My dad recently passed away and I have been processing through his and my relationship. I have come to understand and hold 2 very different flavors of him. There is the loving, caring father who took joy in my presence, who fed me and played with me and smiled at me in photos....then around the age of 8, he changed....for 18 months he was there for a few months and then left for a few months and we never knew whether he would stay or leave again. This is the dad who cheated on my mom, who divorced her and remarried and would not pick us up from our house or refer to our mom by her name. This is the dad who started a custody battle over me...won...and then decided he did not want me. This is the dad who only attended certain graduations, who fell behind on child support, who started to treat us as a second family. It has been a roller coaster ride of emotions to think through how his change in actions, choices and behaviors altered the course of my brothers and mine attachments. But I have more peace now. It explains some of my behaviors...the clinging to a fantasy figure, the anxious patterns I have developed, the resentful ness when I feel I am not seen or heard but also the withholding of my voice in order to not rock the boat. I am grateful for the opportunity to turn inward and sit with all the variations of my dad.
It is very pleasant to read how you are doing, from time to time and it also gives insight to the community. One thing i find very interesting in the AT is that the focus is not only on the mother, who has taken a lot of the responsibility when sthg was not going right with the way the children were growing.
Fathers have most certainly a role and a responsibility as well, thanks for reminding that.
I love that you speak of "a puzzle", and that on the road to healing, you are finding pieces of that puzzle.