Me and my Daddy in 2010
Yesterday was Father’s Day, and from a casual perusal of the interwebs, a lot of people have some pretty jacked up relationships with their dads. Or, with the father(s) of their kid(s).
This is quite understandable. Sad, but understandable.
While I’ve written a bunch of posts about Joscelyne, a few about or by Joe, and a couple about my mother, my dad, is nearly a non-character on Far Above Rubies and East of Eden. I can’t totally explain why. I mean, he’s here. I spoke with him yesterday for about a half hour. I guess the best way to put it, is we have a complicated relationship. It’s been fraught with ups and downs since he left my mom when I was 14. Probably before that. Yes, actually before that.
He loves me. I love him.
Yet, he doesn’t really know me. He doesn’t get why I attend an Anglican church. Actually, allow me to get all tangential now, and borrow some words from Carson at Hardlining Moderate:
… I’m no longer a conservative, low church evangelical. I don’t mean to be a jerk, but I’m gonna be honest with ya. I simply cannot stomach loud music that’s little more than a second-rate rock concert, hour-long motivational speeches… er… sermons… set to a PowerPoint by a rambling guy who comes off like a salesman, painfully awful “special music” that’s set to a cassette tape, “worship services” that are chiefly evangelistic in nature, ideologically-laden political pontificating, etc. By contrast, I loved the historicity, beauty, reverence, and sense of transcendence prompted by the Divine Liturgy. I loved the theologically-inspired architecture, seasonal vestments, and excellent craftsmanship of all the wooden pieces.
He’s talking about visiting an Eastern Orthodox church, but it kind of explains my love of liturgy. I’m not anti-low church. Just, it’s not for me at this point of life.
Anyway, back on topic, my dad won’t even read this anyway. Because, despite being published bi-monthly in my university paper, contributing to my alma mater’s Freshman Seminar textbook, and doing some freelancing for The Star-Ledger and Vibe.com, my dad does not read my writings. He just doesn’t. He also has nothing to say about any of my drawings or the painting I’m working on. He just doesn’t.
Even with things being what they are, I feel no need to put him, the holiday, or all of fatherhood down like so many others. I’m actually pretty disturbed that an article like this even has to be written. I mean, dang, there are some dads who are not only holding it down, but uplifting their’s and others as well. This morning, a Facebook friend updated her status to state that today is for those who had monsters for fathers to now speak out. She then briefly recounted an incident which demonstrated her own paternal ugliness and then requested no religious or Hallmark “moralizing”. She of course, has every right to blast her daddy issues on her wall. I mean, it’s a (kind of) free Facebook. But I wonder: Why? This is a woman who ordinarily upholds positivity, beauty, love and light (and a bunch of other happy things). She also had a tough time with her mom, but she didn’t invite ugly into her combox the morning after Mother’s Day.
I read a great post at GlobeTracer. Shetraces also has a troubled relationship with her father. There’s a lot of hurt, but not nasty.
I suffer from bouts of depression. I feel like I don’t have a voice, except when I type from my computer. I need attention constantly. I settle for less in relationships because I fear being alone. I become attached to feelings, and when those feelings are not surrendered I drown in self-deprecating thoughts. I have a very small circle of friends because I require a lot. I still don’t feel like a ‘true’ adult. I am angry that you will post pictures of your younger daughters on Facebook, but pretend like I don’t exist. I have some of your best features, but you make me feel like a hiccup in your life. How did you ever quench that hiccup? Did you hold your breath and wait a couple of seconds before saying “I come first, today, and for the rest of my life?”
God blessed you with the gift of fatherhood. You never unwrapped it.
To my lovely K, and all the other great dads out there, I hope your Father’s Day was great. To all those who struggle with absent, negligent, or hurtful dads: I’m sorry. I feel you. Let’s try, somehow, to turn that “hurt”, as Lupe raps, into our songs. God bless us as we flip our pain into strength.