Father's Day is a difficult day for me. On one end, I'm grateful for the second shot I got at fatherhood. I love both of my children. I hope to heal the estrangement between myself and my oldest. I hope to put my youngest son on a path far removed from the one his mother and I endured. Love comes first, always. I'm grateful to be a father. More than being a writer, nomad, storyteller, whatever, I love being someone's father.
It also dredges up horrible memories of my own childhood. Days spent in sheer terror; waiting for my father to come home and inflict whatever bad mood he was in on the rest of us. Wondering what kind of beating I was going to take that night. Hell, sometimes I wondered if I'd even make it through the night.
The times weren't all bad, though. There were baseball and basketball games. Super Bowls as I got older. Events just he and I did. It was him who first introduced me to Green Lantern.
Which makes the day all that more difficult because while my father was a tyrant, I know he loved me and raised me the best way he knew how. We have buried the hatchet, but we don't speak much now. He still sees me as a failure and I'm learning to live with that.
So I wonder; when I scroll through selfies of people with their dads, am I the only one who feels robbed of something? It's a horrible jealousy, I admit it because all I ever wanted was my father's approval and as I approach middle age, I'm finally coming to terms that I will never completely have it.
No matter how successful I become, or what good I do in the world, or who I help. It will never be enough for dad.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Is any of this familiar?
Do you deal with this too?
Then please, know this, from a father.
You are not a mistake.
You are loved.
You are not alone.
You are cared for.
You can't see it now, but one day, you will be strong. You will do good in the world because you won't want anyone else to endure what you did. You will take the pain and the anguish and you'll forge it into a sword that will do so much good in the world that it'll make the bad memories make sense.
I'm sorry for what you're going through. Or what you've been through.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The storm will pass eventually. And the sun will be beautiful.
Happy Father's Day.
Thanks for reading.
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