My father just laid a major guilt trip on me via my sister, and I fell for the trap. I’ve spoken candidly about my father – the abandonment, his lack of effort, and his refusal to accept his role as a real father – yet he still gets to me emotionally.
I play tough girl. I act like having a superficial relationship with my father doesn’t affect me, but it does. When I hear other girls raving about their Daddies, when I witness special father-daughter moments on NYC transit, I wish that my father and I had something special.
He is in my life but off and on. Just like when I was a kid, he’s predictably inconsistent. When I do see him and we spend time together we are good. I don’t hold grudges. I can accept the father that he is. What I cannot accept is him turning things around. How he plays martyr. How he acts like I owe him something.
My father puts the status of our relationship on my shoulders.
He expects me to call, even if he never does and didn’t call or show up for 10 years of my life. He expects me to feel grateful because he calls me one day a year – on my birthday – or so he says. I never ever get the call. He expects me to move on and be affectionate despite the fact that one call a year does not make a father.
And it hurts. Though I am happy with my life and my career, and I feel really fulfilled, his “message” via my sister hurts me deep. No matter how long it has been or how I’ve accepted that he will never be the father that I need, I will always miss the relationship with my father that I’ve never had.