"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"…

July 12, 2007

Don’t get me wrong. I know it sounds like Dad is totally abandoning me and acting like kind of a douche in that last post.

That’s not the case.

I know if I truly needed him, he’d be there for me. In an instant. I’d like to believe that that is the case no matter what. I do. He’s my dad and I love him with all my heart and he has done me more good than bad…but it is always the bad that burns so… well, badly.

But he can be very selfish, he has been very selfish and I believe that he can not be alone, so he stayed with the ‘other woman’ for fear of flying solo. One thing he’ll never admit.

I pity him for that. I really do. I wish he was strong enough to take care of himself. He’d find it freeing. I think the problem is that he has little self-esteem and is quite insecure for such an older gentle man. Another thing he’ll never admit.

I made the choice to stay far away from him and her at the time. I made the conscious decision years ago not to get involved in their family because they were not my family. They never could be. And I was pissed then.

Ironically enough, I did get close with one of her daughters but she always seemed separate from her. We hung out a lot but her life with her mother was different. We drank together and sometimes got high together and hung out with boys together and it was fun to see each other during some of the holidays because we’d escape later on and be bad together. That was pretty much it.

She’s a mom now and I see her differently, more like her mom, and I’m not all that crazy about that either.

I don’t have a whole lot of family. Theirs is huge. I don’t need them regardless of the size of my family unit and they certainly don’t need me.

I never wanted them. And I never needed them to need me. I just wanted to be left alone.

I didn’t even want to be involved in the recent wedding. I didn’t want to do the reading, (but I did to keep dad happy) and I surely didn’t want to be in the wedding party. (I wasn’t asked anyway) I just wanted them to acknowledge the fact that he wasn’t her father, he’s mine. Then, I wanted to be left alone.

Unless of course he actually is her father…don’t doubt I didn’t do the math…

I think it was extremely tacky that he was conveniently her father for the wording on the ‘save the dates’, the invitation and the wedding program, at the bridal shower, the walk down the aisle, the father-daughter dance…but I was the ‘live in boyfriend’s daughter’ during all of that.

It makes no sense.

But dad likes to keep quiet at all costs. He’s not a fighter. (Even though I remember him giving my mom a few fights back in the day) He’s a lover. (One of those maddening traits to have. It always seems like it’s the opposite of what you need at the time) And he wants everyone to be happy. And I truly don’t think he thought hard enough to see that all of this just may bother me a little.

After all, nothing bothers me. They all know that. “JJ won’t mind.” “Don’t worry, JJ doesn’t get offended.”

He was wrong. It hurt. Bad.

And I also think he’s severely guilty. Guilty for all he allegedly has done and guilty for forcing her on me. Yet, another thing he’ll never admit.

I love my dad. To pieces. I would die if he wasn’t in my life. We laugh, have fun, get serious. We do look out for each other. But it took a LONG time for me to see that he wasn’t the enemy. When Mom died, everyone was the enemy. I just started realizing how important he is to me and I guess maybe it might be too late. He’s moved on while I just caught up. He’ll never admit that either.

So I have to accept the fact that they are his family. And I think he likes it. He is still mine, but maybe not so much as I would like it to be. And that may be because I made a selfish choice back then and I am finally seeing how choices, especially selfish ones can effect you, years later.

I’ll always love my dad but I had an awakening these past few weeks. He’s got his own life. I’m not it. Nor, do I think I really should be. I did once think that. But I think I may have been wrong.

He took care of me financially, sometimes emotionally…but not when it came to the greif I lived with, and that is it. When I moved out, he let go. And he may have been relieved. Doubt he’d admit that too.

And I can’t blame him. I have to accept him for who he is if I want him in my life. I just have to live with that. And I hope that helps me find happiness in that part of my life.

I’m learning to “Face the Fire” by accepting certain things that happened in the past and learning how to appropriately deal with my greif and anger…something I have never done…even with all the years of therapy behind me.

Did I clear things up?
Did I make things more hazy?



  1. I think as long as you know the situation and are doing your best to deal with it, then who cares what anyone else thinks. Ya know?

  2. I’m confused on one thing — is your dad married to “her”? If he is, then he’s legally the stepfather of the bride, and if her biological father isn’t around because of death or abandonment, and it makes sense that he’d be acknowledged as the father for the wedding. Even if he’s not married, but he’s emotionally acted as the girl’s father for the last 19 years (and her “real” dad hasn’t been), then we could interpret the invitation, walking down the aisle, etc. as a respectful way of showing how important your dad is to her, and not necessarily as a snub to you. You wouldn’t have minded your dad doing all these things for a sister, or even a half-sister if he’d had a daughter with his girlfriend, right?

    I do agree, though, that if the assumption is made that he is a stepfather, then you should be given full respect as a stepsister, and not just an adjunct to the family. I know how much it hurts to be shoved aside as “the first wife’s kid,” and for my child not to get full grandchild status because he’s the kid of the first wife’s kid.

    Hugs to you, JJ.

  3. No, he’s not married to her…he’s been with her for long enough, but he’s not legally married to her…they’ve been cohabitating for the last 7 years or so…

    Either way…she has a father, she chooses not to deal with him…why should she take mine?

    But like I said, I don’t care they did it that way, I just would have liked to be acknowledged as his real daughter. Not the live in boyfriend’s daughter.

  4. Your post made me really sad for you. Not to say you need my pity, but really, that’s just sad. To lose your mother and then lose your father…I don’t care if you pushed him away, I don’t care if you told him to get out of your life – no matter what you said or did at that time he should never have abandoned you (and I know you didn’t say those things – I’m just saying that no matter what you did he should have still been there for you). This is a man who was your father, right there for you, for 17 years and then focused on himself instead of you…I’m pretty pissed right now.

  5. You’re doing your best, and you’re being outstandingly self-reflective. That’s a lot. A LOT.

  6. I understand better now – I thought they were married, so I didn’t quite have the right place for the “live in boyfriend’s daughter” part.

    So they have accepted him completely as their father, but only him.

    Sounds like a charming bunch.

    Regardless of the details, it doesn’t sound like your feelings are ever taken into consideration. And that is a sucky way to treat someone. Especially someone who should be like family.

  7. JJ, I think you’re doing great sorting through all this stuff.

    Wherever you are going and wherever you end up with your dad is the right place. No matter what.

    Hugs to you!

  8. I think you have resolved much of this. The parts about him not wanting to be alone, as well as feeling guilty, make sense.

    I know that you were hurt, but I am glad that you want your father as a part of your life. I really think you would be miserable if you didn’t.

  9. Acknowledgement can make all the difference in the world.

    It only seems right that you be acknowledged for being his DAUGHTER.

    Hugs to you, JJ.

  10. Parent problems are tough. Have you tried sitting him down and talking about it? I know, I know, but it could help.

  11. It doesn’t matter if you cleared stuff up or made it more hazy.

    I think you are doing what you need to do – get stuff out. I think you have probably needed to do it for a long time.

    You have such an amazing way with words. I really do love reading your blog, but I hate to read this stuff. I hate to know that such an amazing lady is suffering like this.

    Keep venting, keep talking.

    That may be the only thing that makes you feel better.

    We accept you – and think you are the bestest.

  12. I think I need to go read more of your blog…
    but either way…
    it sounds like it’s been very hard for you…

    broken families are so hard.

    I’m sorry!

  13. It’s hard work but it’s good you’re doing it. My grandparents, my mother’s parents were divorced and my grandfather remarried. I never introduced my mum as his daughter, just as Pat from Canada. Nice slap in the face.

    It’s good to feel your grief and your anger instead of just stuffing it down inside. Take care.

  14. It makes total sense. I can see how all this gets under your skin. You try to not let it but somehow it always finds a way in.

  15. I always find the hardest part is that they do not get it. You could in theory sit down and talk to him about it all but it would never change it. He doesn’t get it (and if he does it hurts him too much to acknowledge your feelings because that would make him the shitty one).


    I totally get you relationship with him!

  16. Her Bad Mother said it SOOOO well. I must go visit that wise blogger.

    You impress me, girl. I mean that 100%. Broken families and past demons and deep wounds are tough enough, but add losing your mama at a young age in the mix and I cannot even imagine.


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