Thinking about Dad

My dad and mom got a divorce when I was three years old. I saw my dad on weekends until I was about 12 years old. I don't remember when my parents were married. I just remember going to Dad's house and spending the night. He would take us skating or to eat somewhere. I remember eating so much that I threw up in my sleep. We didn't have much food at my mother's house. She was on welfare and got food stamps. We shopped at the local thrift store. In the summer we would go to Clarksville, Tennessee to visit relatives. I was always fighting with my cousin Ken. He was the same age as me.

My dad never hugged me. He never said one kind word to me that I believed. He would pay for stuff and help my mother hold on to the house but he never showed any affection for me. He had a hard time understanding me. I read alot and he just didn't understand why I read so many books.I got into the Bible and he didn't understand that either. He didn't try to understand me. Alot went unsaid between us for a long time. I didn't understand why we were living in poverty and he was buying and selling houses. I felt like a burden to him and what money he gave us he made sure we felt guilty for receiving it.

When I went to jail for burning my apartment in a suicide attempt I called him. He said I was a special person. I didn't believe him. I was so depressed. I was sure that I was going to do prison time but that didn't happen. I got two years probation with the case to be dismissed after two years. I had to file bankruptsy to avoid a law suit from the apartment complex's insurance company. My dad paid for the attourney and gave me a place to live for two years. I felt like he thought I was a disappointment. I dropped out of college and had to go on medication for bipolar disorder. I never felt his approval of my life. Even when I moved out of the house he let me live in rent free he never told me he was proud of me.

When the basement of the house where I was living in flooded he got mad at me because I forgot where the shut off valve to the pipes was. He had to buy a sump pump and pump out the water. He was livid. I was spacey from all the medication I was taking. He said something very hurtful . He said I had book learning but no common sense. Those words really hurt me and I never forgot them.

When my dad was dying of cancer I just told him I loved him. I didn't try to get him to apologize for that comment. I thought it was irrevelant. Watching him weaken and die filled me with compassion for him. He really felt guilty for my brother's suicide in prison. I don't know the details but he felt responsible some how. When he died I mourned the relationship we could have had together. I was hurt that he couldn't communicate his love for me and my siblings.

He died in 1994 and I am still feeling the sting of his words. He never believed in me or understood me. He never tried to understand me. He never tried to show his love for me. I think that's why I became religious. I wanted love from a heavenly father. I wanted to feel like I mattered to someone. I joined a cult because they love bombed me and made me feel wanted and loved. If my dad had tried a little harder to let me know he loved me I wouldn't have fallen for such a monumental waste of my time.

I finally realize that I can't keep blaming my dad for his inadequacies. He was unable to communicate for whatever reason. His indifference really hurt me but I can't change the past. I need to see that he did love me and that he was unable to show it most of the time. I wish I would have made him say he loved me. I wish I could have had more time to explain myself. Why I was a Christian , why I read so many books. I wish we could have reached a mutual understanding. He didn't understand my illness and the way it was affecting me. He didn't understand why I would forget something like where a shut off valve would be. What hurts is that he didn't try understand me or my illness. He never asked questions. I couldn't get him to talk to me. It was hard. I should have tried harder but I didn't realize that I was running out of time.

I've carried around in my heart alot of anger and hurt towards my dad. I need to let it go and realize that my dad's inability to love me wasn't my fault. I have to realize that he just couldn't communicate the way I wanted him to. I need to accept the relationship we did have and leave it at that. It's hard to do but I need to let go of all this anger and hurt. My dad worked hard at things but relationships he couldn't handle very well. Maybe he had a rough childhood and had a hard time in Korea and Vietnam. It's hard to tell. I just want to make sure that I am not like my dad and communicate to those I love.