Saturday, May 4, 2013
A Few Secrets Never Hurt Anyone, Right?
Dear Diary, (Starting this post at 10:42 PM. I'm really mentally and physically tired right now, but too full of ideas I've been over-thinking, like a mad woman, over the past two days to just allow myself to rest like a normal human being. Sometimes I wonder if everybody over-thinks from time to time, or if some people really never try to scratch the surface of their mind and just submerge themselves in what-if's, how-is-it's, I-can't-believe-it's, and why-do-bad-things-happen-to-good-people-questions. Because that's where philosophy, religion, faith, and spirituality kick in, I suppose. If you believe in God, after all, if anything bad happens in your life, you can simply say, "It's in God's plan for me." For those who don't believe in God, however, there seems to be a bit more weight on their shoulders when they face a challenge. If nobody is watching out for each of us, who's to say that we don't consciously cause everything that happens in our lives in some way or another and are therefore personally responsible for each good or bad morally-conflicted event that we come across?)
Wanna know a secret? (No, I'm not leaking military secrets if that's what you're looking for on this blog. If so, you have spelled the URL address a tad bit off.)
Well, actually I would say that there is nobody who knows all of my secrets. Like, I cannot name one person who knows me front and back, the sarcastic and bubbly sides, my apprehensive yet outspoken nature, and the emotionally independence I have that conflicts with my disparity for emotional security and consistency.
Except for you Diary, you know a lot about me. (Great, now I'm going nuts talking to my computer like its my therapist)
But something that has started irking me recently is the absence of my father during these teenage years. Now that I'm eighteen and graduating high school, I'm pissed that my dad wasn't there to help me get to this place at all. Not to say that he didn't pay my child support up until now, offer me rides to places that I needed to get to once in a while, or somewhat try to see me every Saturday. But even when he does see me on Saturdays, it just consists of him picking me up from my mom's house with his mom in the car who he just took grocery shopping, us small talking in the car, him dropping off me and my grandmother. Then he "plans" a trip to Hawaii to go on vacation during the summer with me, though he never goes through with stuff like that. I've put up with it though, because the last thing I want is for him to know that I needed him to be there while I was growing up more than he can possibly imagine. He doesn't deserve my emotional turmoil because he's barely tried to do what a father does. He actually said to me one time, "I can't talk to your brother as well as I can talk to you. He never talks to me." And what actually pisses me off about him now isn't that he wasn't there for me as I grew up, it's that my brother never had a father to look up to. And it's my brother who had to take the role of my father for all these years, teaching me life lessons and lending me a shoulder when I need to talk to someone, driving me around the city, babysitting, and helping me with homework for like thirteen years. And I'm mad that my dad made my brother's life so hard and hasn't been there to support him when he needed it the most, like when he went through a recent breakup and the terrible emotions that came from it. My dad would just say to me, "He never talks to me. He could talk to me about these things." But why would he ask advice of a man who has never tried to get to know him his entire life?
I still remember the night of my thirteenth birthday, and it pains me to think about today. I had a nice birthday party with my best friends and family, but I was waiting on some, or any at all, type of "Happy Birthday" message from my dad. Thirteen, to me at the time, was a really big deal. I was becoming teenager and this was frightening to me because I felt myself leaving my childhood behind. Middle school, as everybody knows, is a weird time and I needed support from my family really badly to know that I wasn't about to make bad decisions in the transition from elementary to middle and high school. I wanted to know that someone gave a shit about what I was doing in my life, essentially.
But midnight past, and still no call from my dad. Before I turned thirteen, I was a straight-A student at my school, with a lot of passion for making something out of myself in life. That night, though, I came to the conclusion that my dad didn't care about me. I thought to myself, "Why am I trying when even my father doesn't care about me? I'm his child, but he could care less that I was born. If he doesn't think I'm worth a 'happy birthday, my daughter, I'm proud of you and can't wait to see what you are going to accomplish in your life because I believe in what you are and can be" than I must be a big waste of time and space." And I sat in the bathroom on the toilet with the lid closed quietly crying my eyes out on the night of my thirteenth birthday, trying not to disturb my mom's sleep.
All I've ever wanted to hear is that I'm good enough for my father's affection and acknowledgement. So, there's a secret for you. When I have a kid of my own, I know for a fact that I would never be with a man who took fatherhood or our children's lives for granted. I know that my brother always wanted a dad to lean on when he was confused, a man to teach him how to play sports as a young boy, and discipline him into being a well-respected guy. But he never got that guidance, and for that, I will always resent my father for making my brother's life harder.
And so, my father missed telling me "Happy Thirteenth," and actually didn't care to contact me until three weeks after my birthday had passed, asking if I wanted to be picked up the following Saturday. I said, "Okay," and life continued, but the hurt stayed and affected my entire mindset for my years as a teenager. I became full of angst and grew angry at my mom for not giving me the traditional family life that I yearned for so badly, constantly getting into heated arguments with her and giving her short replies out of my spite. I matured out of that stage by Junior year, luckily, but I never got over the feelings I felt as that disappointed thirteen year old. In high school, I felt like none of the work I did for teachers mattered, because if my dad doesn't care what I'm doing, I thought, than why should I care. I almost dropped out of school, ditching class to be with friends or hang out with boys who I had "things" with, or sometimes feeling detached from everybody and wanting to sit by myself to do absolutely nothing but be alone, while also desperate to feel connected to anything.
It's funny that nobody understands this detached part of me though, and I don't like to show my serious side off. That's probably why I'm always goofing off and laughing, making jokes about everything to build that wall I have yet to completely let down for anybody.
Anyway, my eighteenth birthday just passed. I remember thinking in the middle of high school, "Wow, my dad totally fucked up my teenage life by ignoring me on my thirteenth birthday. What will happen if the same thing happens when I turn eighteen? Will my whole life be just as miserable?"
And it seems like such an insignificant, overly-dramatized thing that I didn't get a stupid birthday-gram or such when I turned thirteen, but it impacted me more than I can possibly explain in words.
The week before my eighteenth, my dad decided to go on a month long vacation with his friend to visit a few countries. "It's cheaper if we leave the week before," he said to me. "We'll go to dinner before I go to celebrate, okay? There's a fancy restaurant that my friend owns that we can go to." I said, "Okay." And it never happened. On the day of my actual birthday, he sent me a text message from Singapore saying, "Happy birthday" and I replied, "Thanks, hope you're having fun." He brought me back a bunch of expensive necklaces and other random items from his trip. I'm not angry with him, but yet I find it difficult to return his calls on Saturday mornings now and choose to sleep-in to go visit my grandparents with my brother instead of siting with my dad in the car.
I know that a girl learns what to look for in her future husband by her relationship with her father, but what has my father really taught me about relationships between people? That they're shallow, materialistic and inconsistent? That people care much less than I like to think they do?
Well, anyway I just felt like lettin' this secret out after all these years. I'm not sure what moral can be derived from it, but I'd rather repress the feelings of this story than let them take over my life. I know who I am, and I thank my extremely strong-willed mother for raising me, pretty much on her own.
-That Girl, because we don't give single mothers or good fathers enough credit.