Thursday, June 18, 2009

Caught in a Trap

When I was a baby my parents got a divorce. I was so young that I never knew what it was like to have them live together and honestly I never really wanted them back together. What I wanted was for my dad to show me he cared. I wanted a relationship with my dad. I wanted to see him more than twice a year especially since he only lived 45 minutes away.

Both of my parents remarried. My dad married a girl that was at least 10 years younger than he was. He was in a band and they played at bars on the weekend. He met his new wife there. I remember my grandparents picking me up from my mom's house and I couldn't wait for my dad to get there. However when he got there I was told that he had a new wife and I was introduced to her at that time. I was young, maybe 5 or 6? Maybe a little older but even at that young age I was hurt that I wasn't at the wedding or asked to be IN the wedding. I was hurt that he hadn't introduced me to her first or even let me know he was getting married! It was like a bomb shell was dropped and I was just supposed to accept it.
Well, turns out that the new wife didn't like that he had a child. I didn't see him for over a year after that. My mom finally called him and told him he had to come see me. So one day while he was working he came by , picked me up in his work truck and we rode around. He told me that day that he hadn't come to get me, called me and basically ignored me because she didn't like me. Wow. Thanks dad. That was great for my self esteem and whatever relationship that she and I could have had.

They had a baby together. She was beautiful and I loved her. As a matter of fact everybody loved her. My dad loved her, he spent time with her, he doted on her, SHE was the best thing that ever happened to That's also great to say to a child. Your sister is the best thing that ever happened to me.

The wife left my dad. I remember going to see him and he wouldn't get out of the bed. He told me all the problems they had, how she had cheated on him and destroyed him. That weekend I was virtually alone and I didn't see him hardly at all as it was.

When I was a teenager and I got my license I went to stay with he and my sister alot. The reason was because he was in a band and would leave me alone at night to keep my sister. He bought me beer and I got drunk for the first time at his house. Basically I went to his house when I wanted to do something I knew my mom wouldn't allow me to do.

I had alot of anger and resentment built up towards him. I never understand why he didn't care about me. Why he didn't take the time to spend with me. Why I wasn't the best thing that ever happened to him. Why weren't WE the best things that ever happened to him? He put the time in with her but he never did with me. I felt like he didn't love me, like I was unimportant. But through that, for me, a pattern emerged. I saw him twice a year. I would see them always at Christmas and then maybe once in the summer. That's the way we'd always done it, except for the short time I was a teenager.

I'm not sure when it all shifted to being my fault. I can't recall what happened that made THEM the victims. Maybe it was because my sister didn't feel I was a good sister to her? Maybe it was because I had my drivers license and I should be the one to make the relationship? But somehow the blame shifted and the fact that I only go twice a year to see them, like HE started, determines that I'm after their money. I heard my sister say that once in her sleep. "She only comes for the money." I'm not sure if she was talking about me or not but it sure felt like it! The fact is they aren't wealthy people! They are just good, honest, hardworking people that chose to give me a lot at Christmas. I didn't start that or ask for it or expect it. Actually the one Christmas I didn't call him first, he got angry with me and left me irritated message on my answering machine asking me why I hadn't called him. I returned that call and explained to him that we were all adults now. For us to have a relationship they had responsibility too, including my sister! She was an adult exactly like I was. He didn't know what to say to that truth.

Last Christmas was the first Christmas without my granddaddy. He passed away at the beginning of last year and since he was the head of the family that made it extremely hard on everyone. My granddaddy was as close to a saint as I've ever known. He was a great man. Anyway, I called the day after Christmas to see about getting together and they wouldn't return my phone calls at first. It ate me up. I called my dad AND my sister each three times before they would talk to me. It wasn't my sister that talked to me it was my dad. He said that he needed to call my sister to see when a good time was and asked me why I hadn't called before that. Now I had left two messages on his answering machine but anyway he calls my sister. He calls me back and tells me a time. Our conversation drifts and I started telling him about my mom's dad and that his bark his worse than his bite. Then my dad says, I know I just got off with you sister and I told her, I talk big but when it comes down to it, I can't go through with it. My mind starts spinning because he had just got off the phone with her and it was about me. I really feel like they had every intention of cutting me and my family off but he couldn't go through with it. However, we went, visited and all was great.

Now, the new dilemma, my husband is currently out of work, as you know. I called my dad to catch up with him and I mentioned that to him. He immediately started wanting to know my address so he could send me a check. I told him no and refused to give it to him. I am not the type of person that he thinks I am. I'm not after their money and what I want is somewhat of a relationship with them. I just wish that it wasn't left solely up to me. We are all adults now, why is it solely my fault that we don't know each other? Anyway, I digress, the current problem is Father's Day and his birthday are coming up this weekend. I want to send him a card with a gift certificate. I would love to go see him but I feel like if I do, they will think I'm coming for the check or sending the card so he'll get my address. I'm so confused as to what to do!!

Also I think I should let you know that they are good people. I've finally figured out that my dad does love me he's just not going to make the effort to form a relationship with me or really anyone. He was a good parent to my sister but he had no choice in that situation. She was dumped on him and honestly she was one of the best things that ever happened to him. I don't think that he would have ever grown up if it hadn't been for her and the responsibility she brought to his life. I have closure on everything from when I was a child. I've let him know how I feel about the past and he was very upset with himself...
I'm just lost as to how to handle the new development. I don't want to force myself on them...I don't want them to think I'm the type of person that is after just money because I'm not like that. I've never sent my dad anything for Father's Day but I feel like it's the right thing to do...I've never acknowledged his birthday but I feel like it's the right thing to do. Now just how do I do all that? Any ideas?



  1. That's a tough one, Erika. I've never been in a situation like that. I'd have to pray about that. I'm sure you are praying, too! :)

  2. oh my Erika! That is hard! You don't have to leave your address on the card. You know that right? Send it without a return address on it! If I were you... I would feel guilty later if I didn't send just send it!!!! You here me!!!!!! Love ya girl!

  3. I thought I would let you both know that I decided to send the card. I'm not sure if I'm going to put a return address on it or not since it will have a gift card in it. I'm currently praying about what I'm going to write in it and will put it in the mail today. Thank you both for reading and commenting. I'll be erasing this post this know why I'm sure :)

  4. Hey...thanks for stopping by my blog. Well girl...I don't know you, but parents can be difficult! I have issues too w/ my mom that run so deep and I'm not near being healed from it all. I guess my .02 cents would a life without regrets. Ok, if he gets your address and mails you a check rip it up. I can imagine how hard that might be especially if you need it! I'm a very blunt person I'm always encouraging adults to "lay it out there." Make sure he knows you WANT a relationship with him. Better do it now, than later regret not taking the stand and saying...hey this is important! I know the frustration with people not living up to expectations...but I also think...well if they don't know I would like this relationship w/ them then I can't fault them for trying...ya ya ya...its a circle and can get unhealthy. I'm not saying these are your circumstances just throwing .20 cents, now i'll shut up!

  5. NO thank you for your $.02 cents worth, that's what I need! And girl, you just let it all hang out around here! I grew up in a household where we tried to tell it like it is and that's what I'm used to. Thanks for the comment and come back now ya hear =)