Father-less on FATHERS DAY

Let me start off by saying, no my father isn’t dead. My father has been absent from my life for two decades. Besides the court mandated every other weekend my sister and I had to spend with him until I went to college he’s been absent for the majority of my life. What’s sad is that I honestly can’t think of or find a happy memory that involves my father. When I think of my father there are three very distinct memories that pop into my head:

  1. Being woken up in the middle of the night to the sounds of shattering bowls, plates and cups that were being thrown the night my mom found out my dad was having an affair.

  2. My dad, the coward, who made my mom tell me and my sister that he was leaving us, moving to Korea and that he wouldn’t be coming home.

  3. Video games. The weekends we had to be at my dads, its not like he did anything with us. He just sat at the computer or in front of the TV playing video games. That’s the image I have forever burned into my head of my dad. Him playing video games.

My father may still be on this earth, but I don’t know him and I don’t know what it’s like to have a dad. Maybe a year or so ago, he started reaching out trying to make amends but at my age… what’s the point? My formative years are long gone. The days of coming home from school sad, upset and scared are a thing of the past. I no longer need someone to bandage my legs from scrapes and cuts after a fall. I accepted long ago that when I get married, I’d be walking myself, I wouldn’t have a father/daughter dance and that’s okay.

But on a day like Fathers Day when most people have these wonderful memories to share, I don’t have any and I’m reminded of that. I’m not sad or upset anymore and tbh I rarely do think of my dad. But I do know that there is a void or emptiness, that no matter how good my life is, nothing will ever fill it.

Growing up with an absent Father is a type of rejection that honestly should have its own category. Dad’s are supposed to protect you, teach you to be strong, love you unconditionally and keep all the monsters at bay because they’re your dad. They made you. They gave you life. Half of you is them. And it’s not like my dad was never in my life, he was and then he left. The person who brought you into this world didn’t love you enough to stay.

I think this is where a lot of my fears on rejection come from. As I get older, that fear becomes stronger and stronger. I’m always scared the people I let into my life will change their minds and walk out. For me that’s what Father’s Day is. A reminder of that fear and rejection. To those individuals like myself with absent fathers. I see you. I feel you. I get you. I am you. And to my Uncle John, who protected me from the minute you met me, I love you. Thank you for being a father figure I could count on.

xx JHL