Something I was thinking about this morning coincides with the Writing 101 prompt to write about a loss: my birth father and the loss of him, or rather, the absence of him, in my life. I don’t know that I can say “loss,” ‘cause I don’t remember a time I “had” him. I’ve talked about him a bit before, and I’ve said that he’s abusive, but I haven’t gone into detail about what he did.
Sometimes, I don’t even know if it’s abuse, and I usually developed excuses for him. He just didn’t want me. Most of my life he ignored me. (The traitorous little thought pops up: Who says he had to pay attention to you? ) Sometimes, I think I made it up, like maybe it wasn’t that bad. He went to Sun Valley when I was in a coma. (So what? You don’t remember anyway.) Or that time I was almost kicked out of school because he stopped paying. (But you weren’t kicked out.) Or when I was kicked out of the hospital because of his actions. (But he got you into another one.) Most of the time, I think I was responsible for it. The night someone he fucked over waved a gun in my face to threaten him. (That wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t walking by yourself at night.)
Greg (he told me to call him that in junior high) just moved through my life like a smug, self-involved and self-wrapped up force. He would do whatever he did, and the people around him, (or maybe just me and mom) paid the consequences. I was collateral, and things that happened to me were collateral damage.
He hasn’t spoken to me in 13 years and I don’t know what else I could do.
To say that this “hurts” is a pale whisper of a crack compared to the canyon of ache that lives in my core.
The worst part is a treacherous seed of hope that refuses to wash away, that he will someday want me. My internal little person is desperate for her father to love her, for her to be safe with him. Finally, I’m just plain afraid that I’m handling it wrong right now, that I’m making him pay for something that’s my own fault.
So how to handle it? What if there might be ways to reframe what happened to remove some of the sting?