So, secret Sunday can be fun. Sometimes though it’s just writing about the things I can’t say aloud. And this Secret Sunday is definitely something I don’t speak of aloud. This Secret Sunday is about something that really is a secret to me. Some people ask and wonder, but for the most part this is just a quiet part of my life. So forgive me if this isn’t well written or entertaining. Dear readers, you are my therapists today.
Here’s one of my real secrets… I like to be tough. You know what? I am tough. I’ve been through some shit in my life and I’ve managed to keep my head up and move forward. Hooray for me! Except, there’s one area of my life where even after years and years of trying, it still remains hard to be tough. Y’all, I wish I had a dad. I mean, I have a dad, someone did indeed father me. But, I’ve always wanted to be one of those girls who was a daddy’s girl. So here I am at 30, and not being one of those girls still hurts me. To the point that after years of not having him in my life I find myself at random times just broken down in tears over this. I feel the emptiness and pain of missing that person, that person who should have been there from the get go. We all know that when it comes to a parent these are the first people who should love you no matter what and to feel like that person doesn’t indeed love you no matter what? Well, that’s a hard pill to swallow no matter your age or how much time you’ve had to deal with it.
It’s not one of those easy stories like one day my dad left, never to be heard from again. More like, my parents divorced, my dad stuck around for awhile and then he just kind of didn’t. And, it’s not that I don’t think my dad loves me. I believe he does. He just hasn’t actively tried to be a part of my life. As I got older, more and more time would go between hearing from him, much less seeing him. Meanwhile I was surrounded by girls who had great dads, dads who supported them and made sure they knew they were loved and stared down boys when they came to take them on dates and checked the oil in their cars and just went out of their way to spend time with them. And let me tell you, being a bit of a tomboy, not having a dad to do things with was even more upsetting to me. Damn if I just didn’t want to have a dad to go to a baseball game with or go fishing with or go see the latest Batman movie with. Luckily, I have an amazing mom who has always done any and all of these things with me. And part of me hates even feeling upset or complaining about the lack of a dad in my life because I do have such a great mom and I would never want her to feel like she wasn’t enough (Mom- when you get a chance to read this from whatever amazing Italian coffee shop you are in, know that you are the bestest mom ever), but I think even she knows that there is a part of me that feels empty. Empty not just for all of the past experiences I missed out on, but empty for the future ones as well. I think about someday getting married…yeah, you know where I’m going with this. Nothing crushes me more than seeing a father-daughter dance. I’m sure if I asked my dad, he’d do it, but the emotion wouldn’t be there. Even before the wedding, I’m such a sucker for tradition that it hurts to know a man will never ask for my father’s hand in marriage, since my father has never actually met anyone I’ve dated (better believe they’ll have to ask my momma though). And don’t get me started on the thought of kids. As much as I hated not having a father figure around, it kills me to think of my kids not having a grandpa (fingers crossed that my future baby daddy has an awesome dad to play grandpa to our tots). There’s just so much that still hurts me. After years to come to terms with all these feelings and toughen up, there’s still so much that creeps through every now and then.
Damn Thalia, if it makes you this sad why not tell him about it instead of the internet? Well, I did just that. A few years ago, after having one of these ‘man it really sucks missing a person you don’t even really know’ type breakdowns, I wrote to my father. I wrote and expressed these feelings and how upsetting it was to me that I was now an adult and he didn’t even know where I worked or had seen where I lived or knew my friends or my hopes and dreams. That I had grown into this whole new person and he didn’t know who that person was. And what’s worse, didn’t seem to be interested in ever changing that. Well, here I am writing about how his absence in my life still affects me, so safe to say my letter to him was not met with a great response. Even though nothing changed, I don’t regret letting that toughness go for long enough to put my disappointment and sadness out there to him. At that point I did give up the last of my hope that our situation would ever change. That part I’ve come to terms with, but it doesn’t stop me from mourning a relationship I will never have.