Wednesday, December 22, 2004

What if...?

I really don't remember what it was like to have a dad. My parents got divorced when I was…actually I don't really know how old I was, but I know I was young. My best guess is that I was about 8 or 9. What did my father and I do before then? I learned how to play baseball, he drove me fast in his turbo charged Ford Conquest. Beyond that, I don't know. After they were divorced, my sister and I got to see him quite frequently because he did not live too far away. Eventually however, he no longer lived so close. He moved to New York, then to Pennsylvania, then to Ohio, and finally to Maryland. Over the passed 10 years or so (I'm just guessing) I haven't seen my dad more than once every year. Every time I see him, I am more and more uneasy around him. We don't talk about anything important. Conversation is filled with generalized topics to try to catch up on the passed year of our lives. I don't know my dad anymore. I have wondered what it would be like if my parents didn't get divorced? How much different would my life be right now? Would it be better or worse? I don't know. I've have lived so long without my father that it doesn't really seem to matter anymore. Right now I think that I am content with the way my life is going, and it always goes along just fine until he sends me a birthday or Christmas card. I do just fine when I don't have to think about dad, and this always upsets me. What is he trying to do? Is he trying to mend our long lost relationship? I don't know. It doesn't seem like it when every year he forgets to wish Marissa a happy birthday, or does so a couple months late. Why does he always remember to send me a card on time but not my sister? Do I really want to try to keep a relationship with somebody who doesn't seem to care, with someone who says he wants to change things but never does? I know that dad is not the kind of guy to try to start a relationship, so should it be up to me to get something going? I don't really feel the need to. I've been fine so far, and my mom has got us through everything. Am I being just like my father when I don't do anything? Do I really want to end my relationship with my dad forever? Well, I really don't have one right now to begin with so I guess the question is will I be fine in the future without a relationship with him?

9 Comments:

Blogger lasoski said...

Mikey, I can't really relate to you as far as not having a father figure. That's a tough situation for anybody and anytime two people get divorced it's painful for all involved.

I can tell you to look at the situation from a different viewpoint.

Try putting yourself in your dad's shoes by thinking about what it will be like when you have a kid. Won't you want to have a relationship with your son?

Anyways, I hope this helps.

12/23/2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mikey-

I can relate perfectly to you because I have pretty much the same relationship with my dad- that is, no relationship! I havent seen him since I was 14 and havent talked to him since I was 16 or so, and he never lived more than 3 hours away. 3 years ago he moved back to my town and lives about 10 mins away, but can't seem to even come see us. He'll send a card maybe at xmas or bdays and make tons of excuses; I'm sure you know the drill.

I know I have a lot of anger towards him still and it's something I have to continually ask God to help me with. I'm trying to get to the point of moving on and letting go. I don't see my dad changing; if he ever did, of course I would forgive him and let the past go (which I try to do anyway). But for me, and I don't know if this is the same with you, I just can't handle the rejection over and over. It doesn't do me or you any good. The jumping in and out of my life just brings up the old wound. I feel like it's a slap in the face everytime, and unless I function in his dream world (as in everything is ok and he's the perfect dad), I don't think he knows how to have a relationship with me. I've written him and told him how I love him and that I'd like a relationship, but still nothing. So you know, I don't think it's reflects badly on us to move on. You have an amazing, full life that he doesn't have anything to do with, and you became the person you are without him. Yes, we CAN be healthy functional people :) And I know it is by God's love and grace alone. The bible says God is "a Father to the fatherless", so the way I see it, you and I have the most AMAZING Father in the world! Maybe we didn't have a dad around to learn from, but we have a Father in heaven to learn and grow with. God isn't going to let your dad mess you up, Mikey. You're keeping your eyes on God, and He's making you into the man He wants you to be.

I feel badly for our fathers. I know my dad is an unhappy man and I think a lot of it is shame and guilt that he doesn't want to face that keeps him away. If our dads were to try to be a real part of our lives, they would have to face their shortcomings and own up to it and change, and I guess that is just too much for them. Much easier to put it off for another day or try to push it out of their minds. But someday they'll have to stand before God and be accountable for what they've done, just like everyone else.

And when it comes down to it, all I can really see is how blessed I really am. I have a mom who loves me, I live in a place I love, I'm healthy and live a full life, and God has chosen me as His precious daughter. I'm part of the best Family in the world. And so are you :)

12/23/2004  
Blogger Hinton said...

Very, very wise words from 'anonymous'. Was that you H? It certainly sounds like you, and you are always infinitely wise so :-)

I certainly can't relate to this situation very well either. However, I know that not having a father figure in your life is an extremely difficult thing to deal with, and much more so for males than females in many ways. The scars and wounds (or arrows, for those John Eldridge fans out there) are very, very deep; sometimes so deep that we don't even realize they are there.

I know that my dad never had a very good relationship with either of his parents, and I can still see the pain that it causes. For example, his mom always sends me a birthday card but never sends him one. I imagine that it makes me feel about the same as when you get one and Ris doesn't: horrible. But one thing that I've noticed, as Laso alluded to, is that my dad tries very hard to show affection to me even though it isn't easy for him. He makes darn sure that he doesn't repeat those mistakes. That's one of the things I admire the most about my father and I know that some day your son will be able to say the same.

Of course, that doesn't help you much with your current situation does it? I think that without a serious change of heart, your father is obviously not going to change his behaviour. (I just typed a 'u' in there. I've been reading too much C.S. Lewis. Oh my. Haha. ) I think that it's important that you let him know how you feel about the whole situation. Let him know that you're upset and that you wish he'd make an effort and, perhaps most importantly, that you forgive him. If you can honestly say that stuff to him, then the ball is out of your court and into his. He may choose not to respond or change, but at that point it's completely his shortcoming and not your own. You've done what you could. I think at that point you can begin healing those wounds.

I realise that's probably easier said than done, especially coming from someone who can't exactly empathize with you.. but I hope it helps nonetheless.

12/23/2004  
Blogger Andy said...

Mikey,

As I was reading your post it kinda made me cry a little as I thought about my own parents divorce. I can't totally relate to your situation mainly because my parents divorce happened quite recently compared to yours. Now that my parents are divorced I really don't have a desire to spend time with either of them, it is just too hard. The byproduct of this whole situation is that I probably have a better relationship with my dad now that I have ever had. Unfortunately, I cant say the same for my mother. The details of my situation is not really the point of this comment, plus it is a long story.

I believe that sometimes there are things in life that are beyond our control. Maybe we only believe we are in control the rest of the time. Honestly, I dont really know how you feel inside, but it seems like since you took the time to write it all down that it bothers you. I say this because in some ways I feel that I dont know my mom any more and I dont know what to do about it. Maybe you should tell him what you think.

It might not make a difference in the status of your relationship, but you really can't lose anything by talking to him about it. One thing is certain, he is your dad. Just as my mom is my mother.

I'm not sure if this has helped at all, but if you ever want to talk about it let me know.

--Andy

12/24/2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave said…

Hi, you know me and you know my family, thus you know I don’t know what your going though and as such I’m not sure if any thing I could say would be of much help to you because while I know what’s going on, I have never lived it. However through Celebration! I have heard so many people with this same situation, So I feel the best advice I can give to you is talk to Ryan, or his brother Alex, or Dan. I’m not sure how well you know Alex and Dan, but I can assure you they are on my list of great people in the world. I know that all 3 of these guys would talk to you as they are going through some part of this in their lives now.


“to the future in the palm of God's hand/ to the past as of now
that I can't understand/ to the future uncertain unclear/ to the
past I left to bring me here i stay i pray

The earth rotates and my world keeps spinnin
feelin like I never started but it's all endin'
and I stand here lonely a million familiar faces
but yet no one truly knows me
so I'll try to move on and I'll try to know how
but the truth is I'm really just runnin from the now
I can't handle it I feel like the future's all I got
don't want to deal with my past
I choose memory block to stop how I feel don't want to be
real with it, run from reality in attempts to deal with it
but it's not workin' and I'm still hurtin,
nah it's not workin' and I'm still searchin'”


These are lyrics from John Ruben’s “no regrets”
I mainly put them on here for the first and last couple of lines-
-We can’t always understand the past and we can never change it must be hard to not think about what it would be like but know that thinking what if (about the past) will not help.
-Through witnesses I have found that while it would seem that it would be the parent’s responsibility to try to make a relationship happen it’s actually normally started by the son or daughter with a note saying how they feel.

Like I said, I don’t know what it’s like so I don’t know if my thought will even be helpful but if you are thinking about your relationship with you father you probably do want to have one with him, and knowing your personality I would also guess you want to have a relationship with him. I’ll be here for you if you ever need anything.

12/31/2004  
Blogger amplification of emotions said...

yeah it;s hard and it's even harder when u don't know what it's like to have a real loving caring dad, but you're a strong person and you just need to make sure you don't make the same mistake

1/07/2005  
Blogger Katie said...

Nice picture bud!

1/12/2005  
Blogger Mikey said...

Yea I changed it because too many people didn't like the last one...lol.

1/12/2005  
Blogger Melodie said...

you keep changing your picture, why don't you change your post?

1/12/2005  

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