They Were Never There

Early last year I realized it bothered me way more than I'd ever let it. I cut contact with my father over 20 years ago (well, he did that when he threatened to kill me and my mother). I cut contact with my mother several years ago, except for some semi-annual phonecalls on important occasions: her birthday, and Christmas. It took me several years to realize she was psychologically abusive.

It was pretty easy for me to nullify the memory of my father in my mind, as he'd never been a caring person at all, so I just wrote him off as never having been there. My mother, not so much, since she purported to love me while her actions contradicted that very idea. She didn't know any better. I think I can manage to forgive her someday, although I cannot find it within myself to care for her as a daughter would care for her parent.

While I long to have had parents, or siblings--that thought stretches itself into wishing for a normal family with siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts--for some reason, though, it's my father I find myself sad about these days. It's been going on for a few months.

Whenever I think of that man I wonder what kind of world made such a creature so screwed he wouldn't treasure having a little daughter on his knee. I would've grown up into a woman he'd have been proud of. Instead all he ever thought of me, was how expensive I was. He'd warned my mother he never wanted children and she went against his wish. So there I am.

I wonder if this feeling will ever subside. I let myself miss him because I have to stop looking for him, wishing he'd been there. I get tired of having to be so damn strong all the time, and sometimes I just lose that strength. Who else but parents are there to pep-talk you into facing another day, staying on track? I guess I would've rebelled against him as a teenager like almost all teens do. But I would have loved him.

I'm still really f***ng sad. No father, no mother. No family.  And I doubt my capacity to associate with people who could help me relieve that absence.

So I write... (even though I'd promised myself I wouldn't write about painful stuff, an article on Psychology Today convinced me it's actually therapeutic. It seems writing about GOOD stuff reduces its positive effect, but writing about bad stuff also reduces its negative effect!)

So here I am listening to Jia Peng Fang and feeling sorry for myself. :)
I'll never have a family, it's that simple. That thought has yet to comfort me though. When the heck will it stop stinging so much?

Wonderatrix Wonderatrix
31-35, F
3 Responses Jan 12, 2012

I think fear of his own mortality underlay much of what you have internalised of him (he may (as a child) have found himself standing beneath the “immitigable tree” (Virginia Woolf’s image) or his own equivalent. If not, then he internalised the fear anyway without knowing it)…that and an inability to assert a coherent central will over his own mental processes…to be something other than the flow of blind nature towards the goals determined by his genes.<br />
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If you had ob<x>jectified him then the way you are now you might have come to no harm….but children can’t do that with their parents and I think you were born more whole, more tangible, than other people, with a greater ability and readiness to experience other people’s higher level mental phenomena as tangible and to experience the possibilities which that creates…good and bad.<br />
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It felt to me like a parent’s love creates a tangible phenomenal “substance” in which they carry and support a child, cushion them from the cruel calculus of the genes (there’s a different calculus for unconditional love – to do with the “self-space” we talked about and the nature of the empathy and connection involved) and provide a reference for structuring their reality.<br />
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If your father ever did try at some level to direct something meaningful and coherent towards you, the dynamic between him and your mother may have fragmented this la<x>yer of your reality (she may have resented him for a lack of deep commitment to her and unconsciously invalidated and broken up any contribution he did make to your phenomenal environment …tipping it into the “too hard” category for him).<br />
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The effect on you would have been confusing at a subliminal level – if you were designed to find and connect to something tangible, whole and unbounded and what you received through this channel was the opposite, the channel would eventually have to shut down…at all but the deepest levels …which are luckily still open. Feel for the things that feel tangible at the deepest level you can<br />
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And you aren’t an INTJ (or not a pure one). I can be one (but flexible on two of the axes) and I know what others feel like…I “see” their “grid”, I don’t “feel” it or feel a need for mine to connect with theirs and I don’t feel their weight or feel drawn into their minds. Try three letters different ( at what this inversion (between how you see yourself and how the core of you “feels” to someone else) might tell you about your shut down…somewhere between the foreground and the centre.<br />
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(Homework format – works better!)<br />
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He never tried to direct anything towards me. To him, I was simply another human creature he had to lug around because society wouldn't accept it if he batted me away (which he did in private). Even in instances where I knew I should have been disciplined for bad behavior towards others, he just... ignored me. So no... there was nothing there between him and I, and my mother was looking for something from him that never existed.

About being INTJ, I used to type as INTP but I suppose there is a cultural bias, given that I am pretty strong-willed. I figured that tests would type me as J for that. I used to type as a P when I was too depressed to assert myself much at all.

I am unsure how to read those personality descriptions without feeling as though I am reading anything but a horoscope. I wish I were ESFJ, but have no skills at tolerating people who want others to validate them, especially through bullying, and that seems like most people these days. Which makes me withdrawn and too afraid to even try, sometimes...

i walked away from my family at 12 years old after one beating to me the rest is a long sotry but i had an angle there to protect me and teach me

It does stop stinging in time. I have had five years to stop obsessing over mt mother, and like you, more than 20 to stop worrying about not having my father. He left when I was three, my brother an infant. he was to greedy to buy a bag of potatoes and a dozen of eggs. So, I know in ways how you feel.