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#468505 - 08/05/14 01:38 AM Absent Fathers
randombreeze Offline

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 60
Loc: WNY
I just pretended throughout my life he didn't exist. This always seemed easy for me to do, to ignore his existence as I never knew him anyhow. As I travel this healing journey I'm finally realizing the role my father's absence had in assuring my abuser had an easy time with the grooming process.

The only, and last memory I have of him was in 1972 when he just showed up a few months before my abuse began. I had and still retain no earlier memory of him as from all accounts he was never around. He left me, and my two younger brothers, aged 10 and 9 with this delightful impression of his version of family time...that of watching the movie The Godfather in all it's lovely technicolor tinged sex and slaughter scenes while he laughed his fool head off. We three boys, needless to say, sat there mortified.

The final memory of that weekend visit was his unsurprising, yet nevertheless broken promise of new bicycles for my sister and mine's upcoming 8th grade graduation. I pretended the disappointment I felt eating me up inside after the bike never came didn't exist, and like the secret of pending abuse, buried it for 40+ years. But just like my abuser, it appears he wasn't quite done with me either.

So recently I'm sensing the surfacing of untapped anger towards him, and feel that I'm finally recognizing the full extent of the damage his absence from our lives contributed to. My mother raised herself and six children alone up out of poverty without a dime from him. She then died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm less than one year after my youngest sister left the nest. I always harbored, yet contained, a resentment for him in that his absence helped assure her early death at age 47. Today, while writing in my journal I actually "spoke" to him for the first time since last seeing him, and told him how much I hated him, and how I hope he had a miserable life.

I feel both justified and a little alarmed at the same time at the level of my disdain, after decades of just ignoring his existence at all. I also struggle directing too much rage toward him because I'm both aware of and seen the horror some fathers inflict on their children. I tell myself it could always be worse, like having an abusive father rather than none at all. It's similar to the excuses I told myself for years to try to minimize my abuse, that is "it could always be worse" and to just move forward.

I'm aware that this thinking, minimizing my own experience, that I shouldn't be mad or even enraged, is unhealthy. I plan on bringing this one up during my next therapy session.

I welcome anyone else's thoughts or experiences on this subject.

Peace, Paul
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky"- Rabindranath Tagore

#468609 - 08/06/14 11:56 PM Re: Absent Fathers [Re: randombreeze]
PMGNT Offline

Registered: 05/24/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Eastern USA
Well, it sounds pretty horrible, what he was like as a father. Worse than nothing, is how I take it.

Unhealthy? I don't know. You shouldn't feel guilty about any of your own response. You're getting by harmlessly, after being dealt a really crummy childhood experience. It's your head and you get to take it where you think best, and if you think you can find more joy inside with a different mindset, I guess that would be healthier -- but if you actually do need to hate him, then, by all means, hate him. He does sound worthy of it. Some of that might be healthy.

Mine left in 1969. I sure could have used a good father.

#468649 - 08/07/14 08:51 PM Re: Absent Fathers [Re: randombreeze]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4197
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Paul -

i, too, know the pain you speak of. my birth father was absent because he died days short of my 3rd birthday. i have wished it were otherwise for all of my life.

his absence left a void that was not filled by my mom's re-marriage to an abusive stepdad. i never considered him a father.

it was only in the past 2 years that i realized that i was angry with my real father for abandoning me - amazing that i wouldn't see such an irrational reaction for what it was. i was still stuck in the little boy emotion of hurt and betrayal.

i commend you for the journaling. that is probably likely to help - and i encourage you to continue. let out all the toxic poisonous thoughts and feelings. you will feel better and begin to find room for some more healthy thoughts and feelings.

thanks for sharing - and keep it up.

Edited by traveler (08/07/14 09:59 PM)
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#468652 - 08/08/14 12:43 AM Re: Absent Fathers [Re: randombreeze]
don64 Offline

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1106
Hi randombreeze,

I have come to the conclusion that my rage is MINE, it doesn't even necessarily have anything to do with my father now, because he hasn't been in my life for years. But, the rage is trapped in a very young version of myself that keeps all the rest of me trapped there. So, I can't afford to minimize my rage, because it continues to have devastating effects of my present. Yes, I hate the gdsob for everything he did to me, and everything he should have but didn't provide for me. But, I do my best to not give him ANY of my energy, yet provide all the time and energy my damaged younger versions of me need to vent, and then to feel the safety of my adult self so it can have an opportunity to regrow in a healthy way.

Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards


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