Jump to content

mixed feelings about calling my dad on father's day


Recommended Posts

Long story short, my parents split up when I was about 10 years old and after a while whatever relationship we had fizzled to the point of no contact until recently.

The split didn't affect me much because I feel like I didn't see my Dad much anyway.  He was a long haul truck driver then and gone for days at a time.  When he was home, he was either teasing me or drunk with his buddies in the basement.

We kept touch a lot immediately after they broke up where he showered me with gifts, like taking me to the mall to get a new expensive swimsuit and stuff like that.  That slowly dissipated and we started talking less and less.  You know, life happens being busy with high school and having a part time job.  He always would insinuate that I was too busy, even though he stopped calling on my birthday for a while at this point.

Eventually he got a girlfriend and that's when things really fell apart.  I would call for him (still trying to maintain a relationship then) and she wouldn't let him know that I'd called.  When we eventually touched base I told him this but he didn't seem to care.  Angry at this, I stopped trying to call & contact him.  Years and years go by where I just hear small chatter about what's going on with his life.  He had moved to Colorado, got into a drink driving accident on his motorcycle and lost his CDL license.

Years and years pass, and I end up seeing him at a local fair, where we exchanged numbers and he awkwardly gave me $40 (still trying to make up for his lack of fatherhood with gifts I guess).  This was just 2 years ago and I am now a full grown adult.  We kept up talking here and there, though I have found that I have no patience for him lately.  His health is deteriorated, he uses oxygen and he is on dialysis twice a week.  I come to find out that he is homeless and living in his truck. He is still "with" that woman from years ago who blocked my calls, though she lives in Georgia.  (We are in New Jersey)  I presume he is sending her money which makes me angry.  And wondering why wouldn't he just move down there with her?  Not to mention, every time we get together he can't help but talk about my mom and their relationship.  Many times over he has tried to paint her in a negative light.  Now, keep in mind, my mom had never spoken ill of him despite MANY reasons to.  (Like introducing her son, my brother, to drugs at a very young age).

My question is..  Am I a bad person if I don't call him on father's day?  I feel guilted for not continuing a relationship although I know deep in my heart I don't owe him a damn thing.  Still, I feel obligated somehow.  I feel like I want to be the bigger person but I just cringe over having to get in touch with him.

Edited by quark
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dunno, I have an opinion that family, no matter the screw ups, is something that you cant just turn your back. You dont need to take care of him, after all, he didnt take care of you. But calling him on fathers day? Sure, that doesnt cost a thing, ask how he is doing, talk a bit and thats it. He uses oxygen and on dialysis, who knows how much he has left. You will probably be sorry if he dies in meantime and that you didnt. Even if he maybe doesnt deserve it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't spoken a word or seen my father since my 18th birthday.  I am now in my mid-50s.

I don't feel guilty at all because he doesn't.  He had plenty of opportunities to show he cared about me and my siblings when we were children but HE chose not to. That was his decision and from what I've been told he stands by it, blaming our mother when HE was the one who didn't pay child support or provide for us.

I may be the wrong one to give advice on this, but I do not regret my decision to remove him from my life.  Some people will say I'll regret it when he's gone, but I disagree. Again, this was HIS choice, not mine.  I feel no guilt or regret or remorse for choices HE made.  I'm just responding to his lack of love and caring.

You are not a "bad person".  Remember, Father's Day is a nice idea but is really just a day.  Don't let the greeting card companies guilt you into calling him on that specific day if you don't feel comfortable.  If you truly do want to reconnect you could do it on any day of the year.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My relationship was much the same with my abusive father. My dad last summer chose to end his dialysis and die. This is the first Father’s Day without him . I can’t lie, I wish I could talk to him tomorrow. I wish we had had a chance to fix everything even knowing it was impossible to do so. 
 

Only you can make up your own mind, but if I could talk to my dad again I would. Death changes perspective. 

Edited by Seraphim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.  I think I'm just gonna call him today actually, since I'm lazing around with nothing to do (boyfriend is working).  Kwothe & Seraphim are right .. even if he doesn't "deserve" it, I know it would hang over my head if he passed away without hearing from me again.

I feel like my situation is different from boltnrun because the lines of communication have been reopened somewhat recently.  If I hadn't heard from my father since the day he left, I wouldn't give a second thought to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope you did call him, even for just a 5 minute chat.  If he died tomorrow you would likely kick yourself for not taking that 5 minutes to call him.

My dad was a great guy, and I miss him dearly even after decades.  I'd love to be able to call him but I cant.  So I think good things about him instead.

Call your dad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree with the family is family sentiments... but! I do think since it's on your mind, you should call.  Or I hope you did. 

My thoughts... whether family, friend, work, neighbor, or whoever... if it takes more of your time, effort and peace to do nothing, then just call him. 

After you call, you can let it go. If you don't call you'll still be thinking about it into next week. 

It's the indecision that makes us mental. Make a choice and let it be. 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is something very personal to you and your dad messed up for such a large part of your life. You have the right to say no and to walk away or to give him a call. That's up to you. 

All I can say is the moments where I've held back or overlooked a mess, it paid off because there was a lot more joy and laughter on the other side and lightness where there could have been a lot of lingering resentment. I was lucky to have a close relationship with my dad. To this day I don't know another person with that kind of integrity or heart. I used to think he'd be the first man I'd know like that - it turns out he's the only man I've known like that. I don't really have any other words of advice on this other than follow your heart on it and if it moves you to call him, do call. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're not a bad person if you don't call him on Father's Day.  Don't feel guilty nor obligated. 

However, you can learn to forgive him.  Forgive means to move on.  Forgive does not mean forget.  Forgive does not mean to give excuses to those who've wronged you.  Forgive means not to wish ill will nor hold grudges against perpetrators.  Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself so you can heal and move on with your life.

If you feel that you want to be the bigger person, then call him yet keep it well mannered, gracious, kind and brief.  You don't have to be pals nor get friendly.  Practice good diplomacy while maintaining a safe distance. 

No one can undo the past.  However, both of you can heal even though your relationship with him is fragile. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You already said you would call him - i hope you did.  Calling on father's day is for YOU - for you to know in your heart that he is still your dad even though he has been swayed by bad choices in women. You also don't know if he did try to make more contact after the divorce and your mother blocked it or didn't agree to the terms.

I hope the call went well, or even if it went to voicemail, he knows you reached out.

I imagine it would be difficult for him to reach out as well feeling he has nothing to provide for you. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/20/2021 at 1:36 AM, Rose Mosse said:

This is something very personal to you and your dad messed up for such a large part of your life.

 

 

It takes two to tango. Mom and dad both messed up in creating stability for the OP together.  Dad may have not known really "how" to be a dad.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/19/2021 at 2:05 PM, quark said:

I feel guilted for not continuing a relationship. I just cringe over having to get in touch with him.

Who is making you feel guilty?  How is your relationship with your other family, siblings, extended family, etc.?

Focus on that. Not everyone has a hallmark card family and often these guilt trips simply result in unwanted reminders and queasiness when a parent/family member is toxic.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/21/2021 at 11:16 AM, abitbroken said:

You also don't know if he did try to make more contact after the divorce and your mother blocked it or didn't agree to the terms.

No.  Sorry to be defensive,  but I absolutely 100% know that my mom would have told me if he reached out.  And I need to completely disagree with the "two to tango" comment.  My mom created as much stability as she possibly could while raising two children (one of which who is a drug addict) on her own with no help from my dad.  She is the strongest woman I know.

On 6/21/2021 at 11:34 AM, Wiseman2 said:

Who is making you feel guilty?

 

No one in particular, just my conscience.  At the very least, he is still a human with feelings.

 

Anyhow -- I called him and it was actually relatively painless.  So I'm glad I did.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, quark said:

No.  Sorry to be defensive,  but I absolutely 100% know that my mom would have told me if he reached out.  And I need to completely disagree with the "two to tango" comment.  My mom created as much stability as she possibly could while raising two children (one of which who is a drug addict) on her own with no help from my dad.  She is the strongest woman I know.

No one in particular, just my conscience.  At the very least, he is still a human with feelings.

 

Anyhow -- I called him and it was actually relatively painless.  So I'm glad I did.

I am glad you made the effort to call. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Top Discussions this Week

  • Our picks

    • If Only A Narcissist Could Say THIS
      The more you are exposed to a narcissist, the more you struggle with the question: "Why can't this person appreciate the legitimacy of me succeeding?" Dr. Les Carter muses about a statement that you won't hear from a narcissist, but offers strong words of affirmation about how to thrive despite the narcissist's gaslighting.

       
      • 0 replies
    • Surviving & Maintaining The No Contact Rule
      Surviving and maintaining the no contact rule to take your power back so you can attract better and reach your full potential. In this video coaching newsletter I discuss an email success story from a viewer who went through a bad breakup about a year ago. He says that his ex broke his heart into pieces and my work helped him get through a very dark time. He says she is stalking his social media and calls from different numbers, but he has not given into weakness or the urges to let her back into his life. It’s an interesting account of a man’s journey to self-love, self-respect, healing and overcoming a toxic relationship that no longer serves him.

       
      • 0 replies
    • 5 spiritual habits that changed my life
      5 spiritual habits that changed my life
      • 0 replies
    • When a Man Ignores You - One Text Makes Him Regret It Immediately!
      In this video, I'm going to explain what to do when a man ignores you. I will also explain the reasons why men ignore the women they date and you will learn 2 powerful text messages that will turn things around and make him regret it and change his behavior. Are you Being ignored by someone you care about? IF so, you know it’s one of the most frustrating and difficult situations to deal with especially when you don’t know the reason. That’s why In this video, I’m going to share the reasons why the person you’re dating or interested in might be ignoring you. And I’m going to tell you exactly what to do about each of them.

       
      • 0 replies
    • Johnny Berba's best tips for mental health improvement: taking action reduces anxiety & depression
      In this video, Johnny Berba shares his best tips for conquering anxiety and depression. Maintaining good mental health is not as hard as some people think, it's really about taking small action steps.

       
      • 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...