After becoming a mother, many personal inner child wounds began to come to the surface. The pain of my father’s abandonment came back stronger than I have ever felt in the past. I can no longer speak to my father, after having an off and on relationship with him for the past 30 years. Looking at my son, I could not understand how he could say he loves me but yet his actions implied he didn’t.
Since he left me at age six until my mid-twenties, I had put him on a pedestal and would reminisce all the few good moments that we had together. I was convinced that my life would be better if he had always been a part of it. I was “daddy’s little girl” and his “little pearl”. But that all changed once he was purposely hit by his ex-wife’s boyfriend’s car. My half sister called me to tell me what happened and asked if I would go see him in the hospital. I flew out to the hospital and what I experienced next had broken my heart. He was just waking up and he was interacting with my half brother and sister and it hit me that he had left me to start another family. He left my mother for another woman to start another family. The worst part was that his ex-wife was there and pushing me to take money out of my dad’s bank account to give to her because he allegedly gave her money every month. Since I am his oldest child, she gave me all of his information to get into his accounts. I refused to do it so when my dad woke up from his coma she blatantly lied to him and claimed I had just came to see him so I can get money from him. I suddenly was relieved to not be a part of his life because I do not want that kind of drama.
After all that drama, I discontinued talking to him for a few years. He would continually try to contact me and one day I decided to pick up his call. He wanted to see me and I said yes. I had not seen him since he was in a coma eight years ago. I had mixed feelings about it but in the end I was glad to have taken that step. A few weeks later he told me about a foot surgery he was having and asked if I wanted to come down and help him while he recovers. I agreed to it. I stayed at his house for two nights and witnessed how depression hits him. He slept a lot. I didn’t feel like he even wanted me there so I became defensive, but now I realize it was his depression and all the other mental illnesses he has been diagnosed with over the years, including the traumatic brain injury he suffered from.
The next time I saw him was when I was a few months pregnant. He was elated about becoming a grandfather. We kept in touch throughout my pregnancy and after my son was born I sent him photos of his grandson. I am not really sure when something inside of me switched or why it occurred. I became very angry at my father for leaving my brother and I but then I started feeling trapped with motherhood and afraid of losing my identity.
Becoming a parent is a lot of pressure and I am not going to lie that the thought of running away from all the responsibilities crossed my mind. I began to have compassion for him and why he did what he did. His father committed suicide when my dad was just a little boy. From what I heard from other family members, my dad’s mother blamed him for my grandfather’s suicide. My dad never knew how to be a father because he was abandoned by his father and has unnecessary guilt from the suicide.
My dad was in his mid-twenties when he decided to leave my mother. Not that that is an excuse but I believe he was running away from his inner demons and couldn’t handle the pressure of becoming a father. He was selfish at the time and did not have the courage to face reality. I have mixed feelings about my father but I feel more compassion than anything else. I have forgiven him for what he did but right now I am not ready to have him a part of my life. Maybe one day I will have the courage to call him back and let him back in.