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Father’s Day: it’s not an easy holiday for everyone.

June 15, 2019

Father’s Day wasn’t always a difficult holiday for me. Even with my biological father being a deadbeat dad and completely out of my life, I still had my dad. I have so many great memories with my dad as a child. Camping, hunting, fishing, tubing the Frio River, lazy Saturdays, pancakes shaped like the first letter of my name, laughter, adventure, intellectual discussions, and just fun.

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But over the last two decades, especially in these last few years of acknowledging the reality of things, Father’s Day has become one of the hardest days of the year to face. Having a loving father change and morph over time because of circumstances, tragedy, and a covert and controlling stepmom is painful and heartbreaking. Seeing a once jovial, loving and involved father slowly decay and estrange himself from his daughters, mother, and grandchild is excruciating and morbidly painful.

The father I once knew has long been buried by sorrow, addiction, and a wife who slowly wedged her way between him and those whom he loved. Seeing his passivity in all of it — I once disregarded and gave excuses for– but over time as his actions became more and more of his own choosing– I became angry and deeply hurt to my core.

I long for the father I once knew to be loving, easy-going, giving, and fun. The father who once showed his love through actions and showed that he cared.

Words are sparse and empty now.

Actions are nonexistent.

He seems empty. A puppet.

He has a new family he embraces. Her family. Not us. Not those he once embraced and cared for.

It was never about “her or us” to me. But she made it that way. She forced him to choose. And he did.

I have not spoken out on this publicly until now, but hiding the dysfunction of my family is something I had to stop doing in order to create healthy boundaries and start my road to healing.

I held onto the hope that one-day things would get better and be normal. I held on to the belief that they did love me and that they only acted that way because of their past. But the older I got, the worse things became and the more I started to see through the facade. Her facade. Her control. His complacency. His cowardice.

Family vacations I wasn’t invited to. Weekends I wasn’t allowed to come home because the “house wasn’t clean.” Literally never being invited home. Canceling plans on me when I’m only home once a year. “Sorry, but can we change the dinner to another day? We have a concert to go to.” (Oh, right, because your daughter coming home from Korea who made plans with you months ago is less important than a concert you bring up two days before our dinner.) Working on the one day we visit. Never calling. Not replying to emails. Never emailing. Telling my sister, “I’m not a grandma” when meeting her step-grandson for the first time. Not coming to see me the morning of my wedding as mother’s should do.  Pretending to be getting sick so we would leave(she actually did this). Making Jason and I open Christmas gifts in a restaurant. Telling Jason and I that we have to leave the next day literally the night we arrived from Korea.

What kind of parent would treat their child like that? This is a question I think of so often… It is so unimaginable to me, and yet, this is my experience with my own parents.

I cannot pretend anymore. I cannot keep up the facade of a happy family. It hasn’t been happy for many, many years.

I hope that one day there can be restoration in our family. I have wept and cried so many tears over the loss of my dad. I cannot pretend that we have a relationship anymore. It was one-sided for far too long. With no interest in changing the way things are– only making excuses or covering for his wife who clearly did not want a united family. It makes me sick to my stomach.

I hope that one day he will wake from his stupor and false reality. I hope that one day she will acknowledge the damage she has done to our family.

I will always love my dad. But until things change, I cannot pretend that he is a dad to me anymore. He has chosen to step away from his role as a dad. Perhaps one day he will proudly take on that role again. Until then…

My heart aches, and on Father’s Day, the wound is only more irritated and aggravated.

I pray that those who have lost a father or have an estranged father will be comforted by their Heavenly Father on Father’s Day.

Father’s Day:  it’s not an easy holiday for everyone. 

Here are two articles that have helped me to better understand what happened to our family and so many aspects of the articles are spot on to my experience with my stepmom and my dad.

Narcissistic Stepmothers–Ultimate Nightmare for Stepchildren

Narcissistic Stepmothers—Taking Dad Away

**Sadly, I have met at least four other adult children who’s father has done the same thing to them due to a stepmom not willing to embrace them as her own. There is a reason for the movie Cinderella. It happens in real life.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    June 16, 2019 5:03 am

    Very well written, Dyanne! I miss your Dad, Brad, too. Not seeing him much and not having fun with him like in the past. Hopefully your closeness with your Dad will one day be restored. Love and Prayers.

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