Daddy Issues

A lot of folks are of the opinion that girls who grow up without their father’s presence have issues, particularly concerning other men in their lives. While I believe that is true for some, I don’t know if that’s particularly true for me at this point. Granted, there are some things I have little patience for that I can trace back to my father.

For example, I hatehatehatehate waiting on men. I don’t like being stood up. I don’t like people taking too long and not calling. I don’t like promises being made and then broken. Nobody likes that stuff but I think I get irrationally upset about stuff like that. I can remember being extremely excited whenever my father would say he was coming into town. His visits always meant lots of attention for me. He would take me out to eat, likely Red Lobster (and at that age and in my community, Red Lobster was doing it big!). He would buy me stuff. He would drive me around town in his nice car. Now that I think of it, it was always a big deal in my neighborhood when someone’s father came to visit. You kind of wanted to show your daddy off since most of us didn’t have fathers around. So when he would tell me he was coming I’d get ready super early and wait. There were a couple of times when I waited all day and all night. I kept running to the window when a car stopped outside. I kept my shoes on. I was ready to go. It’d get dark and my grandma would just look at me, she already knew it was a wrap. Ultimately, I’d figure out he wasn’t coming and go to bed pissed.

After that, I pegged him as unreliable and a liar and didn’t allow myself to get hyped up again only to be let down. Now, if a guy tells me he’s going to be somewhere and doesn’t show, I get upset like that little girl waiting at the window with her shoes on. Ugh.  If I have any other “daddy issues” I can’t identify them as easily. Two days ago, I got word that my father had a heart attack. They were flying him out to a VA hospital with a cardiac unit. He’s way up in upstate NY and the information about his condition got sent from his girlfriend, to his sister, to his brother, to me. As of right now, that’s all of the information I have. I don’t know what happened after he got to the hospital or since. I called my uncle to check in, but they hadn’t been updated either.I mentioned it to a couple of other people and of course they were all, “I’m so sorry” and “Hope everything’s alright.” That’s what normal people say because it’s usually a distressing situation to hear that your father had a heart attack. Unfortunately, I just can’t react in a “normal” way.

When my uncle told me that my father had a heart attack I thought, “Oh no. Hope he’s okay.” Then I went back to watching television. I didn’t dwell on it because, 1) There’s nothing I can do. 2) I have limited information. 3) Heart attacks nowadays aren’t THAT big of a deal, right? 4) We are not that close.

For many years, I didn’t see nor hear from my father. Just last year, around X-mas, he contacted me out of the blue and has been in touch several times a month ever since. In October, we saw each other for the first time in years when we went to meet my German sister. So to be fair, for the past year he has been actively trying to get back in touch and be included in what’s going on with my life. Still, I’ve kind of spent my life without a father so my feelings toward him aren’t that of father/daughter but more like distant cousin. Hearing that he had a heart attack is almost like hearing on the news that some lady in New Jersey got hit by a car. My reaction is “oh, that’s too bad” but I’m not losing sleep.

I know that’s not a popular thing to say. A person is supposed to feel some kind of way when their family member, their father, has a potentially serious condition. For sure if something happened to anyone on my mom’s side of the family (even as much as they get on my nerves), I’d be bugging out, trying to find a way to get back home to be with them. While I don’t want anything bad to happen to him, I just don’t think I’d be SO affected if something did. Kind of cold, but I’d find it more of an awkward inconvenience to have to go to a funeral and be the eldest daughter and talk to his side of the family… people I don’t know or haven’t seen since I was like 8 years old.

So I’m just waiting to hear what’s going on. I truly do hope everything is alright. I know that if I were going to die, I wouldn’t want my children not to care. Then again, I think I’d be looking at myself like, what did or didn’t I do where my child doesn’t feel some kind away about my life?

I guess that’s some daddy issues for you.

UPDATE: He’s okay.

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7 Comments

Filed under My Life

7 responses to “Daddy Issues

  1. U shouldn’t feel bad for not having an emotional attachment to him. Thats not your fault, thats his. True he may be trying to fix that situation now, but if makes it out of condition ok, then he should probably be trying a lot harder than he his now. Even then u still cannot be faulted if u still dont develop a stronger emotional bond.

    I can say all of this because my father wasnt around either. I harbor no bitterness or animosity towards him, I just have no emotional bond to him. I DON’T LOVE HIM. To me the term father doesnt even ring right when speaking about him. My step-dad has been more like a true father to me than him and he (step-dad) didnt come into my life til I was 23!!!

    If anything I think not having my father around has shaped my thoughts and feelings towards children today. I dont have any & just cant see my self having any til I get married. My mothers life was hard raising me by herself and I just will not put a woman through a life like that. I refuse to put a child thru that pain….

  2. With that said…I think I need to send u that iTunes cert before u catch a fit & put a hit out on me…

    :-)

  3. BlkBond

    I think that the distance between you and your father does have an impact on your relationship with him. Frank is right, this is his fault, not yours. Do you want a closer relationship with him? What I find, even with my father who has been there, yet is very old fashioned, is that sometimes we have to take the first steps toward building a relationship/better relationship.

    Heart attacks are always a big deal, especially among Black people. Usually the high blood pressure/cholesterol, poor diet, poor exercise, etc. contribute to this trend that is killing people in our community. I hope your father makes a good recovery and takes steps necessary to ensure his health improves.

  4. trEmaine

    We feel what we feel and out of sync emotions for someone who you don’t know what to exactly feel for is time consuming and irrational to me. Maybe, I’m just bitter though. This right here describes me to a T: “I don’t like being stood up. I don’t like people taking too long and not calling. I don’t like promises being made and then broken. Nobody likes that stuff but I think I get irrationally upset about stuff like that.”

    It’s good to read that he’s doing well (via your update), and maybe… Just maybe the two of you will be a bit more involved in each others’ lives now.

  5. KZ

    I felt the same way when I found out my father had prostate cancer.

  6. jessj

    wow…funny that i should come across this site and read, of all the posts, THIS one…i completely understand your sentiments and that’s pretty a-line behavior given the circumstances. I can definitely relate having been a little girl waiting with my shoes on as well, AND having heard news that my dad wasn’t well recently i couldn’t find it in myself to get emotionally involved in the severity of the matter-mainly because I had become indifferent to him altogether…thanks for this post so many people don’t understand and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but I’m glad SOMEONE out there feels like I do.
    oh and check out this picture: I actually bought it and sent it to my father a few years ago (http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Waiting-for-Daddy-Posters_i325625_.htm)

  7. @jessj: that’s the perfect picture. I was looking for something like that actually to put in the post.
    Unfortunately, though, too many of us can relate.
    Thanks for reading.

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