What happens to a child who knows their father only as a fading memory? How might this child feelings toward a mother change when they become a teenager; if the father of this child has made the child feel rejected? Who does the child blame?
First, I must give a little history so that you can understand the reason for my questions. I am a single mother of three beautiful blossoming children. I love them all equally, but each has their own unique qualities; that I adore. The father of my children, who I am still married to, but separated from, since 1998; has not given them the same attention, or affection as I have. He was involved in my oldest daughter’s life, on and off for the first seven years of her life. He of course, was an in and out, see ya when I can type of father. He thought by buying an outfit, and a pair of shoes to match when he spent one over night visit with her, he was being a proper dad. When my daughter, who is now fifteen would go with her father on these visits of course, she was elated. She didn’t understand the pain and the shame I felt knowing I had made a bad choice; when choosing him as a father for my children. I refused to let my feelings get in the way of their relationship, but in the back of my mind, I knew he would one day disappoint her. I knew she would one day understand my anguish, and she would have her own opinion of him.
Needless to say, the day had come when she would have reasons to tell him how sad he made her for all the broken promises, and the lies. He hadn’t seen her, since she was seven years old. He would call once of year, and make his usual false promises, and tell his unregretful lies, the same as he did me, accept she was the victim of his irresponsiblity those time. I couldn’t be her saviour by stopping it all together, because he was still her dad. The only way I knew to comfort her was to tell her to forget about him, but of course, she was a child; with a childlike imagination. Because of this, she believed in him, and his love. Now, the seven year old is fifteen years old with a voice, and a more mature perception of reality. She saw her father as he is for the first time, and to my surprise she seemed to understand more than I could ever tell her. Then, it all went from bad to worse.
That one day in which he would pick to call happened, neither of us knew what day it would happen, because he was never consistent with even that. This time he didn’t involve me. I didn’t have to ask the usual why are you doing this. I didn’t have to sit back and wait for him to lie to her again. This time he contacted her directly by way of her cell phone. “Hey baby!” he said, as if he was a full time dad, and he was a part of her daily life. “Who is this?” she asked. “Who else could it be?” he asked with skepticism in his voice. She began to explain that the only one that calls her baby is her boyfriend, and just like a deadbeat father he didn’t take the oppurtunity to find out more about her boyfriend. He made empty threats against the one guy in her life that she believed really loved her. Unlike, himself who has never shown her true love. For her, this was the opportunity she had been waiting for; the door she needed to be opened to allow her to tell her father how she felt about his lack of concern for her mental, physical, emotional, and especially her financial needs. When she unleashed all of that pain and anguish, his responds was to call her a lying lesbian female dog, that Big B word that men call women out of disrespect. Then he ended the phone call with a click of the red button on his cell phone. Then he text her more insulting comments, because she made him face the truth of who he was, but I think he wanted to say those things to me.
At that moment, I began to feel all the anger that I had let go years ago, so that my child could know; I tried to allow her to have a relationship with her father came back at me like a Mike Tyson knock out blow. My heart sank, and I cried in Jesus name to help me to get rid of the feeling of wanting to kill him. I did my best to make my child understand that not everyone who should care; will, but now because of the hurt he has cause her she seems to be angry with me.
My daughter whom I’ve sat down on numerous occasions, and have had all the conversations about life and its consequences when it is not handle correctly, internalized that hurt. She then began to feel like she had to be worthless, for no father would say that to his daughter if she wasn’t. At the least, that is what she thinks. After that, my daughter became sexually active with her boyfriend. I believe, she did after she told me she wasn’t thinking about that, because the one man who should have shown her love didn’t, and the boy who she only knew for a few short months did. My Soul is crying, and my heart is breaking. She has now begun to be very disrespectful in her tone towards me, and very rebellious in her behavior. The Daughter that once talk to me about everything, now looks at me with a disgusted look on her face. I really believe, she blames me for what he has done, and said to her; because he was one of my life choices, and it was a bad one. It seems she is trying to make me suffer the consequences of my bad decision. I know his behavior is not my fault, but somehow, I feel guilty. Which is why I ask again who is to blame?
The saddest thing that I have allowed him to do is to victimize me once again, and she is just one child. I still have two others for him. My youngest who is a boy, never had a man to call daddy, because his father never accepted him. So therefore, here I am fixing the mess he has made with, the oldest, and still haven’t had the chance to clean off the mess he left behind ten years ago when he said his son wasn’t his child. Maybe I should blame myself for letting him be around the oldest knowing he acted like the youngest was invisible. I wonder! – The Blame-