13 Things No Estranged Child Needs To Hear On Fatherâ€™s Day
Even though I really love my father, Iâ€™m beginning to hate Fatherâ€™s Day. The only silver lining is that I now I have a husband and kids, and I see the potential for Fatherâ€™s Day to be a loving family celebration.
The kicker is that I havenâ€™t seen my dad in seven years, and that is hard to talk about. I plan to see him for the first time at the end of the month on a family trip with my sister, and I am very, very nervous. I donâ€™t expect this trip to fix our relationship, but I am open to breaking the ice. Iâ€™m also realistically expecting to feel emotional if and when my dad starts to interact with me in the same toxic patterns.
I miss my dad, I love my dad, but Iâ€™m tired of trying to make it work. Heâ€™s the dad, and Iâ€™m the child. Why canâ€™t he understand this? I know Iâ€™m not alone. I know there are many of us who have had to make the difficult choice to cut a toxic parent out of our life, permanently or for a time.
If someone you know is estranged from their father, just know that itâ€™s not easy. Please think before you speak on this wonderful family holiday:
1. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ll work it out.
If by â€œwork it out,â€ you mean ride the same emotional roller coaster that Iâ€™ve been riding for the past 30 years, then yes, Iâ€™m sure that will happen.
2. Donâ€™t you feel bad that heâ€™s alone on Fatherâ€™s Day?
Thanks for bringing this up. I feel really, really terrible that my father is alone in his old age since he never remarried. I think about it all the time, and I often feel like itâ€™s my fault. I just donâ€™t know what I can do to fix it.
3. I bet he misses you.
I miss him too, more than I can express. Iâ€™ve told him this several times before, but he hasnâ€™t said it back.
4. Sometimes, you donâ€™t know what youâ€™ve got till itâ€™s gone.Â
Iâ€™m also very, very aware of this, so thanks for bringing it up. I donâ€™t know whatâ€™s worse: The thought that my dad could die soon while we still have a broken relationship, or the thought that we have so many lost years between us that weâ€™ll never get back.
5. Life is short.
As obvious as this is, it still sucks to hear it. I donâ€™t know what to do to fix this relationship with my dad when time is running short. No pressure.
6. You never know what heâ€™s like now.
Trust me when I say that I convince myself of this all the time. Then I get up the courage to get back into contact with him, and the same bullshit happens. Every time.
7. Doesnâ€™t he deserve a call?
I can no longer justify the imbalance in our relationship. Iâ€™m the child, and heâ€™s the parent. He can call me for once.
8. Itâ€™s just one day to honor your dad.
Thereâ€™s something disrespectful about sweeping all of the issues from the past 30 years under the rug for â€œjust one day.â€ Thatâ€™s where I stand.
9. Donâ€™t you understand now that youâ€™re a parent?Â
Funny that you bring this up. Becoming a parent has made me even more outraged at the way I was treated by my dad as a child.
10. He couldnâ€™t have done anything that bad.
But you donâ€™t really know that, do you? If you have a few hours, Iâ€™d be happy to share.
11. Just send a card.
A card really isnâ€™t going to fix it. It might make him feel good for a moment, but itâ€™s just a Band-Aid on a bigger issue.
12. Maybe this is the right time to work it out?
Cheesy Fatherâ€™s Day reunion scenes are very unlikely to happen, no matter what Hallmark movies suggest. I recently told my dad that I was nervous about seeing him at the end of the month, and he told me to have â€œlow expectationsâ€ about it. I may be misinterpreting what he said, but that was very hard to hear.
13. Your kids need to know their grandfather.
Parents and grandparents earn their titles. Heâ€™s welcome at any time to start the process by reaching out to me and my kids.
Dad, if you are reading this, I love you, and I miss you more than you know. I think about you every day. Happy Father’s Day.
Click here forÂ 13 Things No Estranged Child Needs To Hear On Motherâ€™s Day.