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.

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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.

Each heart.

image

I’m ok by the way before people worry but I often reflect on this verse and it’s truth. There is real beauty and understanding in these wise words.

There are times and events and feelings and things that happen to us that we can’t share with others not even those close to us. Not because we don’t want to but because we are unable to articulate our feelings into coherent words. There are some painful things that I only tell to my heavenly Father who loves me enough to bottle my tears.

It’s probably the same way we feel when we’re in a crowd of friends , surrounded and thronged on each side yet alone.

There is a vacuum and a void inside that can only be filled by God. He is a safe place to rest. He will never think less of you or shun you or gossip about you to others. He will always stick close to you. It may seem trite but He is only a prayer away and just waiting for us to call on Him.

When good and bad things happen to us, although friends and family try to understand they cannot see the depths of our hearts or know what makes it sing. Only He can.

Many an introvert is ecstatic inside and many an extrovert is faking their smile. This verse reminds us we are not alone. Someone truly cares and His name is Jesus.

Your bladder is near your eye!

Apparentely the above is a well known Irish saying which first drew my attention when reading one of Frank Mccourt’s books(gritty and very moving by the way). It basically means you are close to tears. At the moment I seem to find myself close to tears a lot. And not in the usual womanly hormonal way either in case you were wondering!

My life and indeed our family life is going through a period of turmoil, something I have already alluded to and nothing that can be elaborated upon in a public forum. Suffice to say we have had the rug pulled out from under us in quite a major way.

This morning I waved my Mother off on her coach home and was proud of myself for once for keeping the tears in check, until the bus disappeared around the corner. Thankfully hubby was there to mop up the tears with coffee and cake. It feels slightly ridiculous to tell you this, I’m 42, not a child, with 4 children of my own. But it gets to me, I don’t want people to realise I feel like this and I don’t know why. Is it the British attitude, the keep a stiff upper lip and don’t look over your newspaper at people on the tube one? I don’t know.

All I know is I’m finding it hard to keep it together at the moment. And anyone enquiring how things are at home are likely to be met with either a choked sob or a look of indifference.

The only comfort as I’m sure any qualified Psychologist would tell you is that tears can be healing. And sometimes our heart and souls are too full to hold the pain.  There is comfort in posting this into the ether, I know some friends will probably see it but really I’m writing this for myself to try and make sense of some things.

God has promised  that he has ” collected all my tears in his bottle” (Psalm 56:8). He is not a stranger to pain or deep sadness and He is not a high priest who is unable to feel our infirmities. Because He loves and feels deeply so do we because we are made in His image.

It is not easy but it is not a weak thing to allow yourself to feel sad. I feel I lived many years on a neutral path feeling very little. So whilst I won’t be openly crying in a corner with wads of tissues in my hands I may allow things to get to me a little.

In fact I feel a little better for having shared. I am blessed, I have a few shoulders I can cry on. But above all I am blessed because I know Jesus, who couldn’t love me more and will never love me less (Michael Card).

Till next time