There is one relationship in my life that is a constant source of vexation to me. It’s been that way pretty much my whole life. It’s the relationship between my Father and me.
I may have already said that he left my Mother when I was 5. I still remember the argument they had that day but of course I was too young to know what was going on. I remember him leaving though and I remember asking my Mother for several days after where he was until I must have adjusted to the new status quo.
In fairness to her she never stopped me seeing him although it must have been painful for her.

Since then my relationship with him has been intermittent at best with several periods of no contact between us. He is and has been an absent Father.

When I was younger and had visits with him occasionally I was afraid of him. I felt his disapproval of who I was becoming. Our relationship was strained and difficult for both of us.

Thinking about it now the blame has not all been on his side. I have not really played the dutiful daughter either. He came to my wedding but he did not give me away. I asked my brother to.

I read in a book once that when a parental relationship is broken at a young age whether by death or divorce the child left behind is still left at that emotional age that the separation occurs. And that is how I feel when it comes to him. I feel lost as to know how to relate to him. I feel stuck at the age of 5. I can’t forget the years of birthday cards not arriving and my Daddy being away.

When he was married to his 3rd wife, who in my opinion only married him for his money, he tried to give me the marital advice of having regular date time with my husband. A fine sentiment and one we do go by but it felt a bit rich coming from someone on his 3rd marriage!!

I think the sad thing is I don’t need him any more. I don’t need him to be my Dad and I don’t know what else to do with him so we are stuck in a kind of no mans land.

I suppose I feel more anxious about our relationship or lack of it at Christmas because it is supposed to be a time when family gather together. I have bowed to pressure before and invited him to stay but he lives abroad so was unable to come. It’s horrible to say it was a relief in a way because he thinks my religion is a phase, we have nothing in common and one of the last times we spoke he basically told me he only married my Mother because he thought she was pregnant.

It’s still very sad to think of him alone on Christmas Day though.

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt.


25 thoughts on “A Deafening Silence.

  1. Are you sure he is alone? And, if he is against your religion maybe he doesn’t believe in Christmas anyway?

    I too had an absent father, even when he was around. The times we did see him, he was drunk and a bully. When my parents divorced his drinking got even worse (if that was possible) and my mother constantly was asking me to take him the VA hospital (far away) when he got really bad. After years of that, (with the help of my therapist) I refused to do it anymore. He could either stop drinking or die. The choice was his. Well, he stopped drinking. During his last years, he came down with cancer of the kidneys and was placed in a nursing home not far from me. I went there every day after work and visited him until his death. And, that was the only time I remotely had a relationhip with my father.

    1. Actually, you have a point. He may not be alone. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has another girlfriend or wife by now. He’s not against Christmas just Christianity. I’m sorry for what you went through. It’s great you were gracious enough to have a relationship with him at the end. I sometimes wonder if I would care if my Father died? I probably would!

  2. For what it’s worth (free advice, and all…) I had a very difficult relationship with my father. Unfortunately, I was never able to resolve it while he was still alive. He died in 1982. That was well before I came to the Lord and found my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

    You have that, and as daughters of our Great and Merciful God, we all can afford to be generous and forgiving. Since you have a Father who is faithful, who loves you beyond measure, and who is with you every day, including Christmas, why not redefine your relationship with your earthly father? Even though he doesn’t believe, he is still a son of your Father, which makes him your brother.

    Meet him where he is, which is what Christ did. Just love him for the imperfect, wanting, lost human being that he is. And pray that somehow, he finds his way, not to Christianity, but to Christ. Perhaps that will allow you to let go, and focus on your Lord and your own family this holiday with less stress and more love.

    Bless you.

      1. I thought about it a lot, especially in relation to my own dad. It’s difficult, but I wish I had been able to cast love and light on him before it was too late. Just wanted to share.

        Glad we’re connected.

  3. I can totally relate to this.
    The great thing is though that we have an amazing loving father in heaven who will never leave us. I know I take great comfort from that.
    just keep praying for your dad. Not much else you can do xx

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