I haven’t talked to my biological father in about 5 years—by choice.
Choosing something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier—sometimes it makes even harder. You begin to question things like:
“Was that the right decision?”
“Am I just being stubborn?”
“Should I practice forgiveness?”
These are all things I’ve contemplated and tried moving through over the course of the separation.
I think about my father…every, single, day. Usually it’s just a thought that pops up for only a minute, but occasionally I get lost in the thought—especially on holidays, but more specifically on a day like yesterday; a day that is dedicated to celebrating fathers.
Father’s Day is easily one of the toughest days of the year for me. It consists of pain, letdown and heartache.
There is this notion that claims over time things get easier, because time allows opportunity for you to forget, to heal, and to move forward. That hasn’t been the case for me—it’s honestly grown to be harder.
Yesterday, I decided to distract myself by keeping busy; I thought staying preoccupied would prevent me from falling into emotional misery. But the minute I stepped foot in my apartment after being gone all day, it hit me—my body started to shake, anxiety was trapped in my chest, and breathing felt difficult. Thoughts started racing in my head and I’d get lost in every single one of them.
Did he think about me today? I wonder what his thoughts were if he did. Was he angry? Was he sad?
Did he feel the urge to call me? Did he even want to hear from me? Did he want me to call him? Or did he want me to leave him in peace?
How is he doing? What’s new in his life? Is he happy?
What would our relationship look like now? Would he be proud of me? Or would he feel the same way he’s always felt...disappointed and ashamed?
I know I can easily find out the answers if I just pick up the phone and dial his number, but I can’t muster up the courage to do so—it’s too triggering, too scary, too complicated.
And I’m just not ready to face it.
This is easily the most vulnerable piece I’ve ever written for the world to read, mainly because I am terrified he will read it. I’m not writing this for sympathy. I’m writing this because I know that some of you have a similar relationship with your father or your mother or even both and to let you know that I understand how heavy these days can be for you.
I want you to know that whatever you’re feeling, it’s not wrong.
Don’t beat yourself up about how you feel because it’s allowed to be hard. It’s okay that you feel anger, grief and despair. It’s okay that you’re too scared to call, to hear their voice, to have the conversation.
Let yourself experience those feelings and acknowledge those thoughts instead of shoving them down and ignoring them. Because sometimes, throwing your face into a pillow and shredding to tears makes you feel one percent better. It did for me yesterday, and I believe it can for you, too.
I understand some of your pain and I’m holding space for you through this difficult time.
I love you,