Friday, July 13, 2012
I've been feeling pretty lonely lately. School's back in, work is busy, and I'm working hard to fit in exercise every chance I get. So I'm not home much, and therefore not seeing my husband much. But it seemed deeper than that. Tonight I figured out why.
I was pretty much ignored as a child. My parents owned their own business, so weren't home much. After I was old enough to stay home alone, I was also on my own for dinner and chores. Whenever I tried to talk to my parents about anything, they were generally "too busy" to listen to what I had to say. Even if they weren't busy at all. I always felt unwanted.
My dad was very social and took part in many organizations. He rose to every occasion where help was needed. While he was never home and didn't participate in his family's life, he would work hard to bring much-needed support for children with disabilities. It was a struggle to be so proud of what he was doing and yet resent him for being absent in my life.
Through lots of counseling and arguments, we reached a truce. Over time, we developed a relationship. When I was 27, my father told me he loved me for the first time I could remember. I didn't know how to reply.
Since that time, we've grown closer and get together fairly regularly. All the old resentments faded - I had parents who loved me and wanted to spend time with me. So when a half-marathon I was doing fell on my dad's birthday, I seized the opportunity to do a father-daughter run. My dad agreed, since he had been a marathoner and wanted to get back into it.
Unfortunately, he didn't have enough spare time to train, and I developed a knee injury. My mom called to tell me my dad wasn't going to run with me, which was fine since I couldn't run. My dad and I decided to postpone the run until the next year...this year. We started making plans early on in the year so there would be enough time to train.
But just a couple weeks ago, my mom called to tell me that my dad had been too busy with his charity work and wasn't going to run with me. Disappointed, I had no choice but to say ok. I can't expect someone who hasn't been training to run 13.1 miles. But I realized tonight that it's bothering me a lot more than I originally thought.
All those feelings of being pushed aside and left behind for the sake of charity work came flooding back. Now I don't mean to diss my dad. He's doing great things, and he's a very driven person for a reason. He gave me a better life than he had, and showed me more affection than anyone ever showed him. So I know he's doing the best he can. But it still hurts, and I feel all alone.
Thanks for listening, SparkFriends. I know that getting these things down in writing helps me get past them. I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Once again you've opened yourself up and written a beautiful blog. I think you have come a long way in trying to understand your father, and why he is the way he is. Once again this is one of the moments in adulthood when we realize that other people are not going to change and be who we want them to be. Not our parents, children, significant others or friends. We can only change ourselves. Knowing his pattern, I think "marathons" would fall into the category of "false expectations." He obviously can't commit to something so long-term, even if he really wants to. But his inability to run a marathon does not equal him not loving you. In his mind they are two separate entities. He simply cannot run the marathon, but he is not realizing that to you it is a symbol of his love and attention. If you take the marathon out of the equation, I'm sure there are many other events that the two of you can do together, and those events will bring about the bond you're craving. Sometimes with my husband, I make too many "non-essential" things a symbol of his love for me, or lack thereof. Then I'm sad and moody and he has no idea why, and I can't even really explain it to him. I just feel deserted if I want attention and he's busy doing something else. I want to scream: but if you really love me, you'll stop what you're doing and put your life on hold to prove it to me by doing what I want. Then I step back and think about how selfish that is. I often have to put my life on hold for others, but instead of that making me feel good inside, I just wind up resenting them or feeling burdened. If I'm craving someone's love, then I have to receive it in the best way they can give it, and spend the rest of the time loving myself and doing what fulfills me in life. It's a very hard lesson for me, but supposedly when I get the hang of it, and stop having expectations of others, I will be a lot less disappointed.
1954 days ago
Comment edited on: 7/17/2012 12:36:11 PM
Oh, Jen. So sorry you are feeling this way. I can totally understand it though. It's very difficult to have someone dedicate so much "love" and devotion to others. Especially "strangers". I am very happy that you have improved your relationship and have grown closer. However, because you love him and care, he can let you down. And I wonder a bit if he knows he's disappointing you. You mention that your Mom is the one to deliver the news. So maybe he's avoiding the hurt in your voice. It doesn't make it okay. Just means he may be slightly aware.
I hope you feeling much better today. As you said, getting these feelings out really helps. And know that I'm hear for you anytime you need a shoulder, ear or hug.
Love and hugs,
1955 days ago
I know what feeling lonely is like. I am glad you got your feelings out!! I hope you and your DAD can talk about this... I know it won't be easy!! Hugs to you!! I am here for you!
That is not the same as your DAD; I understand that!! Both of my parents have passed away. I miss them so!
1956 days ago
I probably would have felt the same way. I'm so sorry Jen, I am sure you were really excited about this. Have you told your dad how much this would mean to you? I would think that if he knew, he would try his hardest to come through.
Hmmm.... when is the half marathon?
1957 days ago
I'm sorry you're feeling lonely and I understand. I hope you're able to get some time with your dad. As a mom with grown children, I can say that sometimes we tend to forget that even adults need their parents. I don't know if you're close enough to him to just say "I really need some time from you" or not but I know if my kids told me that, I'd find time if I could. I think he'd want to know.
And I hope you and your husband are able to find some time together too. Sometimes all these little things add up, leaving us pretty disappointed. Maybe if you're just able to reconnect with him, you'll feel loads better.
1957 days ago
I hate you had to go through these things when you were growing up and have to face the disappointment now of him not running with you. I hope he finds some time for you in the near future, life is to short not to spend as much time as we can with our loved ones. I hope you get to feeling better, maybe you can find a friend or someone to run with you. I know it won't replace your dad but you will have someone. Feeling alone is a bad place to be but we are here for you. Good for you on getting these feelings down in writing.
1957 days ago
Sorry that you are feeling alone and disappointed. If it is appropriate you might consider letting your dad know how disappointed you are that his work came before you, but I don't know if that will help or hurt your relationship. I wish you the best, and hope that you can find the support you need through other people.
1957 days ago
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