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
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....