For my whole life my experience with ‘dads’ wasn’t the one they make the Hallmark cards about. Not the ‘to the point ones’, not the funny ones and definitely not the sentimental ones. My father is a story of its own but let’s just say he was non-existent in my life growing up and it still remains this way.
He is a man who has secrets, who had the control and who made the decisions about contacting my mother and myself (which wasn’t too often.) I think the part of it that that frustrated and upset me the most was that even if I had ever wanted to send him a Father’s Day card I couldn’t have. This choice was taken away from me and that inability to have a choice was significant.
So, when every Father’s Day would come around, I was thoroughly reminded. I was reminded while watching TV, I was reminded when at the shops that were filled with dad gifts and cards and I was reminded at school, when there would always be a time allocated to make a special gift for your dad. And with all of these frequent reminders, I often had to talk about my father to people I didn’t know that well.
“Are you getting your daddy a gift?”
“What are you making for your dad?”
With the little I knew about him, it was difficult to know what to say. The fact that annually I had to be reminded of his influence on my life and how this made me feel left me disappointed, saddened and bitter.
It wasn’t only my dad either, many of my best friends growing up had dads that weren’t ‘there’. Whether it be divorce, death or just toxic relationships, I can’t say I was really ever shown what a real father should be. With these experiences I had my opinion about Father’s Day and what it meant and that for me it wasn’t a positive one.