Monday, May 23, 2011

The Father Files: Part II "Elusive Houdini"

There are things about myself that are unchangeable. My Father being a revolving door character in my life is one. They say that a girls first love is her father. In my life, this was so true. I was such a Daddys girl. He was the light of my life. I was his twin. A little chocolate colored version of Kenneth. I never knew how far away from those feelings I would get.

My parents married young at 19 & 20 years old. In hindsight, my Father was not ready for the family he had. By the time my brother Kendrick was born (almost 6 years after me), the marriage was irretrievably broken. They had failed at marriage. My Mom moved forward. My Father would become, for the next 12 years, an elusive figure in my life. He was never really around for any of scholarly accomplishments. He did not contribute financially or emotionally. My Mom worked 2 & 3 jobs to provide for my brother & I. I became disillusioned with my Father. The love fest was over. I did not understand how he could feel good living his life when his kids were struggling. He always seemed so nonchalant about it all.

His Houdini-like acts always left me angry and emotional. By the time I got to high school, my relationship with him was laughable. I challenged him at every given chance. I loved him but had no respect for him. I just didn't understand how he could claim to love us but not do anything to help us survive. He was not the man I once believed him to be. That saddened me on so many levels. In between all of this, I called myself falling in love. I did not have a clue as to what that was or about. I thank my Father to my distorted views.

The bottom line was that I needed him and he wasn't available. He didn't school me on boys or life or love. But I learned major lessons by watching his actions. I was broken then and didn't know it. His thoughtless action caused deep seeded consequences. I'm old enough to recognize it now. I took his nonchalantness as callous and careless. He simply did not care. How could he not care about his firstborn, his daughter? I did not comprehend that.

My Father not being in my house growing up affected me negatively. His not being a constant presence in my life made me feel less than. It took me a long time to admit any of this. I think that I am a better woman for recognizing the problem. I'm not searching for a Father figure in a man. I was blessed with a few great Father-like men in my life. My Father, who came from his own dysfunctional family, did the best he could. I do not hold it against him anymore. I'm not angry at him. I just know how differently if must do things for my kids to break the cycle. Father's are a huge part of a child's life. They are needed in the house and in their life. All children deserve that.

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