socio-political self-help and stuff
trending these days, thanks to oprah winfrey’s lifeclass, is the concept of fatherless children. the millions of people around the world who’ve been abandoned in some form or fashion by the men who played a part in their creation. i know all about them.
i am one. i share a part of my story in the book that shares its name with this site:
My parents never married each other. My father didn’t want any more children at that point in his life. The story I’ve heard is that my mother wanted to save the relationship and thought a baby would do the trick. You could say that it didn’t work out in her favor. Whether my father wanted me or not, I arrived in this world on Earth Day in the year of this country’s bicentennial. It would be well into the 80s before I laid eyes on him.
(excerpt from all you need are seeds…) © 2012 rachel m. walls
because of my father’s absence, i spent much of my first thirty-seven years on this planet looking and begging for anything, anyone to fill the void left behind with me. i felt unlovable and unworthy. suffered from denial, low self-esteem and shame. and really, i didn’t know what i was feeling. that i was feeling it. or why. i just knew deep inside that things weren’t right. but instead of starting there, i went outside. looked to friends, men, shopping, things… externalities to replace what did not exist within.
over the past few years, i’ve gone deep into myself. chose to look inside and realize that everything i’d chased already existed within. love: i am it. worth: i create it. esteem: it begins with me. and because of these realizations, i made the difficult decision to release my father from my life just about a year ago.
while watching lifeclass, it occurred to me that i’d lit the torch on a family “tradition” – attempting to force my father into a role that he never wanted to assume. for me, at least. as an adult, i forced a relationship with him, when the truth is that, before my birth, it is not what he wanted. i did everything to control his behavior – to make him become the man that i thought he should be. i chided him for failing to meet my expectations of what a father should be. never considering that i am not what he signed on for.
yes, he could have made different decisions that would have thwarted my existence. yes, he didn’t. but he also didn’t want a child at that point. he made it very clear to my mother that he didn’t. and for whatever reason, she made a choice that would, ultimately, affect the three of us.
and you know what? i’m okay with it. i actually feel good about it. i’m here. and i realize that my decision to release him was greater than letting him have the life that he wanted… it’s also about releasing that tradition. the one of force. the one of control. the one of expectation.
it leads to disappointment. every time.