So I thought I would create a post for those of us who have undeserving fathers. Feel free to share your feelings about your father in the comments. Here are mine:
My father actually got off to a good start. He was never abusive. He was kind, playful, and dedicated. That is until my parents divorced. I was in second grade. He tried for a while, and we went to visit him every weekend but eventually visits became sparse. About a year after the divorce he started dating another woman. She seemed to be a nice woman and they eventually married and had children and later divorced. After this my father basically gave up on family. He began partying as if he were in his 20's rather than his 40's/early 50's. I thought this was kind of cool when I was in my early 20's and I actually dragged a few of my friends an hour and a half to where he lives several times and we all went out together. He was a big hit with my friends. Eventually I started having serious relationships. I then started to realize that I was more mature than my own father. Eventually I met my current partner and we had children, and this is when things really hit home for me. I was making all of the effort to go and spend time with him and make the phone calls, and I had been since I was 16 years old. I had known for a long time that he was a drug dealer (pot and coke at least, possibly other things) when he was young. I actually worked at a place where I supervised a few of his friends and they liked to occasionally regale me with stories of my father. I think for a time he gave up such things, but I realized about 10 or 15 years ago that he was doing it again. When my first daughter was born, my partner and I took her down to his house to see him. He held her for a few minutes and we all talked and the conversation kept trailing off. This was the only time my father has ever seen his granddaughter. She is 7 years old now and has a 4 year old sister. For a time after this I continued to call him and would try and get him to visit our home. We are not that far away, but he would never visit, even though I know he would occasionally drive through town on business. We talked and I would discuss family things, and he would discuss this or that girlfriend and his party circuit. Finally at one point my partner and I were going through a rough patch financially and I happened to be talking to him on the phone. He asked how I was doing and I sort of reluctantly started to tell him about some of our problems. I did not expect him to do anything to help us, I just sort of wanted to vent, I suppose. He ended up interrupting me to discuss the problems in his life. He was about 56 or 57 at the time and he launched into a long rambling whine about how his current girlfriend (who was a stripper*-he always dated strippers) was currently in prison because she failed a urine test at the probation office. I let the conversation die down and said my goodbyes, and that was the last time I have ever spoke to him. It has been about 6 1/2 years. I regret to this day that it took me so long to see him for the selfish prick that he is. I desperately wanted to have a relationship with my father, but I finally realized that I did not have one. I was basically playing pretend with a man who had no interest in me or my family. I was very weary of doing all of the work required to maintain the relationship, and finally after close to 2 decades of banging my head against the wall, I gave up.
*I know that many woman take up exotic dancing for various reasons and I have no wish to denigrate them. It is a profession no better and no worse than any other, but the women my father dated, regardless of how they came to be in the circumstances they were in, were ignorant and annoying, and I think they were only with my father because he fed them whatever it was they were addicted to. He was clearly taking advantage of them. I can see no other reason why they would be with my father.
I am sure that many others have fathers much worse than mine, and maybe some have fathers a little less so. I find that talking about my father has helped me to begin to move past some of the bitterness I feel. So if any of you want to vent, share stories, or anything at all please do.