I don’t know my father. I know who he is, he was a part of our family until I was 14.
Then he left.
I don’t know who he is as a man, a father, grandfather and great grandfather.
It was his choice to leave my mum, which was devastating enough, but strangely, he decided at the same time to leave his family. The four children he chose to have, to bring into this world and to raise with my mum. Until he chose something else.
It was his choice to not know his seven grand children and two great grandchildren. They are all amazing and he doesn’t know them, in fact I’m not even sure he knows of their existence.
I can’t imagine what makes a person choose to walk away from their own flesh and blood and act as if they don’t exist.
I don’t think of him often. In fact if I’m completely honest I usually forget I even have a father. I remember one fathers day commenting that neither of us have a father so we don’t have anyone to visit, until my husband reminded me that I actually do have one.
I don’t have any feelings towards him at all. I can’t say I love him, miss him or wish he was in my life. I no longer hold anger or resentment towards him. I am ambivalent. The only feeling that comes to mind for me would be confusion. Confusion as to how a person can have so many living relatives who were innocent parties in his decision to leave, and how he can completely forget that they all exist. That I will never understand.
We tried, all four of us at different times. Attempts at contact, tears, anger and confusion from our end, apologies, promises of change and a different future from his. All broken and feeble attempts on his part as nothing changed. I don’t think it ever will.
Once when asked why there was no contact for decades he mentioned that he wasn’t able to have divided loyalties between his new family and us. Divided loyalties? Nobody asked for loyalties, they only wanted contact and some form of a relationship.
Today is fathers day in Australia. I see people wishing their father happy fathers day. I don’t wish mine one. I don’t wish him anything in fact, where there should be wishes is an emptiness. I don’t even know where he lives, what he does and what he looks like. I don’t know how I will feel when he leaves this earth, and I sometimes wonder if he feels regret or sadness at the 36 years of lives and people he’s missed out on knowing.
My sister and I always wish my mum a happy fathers day. She was and is mother, father, friend, confidant, inspiration, supporter, provider, teacher, love and faith to all of us and always will be.
So today, I wish my amazing, inspiring, incredible mum a happy fathers day.
I love you more than words and I am always thankful to you for teaching me that anything is possible.