A Brief Look at My Beliefs & More on My Father

Patience, Love and Tolerance.  These are the three things that I have chosen to live my life by, and is a task that is far from easy to undertake.  Every day, I try to expand each of them, attempting to be better than I was the day before- but for what?  Perfection is an impossible goal, but I don't want to be perfect- instead, I want to be perfect in my faults.

It is my faults that I both take comfort in and what I use to drive myself forward in my constant attempts to become a better person.  Unfortunately, it is just as often that I see someone's faults first as it is that I see everything else about them.  Sometimes, though, I do everything I can to see the good in people, but they never let me see them.  It's difficult to be around people like that, especially when they're people that you're supposed to care about.

I realize now that my anger from my parents' divorce was misplaced and, in many cases, was entirely unnecessary.  In a short seven years, I overcame the anger that went with the divorce and, for the first time in years, felt a bit more at peace with myself.  At nineteen, I had freed myself from the burden of anger and opened myself up to something far easier to deal with, both for myself and for those around me- love.  Love tempered both my tolerance and my patience, both of which have become incredibly important to me.

Even with everything that I have now- mentally and spiritually, that is, as I have very few personal belongings- I can only tolerate so much, just like any other person.  My last entry reflected hard upon my father and then the ways that a parent's choices can and do affect their children, something that I'm sure is not easy for anyone to read.  It's not something that's very easy for me to type, either, but a lot of that had to get off of my chest.  I only hope that it doesn't change my family's opinion of me, though I will accept whatever comes back to me as a consequence of my choice to open this blog and slowly vent some of my concerns of both familial and societal issues that I see and/or have.

Even with everything that I have worked for, I have personally talked with my father once in almost a year and a half and I was, unfortunately, very disappointed by the aftermath.  After seeing him doing so much better with my sister- who has been diagnosed with several mental illnesses and he had previously virtually disowned- I had thought that he would have changed towards me as well.  I have grown tired of constantly being picked at behind my back, of not being involved in some of the decisions regarding my life, of being humiliated while trapped.  I want to keep giving him chances, but I don't know if I can continue to offer him chances to prove to me that he can be a father figure with as many times as he has shown me that he either can't be or won't be for me.

And yet...  I still love him.  I know my childhood wasn't all bad.  I do have plenty of good memories with him.  My only problem seems to be that the older I got, the smaller I would feel and the less welcome I felt around him.  It was almost like I didn't belong around him.  I continually debate on what I want to do to try to resolve this, but I never seem to be able to settle on any one thing.  Maybe some day I'll figure out what the best resolution is, but for now, I want to see what happens.


  1. This relationship with your father, like all relationships, is a journey. Some are more difficult than others. Although a son's relationship with his father is an important and defining one, it is not the only one.

    Your feelings about your father are important to resolve or come to terms with. Learn from them, but don't let them take over your every thought. Then either embrace it, learn to live with it, or let it go...be at peace with it. And move on to be the best man you can be.

    You are now in control of your own destiny.


  2. I agree with Kathi's statements. As we get older, the desire to please our parents never seems to completely die out (even, I am sad to say, after their death . . . I still find myself thinking, "Oh, Dad would be proud of that," or, worse, "Oh, Dad would be so disappointed with me"). As we come into our own, we have these realizations, that you discuss in this blog, about our lives and how we were raised. The trouble is that how we remember things aren't necessarily what really happened (that doesn't make them any less real to the grown child). Something we might have experienced as a defining moment in our life may have been perceived by the parent to be a minor incident; while something the parent perceived to be a major life event might even be forgotten by the child. Dr. Phil states that "there is no reality, only perception."

    As we mature (and you have done so very nicely, I must say - and your writing style is amazing . . . esp. for a guy who once told me that he hated to write!), we do exactly what you are doing: try to make sense of it all. But when we realize that the behavior of another person (e.g., how you perceive your father felt about you based on the particulars of your relationship) may have been impacted by many other external (and internal) variables, having nothing to do with you. So as you internalize what you perceived to be indifference or disappointment, may have been your father dealing with other issues that might not have involved you but may have been a manifestation of other elements of his life.

    You are so right: there is a ripple effect. If we look at how the men in your family were raised, we can go back at least 2 generations and find the same circumstances, with each generation vowing to do better than the previous one. How great that you realize that there are things (patterns, behaviors, etc.) you do not wish to repeat. You are ahead of many with that desire!

    Nevertheless, as many have said, children don't come with instruction manuals and if you think that your parents (and step-parents, and grandparents, etc.) did the best they could, at the time, with what they were given, desiring to be better than their parents. My father's inability to be an involved parent (except for the annual 2-week vacation and the holiday dinners, which often involved a certain amount of yelling, as I recall . . . tho my recollection may not be accurate), was a constant pain for me until I looked at how he was raised (a long story): suddenly I realized that he did the best he knew how to do, considering the fact that he had an almost non-existent relationship with his own father. I have more compassion for his situation (that doesn't improve the unhappy times of my childhood or all the daddy-daughter events I never attended because he was too involved doing school board stuff instead) and I forgive his being human. FYI, I was in my 40s before I got to that point. Thankfully, it was before his death. I'm forever grateful for that.

    Keep writing your feelings, making sense (or trying to) of the circumstances that made you who you are, and working on improving on who you are and will be. You're going to do just fine & when the time comes that you make us great-grandparents (again), we will be thrilled! (No rush on that, tho!) You are loved . . . by many!!

    Grandma J