Earlier this year, I wrote a really long, really intimate post about my struggles with losing my Dad and grieving the loss of our relationship. It might sound extreme to people who’ve got both of their parents in their life, and I apologize if I offend anyone who’s grieving the death of a parent, but I did grieve him for a long time. I was so deeply sad, then angry, then numb to everything he’d done to me that it was a grieving process. It’s a very weird feeling, knowing that there’s someone out there who is supposed to be in your life, and just isn’t.
In January, after weeks of going back and forth, I reached out to him on Facebook and sent him a message containing the link to an obituary of his recently deceased brother. I knew the only way he could find out about it was if I sent it, and I really felt he should have it. I didn’t know what was going to happen when I opened that door. I half expected him to slam it shut, block me and never speak to me. I was prepared for that. But he thanked me and then apologized profusely for all of the shit that he’s put me through, and…now he messages me almost every day and tells me to have a good day. I usually say “thanks, you too”. Sometimes he tells me he loves me, and I feel bad, but I don’t reciprocate it.
He feeds me very few tidbits about his life, and what I do know saddens and angers me at the same time. He lives with my step mother and some of my half/step siblings. When he does tell me things, their life sounds just as tumultuous, if not more so, than when I was a child. It makes me sad to know that he’s caught up in this cycle with her and it seems like he’ll never get out of it. He talks about finding enough money to come back up to Michigan, but I don’t put a ton of stock in that and to be honest, don’t really want him to. I wouldn’t know what to do with him if he was here! I don’t know the first things about having an adult relationship with your dad. I have my relationships with my uncle and grandpa to look at and compare but those are people I’ve known my whole life, and, wish as I might, they aren’t my Dad.
He’s apologized to me so many times, and each time it makes me deeply uncomfortable. He’s said that he feels the need to compulsively apologize for the shit he’s put me through, and I’ve told him that’s not necessary. The apologies are nice, and appreciated, but ultimately unnecessary. I didn’t realize it until last week, but his apologies aren’t what I want. They can’t give me what I want. He never can. I want back what he took away…our relationship. I want a second chance at our relationship, and I want him to choose me over her. I want him to make me a priority, put his foot down. Hell, I want him to go back and make room for me in his life by showing that I mattered, because he never did any of that. It’ll never happen, obviously, and we’ll never have what we could’ve. But I guess…Facebook is a slow, small start. And I guess I’ll take it.