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I know why I'm screwed up

Friday, June 28, 2013

Just got off the phone with my dad and my insides hurt. It is more than my heart. My stomach is unsettled. My chest is heavy and everything surrounding it feels hollow. I had to work my part-time job on Father's Day. I wait tables. I typically don't wish my dad a Happy Father's Day. I save that sentiment for my mom or brother. This year I felt compelled. These are the exact words from my text:

"Hey dad. I am at work all day so I can't call but I wanted you to know that I love you! Thank you for being there for me when things were really hard. I couldn't have gotten through losing Alicia without you."

That was at 1:47 CST on Jun 16th. As of today, 12 days later, I had not gotten a response. My little brother is only 17 and still lives at home. He is an usher in my wedding and I was needing his new cell number so the two of us could go shopping for his wedding shoes. I called my dad.

You know that tone in a person's voice when they answer the phone and realize that the person who is calling is a bill collector? That is the same tone my dad took when I told him it was me. Immediately my heart shrivelled. I made the call quick, asked for my brother's number. Then I asked if he had received my text. He said, "Yeah but I was on the road to Okoboji." This is his annual fishing trip that he takes with his guy friends. To save him some face and keep me from acknowledging the hurt that he has caused me since birth, I just deflected. Said, "Oh yeah, I forgot it was that time of the year. Will Marquis be home or does he have to work?" He told me what time to call my brother and we hung up.

My dad has never laid a hand on me. There was no crazy abuse, molestation, insults or yelling. The abuse that I felt came in the form of emotional absenteeism, disregard, inaction, and his keen way of showing that I was different from my other brother and sisters.

I was my dad's lie come to life. He and my mother had dated since high school. At a young age they had my older brother. They were so happy. My mom has duffel bags full of pictures of my brother. There are some with my dad looking joyous as he plays with my brother. There are even pictures of my brother and my dad's mom. Everything was grand. Fast forward a few years and my parent's relationship is falling apart. My paternal grandma and mother don't get along. She hooks my dad up with a young lady from her bowling league. My dad goes back and forth between the woman who would become my step-mom and my mom. Ultimately, he moves out and begins living with the other woman. "Supposedly" he and my mom are over. Then she becomes pregnant. A year AFTER he moves in with the other woman. My mom was hoping the pregnancy would bring him back for good, especially since he never REALLY left. My dad was hoping the pregnancy didn't pan out because that would prove to my future mother-in-law that he was, in fact, unfaithful. Well my mother had me, my dad stayed with the other woman, and there begins my life of being the "unwanted."

I tend towards dramatics in most aspects of life. My feeling of being unwanted was more than a feeling. I have been told that. I could go on and on, but I won't. But I have spent my whole life trying to prove to both my parents that I was a good mistake. I tired to be the cutest, most darling, smartest, bestest that I could be, even at a very young age. No acknowledgement. I found myself sneaking food very young, eating and reading my books in my bedroom to feel better. My mom would yell at me for gaining weight, my dad would just avoid eye contact. Or pick up my brother and leave me with my mom. Or take my brothers and sisters shopping without me. We did have scheduled visits. The only thing that made those the tiniest bit enjoyable was my step-mom, the other woman. She never ever treated me like anything other than her child. She knew I was a creative spirit so we would have Craft Nights. She taught me to crochet, to knit (neither of which I can remember now). She would encourage my dad to interact with me. This Mother's Day I cried on the phone with her as I told her how much I appreciated her loving me even after my dad and I divorced when I was in college.

Every therapist I have ever talked to has encouraged me to talk to both my mom and my dad. I avoid it because just as I was reminded with this phone call this morning, it will fall on deaf ears.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You have everything you need in your life right now!!! You can only control yourself. You father is broken and you need to forgive him in order to release yourself of the false expectations you have of him. Forgiveness is for YOU and has nothing to do with HIM. God is everything you need. You have a wonderful life and family that loves you unconditionally and your poor father is missing out. Let him have that misery! You can't do anything about that but what you can do is thank God for the loving people around you and let everything else go. Forgive your father and create a new story.
    Ms. Nikki you are a gift from God. Your here because you was suppose to be. Thank God for it and pray for healing for you father and don't allow him to steal your joy. Its obvious that he's not worth it.

    1753 days ago
    My heart and prayers go out to you sweetie! You are a gorgeous and wonderful gal! Hang in there and keep your chin up! You are strong! emoticon
    1753 days ago
    You have had some good advice here. All I can say is that you have been trying to work through it and that just about all you can do. Writing a letter to both of your parents telling them how you feel and not mailing the letters or just burning them might be a good idea. Getting the feelings out so you don't have to push them down with food is a good idea. Take care. You are too precious! Keep up your good work! You have a couple of real keepers in your step mom and your future MIL!
    1756 days ago
    1st...YOU are NOT screwed up! Please change the negative talk! You have a husband who loves you so please do NOT allow the relationship with your dad ruin that or your future life with your husband!

    I can relate to your story too! I learned this...
    1) I worked on me because my father could never explain to me why he left me.
    2) He was very guilty and in pain himself so it was really hard for him to talk!
    3) He still to this day never talks about it or even apologized for my past!
    4) I am okay with it because GOD has given me so much (husband, kids & a great career)!
    5) For my blessings, I will NOT and REFUSE to show GOD that I am less than grateful by holding on to the pain my father once gave me!

    My father and I worked things out but she still does not call unless I call him. He only calls on Xmas & my B-day which I do not celebrate either! My step-sister he always loved and adored. To this day, they are the closest and again, I am fine with it. Let him have his peace because the LORD gave me mines!

    Sweet dear Nikki, you WILL get & have YOUR peace when you accept that your dad is human and is NOT ready to face his past! He may NEVER be so don't stop your life...LIVE!!!! emoticon
    1756 days ago
  • CAROLYN0107
    So nice you've had your StepMom and also now have your soon to be in law parents. My Mom died when I was 21 but I've had my StepMom for over 30 years now. She became my Mom. My Dad was there for me but he's passed away now.
    1757 days ago
    My situation is a bit different. My dad made me, named me when I was born and never looked back. I've never met him, but he knows who I am and I'd be easy to find, if he wanted. (My name is pretty unique.)

    Luckily for me my mom married my "real Dad" when I was 13. From him I did get the love that every little girl wants. It does help, but I still know somewhere out there is a man that didn't want to be a part of my life.

    I think such situations make us stronger. We have moments of weakness, but ultimately we are "mightier." Hang in there and realize that your children will never feel the way you do! They will have the love and commitment of both parents!
    1758 days ago
    I'm sorry to hear it... At least now you are appreciated by many people and especially your future husband.
    I don't think that we owe our parents anything more than what they give us. Giving life to a child is nothing if you don't combine it with love. I only care about the people who care about me. For all the others, I think that there is no reason to waste my emotions. I know it's kind of harsh but in the end I have more energy and patience for the people I love and love me back.

    1758 days ago
  • SPARKLE1908
    I can relate to your post in so many's only through learning to love ourselves that we can move forward and be the best we were not a mistake then and you aren't one now!!!
    1758 days ago
    My heart goes out to you. Ignoring a child can be more destructive than anything. There's no way to fight back. It feels like it's all your fault, but of course it's all THEIR fault. All children are lovable and precious. I would give up on your dad. It's got nothing to do with you and everything to do with him. You can't make someone change. My parents weren't very loving (not as bad as yours). But I always felt bad around them. It worked out so much better to not see them much.
    But if you're making a relationship with your mom, that's good. And the relationship with your stepmom is very lovely. Hold onto to that one.
    Carol Burnett always said if you just have one person to love you unconditionally, you've got it all (it was her grandmother, both of her parents were alcoholics).
    So focus on the good ones and let the others go. You can create new ones also.
    You're very strong and certainly learned to love elsewhere. Be proud of that.

    1759 days ago
    My mom was a mom who worked hard to support my brother and i and I never wanted for anything material but I remember clearly the last day she hugged me "just because". I was seven. She was really mean to me growing up. Now that I am older, our relationship has changed but it has been a slow progression. I noticed that once Derrell came in my life, she calmed down a lot. I notice after my daughter passed away, her trying to be more compassionate (though not initially). Once I began a career that made me travel a lot, she now wants me to call her and tell her about work and she will text me to check in and she will stop by. I think now that she knows I am in a safe and loving environment, she has allowed herself to be vulnerable with me. It has been a little difficult to adjust to her wanting this type of relationship with me but I am happy that we have a better one. As far as my dad goes, my soon-to-be MIL told me straight up one day that "your father will never be the man you need him to be." She also reassured me that I have her and her husband and that they love me completely. But deep down, I think every girl wants to be daddy's little princess.
    1759 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    I'm so sorry you are hurting Nikki. emoticon All I can say is to let go & let God! I know it's hard to do but it's the only way you'll be able to move on! My dad (RIP) use to always talk about my weight. I know he loved me but his words did hurt. I learned to just let it go & let God handle it. Wishing you an AWESOME day. Stay focused. Be blessed!
    1759 days ago
    emoticon Smile , dust off your shoulders, wipe them tears, stand tall and proud. Look in the mirror and be very proud of the woman you are today, let go of the hurt. Your dad's issues are just that HIS issues don't let him bring you down you are strong and courageous. emoticon Have an awesome rest of the day:)
    1759 days ago
  • MISSB8604
    My girl, you and I are kindred spirits in a lot of aspects of your story. Although your Dad never laid a hand on you, mine certainly did. Like you, I wanted to be the best of the best of the best. Still do to this day. I’m still working through our non-existent, friendly roommate relationship but in the crux of it, you have to figure out if this relationship is really worth your heart. You’ve tried all of your life to be a “good mistake” and still, it just wasn’t enough for this man. I made a personal decision close to a year ago that the relationship with my Dad wasn’t worth my tears, etc. I wrote him an honest letter describing how I felt and what he did to me, and left it for him. He was furious and didn’t talk to me for days. I feel a heck of a lot better because of it. I’m not saying that this is what you should do, but this worked for me and in a lot of ways, freed me. Life is too short to worry about people that don’t really want to be there, that don’t give a rats behind. YOU DESERVE A GOOD LIFE. You deserve love. You deserve respect. If he refuses to give it, then somehow, some way you have to let it go. I’m always reassured that when my Dad looks inside his heart and really thinks, he’ll realize what wrong he did and how he should have worked harder to be a kinder human being to me when I was a child. Everyone is human and everyone looks over their life at some point and think to themselves, “Dang, I should have treated them better.” You’ve got to let go of the pain this man has caused you and look forward. God has a plan for you and you’ve got to live it regardless of his ridiculousness. Be joyful. Be YOU. Live your purpose, live your plan.

    Most of all, what goes around, comes around.

    You are loved.
    1759 days ago
    emoticon I'm so glad you had a good step-mom. It doesn't make up for your parents being jerks, but it was good for you to have someone who loved you, regardless of blood. I too, was subject to an uncaring parent. The only difference was I was not related by blood.

    What they say about family is true: it doesn't have to be blood relatives. You have a separate family that includes Derrell, and I'm sure he loves you very much. Try to keep track of all the people who DO love you, instead of those who don't/don't show it.
    1759 days ago
  • KATIEM929
    First off, I'm sorry that you weren't shown the unconditional love that every child deserves no matter the circumstance of his or her birth. I know what it's like to try to be perfect so that mom or dad (or both) will notice how good you are and finally give you what you need emotionally....only to be disappointed over and over and over again.

    You ARE good enough. You ARE worthy of love and good things. You are. Regardless of how you feel and regardless of your parents attitude toward you.

    I disagree whole-heartedly with the advice of your therapist(s). You can not make someone else behave how you want. You can't make them love you the way you need to be loved. You can only accept that they are human and broken and are not capable of giving you what you need. To continue to try to establish a loving relationship that probably won't ever happen is to invite more pain and reinforce that they can't be who you want them to be. I'd say it's time to find a new therapist that understands "parents" are not always reasonable beings capable of seeing your experience through your eyes. Someone to help you cope with the abandonment complex you may be feeling. There are some good books on the subject and there are therapists who understand you can't change your parents and will help you change your coping skills.
    1759 days ago
    Neglect is absolutely a form of abuse.

    1759 days ago
    I am so sorry - "absenteeism" is still abuse. You know talking to them won't help - been there done that - and burned the shirt!!!
    I have written a letter to the person who hurt me and then I asked God to show me the good it it. God doesn't waste anything!!! I don't blame God for these "things" that happened but since He doesn't waste anything, I wanted to know how He would use it.
    I have been able to help other people that was hurt in one way or other - I had inside info since I had been through it.
    The "orphan mentality" isn't as bad of a problem these days - I have a FATHER who accepts me, loves me and - yes - even dances over me!!! ( Zephaniah 3:17)
    1759 days ago
    I am so sorry. This is a heartbreaking post. I do not have a great relationship with my dad either. I keep him at arm's length and do not expect much from him. That way I am not disappointed. He forgot my birthday this year; not the first time. I was back home a couple of weeks ago and he told me about a gift he was getting for my brother for his birthday. Of course, I didn't mention the fact that he forgot mine altogether.

    I focus on how much my mom loves me. Her love for me is enough to fill me up completely. Don't allow him to bring you down or screw you up -- it only hurts yourself.

    1759 days ago
  • ICKA_2
    I couldn't imagine what that must have been like growing up. You're a strong woman, I don't think you're messed up, I think you're amazing! We don't get to choose our families but sometimes we find love in other people, and I'm glad you had your step mom to make sure you felt wanted and loved! SO MANY people are glad you were born and feel so grateful to have gotten to know you! I'm one of them, so remember that! Lots of love hun! emoticon
    1759 days ago
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