When dreams come.

The other night I dreamt about my father. Nothing unusual in that you might think but it’s unusual for me. That’s because we don’t have a functional relationship. In fact I can’t remember the last time we spoke other than by email and that was a year or so ago.

This is pretty much how it’s always been. He’s not a significant part of my life and I’m used to that. I accept that. Gone are the times I’ve sat by the door on my birthday wondering if this is the year he’ll remember me. 

I rarely think of him now. I may get a twinge of jealousy when I see my friends having a great relationship with their dads but on the whole I try not to dwell on it. This is how it is and it is largely my choice too. 

It’s not all his fault. He’s made efforts in the past to be in touch and for us to see each other but he left when I was 5. He has rarely been a Daddy figure in my life. We’ve both tried but our relationship is lacking something and neither one of us is desperate to rebuild it.

And yet in my dream I asked him “just tell me are you ever going to make time for me? I need to know”. 

Why did I need to know? I’m not sure. It seems laughable to me now. I’m happy with my life mostly and I don’t often grieve on the things I don’t have. Instead I try to be grateful for the things I do have.

The dream left a bitter taste in my mouth. It brought up feelings I thought were dealt with. Things that I’m tired of dwelling on continually.I guess I’m still that little girl who misses her Daddy. The difference is now I’m older and harder inside . I choose not to have a relationship with him because it’s easier for me.

It’s an awful thing to not be able to relate in part to your children because they know the joy of having a Dad there every day. A Dad who loves them and cares for them. They’ve never known anything different. They take it for granted and I’m so glad for that. It’s just sometimes……

I wish, I’m not sure really, I suppose I wish my childhood had been different. I wish my Dad had been there.

The honest truth is I can’t forgive him for the fallout he left in my life by leaving.

He has told me awful things about my parent’s marriage, that no child should have to hear, how do you bounce back from that?

And yes I’m a Christian and yes I know I should forgive him. I’ve tried to, several times but the guilt that arises from not being able to manage such an onerous task combines with the pain of the unforgiveness.

It’s not something that I could ever accomplish by myself and thankfully I don’t have to.

The only legacy he has left me with is insecurity and this I could do without. It colours every relationship I have and causes me to second guess myself continually.

Was I too open with that person? Did I share too much? Was I too clingy or needy in that relationship? Is anything I do of any value? Did I say the wrong thing in that text or that comment? What did so and so mean by that or by this?

I hate it. I hate being an insecure person. It’s awful. 

So this is why I try not to revisit this relationship, this topic. It is what it is. It can never be changed. It can never be unhappenned( if there is such a word!)

But oh, sometimes, only sometimes, I wish it could be.


The resulting Fallout.

I’m feeling particularly sad at the moment watching a good friend going through a divorce.
I was 5 when my parents parted. It would be true to say I remember very little of their time together. It has coloured every area of my life though. I find it difficult to trust male figures in my life. My head knows that’s not rational but my heart is slower to catch on. I am fortunate though that I don’t recall the fall out, the accusations of adultery, the recriminations, the custody hearings. They have all passed into the ether like so many of our childhood experiences.

For me my Father simply wasn’t. A non thing pretty much. A non person.  Absent. A fact of life I accepted and didn’t question as a child. It was how it was.

It has coloured my vision of marriage. Christian marriages are meant to be forever but my view of that is “forever got shorter all of a sudden” and don’t take things for granted. I’m just not convinced some couples are meant to be together.
Yes my Mother struggled financially. Yes she was grieved and heartbroken for a while but she was free. Free to be her own person, unlike when she was married to my Dad. Having said all that I do believe that God can heal broken marriages so well that there is no sign of the cracks in the first place but that is dependent on both parties being desirous of that result.

So. Back to my friend. I feel for her. Even though there has been no love in that marriage for many years it must still be a big adjustment suddenly being a single parent. Her children are much older than I was and sadly aware of everything that is going on between their parents. They are party to and witnesses of every cross word, every unkind solicitors letter, every hurt and recrimination.
It is heartbreaking.

I don’t have a perfect marriage. I get things wrong often, say wrong things, do mean things, put myself first instead of others. All of marriage is an adjustment and goes through different seasons. There are times when the love that brought you together may seem to be deeply hidden or no longer there.

I wish I could say I had the answers. I don’t. What I would say is divorce is not only between parents. Children suffer the fallout, the perhaps forgotten birthdays, the lack of contact, the feelings of blame, the if onlys.

How much could be saved if we took a step back, took a deep breath and started over?

I’m not talking about unwise marriages or forced or violent marriages. They are governed by different laws.

Maybe it’s not a bad thing to recall what brought you together with someone in the first place. It’s easy to give up. You just stop talking and do nothing. You convince yourselves the kids will be ok, that it’s better for them to be with happy as opposed to rowing parents but you cannot turn the clock back and once you go down that route you can’t undo it.

It IS possible to rear happy children after the trauma of divorce and I applaud my friends who have done so but in my opinion only when God and forgiveness are included in that equation.

Please remember this is my blog and my views. I am not meaning to cause any offence and I am not an authority on the subject although I was once a child in such a situation.

You must judge for yourself any truth herein.

A Deafening Silence.

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.