Prior to Christmas my eldest sister sent an email to remind me and my other two sisters to say Merry Christmas to Dad because he was reallly sad. My Dad lives in Newcastle, England. (He is a geordie, you may have heard of this term through geordie shore? That is what put them on the map.. oh dear) Dad is originally from Newcastle and moved to Australia to play soccer when he was in his early 20′s, he met my mum told her he loved her and 3 months later they were married..
When i was 13 and away with a friend on school holidays my dad’s mum passed away and he flew back for the funeral and never came home. Um, ok then?
My Mum then raised my three older sisters and i. I have to tell you it is by the grace of God that we turned out ok, however i was an awful teenager and probably not much better going into my 20′s. About 6 months ago i was chatting to a Minister friend of mine, he said that a lot of the emotional baggage that adults face come about from their father. I found this interesting and felt i could definitely relate to that.
My father leaving at the age of 13 made me shut down emotionally towards men, my thought pattern was if some one who was supposed to love me could simply walk out of my life and reject me then how could i trust another man.. Throughout my teens i wasn’t interested in men and had a good set of friends around me, things started to change in my late teens and 20′s. At 19 i met a nice guy and was married by 21, by 22 i was divorced as i was very controlling, (i told him where we would get engaged, when it would happen, where we would get married.. you get my drift..) poor guy and i pretty much walked all over him.
I felt a strong distrust with men, and all the while my Dad still never bothered to make much contact with us, except when he was drunk and he didn’t make much sense and would say hurtful things. My Dad is an alcoholic and it has been a demon that has basically ruined his life, he has now been away from his 4 daughters for 21 years and between my sisters and i we have 12 children all under 13..
I remarried at 27 to a man who is self confident and lets just say he wasn’t scared of a challenge cause i threw a lot his way but he stuck around.. It was almost like a test to see if he would leave and then i could say “all men were the same” 5 years on and 2 babies it has brought up a lot of feelings of the type of parent i would like to be and how i don’t want to carry my issues over to my children, but lets face it i am a flawed human and that is part of who i am but i will love them and be here for them. So back to the start of my story, We decided to offer Dad a return air fare to come and see all of us just after Christmas, this was met with slight hostility, he said” it was insulting to offer him money.. “My Dad has always been great at manipulating and i found it hurtful in the past but this time i didn’t feel angry towards him, i feel sad that he can’t swallow his pride and see his family and meet my husband and children. I know it would be hard and probably extremely emotional to see us and what he is missing out on but he chooses to stay in the comfort of his one bedder in Newcastle? in the english winter???
Looking back i can see how hurt i was by Dad leaving, the rejection affected me. But thank God for my Mum who loved and supported us, she never judged me for the mistakes i made (and there were a lot) and worked hard to provide for us. I now understand that i am a bit damaged and have worked through some of this with the patience and love of my husband and the love of God. So Dad, i know you will never read this cause you can barely work the internet but i wanted to say that i get it, you did the best you could, you have a disease and it got the better of you. I wish in your life you could of experienced more time with us and your grand children as time is going quickly, and life is short. To me family and friends is what it is all about, i am blessed to have a family unit and i am thankful for the time i had you in my life. We all have our problems, and i choose to continue to work on mine.
I am a work in progress, Rachel xx