Invisible Girl

Father’s Day approaching is bothering me so much more than usual this year. Faithful readers know I hate it.  I’ve said so here and here.  And probably other times I can’t remember.

Why is this year worse, you ask? Well, for one, last Christmas, we heard from a previously unknown (at least to me) first cousin, who kindly offered to send us some things of my father’s they had from sorting his belongings after his passing.

We said yes, and she sent the boxes. I think the items our cousin sent are important to my sisters, and I’m happy they have them.  But I’m angry and hurt and dreading that damn day.  Again.  Because when I began looking at the box’s contents, there was not one photo of me, not one mention, nothing.  I was erased.

invisible_woman_by_bishiegiraffe-da47lw5So invisible me is getting anxious already. The ads are multiplying, the celebrations are being planned, and I don’t even think that I existed for my father.  Or as I described him recently during a medical history “the sperm donor”.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

I Hate Father’s Day: Part Two

I never drew pictures like this...

I never drew pictures like this…

Yes, I know, I’ve already written about hating this day.  (And actually, if you re-read that post now, this one might make more sense.)  This year, though, I’ve finally been thinking about the impact of growing up without my (or a) father.  Despite my uncles, my nono, my priest, and some great fathers I know now, I just recently admitted to myself that I feel like I missed something.  And  that I’m missing something.

I’ve never really understood how to get along with men – especially those in positions of authority.  And no, I don’t think this is solely a gender issue, at least not in my case.  I believe there are skills I didn’t get growing up in a household of women, as much as I love those women.  While I did have a stepfather briefly, for me, at least, it was not a good relationship, and frankly, I was happy when that marriage ended.

The teachers and professors and bosses with whom I have had the most conflict in my life have all been male.  They have also been those I was least likely to confront.   With most women, though of course not all, I seem to have the skills that allow me to raise my concerns or issues and ideally, resolve them.  Put a man in the same position, and I. just. can’t.  And until now – maybe even until today – I blamed myself.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I take full responsibility for my own actions.  But I am finally blaming my father.  He deserves it, and I only wish that I had had the chance to confront him.  (I had a chance.  I was visiting a friend in Charleston, where he lived, and she offered to go with me to his house.  I couldn’t do it.)

So what now?  One thing that I love, love, love, is spending time with my male friends who have kids – without exception, they are amazing fathers.  And mostly, they are amazing men.  (Well, really, they are all amazing men.)  I’m thinking maybe this conversation about male authority figures is one I can have with some of them, assuming they’re willing.  But for sure, the one thing I am not doing ever again is blaming myself for my father’s absence and what I missed.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re now thinking of writing a comment about how this explains why I’m single, don’t.  In fact, stop thinking that.   Just stop.  Now.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  But I would bet you’re basing that thought on an assumption that there is something about being single that requires explanation, while being in a relationship would be “normal” and not require such explanation.  And you would be wrong.

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