My parents divorced when I was 2, so I don’t have memories of them together. My childhood memories consist of separate memories with my mom and dad. Growing up, I was super close to my mother (and have only grown closer). As a child, I had a good relationship with my dad too – I would go over to his house every other weekend and he would take me fishing, we’d play cards and other games together, watch movies, and when he would drop off the child support check to my mom, he would always bring me a bag of skittles because they were my favorite. I loved riding in his truck, listening to country music, and laughing at his silly dad jokes.
Fast forward to today, and I have no relationship with him, and haven’t in years. I can’t pinpoint a time when the relationship completely faded away, but I know it was gradual. And I think it’s because (without getting into too much detail) he had other priorities. Whenever I would call him, we would have an awkward conversation and then he would end it with “I need to call you more, I know the phone works both ways”. But I wouldn’t hear from him until I called him, months later.
On the day I had my son, I called him and he promised me he would come to the hospital to visit us after he was done working – he would finally get to meet the man I married, too. He never showed nor called. That hurt. And it was in that moment that it all sank in and I realized I would never be close to my father again.
For years, I blamed myself – what did I do wrong for him to not want a relationship with me? Did I do something to push him away? Maybe if I did this or that differently, he would have wanted to remain close to me. But, as I’ve gotten older and become a parent myself, I realize that I did not do anything wrong, which has helped me to accept this situation.
My father has missed out on so many wonderful things in my life, including my sweet babies. It makes me sad to think about it, and the little girl in me still holds out for a relationship with him.
Through my older adolescent and teenage years, I had (and still have) an amazing father – my stepdad. He has been there for me, no matter what, and has never left my side. He is my dad. It doesn’t take DNA to be someone’s dad – it takes effort, love, support, and loyalty – all of which he has provided unconditionally to me.