They say the bond between a father and daughter is unbreakable, special and a “dress rehearsal for life”, but what if you have never had that bond? Are you destined to fail at life? To never have a good relationship or never know a true bond with someone? What is it that makes it so special and – if it is – then what are “father-less” children lacking by not having them around?
These are questions, that I now admit, I have asked myself for most of my adult life.
My father walked out of my life before I was 2. He has never explained why. My mother has attempted to, diplomatically, without any anger towards him. I admire her. For doing it on her own, giving me the best of everything and never complaining. She is my hero and has shaped me into the strong woman and confident mother I am today. I was probably more fortunate than most. Despite being an only child, I have a huge family who have always been there for me. Guiding me when I have gone off track and celebrating with me when I have achieved.
Without sounding ungrateful, despite what I had, there was always something missing. No words can really describe or prepare you for a moment when your father walks into the pharmacy you work in, purchases something, looks at you and then walks out without any acknowledgement. Or when you are in the hospital waiting for a scan on your ankle and a woman is staring at you and then asks if you are (Dad’s name)’s daughter. That lady was my aunty! These are moments I won’t forget and make me sad every time I think about them.
In my lifetime, I have seen my father about 20 times. He has met his grandchild once. He didn’t share any milestones with me: graduating, getting my dream job, getting married and all of the other events that have shaped me. In the past, when someone was describing the trouble in their life and uttered the phrase “I am like this because my dad left”, I would shout in anger at the TV and tell them to “get a grip”. I was always a firm believer that we carve our own paths through the choices we make not the choices others make that we cannot control. On reflection, I think my annoyance is directed at myself for not being able to admit it DOES have an impact and it’s okay to say so.
My father didn’t not want children (he had 3 more), he just didn’t want me. Am I angry, yes. Do I miss him, no. I don’t know the man I would be missing. Maybe on our next meeting, whenever that may be, I will ask him why. Maybe I will share this blog and hope he is shown it. Maybe I will never know and maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on him.
‘Maybe’ and ‘why’ are powerful words. The former leaves room for hope. The latter closes half open doors. I hope my “why” is resolved one day.
Possibly, on reflection, my “why” will only be resolved when I am ready to ask that question…
”Why did you not want me?”
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