“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.”-Washington Irving
I am emotional. I have all the same problems as the rest of the world does. I am constantly confused about which path to take, which side to choose, and why we are the way we are. I have mood swings, one minute I am super optimistic, the next I’m banging my head against the wall wondering what’s it all for?
Tonight I shared some time with my 19 year old. The older he gets the more guilty I feel. It tears me up every time I am around him. They say to blog like nobody is watching, whoever they are, and for whatever reason I care what “they” think. I contemplated not sharing my feelings, not getting too personal, to save it for the therapist someday. The problem is the thoughts and the feelings are gobbling up my brain, and I have to let them out.
I have three main problems. I don’t talk to my parents, my sisters, or really any of my immediate family. Those ties were severed almost 4 years ago now.
I wasn’t a good father to my sons. I can give you all the excuses you want. I was young, I was selfish, I had no idea how it would affect my life. The problem is, these are all bullshit. There is no excuse for being a mostly absent parent. It haunts me every single day of my life. I cringe when I think of how many times there feelings were hurt because of me. Once I lost that connection with them, something else went away too. I don’t know what it is. I have a hard time communicating with them, I can’t look either one of them in the eye, I always get easily annoyed when they are around. This is through no fault of their own. I can’t explain it. I lost the fatherhood bond with those boys. You can’t be a father to kid every other weekend, it doesn’t work that way. I know that now. My daughter gets my undivided attention, I know that bond now, and it makes me feel even worse for the boys.
I still see them, but the visits are becoming more and more sporadic as they are growing up and becoming more independent. I was 19 when Brendan was born, he is 19 now. He just got his first job working in a retirement community as a dishwasher. Tonight he was telling me how hard it was, how it bothered him that there wasn’t more time for training, and that it was taking him a little longer to learn how to do everything then what they liked. I could relate to this plight, and I wanted to tell him to just get used to it, because that’s how it goes in the world of odd jobs. I wanted to tell him that jobs like this are one of the prime reasons you should get a college degree so you don’t have to end up being the lowest guy on the totem pole all the time. Instead I just agreed with him and showed him some empathy because I didn’t want him to feel like I was preaching to him. There isn’t enough time in between visits for me to try and make up for all the parenting I failed to give him in the first place. Brendan & Riley have heard me apologize for this over and over. I try to be so blunt about it that I think it might actually be one of the things they don’t like about me, the fact that I am always so apologetic, always projecting my guilt onto them. That can’t be fun for them.
I don’t know how many of you out there know this feeling of guilt, but I know I can’t be the only one. I still see my sons as much as I can, I try to make myself accessible to them, and I feel like they try to do the same, but I also feel that very empty void, that missing piece, the disconnect between father and son. There is something unresolved that I can’t quite put my finger on, and may never be able to.
Guilt makes it hard to enjoy life, I always feel like I don’t deserve it when something good happens to me. I dwell on it, stew in it, and let it just completely consume me at times. It kills me a little bit each day. So I wrote this, and now I am going through the second guessing stage. I’ve come to far to delete it now.
I just wanted to let it out, and I feel better for it. I should be doing some homework right now. I can’t though, not with the weight of this guilt that has taken over my brain. I can’t even explain why I don’t talk to my parents. It’s beyond my comprehension. All I can do is keep taking one step at a time. My mom used to always say that, so even though we aren’t speaking to each other, I still hold onto the little pieces of advice that she gave me throughout the years.
To everyone: I’m sorry.
I can’t think of anything journalistic at the moment, or any clever way to twist my words to make my writing seem better. I feel empty inside, there are too many things holding me back from my full potential. I guess that means I need to come to some sort of resolution or acceptance.
CRITICAL THINKING FOLLOWED BY ACTION.
That is the only solution.