My Father's Missing Love Set Me Up For Heartbreak & Failed Relationships. I'm On Track N
I don’t think I realized until this week how much not having a real relationship with My father has shaped my life. I found Myself extremely angry and depressed this past week and had a hard time pinpointing why. I went through the motions, acted out a little with the wrong people and finally after much alone time and deep thought, realized the problem was I wanted My daddy.
Sometimes, as much as I talk about there being multiple distinct personalities that dwell inside of Me, I forget. I mean, I live my life as normally as I can for Me so some stuff, I totally attribute to Me, not the crazy in Me. Sometimes, I must remind Myself that the emotions I’m feeling are Mine but being experienced by another part of Me more greatly than I imagine.
It’s extremely hard when you live a double life to be real with people, even harder when you don’t even know you’re living a double life. I truly walk around day to day all day thinking and feeling like I’m Me. Only when slapped with pictures, video or written proof of things that aren’t Me, do I realize that I was gone and another part of Me was in place. That’s how I feel most of the last week was.
I was here but more like a viewer than actual participant in things outside of work it seemed or felt like at least. For a week at least, I was exhausted, angry and bitter, yet, at the same time, excited, feeling accomplished and bossy. Trying to navigate the mixture of these two extreme opposite ends of the emotional spectrum at once, was overwhelming.
So was lying to Myself. I knew that it wasn’t valentine’s day that bothered Me because I don’t care much for it and had already worked out My issues around it. It was bigger than that. It was the role the men in My life play and I didn’t even get it. I cried this week watching one of My Facebook friends dance with his tween daughter. I didn’t cry seeing the weddings and engagements as I have done in prior years. People’s happiness and news of new babies didn’t make Me scoff, sneer or hide in bed. I was not jealous of people’s love.
What I found Myself zeroing in on this year, was girls with and without their daddies. For some reason, it seemed to be so many videos online this year of little girls who either were Daddy’s princess or the exact opposite, daddy’s forgotten concern. I found Myself seriously identifying with them. I dwelled on My relationship with My father all week.
You know, My father and I have a weird relationship. He chose to have nothing to do with raising his children outside of paying child support really. He was the type of dad I couldn’t call and talk to for advice, spend time with or count on to show up to see Me perform. His thing was for us to show up to hi house on holidays and pick up money to go get whatever we wanted. My whole life, I can’t even remember My father buying Me anything because he wanted Me to have it. He never knew Me well enough to buy Me anything; he has never known My favorite color, foods, places to go, hobbies etc.
Once we grew out of the give Me money for holidays stuff, his wife has shopped for Me since. She always buys Me either a kitchen appliance or something with Betty Boop on it because that is all they know about Me as a person; I love to eat, I am a Betty Boop fan. If you asked My father right now, what My favorite color, drink, or food is, he’d have no clue. He couldn’t tell you My choice between Pepsi and Coke because My father has never been to the store to buy Me either.
For a long time, I gave My father a pass and we tend to do when we have suffered abuse or suffer from mental illness. It’s easy to excuse others and blame yourself for why people treat you a certain way. For years, I listened to his excuses of why he could never be a good father
My mother was the problem
His work schedule is so overwhelming
He barely had any money
Basically, that’s what all his excuses boil down to. My mother was overwhelming, and she never stopped loving him so she’d throw herself at him even though he was married. COOL! Come pick your child up and take her to your house ( oh right, I wasn’t welcome there for years because of your wife). Okay, take your child out for the day (oh right, the little child support you pay is all you can spare for your daughter.) I’m a 36-year-old woman who can literally say her father has never taken her anywhere, not even McDonalds. He has had the same work schedule My whole life, he works 5-6 days a week and usually is off on Sunday and Mondays. If only I could get you to understand how many time I’ve suggested to My father that we do something together on a Sunday or Monday just to be told that’s his only free time and he uses it to rest. REST= drink beer on the couch.
The extent of My “going anywhere” with My father has been us leaving the house at the same time to catch the bus or train as he went to work. The man knows nothing about Me. Sometimes, he actually sits still long enough to hear Me as a person; when he does, his guilt kicks in and he cries and swears he didn’t know I was being raped, molested, beaten and degraded at home, even though I told him. Now that it’s too late to save Me, he pretends to care occasionally.
I constantly remind him though, that it’s not too late to be My father. That we’re still both alive and well and he could be a dad at any time. He refuses to put in any effort.
I didn’t move into My dad’s home or daily life until I was 3 months away from my 18th birthday. My mother had recently died and I was being put into the system. I’ll never forget the day I called him from Children’s Protective Services, crying and terrified. I told him that My grandmother had given Me away and I didn’t want to be there. My prom was in a week, I’d miss it if I was in a group home, My graduation was 2 weeks away. I worked hard for this and I didn’t want to lose everything by being thrown in the system.
My father told the worker that I didn’t get along with his wife, so I couldn’t come there. I was then forced to undergo tests, a pap smear, needles and even to be checked for lice as they prepared to put Me into a group home for the night. Finally, he called back and said his wife said I could come. Whoop de fucking do right?
I moved into hell. At that time, they were both heavy drinkers and would fight and argue daily, My stepmother locking My father in the basement at night and the like. I used to hide in My room cringing. I had just lost My mother, My family, My life and My stepmother called Me “that crazy bitch” for nearly a year, he let her.
He let her, and her family degrade and abuse Me time and time again. I’ll never forget how My father sat idly by and watched Me and My son be put out of his mother in law house on Christmas because I chose to breastfeed My child. His mother in law said breastfeeding was unnatural and nasty and made it sexual. She said I couldn’t breastfeed in her house. My step brother drove Me home with My 2-month-old baby. My father stayed with his wife and family.
Today, My father helps Me raise said baby, who is now 17, out of his own guilt. Sadly, he’s repeating the same lack of presence with him as well. My son needed a male figure, what he got was My dad working 6 days a week, ignoring him as a person and drinking beer on the couch when not working. But if for nothing else, I appreciate and love My father for stepping in to provide stability for My son if he could offer nothing else in the way of growth.
Through the years, I’ve found Myself in odd relationships as I sought a father’s love. I clearly remember laughing at My dad one day when he suggested that the more than 70-year-old man I spent so much time with, was My lover. I explained to him, no daddy, Theodore is My best friend. The reality is, Theodore was like a father to Me. He was My best friend, a confidant, a trusting ear, My minister and more. He was everything a girl should be able to look to in a father figure. The man had kids older than Me, the idea of Me ever seeing anything sexual in him was asinine. The man practically raised Me. He met Me when I was just 20 years of age, lost and screwed up and he helped shape My life and helped Me with My son for more than 15 years.
Besides Theodore, I sought a father figure in the men I dated. I never was looking for just a man, I was looking for a man who would almost baby Me. I needed everything from one man because I couldn’t get what I needed from My dad. Every man I met, I was looking for him to be My father and My man, to lead Me and love Me. I would failt time and time again, because I wasn’t being real about who I am or My needs or even the pain I deal with from not having a real connection to My dad.
It’s one thing when your parent dies early, like I never think about what could have been with My mom. I never consider if she would have ever apologized for all she did or allowed to happen to Me. She’s gone and My memory of her is of her being an abusive bitch. My father is alive, so that brings a new dynamic to our relationship. The more time that passes, I keep thinking time will hit him and he will realize his daughter has been crying for his attention for years. I try to tell Myself that one day, he will notice all of My accomplishments and he won’t be able to hold back his love and joy for pride in Me.
I’ve finally realized it’s time to give that up, give up that thought, that dream, that need for his validation. I have to stop waiting for love and validation from a man who has purposely doing the least he has had to do for Me since birth. I don’t even think he has a clue how much he hurts Me with his absence from My life, though I keep trying to tell him.
I have done so much inner work on Myself as I aged and healed from the traumatic childhood he left Me alone to grow up in. I am so far removed from the person I used to be and have worked hard to show not only the world, but him, My steady progress and results. My dad says he’s proud of Me and will congratulate Me on things I share but he shows no actual emotion, love, consideration or concern.
I’ve published 7 books, I gave My parent copies of two of them in print. If he or his wife actually read one word, I’d have no clue. They never mention My books to Me. Last year in November, I had a speaking engagement literally at the top of their block, My stepmom, father nor son, could be bothered to walk to the corner.
In January, when I made the local paper, he congratulated Me and expressed interest in reading the article. I sent him the direct link to the local paper’s website to read it and told him I’d try to get him a print copy. I sent him the link and he never said great job, great article or even congrats on being a part of something that can change or save lives. I found Myself obsessing over the fact that he’s embarrassed by Me. The paper did identify Me as a 20-year sex worker, though I have retired and run a new business now.
My transition IS My story and I can’t hide it so that he doesn’t have to address his failure as a parent. I never turned to sex work for fun or pleasure, only to eat, feed My kid and get by. My mother and father are the reason I turned to turning tricks at the age of 15. He was delinquent on child support and she hated Me because she thought having Me would keep him and it didn’t, she was just stuck with Me.
My mother told Me at 15, before I was legally old enough to even go get a job, “I’ll buy you deodorant when your father pays his child support.” Those are real words from a mother’s mouth to her teen daughter. I needed tampons and deodorant; My dad never seemed to understand what I was trying to tell him about My mom and My mom owned Me, so she had the right to treat Me however she liked. I had no choice but to get money, food and necessities however I could.
This week, My dad sent Me on an emotional downward spiral with a quick phone call and it took Me 5 days to pull Myself out of the slump I fell into. I immediately equated it with Valentine’s Day because he called Me on Valentine’s Day. I was cool until he called.
See last year, for Valentines Day. I decide to purge My life and get rid of the men who served no value. These men slid dick in Me and had little conversation, energy or time for Me outside of sex. It was draining to give your body to someone you can’t even hold intelligent convo with. That left Me sexless until I met the guy I’m currently seeing, last July. I’ve been seeing him steadily since July but in December slipped up and slept with My ex when he seemed to be too busy for Me.
For two months, I’ve been feeling more and more neglected and instead of conveying My emotions, I was acting out and being slightly aggressive.
The day before Valentine’s Day was a busy day for Me. I had two meetings and a workshop to teach. I was in the office all day. It was also the day I had been waiting for and dreading both, TIME released the article the had featured Me in and feature they did. I was the face of the story and they quoted Me many times throughout it.
I had no Valentine’s plans because I had already decided to stop fooling with My ex, I didn’t want to go backwards. Normally, I’d spend Valentine’s Day with My best friend, but Theodore has been in a coma for over a year and My other ‘best’ friend and I have been having so much drama, that though we’ve spent the last two Valentine’s Day celebrating together as friends, I knew we wouldn’t this year.
I wanted to celebrate it with the guy I’ve been seeing but we had been so distant, I asked him Tuesday why he hadn’t mentioned it Me yet and he told Me he doesn’t really think about holidays and commercialism. I really feel the same way so I wasn’t mad, but I thought the time together mattered, so I was disappointed at the same time.
The next day, I was home working when My dad called. His call reminded Me that not only was in Valentine’s Day, but his anniversary too. I forgot, they don’t act like parents, so I don’t keep up with their lives any more than they keep up with Mine.
I wished him a happy Valentine’s Day and anniversary then was baffled by his next statement. He apologized to Me for not making it into TIME. I was confused, I asked him what he was talking about and told him TIME did an article featuring Me and it was on their website now. He started to tell Me his wife had told him I didn’t make it into the mag, I corrected him, telling him that it was not in the print version, but online instead. He said he was proud of Me and even more because “I did it all by Myself.” I offered to send him the direct link to read the article, which I did.
Five days later, I still haven’t heard a word back from My father. Same shit with the local paper all over again. I hate to admit it, but I understand now that he will never really be proud of Me because he is too ashamed of who I was and that may be because it’s a reflection of who he is.
I can only imagine what it feels like to a father who wants to say to people, “My daughter writes books and was in the local paper and TIME Magazine”, but she writes and talks about My failure as a father. I know he probably doesn’t want to keep reading that his daughter was a sex worker for 20 years, but there’s so much more to My story, My purpose and these articles and books.
While I can imagine what he must feel like, I KNOW what it feels like to have lived and survived these stories and not having a real father.
After trying to cut the guy I’ve been seeing since July off the next day, angry and not understanding why, I started to slide into depression. I spent three days in the house unshowered, ordering takeout after I had just done market and letting My home become a pigsty. I kept telling myself I had to be angry about him not spending Valentine’s Day with Me. I knew I wasn’t because I don’t place value on that stuff.
Saturday, I was talking to a sister girl in France, we have pretty good dialogue, I don’t feel judged when we talk, so I speak openly. I was in the house, in silence and pain, refusing to even look out a window and get air or try to see beauty but she kept on encouraging Me.
Finally, when she asked what was wrong, I broke down crying and told her I wish My father really loved Me because then I could have better relationships with the men in My life. That I really needed My dad and I just need to accept that he will never be what I need and stop hurting Myself and others. She didn’t quite understand but she didn’t judge either.
The next day, a client was going through a similar situation, trying to decipher if it was her mental illness and personal shit self-sabotaging her relationship or if the concerns she was having were real. I told her about My dilemma and how I realized that My relationship wasn’t the problem, it was My self-worth. The more I denied that I was having a self-esteem issue and not a relationship issue, I was pushing this man who I have come to love, away.
While we talked, he contacted Me. He had given Me a day to calm down but he was right back