What Happened When My Dad Walked Away After the Divorce
I've contemplated writing about this for a while. And contemplated the place to post this even more. And I'm not even really sure that BlogHer is the right venue, but I do know that my actual blog is not it (probably because my mom will start asking me about it, and while I have no problem writing about it, I just don't want to talk, still, at 25 years old).
I'm the product of a "broken home." The ones that EVERYONE was talking about in the 90's when I was growing up. I was one of those kids that was supposed to end up all kinds of weird because I didn't have a dad around. In elementary school, I was the only one out of my group of friends that didn't have 2 parents.
I constantly felt like a pariah. Not only were my parents in the process of a nasty divorce, as soon as the divorce was all said and done with, my dad disappeared out of my (and my brother's) life. For several years. Several of my most formative years. At the cusp of really figuring out who I am, only 11-years-old, half of who made me "me" was gone. And I was crushed.
I never felt anger towards him. Just a longing to have him back. My Daddy-o. The longing helped to foster a deep insecurity. That I wasn't good enough for anyone or anything. To this day I don't feel like I deserve things: my job, my life, love.
When I was a sophomore in High School, my dad made a reappearance. It made me happy. It made me feel almost whole. I wanted to know everything about the family. My heritage. I was suddenly very Italian. I embraced it. I loved his new wife and now I had two new baby sisters.
And then, just as sudden as his reappearance, he vanished again a few years later. Because I made dumb choices that any kid would make. At 19 or 20, a girl's bound to be a little stupid once in a while, even a smart girl like me.
Almost instantly I felt that deep crushing pain. A lost little soul. I didn't know who I was. My relationships suffered. I felt so alone. I lost my job. And I felt like I deserved to be hurting like I was.
Five years later and I've had plenty of time to grow up and reassess and work on myself. And I figured out what he taught me: I don't need anyone. This is not a very good lesson to learn, nor is it a good one for a parent to teach. I became so self-reliant, that I closed myself off in a little bubble. I wouldn't ask for help even if my life was on the line (and on more than one occasion, I could have used the support of others).
I pulled myself out of my dark little hole. I realized that I am worth at least my weight in gold (figuratively). I got in touch with my inner self and put my life in perspective. And I know for damn sure I will never let him traipse in and out of my life again.
For years, I thought I was the one missing out. Really... it's his loss.
I am LA
Let's be friends.
Photo Credit: Michal Bednarek at Shutterstock.