I grew up in a single parent family. My Mum brought me up with my brother A and later on my half sister J. I will use only everyone’s initials as I don’t feel it is fair naming them without asking them first! My Mum and Dad split when I was 4 and I had no further contact with my dad until I was an adult. The first real father figure I had was when my Mum met my Step Father when I was 13. My Mum always did her best to be both parents but of course she is not male and that makes a bit of a difference. I don’t blame her for that!
My Step Father and I have always got on well but never had a particularly close relationship as I guess I was quite mature by the time he came into my life. He is however a dad in every sense of the word as far as I am concerned. He is there when I need someone to fix something, he along with my mum have helped me out with money when I have needed it, and he has been a shoulder to cry on when I have needed it. He may not be related by blood to me but he is the person I consider my Dad. I have never really called him “dad” because given my age when we met it felt weird but he is great and I’m proud to have him as a dad.
So my biological dad does not deserve that title in my opinion. I got back in touch with him when I was a young adult around 20 years old. He had remarried a lovely lady S, had a son N, and was adopting another son J. I was always made to feel welcome by S, my step mum, she sent me letters and chatted to me on the phone but my father was rarely interested. He made it very clear to me that N and J were his sons and myself and my brother A (who had not sought contact) were not really part of his life anymore. I only met him a few times and he was friendly enough but there was no affection there. My Dad seemed to want to treat me more as a distant relative than a daughter, he wasn’t interested in building a relationship up and contact was minimal.
Unfortunately around seven and a half years ago my Step Mother S passed away. This was when I saw my Father’s true colours, in the months after her death he told me quite bluntly that he didn’t want to be part of my life. He said I was too like my mum and even looked like her (not something I can really help!). He was very rude to me and it hurt, I cried for weeks about this however I convinced myself that it was grief talking and we could still have a relationship. I have tried numerous times since and he is still not interested in a relationship with me. Luckily he has always lived far enough away from me that we do not see each other in passing. He is over 100 miles away!
I have come to realise that I can not change my dad and that sometimes blood relationships mean nothing. I can honestly say I do not love my Dad, I do not hold any hatred for him but I do not love him, how can I when I do not really know him. I have a distant relationship with his sons N and J and we chat occasionally online or over the phone and I do hope this continues. Family is not always those who are blood relatives and share the same DNA. Family is those who are there for you and care for you in good times and in bad times.
To me my family consists of my Mum, my Step Father M, my brother A and his family, my half sister J and her children (who is a sister to me I only refer to her here as a half sister so that my readers can understand who is who!), my half brother N and my adopted brother J. I care about all of those people and my immediate family of my son Ben, my boyfriend Stuart and I even class Stuarts family as being like a family to me. They are all people I care about and I believe care about me, they are the ones I would turn to if I won the lottery in excitement and the ones I would cry to if I had bad news or was feeling down.
So why have I shared this with you? I know I am not alone, I know there are other people out there like me, who have difficult relationships with their fathers. I hope on reading a brief description of my feelings and experiences you can feel a little less alone. I am 36 now and it has taken me a number of years to come to these conclusions but I know now that I no longer need my father in my life. I will not contact him asking for a relationship again, the ball is staying in his court. I am seeing my Step Father M for Father’s Day because he is the only dad I need and he is amazing.
A few fellow bloggers have also talked about their feelings in a similar way, if you would like to read them here are some links for you. Whatever you do if you feel the same please don’t feel alone.
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