerning my mother but since my father was not in my life as a child I didn't think it relevant to answer all of the questions concerning him as he as he was not in my life when I was young, nor could I as I did not have the answers.

It was about half-way through the course when we started to focus on our fathers that I snapped. We were doing some cathartic work by bashing wiffle bats onto a large pillow while focusing on the negative traits. Oh it worked. It worked too well. I was bashing away at the cue cards with the traits written on them when "abandoning" came up as one of his traits. I started to bash the SHIT out of that thing. I mean, I was having a blast hitting things and all and when I was doing the ones for my mother, I was more sad than angry. I started yelling at the damn pillow (aka my father) and I cried and yelled for quite some time.

Up until this point, I had completely put all of the blame on my mother for his behaviour, or lack thereof because that was easier. It was much easier to think that she had told him that she'd kill him if he should try and contact me or have visits when I was young. He had done the same thing himself while I was living with him, he put all the blame on my mother saying that there was nothing he could do but respect her wishes.

I'm sorry, but if you love your child as one should love a child, there is nothing that can stop one from seeing said child. Why didn't my father take her to court? Why didn't he try and sneak visits in with me when he knew the park I played at almost 24/7? He only lived about 4 blocks away from the damn park! This realisation hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was so upset and angry at my mother for abandoning me when my father did exactly that, only when I was 2. So now I firmly had two parents who abandoned me only it took a lot of thinking that I didn't want to do to bring it out of me. All along I knew this, for I am not naive, nor am I dull. I'm pretty sharp and always was, so I would pick up on things that other children didn't. I was just also VERY good at blocking things out of my mind that hurt too bad. Who am I kidding, I'm still a master of that!

The good news is that I came out of the retreat having forgiven my mother for what she did. I had found compassion for her and I was able to take a good long look into what she had become as a result of learning behaviours or rebelling against them from the grandparents. I could no longer blame her for what she did. I still get quite sad because she abandoned me but I no longer hate her. I no longer have the penchant for violence I once had due to all of that anger regarding my mother.

I have a whole new ballgame to deal with now as I was not quite able to forgive my father the way I was able to do with my mother. I wasn't intending on finding anything that would make it about my father in the first place. Unfortunately, I did.

Now my father is slowly dying of his own accord. He has late-onset diabetes and he's lost a leg and four fingers thus far as he doesn't seem to give a flying fuck enough to quit drinking or smoking cigarettes which is what is taking his life away so quickly. He doesn't eat right at all either. I figured after losing a leg that he would smarten up and take better care of himself. I was wrong. Next went the fingers. Now he's riddled with pain and sores that wont heal. I am watching my father die and I am still angry with him for not being in my life when I was a child, when I needed him most.

I don't know how to relate to him as I should. I have a weird thing about men. I suppose it stems from not having them in my life at all (with the exception of my grandfather who tried his best but was pretty anti-social/anti-emotional) when I was growing up.

He gets mad at me for not calling him, yet he doesn't really call me either. He rarely remembers to call on my birthday and I can count on one hand the gifts he's given me for xmas and birthdays whereas I get him gifts all of the time. It's not really about the gifts though, just the thought. It would be nice to know you are thought about other than when you call and get in shit for not calling often enough..

The reason why I don't call as much as I should is because I have given up on him getting better and now he's dying. I don't like dying; death. I don't do well with it at all for obvious reasons. So now I am trying to avoid him as much as I can because if I should have that talk with him and forgive him, it will be that much worse when he does die. I will lose my only living parent and I don't know if I could handle the pain of losing someone I really, truly love again.

I seem to be doing the same with my grandmother whom I love to death... but that's another story. I feel awful about it, but I don't want to die myself. I can only fight myself off from ending it all so many times before it actually happens. When my grandfather passed I couldn't even go to the hospital to say goodbye. I regret it now immensely but there's nothing I can do to change what happened there. I went out after he passed and got SO fucking drunk and then I popped a bunch of ecstasy and truth be told, I hoped I would not wake up. I did wake up however, and my daughter was conceived a month later.

Sorry Dad, nothing TOO personal... :/


  1. Damn that sounds like it would be tough for anyone to deal with.

    The way to keep from taking the handful of pills and not waking up is to understand what it will do to YOUR daughter. You already know how other peoples decisions and actions have affected you your entire life.

    Good luck.

  2. I think you should have that talk with your dad, and forgive him while you have the chance. Your regrets for not having forgiven him while he's still here will far outweigh, and outlast your grief for opening your heart to him fully before he dies.

  3. I'm sorry about your relationship with your dad. Wow.

    I have a tendency to distance myself from the sick and the dying, too. I guess it's a form of self-protection.

    The Other Bastard

  4. "So now I am trying to avoid him as much as I can because if I should have that talk with him and forgive him, it will be that much worse when he does die."

    i think you will fell worse for not taking the opportunity to say what you wanted to. i am trying to work through this exact thing right now. i did not do it when i had the chance.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys.

    Sage: She's teh reason I am alive today and I never want to put her through what I went through.

    SB: It very much is a form of self protection and for myself, it's cowardly of me. I need to face my fears more often.

    To my two hunnies: Thanks for the advice, I know I should take it but it's going to be difficult. I love you !


  6. It helps not to be too self-absorbed.

  7. LoL.

    Who is the person and why are they afraid to post using their real account? Ahh the internets.

  8. @ Rachel Harvey: only someone who's self-absorbed would post such a comment as that. If you have nothing constructive to add to the comment list, then why be a waste of space?

  9. The stuff I found out about about myself listening in on siblings when I was growing up. wow