I was never a Daddy’s girl. There was too little interaction with him to even get to know who my dad really is. I only had a handful of memories with my father in it. Questions on where he was or what he did for a living was something I had no answers for. Surely, as I grew up, I gravitated on building a sort of “normal” relationship with him but it was disappointment after disappointment which led to years of silent treatment.
As you go through life, you meet people and build relationships. Some fairly shallow while others were golden. When I got married, my husband and I had a small misunderstanding. We easily patched things up mainly because we agreed that for our relationships to work, there must be no pride. Fault finding had no place in a loving relationship. It was fairly easy to remove all my pride when it came to my husband since I feel an immense love for him. I told him about my “dad-situation”. He did not give any comments but I knew exactly what he was thinking. I felt I was cheating myself. It was easy for me to forgive him since the issue was minor and I love him. But what happens when he disappoints? Will I react the same way as I did with my father? I know I wouldn’t but if I can’t mend my broken relationship with my father then how can I truly say I won’t.
It was not an easy thing for me to do. I have been dodging this issue for as long as I remember. Being 34 and newly married, I just didn’t want any other baggage. I just want to start fresh.
Accept both sides of the story
I realized that the reason for all my disappointment was because there was an expectation on my end. I expected an outcome for all the things I have done. I never saw his side of the story. What ever reasons he may have for what had happened, it was his reality in as much as I have mine. I just cannot expect him to act similarly to how I would since he is leading his own life with all its complexities which I am not privy of.
Leave everything behind
What ever pain or anger you may have for all the things you may have gone through, it is the past. Truly we can never bring it back, no matter how much we dwell on it. All those tacky words on letting go are true. We really cannot turn back the hands of time.
Your peace of mind
At the end of the day, fixing your broken relationship is really for yourself. It will definitely give you that peace of mind. All the grudges you held and all the pain you felt just creates more baggage. There is no better reason for letting go other than having inner peace.
Once I have found the resolve, it was time to rebuild burned bridges. There’s no more he should be first or what have you. If you want to resolve it, just do it. I started messaging him if he would be going to the dinner hosted by our relative. He would ask me for directions. All attempts must be welcomed openly. Random news about your life even if it is just a short message on the phone would let the person know that it is okay to re-enter your life.
Not talking to my Dad for years were typically norm for me as well as browsing social media was typical of my day. Then I saw a post by a friend of mine.
A reporter asked the couple, “How did you manage to stay together for 65 years?”
The woman replied, “We were born in a time when if something was broken, we would fix it, not throw it away.”
I know that this was a quote for marriage, but relationships are relationships. But it really made sense for all relationships. Most relationships die because people just throw it away. I struggled long and hard because I was defending my pride. Why try to fix a broken relationship specially when you are dealing with someone who did not make that much effort in having a relationship in the first place? This was my battle cry. But at the end of the day, family is family. In a world where things change so fast, one thing remains – family. I may have wasted several years of not talking to my dad but once you decide and commit to the change, rebuilding does not know time.