Saturday, June 13, 2009

Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up. It always gives me an anxious, sick feeling inside. I try to concentrate on it being a nice day for my husband, but that sick feeling is there, lying just beneath the surface.
For years I was the dutiful daughter and I would send my father a Father's Day card. It was a painful process because most cards are so sweet and say things like - You were the best father in the whole world!!! I was not being real when I sent my father a card or called him on Father's Day. I was just trying to be the good little girl so my father would love me. Like I had been trying to be my whole life.
One year my husband suggested that I not send dad a card and that I not call him. He asked me what was the worse thing that could happen if I did not call him. Nothing really, I said. I would probably just feel guilty.
And I did feel guilty. And sometimes I still do. Some years, I am good about it and other years, I feel guilty. But I have never gone back to sending him a Father's Day card. I finally got real.
Don't misunderstand me. I have forgiven my father. I send him birthday cards and Christmas cards. I email him and sometimes even call him. But I do not care to celebrate his being my father. It just doesn't work for me. There is nothing to celebrate. There is only a loss to mourn.
On Father's Day I will pray for my father. And for all fathers.
And I will thank the Father of us all, for loving me and being with me always.


Patricia Singleton said...

I felt the same way and quit sending Father's Day cards to my dad about 10 years before he died. I forgave him a year and a half before he died but didn't send cards to him even though I had forgiven him because as you said, the cards didn't feel honest.

I also had trouble with Mother's Day cards because they didn't fit with my relationship with my mother. I loved my mother but the cards always left me mourning for the healthy mother-daughter relationship that I never had with my mom who was blind to the abuse and was never able to protect me like I wanted her too. My mom didn't know how to be emotionally available.

My mother-in-law has been a better mother to me than my own mother was. I love sending her Mother's Day cards. She is 87 years old and still going strong. I think I will go tell my husband how blessed he is to have the mother that he does. I know she has blessed my life as well. I think I will send her a card and tell her so. Have a glorious day.

little sparrow , florasita , sticklady , strong tree woman said...

Oh Colleen I am so sorry when we have pain like this .
Colleen truely your earthly father is not your true father just as mine is not . God is truely our perfect father our real true father .
Forgivness has nothing to do with sending cards etc.
Not calling does not make you a bad child or dd .
Your prayers for him to heal and not hurt others is enough it is the best love and real love we can give those who are not being loving caregivers. Your bio father is a human being he made terrible choices in regards to being your caregiver . He chose to be disobedient to Our true father .You did not. You were / are being a very obedient child.
By saying no to your abusive caregiver you are not being bad . You are being in fact probaly the most loving child he could have . saying no does not mean you do not love him . True compassion does not mean you need expose or leave yourself open for more abuse ..manipulation etc.
I used to think I had to go to dinner , send cards etc. for my father to beleive he is loved . That is not my job . I am here to deal with and speak and be the truth be the witness .I used to have expectation my father would somehow become what I thought a real father should be . well I cannot make that happen no matter how many cards etc. I would send him . My love is through my example . The picture of the prodigal son always comes to my mind when I am asked the question " what would he do ?" he would not go off trying to coax or bribe or buy His children back . He waits patiently for our return . The father does not go off trying to seek accptance of His children by getting tattoos and going to the bar , or buying or giving whatever they want. No much fruit comes and many gifts given upon thier return . So I pray and I wait for my fathers step to heal. It may not come here on earth he may need to heal once he has passed and has no fear blocking him etc.
We are so blessed you and I we have our dh to celebrate thier fatherhood. Thier being good examples .
Your dh sounds like mine he will not enable us to be victims it is our choice in how we choose to partake and respond to others in our lives.
I am really haveing a great time preparing for fathers day. I am making up a gift giveaway pack for our natural catholic blog . For fathers day .I am focusing much on ST.Joseph and see so much of him in my own dh . ST.Joseph then led me to brother Andre and it is so posative so wonderful I just do not doubt anymore I am on the right path . I just find such great joy I do not need the earthly father and I need not please him either ;-)
Colleen I will pray for you but maybe you could begin going to ST.Joseph . I think you may find a real peace come to your heart .
Love to You , Roxie

April_optimist said...

I'm with you on this. Much as I love my church, I will not be there next Sunday. Just as I don't go on Mother's Day. I can forgive but I can't celebrate. ((((((((((hugs))))))))))

Colleen said...

Patricia, Thank you for sharing. I guess I am not the only one who had trouble with those cards!! What a blessing to have such a mother-in-law.

Roxie, thank you so much for your encouragement and affirmation. What a wonderful idea to go to St. Joseph. I had never thought of that but I will try that.

April, thanks for the hugs. And for letting me know I am not alone in this!

God bless you all.

Prayer Girl said...

Just being real is such an important thing. It is spiritual growth.

I have never been able to pick out a card that is too far afield of what I actually feel about the person it is intended for. Sometimes I have had to hunt and hunt till I found the right one.

I understand the guilt thing and I have spent a lot of time getting rid of useless guilt. God helps me.


Colleen said...

Prayer Girl, thank you. I too need God's help with that useless guilt stuff. Right now I am going thru a 'thing' and it is guilt that does not belong to me so why do I accept it? I will surely pray.

Tall Karen said...

Thank you sooo much for permission not to send a card this week! I dread reading those cards more than going to the dentist. I usually end up depressed and in tears. I don't hate him, just do not like celebrating his fatherness. A Get Well card would much better suit the occasion!

Thank you and God Bless! Prayer Girl made a reference in her blog and came by to say hello. Just what I needed to read today. TK

Colleen said...

Tall Karen, thank you so much for stopping by and for your comments. It does my heart good to know that my own experience can help others. I remember feeling so relieved myself when I realized I did not have to send a card and I was not being a terrible person because of it. Blessings!

Enola said...

Good for you. I remember feeling so liberated the first year I didn't force myself to send my step-father a father's day card.

Colleen said...

Enola, thank you. You said it so well - it is a feeling of liberation, no doubt about it. Blessings.

healandforgive said...

Hi Colleen,

I'm right there with you on this - only with my mother.

I agree with Enola, when I stopped sending disingenuous cards and wishes to my mother I felt very liberated!


Colleen said...

Nancy, Thank you for your comment. It is comforting to know we are not alone. Blessings.

Kim said...

Good for you for taking that stand for yourself. It's almost like regaining a piece of the control we lost so long ago.

Colleen said...

Kim, thank you for your comment. You are right, I didn't think of that. But I do feel like I got back some control just by making my own choices. Blessings!

Vicki in AZ said...

I have been looking forward to the carnival, this is my first time to be a part of it.
Your post is beautiful and so encouraging. It is so wonderful to trust ourselves enough to just be ourselves, even though we usually do it one step at a time.
I think this also gives us the chance to revel and appreciate the steps if we will.
Accepting that we just don't have to participate in the "Shoulds" is cause for CELEBRATION.

Colleen said...

Vicki, you are so right!! Those SHOULDS are really poison aren't they? I do not know why it took me so long to realize that I could make my own decision about this. Blessings.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Thanks for having the courage to be real and honest. And thanks for allowing us to use this grat post for The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse.

Colleen said...

Thank you too, Marj.