Sunday, May 2, 2010

One tiny insignificant comment = hours of heartbreak.

How do I stop wanting something more in a relationship that can never be?  When do I let go of the picture-picture fantasy the little girl in me still believes in? 

The littlest thing happened this weekend - and me and my brain made it big.

A contractor is working on my house.  He's a great guy...has kids and grandkids. 

He was speaking about his one year old grandson.  The pride in his words and in his eyes was immense.  That's when I felt the first twinge of pain.  I ignored it.

I tried to focus on his words and feel his joy for him.  All I could really think is "my own father will never and has never spoken of my girls in that way.  He never will."

God - how my heart wants that.

Then my contractor said, "I cannot wait until he gets a bit older and can talk more.  I told my wife when he gets older he's coming to work at job sites with me every day.  She cannot hog him all to herself."

And he meant every word.

I had to turn away. 

The thought of a Grandpa wanting to spend time with his grandson is so foreign to me...taking him with him all day...taking dibs on time with him vs. the time the Grandma gets.  I can't fathom.  I can't understand.

I can't stop wanting it. 

And yet every part of me knows it's too late.  At 4 and 9 - my girls have already learned to live without a Grandpa.

I'm so angry that for a moment - and still now - I can't get his words out of my head...and I can't stop the pain from coming each time I remember.

My father is what he is.  He is not evil.  He is goodness. 

Admitting that's not enough is difficult because I think I know it means I'm the one with the problem.  I'm the one who can't move on.  I'm the one who can't accept.  I'm the one who is too selfish to just be happy with what he is.

And I'm the one who can't let go of what he isn't.

How do I do that?  It'd be so much easier if I didn't have reminders like my contractor...but that's part of life.  I wish I could pretend I was strong enough to handle what someone else has and I wish I was the kind of person who could just be happy for that family and what they have.

But I'm not.

I'm the little girl who was never enough. 

And today I watch secondhand as I see my little girls aren't enough for him to change either.

And some day what I feel today - they will feel about him.

How on earth am I not supposed to be angry about that?

32 comments:

Leslie said...

Hi Drazil. I don't always post a lot but I always read your blog. I have to comment today.

My grandmother is not a nice person. I've never been good enough for her and it makes me angry. Out of all her grandchildren, she has a favorite. So out of my brother and I, he's the favorite. It was very hurtful growing up being treated differently and always working for acceptance.

About 5 years ago I gave up. I don't care what she thinks. I only see her when family events dictate and when she makes those barbed comments I turn the other way and don't let her know that they bother me. Which they always will but I don't let her have the power over me anymore. She leaves me alone now. I'm not worth her time if she knows I'm not affected by her comments.

So my long rambling means that I understand what you fear for your kids and I have seen what you are going through with my mom dealing with my grandmother for years. I've made it through with my mom's strength and your kids will make it through with yours.

*Hugs*

Jenny said...

I agree. I get very jealous/angry/hurt when people tell me about their close relationsihps with their parents. It's a relationship I can't understand. I just have to remind myself about the other amazingly wonderful relationships I've built for myself in my life. I wasn't born into the perfect family, but I've found a husband and friends who mean the world to me, and I do to them.

Sandy Lee said...

I am so sorry these feelings keep coming up. I always wished for the same, but my grandparents (both sides) were too old when I was little. My kids too did not have that relationship. My parents were too far away and my DH's parents only really like the babies. Please don't let it get to you. That little boy (and his parents) are lucky. But your little girls are lucky too. I found that what grandparents didn't give us, my kids got from being with my friends. They were always part of dinners and outings. So grab onto your friends and their kids and know that they will grow up with a good, although different, outlook on life. And remember when you become a grandmother (can you think about that!) you will be one super granny!

Leslie said...

Thank you for sharing your pain with us. I hope it helps a bit. I can relate to wanting and truly needing more from a parent than they are capable of giving - for whatever reason.

I know for myself that acceptance of how things are is the key to finding peace under any and all circumstances. I also know that even with acceptance, the pain of not getting what we need and want still comes up from time to time. It's eternally sad. But it can sit dormant for longer periods of time than it used to and periods of freedom from that pain increase with each year.

Isn't it amazing how an innocent comment from someone can rip of the scab?

Tina said...

Yep...I can relate in some instances. The thing to remember is that although all of this hurts you very likely if you don't talk too much about what they are missing with them they will never know. Life for your kids with an absent grandfather is the status quo. It is kind of like if you have never seen the color green you don't know what you are missing.

I've got lots of baggage from various family relationships (but am a cautious blogger as I know who in my family reads my blog). It hurts and it is hard but...big but here :) over time I have helped myself feel better by thinking about how none of us has or had a perfect life. We all make mistakes, we all have flaws and we all give what we can give. All one can control is their caring for their own family and friends. Spending energy on those relationships instead of spending time thinking about what we don't have or missed out on takes time and energy we can channel for our own good relationships..I try to do this but still wallow when reminders slam me in the face ;)...This is how I try to get through it anyway.

Band-Babe said...

I know I don't need to tell you this... but that is exactly why I try so hard to be different. This exact scenario is why I refuse to alienate my daughter... I would have been alienated for lots less. I want to make the biggest, bestest deal out of my children, and grandchildren, because NO ONE should have to feel otherwise. Your feelings are YOURS and are justified. Yes, of course that will include forgiveness for your dad... but that doesn't rule out your hurt and pain. Just love your girls up, and don't let this perpetuate for them... You will do a fabulous job at ending this cycle. Your girls are lucky to have you!!!

Ms. Chunky Chick said...

Draz Listen to me no one can make him change! No one. And It saddens me that you were robbed out of that hon, but it makes you work all the harder for your own children. I am sure your husband loves his girls and hopefully that may give you peace to know that they are always loved. And it is him that is screwing himself. I know it hurts. Big smooches and hugs

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

Dahling it comes in layers.

I always think I'm over this very thing. I work very hard on forgiveness and moving on. I feel healed.

Then comes a comment.

Or a kodak moment watched from afar.

I have 'started over' forgiving him so many times. Truth is, forgiving is like onions. Each layer is just as pungent as the last. But each gets me somewhere. You are dealing with it. That means you ARE moving on.

Bianca J said...

I can relate to wanting that kind of family relationship and I know that it hurts to the core. Your girls know that you and your husband love them with down to their last mocecule, they're luck to have both of you.

Sparkler said...

I wonder if this is relevant to your story...my dad broke out of the mould when he was a young man and went to night school to get qualify to train as an airline pilot, something he'd always wanted to do. Against the odds, with no help or support from his family he accomplished it. He was so proud of his achievements and he really would have liked some acknowledgement from his parents...it never ever came. To his dad it was like a slap in the face for his son to rise above him career wise and he felt as though dad was saying he was better and smarter than my grandad.

What my dad didn't hear, but I did one night when we were at a party and my grandad had had a couple of beers was my grandad boasting to someone about his son the airline pilot. My dad never really understood why he couldn't get a pat on the back, or a 'well done' from his dad, until one day when he tried really hard to make my grandad acknowledge his acheivements...my grandad spat out at him 'fine, you're better than me...is that what you want to hear?'.

I thought of it because I know you worked hard for your dad to notice you and approve...maybe he feels similar to my grandad? The thing is my grandad was secretly proud of his son, but he'd never let him see it, maybe your dad is secretly proud of you too.

Gilly said...

You can only control the stuff you can control. You gave those girls a great dad who is nothing like yours. And they will know how much they are loved by their mom and dad. That makes them super lucky, in my book!

Bonnie said...

Sorry you are hurting.

Miss Vickie "The Queen Bee" said...

Unfortunately, life sucks sometimes and it is unfair. You and your husband are loving parents. Cherish each moment with them. Try not to let this sadness get the best of you. I will never understand how people can be so cruel. I am stupid crazy about my grand kids. I miss them so much. You just wait till you have some. It is a love like I have never known.

Girl Bandit said...

So sorry for your pain...yep it sucks. Big time. It is so hard to move on and not be bitter but you have to otherwise he really wins by destroying you. Ciunselling may help to get out the hurt and frustration and learn ways to deal with these situations. I once was told in a session to pretend the stuffed toy was the person to which I wanted to say stuff to, I felt silly at first but it really did help to get it off my chest!!! I am not sure if I have helped but will be thinking of you....hugs xxx

Genie @ Diet of 51 said...

Oh, Draz,

As unsatisfying as this sounds, your dad is the one missing out on the adoration of your girls. You are smart and sensitive enough to see the deficiency, but they don't see it. What they are getting from him is their "normal".

With your loving husband as their dad, they will get a good foundation of what a husband/dad should be.

Your dad did not get the love he needed in his childhood, so he can't give it. It's the oldest reason for sub-standard (a polite word for "bad") parenting in the book..... You might be surprised how many of us have/had dads like that.

Try not to mourn for the person he isn't.

-Grace- said...

Hi Draz,

I understand the anger you feel about this. My maternal grandmother never seemed to give a damn about me or my sister. Instead, she focused all her love and support onto my much younger cousins.

No matter what things we accomplished, she never cared. My sister was Valedictorian and first chair in band. I graduated with high honors and was very involved.

She told us it was our fault our grandfather died barely a week after the funeral.

As if this wasn't hurtful enough, she treated my mother like absolute crap constantly because she is deaf. This is the reason I am still so angry and hurt. I don't care if I don't have a relationship with her, but I cannot stand to see my mom hurt.
I am just so thankful that my mom is nothing like her mother. My mom is like my best friend and was always such a good mother growing up. When your girls are older, I am sure they will feel the same way.

Hugs and kisses, hun. I hope my rambling helped.

DB said...

{{HUGS}} to you sweetie.

Southern Belle said...

Your father is what he is, he can't be more to you or to your girls. It will always hurt and I am so sorry for that. But your girls know love from you and their father and from many others. They will continue to be loved and blessed and your father will miss out on the wonderfulness that is you and your daughters. It's his loss sweetie.

Ashli said...

I have this fantasy that when I finally have children, that my dad will magically want to be in my life. I know it's just that, a fantasy. But a girl can dream right? I'm sorry you are going through this. It hurts. I know first hand. Have you ever tried to tell him how you feel? Maybe write him a letter?

Carmen said...

::sigh:: :-(
i wish i had something magical to say, but i do not.
i'm so sorry that this person makes you feel this way. you didn't choose to have him in your life, but without him we wouldn't have you. SOMEONE made that happen, it's all fate. nothing would be the way it is without everything happening the way it did. (oh...i think that is my new mantra!)
i know it hurts, family is tough, it is supposed to be unconditional love, but that means the hurt is magnified. i pray that you can dig down into your bag of super strength and find some way to be OK with this.

CinciMom11 said...

My dad is the same way with my son. He lives ten minutes away, and we've seen him once since Christmas. I try and try, but he always has some excuse. My son's dad isn't in the picture, so my dad is the only male in my boy's life, and he's super absent. I wish he cared more. Big hugs. You're not alone. :)

Roo said...

I have been in a similar situation with my paternal grandmother, always fighting for acceptance, that she would treat me the same as she treated the other grandkids. it hurt..I remember when she died (22 years ago), that she had bought rings for my cousins and they proudly showed them off...I was absolutely crushed!I got nothing (I was only 13). My mum on the other hand always tolerated her because of my dad (she spent many years sick with cancer and we were all there to support her)....for 22 years I have hurt from it...until 2 years ago I reconnected with one of my cousins and she was sitting at the dinner table and the ring story came up...she said you know what...grandma was a nasty bitch and told us how they were treated (she was living with them for many years)...my dad's jaw dropped...I was silent and my mum burst into laughter and said that was one of the best moments, because she had thought it for years...I have now found peace with the fact that some things are not meant to be...that I make sure I surround myself with relatives that do accept me and are proud of me, who want to be part of my life....you are a fantastic mum and will be a super grandma (when the time comes) and you need to enrich your girls lives with other family members that can offer something special...unfortunately, your father is who he is and that will not change

Fiona said...

Hi Draz,
Your post really opened a box in me which I usually keep locked.
Both my daughters are overweight and have always been and I know this is why their father and grandparents do not speak to them. How do I know this? Because they told them so! Their father who hasnt seen them in 9 years saw someone we know and the only question he asked was "are they still fat?" How cruel is that? And yet I still wish he was a better person so the girls could know what its like to have a loving father. On the plus side they have a lovely step father who loves them. And their father is the one missing out on watching them grow into the wonderful people they are. But it still hurts like hell and I can only imagine how they feel inside (this hurts the most). We have to take each relationship for what it is and I always make sure I make everyone around me know how much I love and appreciate them. Thats all we can do. Big hugs to you xxxxxxxxx

Bella said...

What great readers you have!

I have parents that couldn't give two hoots about their grandkids. We lived five minutes from each other and only saw them once a week for 30 minutes. They never offered to take the kids anywhere or do anything with them. They've since moved away and dont' even want to talk to the kids on the phone. Their loss, I say!

I'm with everyone else. The friends that you have around can help play that role for your kids, and hopefully they won't feel the loss of traditional 'grandparents' because their lives will be so full of other people who love them no matter what.

You can't heal the hurt that you have from your childhood, but you can help ease it by loving your kids and squeezing them till it almost hurts, then when it's your turn to be a grandmomma (for your own grandkids, or even other kids who are missing 'grandparent' role models), you can be the BEST DARN GRANDMOMMA IN THE WORLD!!! That's what I try to do!

Later Never Exists said...

I wasn't going to comment, but then I started reading through other comments and something dawned on me.

My maternal grandmother was a bitch. Full fledged, hateful woman. She was horrible to my mother (including refusing to name her and making my grandfather pick out her name because she was so pissed that she was pregnant again)... I mean how do you even let your CHILD find out that kind of information?

Growing up I remember going to visit my maternal grandparents. Neither were very loving or over joyed to have us around. Especially not compared to my paternal grandmother who adored my brother and I, and we in turn adored her.

I did spend time with my maternal grandmother, especially after my grandfather died. I enjoyed spending time with her at times, but she made it difficult because when she would ask my parents for help of some sort there would always be a negative comment of some sort made. Whether it was about their weight or they weren't doing something right, etc. This is a person asking for help but can't even be nice enough to keep her mouth shut for 5 minutes. I remember us leaving her house abruptly many times because she had said something to hurt her daughter and her husband.

Looking back, I don't remember my grandmother ever say I love you. Ever saying I'm proud of you. Never saying thank you for coming to spend time with me when none of the other grandchildren did.

I did not ever feel the need to make her love me or like me more, but I also accepted that even though I did not like her actions or her attitude, she was who she was.

There was nothing that was going to change that.

I cannot imagine how hard your life has been in dealing with your children, but the only suggestion I can make is not to project YOUR feelings of being inadequate in your father's eyes onto your children. As you said, they have grown up without a grandfather and because they never knew what having him for a grandfather would be like they honestly don't know any different. It would be different if they had grown up with a loving grandfather (or even a hateful one as I did) and suddenly his attitude changed or something of that nature.

I hope that makes sense.

I know you long for a man like the contractor and the memories hurt you, but wouldn't you have someone who genuinely felt that way rather than someone who may be forced?

Hang in there. You're a tough cookie!!!! And it's okay to be angry! :)

[Now, just don't go drowning your anger in sugar or we'll have to bust out the paintball gun!]

*~D~* said...

I can't say anything the others haven't...other than there is a reason the word "biojerk" was created. ;)
*huge hugs*

tessierose said...

Big hug!

Joey said...

Hey Lady,
I feel your pain. I had absent parents and no grandfathers. The best thing I've done for myself is decide that it had nothing to do with me, whether I was a good kid or not. Their problems and selfishness are their own. It's too bad it effects the kids, but it's not about you being good enough. I know it's hard to step out of the little girl mind set. XO

Katie J said...

What wonderful supportive followers you have hon! WOW!

I have something for you on my blog. Will formally post it tomorrow. xoxo Smooches!

The Curvaceous Conundrum said...

Oh honey :( Big hugs. My father is an amazing grandfather...a much better grandfather then he was to his children(there are 3 of us) when we were kids. And while I love that my daughter will never grow up wondering if her poppie loves her, I feel a twinge of anger, sadness and jealousy when they are together. Where was that man when I was that age?

As adults(or sometimes, teenagers) we realize that our parents are just people and have have real flaws just like the rest of us. Im so sorry that your father cant be what you'd like him to be. But I am more sorry for him, because he is truly missing out, on both his granddaughters and their amazing momma!

Xo,
Mary

Lonicera said...

I'm really impressed by the length and quality of the responses you've had, better than any therapist - and I sincerely hope it helped you.
Caroline

Cindylew said...

Hey Toots...sorry you're feeling so much pain over someone who is clearly not worthy of your attention. Maya Angelou says "when we know better...we do better"...perhaps your father simply never had anyone teach him how to be...how to love...how to share joy.
We all want things that we see as being ideal...in this case, what the contractor has. But perhaps instead of concentrating on that which you don't have, take a big look at everything you have that others too would give their right arm.