Worth fighting for?

Everyone around me says that, of course I need to fight for this relationship. He’s my father.  It cannot be that simple. It is not that simple. 

This time around, he is acting like he wants a relationship, even though he doesn’t hesitate to hurtle insults at me and then deny that he’s done so. But, this time around, I feel even less like I want a relationship. 

Yes, even though he’s my father. 

I feel like I’m living in a surreal land, where everyone, even my most trusted friends, are more on his team than they are on mine. It’s simply because it’s hard for them to place themselves in my shoes but it still hurts. And it still makes me question what kind of person I am. 

“But he’s your father…”

“Don’t you want your father in your life, in any capacity?”

And when I answer no, especially when he tells me that he finds fault in who I’ve become, i get blank stares, or frustrated sighs, or outright arguments as to why I am being too cruel and harsh. I feel no compulsion at all to have a relationship with him. My rational mind knows this to be completely reasonable. Every other part of me is in complete turmoil. 

The question that keeps playing over and over in my mind: “Is there something wrong with me that I feel absolutely nothing, no compulsion, no feelings (except negative), no desire whatsoever to have a relationship with my father?” And here come those questions of fundamental flaws. All over again. 

Coincidence? Perhaps not. Or perhaps this situation is just raising the right questions. 

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4 thoughts on “Worth fighting for?

  1. Hey Kashley –

    Hell, no. F*ck, no.

    I broke things off with my mother, my abuser, several years ago. It saved my life.

    I don’t need anyone in my life who is hurting me, or who has hurt me to that degree and is taking no responsibility or initiative to try to make things right. I was stuck in a trap, that SHE created, where I could just be hurt over and over again, by her lack of understanding, her forgetful memory, her anger, her her her her.

    She sacrificed her privilege (no relationship is a right owed to someone) to a relationship with me when she abused me.

    Of course I want a mother in my life. Of course I yearn for that every day. Every single day. Of course the loss of a mother is a hole in my chest. But I had to stop waiting for “mother” to come. She isn’t coming. She isn’t coming. I had a woman who hurt me. That’s not a mother. And I’m strong enough, I’ve done enough work to convince myself that I’m worth enough, to say no to allowing someone who has demonstrated time and time again that she has no skill of care taking and no regard for my feelings or protection, to keep hurting me.

    You’re allowed to need what you need. Who knows what tomorrow brings. But hell, no. My life is filled with people who love me and have earned my love and trust (and it’s hard won, I tell you). Blood doesn’t make family. Love does.

    1. It’s good to hear from you!! You’re so sweet for reading and commenting.

      Thank you for confirming what I’ve been feeling and thinking. My self doubt has shot through the roof because it seems like everyone around me is focused on the fact that he is my father, and that should be enough.

      In a conversation with him a couple of days ago I asked him if he had any compassion for me and he just scoffed and referred back to how I’ve treated him. That in itself should be enough of an answer for me, but I guess not all of me agrees.

      Again, thank you for the validation. It means so much!!

  2. Kashly,
    MMM (hi Meta!!) saved me the work of typing out a reply. Exactly what she said. People who have never experienced a toxic parent do NOT understand. Yes, of course the relationship is a vitally important one. What they don’t understand is that we would give the world to be able to make it UNIMPORTANT. It’s terrible to feel so tied to someone who has treated you so horribly. Can you imagine any of the those people telling you that you should be working to have a good relationship with a stranger who raped you? The fact it was your father makes it even more imperative to stay away and protect yourself. You’re absolutely doing the right thing. I have seen you struggle for a number of years to allow yourself to exercise self-care and I see this as a significant sign of progress. I am truly sorry that it is necessary. For people like us, we long to have a parent we could have a healthy relationship with, but it’s not possible and it;s harmful to keep trying to achieve something that is impossible to achieve when the other person does not carry their own responsibility. Stick to your guns and protect yourself. You shouldn’t have to with your own father, but he’s the one that forced this situation, not you! Tell your well-meaning friends (and truly I know they are well-meaning just woefully ignorant) to call your father and lecture him on the duty he owes you instead. He’s the one that f***** up major. (Sorry, this makes my head *explode*!!)

    xx AG

  3. Oh Kashley! No, no, no, no way in hell you have to continue a relationship with him. His treatment of you a long time ago was cruel, illegal, sick, demented and so completely, totally disrespectful to you as a person. So his behavior continues with you as an adult….TRUST ME, no one, including God or whoever you find your faith in, would ask you to continue such a relationship. After the memories of my childhood finally became unblocked two-years ago, I tried to act “normal” with my father and continue the relationship we had. But as more of the memories became uncovered, I too was beating myself up for not wanting the relationship to continue as it had. It’s taken me so much work to find compassion and worth for myself and to finally accept I do not want the relationship anymore. So it’s okay. You are not a little girl anymore, but a wonderful, strong survivor. You have choices. He did not act like a father to you, nor did mine, so I feel he does not deserve to be treated as such now. I am not bitter, although these words may sound like it. My father is paying the price as he has become old and physically incapacitated. I forgive him for what he did, but that’s it. From everything I have learned about God, I think that’s all He asks. Your priority is to protect yourself and your spirit, be kind and accepting of yourself and please don’t allow others to judge and condemn you. You’re a beautiful soul, with I’m sure so much to give to those who truly deserve it…..

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