I do not speak to my Father

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. I didn’t call. I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t remind my wife or say anything to my best friend. I thought about it a few times and let the idea fade from my brain until I was busy doing something else instead.

Maybe I could have been the bigger man and gave him a call. I’m not sure he deserves it though. On the other hand maybe it would have been good for me – evidence that all of my harsh feelings towards him mean nothing. I didn’t call though. I want him to know that the life he has lived isn’t okay and that he doesn’t deserve a phone call from his only son.

My Dad represents almost everything in life that I dislike. He abuses the system, he mentally and physically abused my Mother, was never and still is not a good provider, he is the most selfish man I have ever known, he is a drug addict, and toxic to everyone he’s around. The worst part is that he walks around with a since of entitlement like the world and everyone in it owes him something.

The last Straw
I think the last straw was a couple months back when my Mom attempted suicide. My Dad and me weren’t really on speaking terms then either, but I hadn’t completely abandoned the idea of speaking to him. My Mom called me crying saying that my Dad was seeing someone else and that she “wanted to go be with Jesus.” It was terrible and I was more disgusted than afraid.

After that incident I found out that my Father had been sharing his meth addiction with my Mother. They were both hooked and it made more sense than ever why she was so fucked up. My Father has successfully used drugs and mental abuse as a form of mind control based on insecurity and getting high for the past 26 years on my Mother. No I think its too late for anyone to do anything about it. I somehow escaped.

The Holidays
The holidays are approaching too. This should make avoiding family even more difficult. At this point I completely refuse to speak to my Father or his mother. She has harbored him at a motel he owns where he makes beds and does maintenance for rent. That’s also where he cheats on my Mother and does meth.

The part that most disgust me is that my Grandmother is on this holy trip. She is and always has been “religious” yet she has somehow justified allowing my father to live on her property, have sex with other drug addicts, buy and sell meth, and abandon his responsibilities as a husband. That motel is a compound of irony.

I will not be uncivil – my quiet protest will be my absence. Luckily I have in-laws who are excellent people and I have adopted as my family. That also make my wife happy so it’s a win-win. I will make a small amount of time for my Mother, but her inability to do anything for herself, her mental laziness, and her constant complaints are something I can only deal with in small doses.

Looking ahead
In years to come I am not exactly sure how I will deal with this situation. Part of me says just forgive them and move on. Let them live their shitty lives and let the universe punish them accordingly. It is not my place. The best thing I can do is let it all go and move on.

Another part of me says just never speak to them again. Forget about it completely and move on in a different way. However; honestly I am not sure which method is the right one. If I maintain a relationship with my parents does that set me up for more heartache and trouble? Does it give my parents more opportunity to suck me in and make their problems my own? That is the risk.

Either way this whole thing has taught me the value of being a decent human being and a man of integrity. I am thankful for that.

5 thoughts on “I do not speak to my Father

  1. Michele

    This was such a raw and honest post. I hurt for you just reading your words. Please know that you stepping away from the situation with your parents says nothing negative about you. It shows that you are strong and unwilling to be someone’s pawn. I’m sure your parents love you as much as they know how. You can forgive them without allowing them into your life. Forgiveness does not give them permission to hurt you further.

    Sorry for commenting on such a private matter. I just know too much about allowing disfunction in. Be the man you were meant to be by ending the cycle of abuse. Celebrate with the people who you can count on. There is an old saying I’ve learned to live by: No one can hurt you without your permission.

    Peace to you.

    1. Atticus Finch

      Hi Michele, I really appreciate your words of wisdom. It is always nice when a stranger drops by for a little encouragement. It is comments like these that makes personal post worth sharing with the blogosphere and makes me feel a lot better. Again, thank you.

  2. Cheryl Davies

    I relate strongly with your epitaph, as I struggle keeping contact with my father who has a mental health disease. Memories of his life with my mother and the emotional abuse his disease process placed on her and which he now directs at his surviving children has cut a chasm through our family. I fluctuate between down right hatred and pity that keeps me distancing from him. I stay away until I remember when our relationship enriched both our lives …then I go to visit all hopeful… but he is angry and says all sorts of foul and vile things. It’s as if he is unconsciously aware but unable to articulate my desire to stay away for a reason and tries to punish me . I see him struggle with simple things he should be able to do but he refuses help and denies that there is anything wrong! The only thing I can say about the situation is that I have developed an active search for someone to fill the void he has left in my life. It is really hard to let go of what I believe was the role of my parents and the part I played in the development of our relationship. I am an adult now and my needs or expectations for that connection have changed with time. I see my visits as a duty now …just to keep in touch! I can’t say how I feel because he shuns my comments so I try to look beyond …he doesn’t want to talk about anything too deep. Visits are short because it is too painful to know that there is virtually nothing I can do to reverse the situation. Keep strong in your search!

    1. Atticus C. Post author

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thank you for you kind words. Over time I have found that it is often more difficult for some people to face their guilt than to move on from it. I think this is what has happened to my father. He ignores the things he has done and pretends none of it ever happened. He ignores guilt and shame out of pride and ego. I think people manage these emotions in different ways – some through love, others through guilt, pride, ego, hatred, misery, anger, and so on. Try not to let your father’s actions affect your life. You should feel pride – proud that you have been able to move on at all. And a connection knowing so many others are going through the same thing you and I are. Good luck with everything.


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