I recently saw a poster for a father daughter dance, and I felt envious. I never went to an event like that, I never even dreamed of it. What I did dream of was attention from my father; just a little bit of attention – but he had his own problems to deal with – his own unfulfilled dreams; he didn’t have time for my problems or dreams.
Looking back on my childhood, especially my teen years, I felt alone a lot. I was the youngest of four siblings. By the time things got bad between my parents, my older siblings were grown up and gone. The brother that was two years older than I was had a job and a girlfriend, he was busy with his own life.
My father, being an alcoholic, was busy spending his time and paycheck at the bar. My mother was busy pouring his beer down the sink hoping when he got home, he’d wake up the next morning and decide to dump alcohol for good and dedicate his life to his family. I was busy hoping the same thing.
I struggled for many years feeling sorry for myself because my father wasn’t there for me, but I know victimhood is a vicious cycle that goes nowhere.
I’m now in my sixties, and my father’s been dead for over twenty years. I don’t have to be upset when I see fathers and daughters enjoying themselves even though I will never have that. My past, with its shadowy memories doesn’t mean my present has to be dimmed or my future dark. From all I have studied and learned, I’m aware that I get to choose what I think about things, and thus how I feel about them.
I believe my father loved me; he just didn’t know how to express love. Why? Because he was in too much pain.
We all suffer; we all have a story that has pain in it. The great truth is that we are so much bigger than that story.
I am much more than my memories, or my story. I don’t have to be trapped in the past; I am here to grow. To accept. To Love. I choose to be in the dance of life right here, right now.