Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Never Danced With My Father, But That Was His Decision.... Close The Wounds And Hide The Scotch

Since my parents were finally divorced well before I could form the sounds of the English language with my mouth and tongue, I suppose it's not a stretch to realize that I wasn't going to have much interaction with my father over the years. Of course, I never knew this until much later, but I was still effected by the outcome nonetheless. This is something that most couples in the throes of divorce never realize or have any comprehension of because they are so consumed with themselves and their marital problems that they forget to consider exactly what it is they are putting on the line. Their children. Let me just say (to those gazillions of divorced couples) that it's time to pull your heads out of the proverbial darkness and acknowledge the kind of damage you are doing to the most precious beings in your lives. But wait - it's always about you, right? It's always about the wife and husband and their pain, not the children, which should be the first considerations when contemplating separation and divorce.

Having been one of those children not considered in divorce, I can tell you what it was like to grow up without a father. It hurt deeper than any pain I could have ever inflicted upon myself. I'm fairly certain my brother went through his own kind of Hell as well, although we never spoke of it to one another. We were basically held as hostages throughout our youth although neither of us viewed it quite that way while in the midst of said divorce. Pain has a way of dealing with things in that manner. Close the wounds and hide the Scotch, right?

I never heard the words "I love you" from my father. My father was never there for any of my *special moments* (of which there were very few). He never told me  that I'm beautiful or special because he evidently never understood that there would be responsibilities that came along with marriage and children. I never knew what a jerk he was first hand because my mother decided she would never allow us to see him. Thanks for that, Mom. Had she had the sense to let us see him we would have eventually learned about how completely immature, spoiled and worthless he was. Unfortunately, her cuts were quite deep, so she decided it best to take it out on my brother and me (since it didn't seem to disturb my father that he couldn't see us). (Thank gawd she had an outlet, right?)  Like my father, my mother was an only child by default. In other words, they both had infant siblings who died as said infants.

Worst of all, I had no father to walk me down the aisle when I married and I had no father to dance with me at my wedding. I believe he was on his 5th or 6th marriage with children at that point, which meant I  had long ago ceased to be of any importance in his life. Thanks for that, Dad. (What a great upstanding guy you were!) 

I still cried when he died in the mid 1990's but I think I cried more for my lack of ever having had a father figure. It wasn't like I would miss him. I'd gotten over that long ago. Missing. Him. Honestly, I will never get over it really. His absence damaged me for life (with no chance of parole) and I sincerely hope he knows it now. I don't wish him the pain I endured growing up. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. I just hope that he knows he ruined many lives in the path of his irresponsible and destructive behavior. I don't let it effect me now but the pain is still inexplicably there.

Although I might not have been the stepford wife model parent to my own children that I coulda/shoulda been (according to them anyway), in my own mind I was the epitome of Mother Theresa compared to my own parents. Let's just say that I didn't exactly have the most sterling training early on in life, shall we? I still believe that I've given my own children a much better father (by far) and they have lived Golden Lives compared to what I grew up with.

I hope that they can one day understand this. I provided them with a great father, which is more than most children have these days (except for here in Stepfordville where everyone leads perfect lives). It's more than I had, so I hope that they continue to improve on their own worlds as they grow too. I do believe that the *buck stops here*. As I've always said, you can blame your parents for whatever atrocities until you leave home to lead your own life. At that point, your happiness becomes your responsibility. You know. As in, grow up.

As I've grown older and wiser I see that he is the one who missed out on having me as such an awesome daughter. 

Still, I wish that I'd been able to dance with my father, even if just once. Luckily, as it turns out, I was able to weather the storms that he and my mother chose not to, so perhaps that dance wasn't nearly as important as I once thought. As Mr. Snoots and I approach our 33rd wedding anniversary, I am beginning to see everything so much more clearly now. The grass is never really any greener on the other side of the fence. It's just more grass, that's all. It's only magical if you make it so....


The Incredible Woody said...

I think you are a remarkable woman. You chose to not pass on your family legacy. Most never realize that they have that choice! You are one awesome woman!!

scargosun said...

There is always more grass and depending on how the light hits it, it can look better. Then you get there, see it is the same grass and the same light...Eh.

Debbie said...

This smacked me upside the head. I was wandering around blog land. My Dad when I was 4 1/2, so I grew up without a Dad. I get it. I get the whole darn thing. All of it.

A few months ago, my friend told me the song that her daughter was going to play when she danced with her Dad at her wedding...9/25/2010. It is "I Loved You First".

We were in the car and thankfully I was not driving. Pain roared up out of my gut and I started bawling, big hiccup bawling. I couldn't stop. Scared the crap out of her.

We push it down, but it's still there...even at 55.


Debbie said...

Left out the word DIED. Weird....

Blarney said...

I am glad you are reflecting, learning and moving on. Can we unlock the scotch now because I think we should toast to the great Mom you are?!

brneyedgal967 said...

I understand your pain and you are always so eloquent in expressing the disappointments and heartache your asshole parents inflicted upon you. I'm so glad that you've been able to rise above it all and don't put yourself down - you have been a wonderful and devoted mother, and Mr. Snooty has been a great father and provider. If E & T don't realize it yet, they will when they become parents themselves. As you approach your 33rd wedding anniversary, be sure to toast each other and acknowledge that you may not have been perfect, but you did the best you knew how.

I also have an absent biological father, but was fortunate that my mother married my stepfather when I was still young (age 7) and he's "Dad" in every sense of the word. Yet, there's still a missing piece I can identify with you but I don't think mine is quite as painful because I know the asshole absent father has been more than adequately replaced with an endearing man who defines the word "father".

I love your portrait you posted on here at age 15. There's a pain and wisdom in your eyes at such an early age that the artist captures. You still have the same look in your eyes, although mixed with more wisdom and peppered with a little more skepticism and such a sassy humor - love you!

I have been an absent friend and apologize, although I do stop in time to time to check up on your blog.

Snooty Primadona said...

Gawd, I love you people & I sincerely mean that.

Beth Dunn said...

My parents divorced when I was 12. Thank you for sharing your story. Even with the best role models we still make mistakes as parents. And you are so right about the grass!

Bodaciousboomer said...

Hi Miss Snoots. I never danced with my dad either, He died the year before I married. But I was lucky. He worshiped the ground I walked on, and I his.

Although Doug was 35 when his dad died and his parents never divorced, he never heard "I love you" or "Good job" from either one of them. I found that incredibly sad, just like your story.

Diane said...

I had some similar thoughts to this over the weekend while we were on our road trip. It occured to me that my mother not only dammaged me, but my oldest as well when I allowed her access. It made me wonder how long, how many generations are impacted by one careless parent.

Happy almost 33 years with Mr. Snooty! Y'all are a marvelous Mom and Dad to your kids!

kim-d said...

Wow. I could have written this post. Except, like brneyedgal967, my Mom also remarried a person who was so ready, willing and able to be a father to me that he legally adopted me. Until about 8 years ago, a couple of years after my husband's death and a couple more years on top of that after my mother's death, that he inexplicably walked out of my life, never to be heard from again. To be honest, I don't know which hurt more, the 1st asshole father or the second asshold father. For right now, there are only two things I know for sure: 1) I do not...cannot...think about it too much, and 2)the problem lies with them, not with me. I'm a good person with an honorable character. Them? Not so much.

I'm so sorry that your childhood had to be so much like mine...but think it's a testament to the human spirit that, in spite of it all, we both turned out so awesome. :)

BJ Roan said...

You seem to have found a way to be happy without having a father in your life. Look where you are and who you are. Perhaps you should thank him. Yeah right! You turned into the wonderful person you are because of your life experiences, of which he is one. Too bad you won't ever be able to whop him up the side of the head to make him understand that.

My parents stayed together for over 50 years. My father was always there. He kept the belt and his sharp tongue at the ready, just in case of some small perceived transgression. In 1980, I was alone in Dallas with two young children and a husband who was the Tiger Woods of the printing industry. When I needed a father most, he accused me of being the reason my husband was like he was. My father was never there for me or my brother, and he wasn't there when I needed him most. He passed away in 2002. I still haven't shed a tear. Although I will admit to being sad. Only because his death ended any chance of ever having a good relationship with my father. Something I always wished for, but in my heart always knew was impossible. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a father to make you feel safe? One you could talk to and laugh with? Sorry, didn't mean to write a book. ;)

You rock Snooty!

Pink Martini said...

Wow. You said this so well and I admire you for letting it out and sharing. You are a warrior and you made it to a better patch of grass than you might know. Much love. :) xoxo


Blog Designed by: NW Designs