“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
– Steve Maraboli
I grew up with my grandmother in very humble beginnings. I never knew my father until I was almost 16 years old. I had no idea what he looked like or if I had other siblings.
As I grew older many times I would wonder about him, what he looked like, whether I had other sisters or brothers. I was often teased about not having a father, and that affected me greatly while growing up.
When I finally met him, it wasn’t anything close to what I was expecting. As a matter of fact, I wish I never had. I still have regrets meeting him up to this day, but he taught me a lot shortly thereafter.
He was a very successful man, judging by what I saw and what people considered successful. He had beautiful homes, a beautiful wife, and extremely good job, and he tried to impress me with all his material wealth. I honestly thought he was trying to distract me from the large elephant in the room.
I never asked him why he abandoned me and believed he didn’t care. I saw a man that had failed miserably at the things that mattered most. Every time I looked at him I felt nothing but sadness for him. Here I was a poor little girl from a very remote village attending to a man whom she didn’t know but wanted to help because he needed my help.
He worked very hard, but I could see that he wasn’t happy. He would come home most times at midnight and come to my room and, whether I was asleep or not, wake me because he wanted someone to talk to. He wanted someone to sit with him while he had dinner alone at midnight. His wife and other children were sound asleep, and he could never dare disturb them.
He often spoke to me about life and the things he regretted most but never once did he mention his regrets for abandoning me. I resented him for that. Little did he know how much I suffered when he wasn’t around and how now I was suffering in his presence. He was becoming dependent on me, and I resented that even more.
I had become his burden bearer. Even though I hated it and wished I was somewhere else, I listened to him talk about his many failures as a father to his other children, his wife, and himself. I felt such pity for him. He was a failure in his life even though he had everything life could offer materialistically.
He sometimes asked me about my life growing up with my grandmother. I wanted to shout, scream and tell him how hurt I was most of my life but thought it would be better not to. I cried a lot from the pain of abandonment but more so for the pain he was in.
I watched his health deteriorate over time. He retired from his job and his beautiful home went into disrepair. I looked at this once strong, proud and powerful man but saw nothing of what he once was. I started thinking about my life and what I wanted.
Even though I was very young, I made a promise to myself I would be nothing like my father. There was nothing about him I wanted in life. I never wanted a husband anything close to him. I never wanted a life anything like the one he had. In my eyes he was a complete failure.
I left his house after a long summer break and decided never to return. I met the man I never wanted to see again, and it was over. I honestly never thought I missed anything not having him in my life. I wanted a life that was far away from his as I could have.
I have matured a lot since then. I have even forgiven him and sometimes wondered what happened to him. Unfortunately, I never took the time to go back to see him but we do communicate via telephone.
There are many things I learned from that meeting with my father many years ago :
1. Things are never always what they seem
The grass is not always greener on the other side. Many times you see things, and they appear beautiful but up close they aren’t as good as they appear. You need to get up close and personal to get any idea of the true state of things.
2. Be careful what you wish for
One must be careful what they hope and wish for. Sometimes you might get it and end up regretting it. Life sometimes has a way of giving us what we asked for just to prove to us that it was never good for us in the first place. Even if you are not happy with what you eventually get make an effort to learn from the experience.
3. Karma is a b…………
Life is so very funny. Be careful of the things you do in life because life has a way of repaying you and sometimes it can be very harsh.
4. Forgive people for their mistakes
Learn to forgive and even though you won’t forget, find something worth learning from the experience. Remember people are humans and as such do make mistakes. Think about the mistakes you have made and how you wanted others to forgive you.
5. Leave the past where it belongs
Do not hold on to things that are in the past. It is not very good if you continue to dwell on the past you will never enjoy the present. You will not be able to move forward while constantly hanging on to the past. Use the past as a guide to move forward to become better and stronger.
6. Be mindful
You need to practice mindfulness. Enjoy where you are today. Try not to focus too much on the past or the future. Focusing on the past and the future will get you all worried, anxious and sad. It will also keep you from enjoying the present. Take the time to be aware of where you are presently and enjoy it.
7. Be happy
You might not have had the best start in life but do not forget that life is short, and you need to take time out to be happy. Take the time to enjoy your life you have. Work on getting to where you want to be but enjoy the journey.
8. Learn from your experiences
There is always a lesson to be learned from all the experiences you have gone through good or bad. Do not miss what life is showing you. You might not be able to see it at the time, but there is always a lesson to be learned.
Life is mysterious, unpredictable, kind, unkind and sometimes scary but it all works out in the end. Be prepared to accept it as it unfolds because only then can you appreciate the awesomeness of life.
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12 thoughts on “What My Father’s Failure Taught Me as a Woman”
What a great story, I like the way you see things. Thank you!
Thank you Livia. I realize early that no matter what your struggles are in live you have the power to change the course of your life going forward.
Thank you for sharing your poignant and yet an empowering story.
I actually have tears in my eyes when reading it because it reminds me of my own story.
I was not physically abandoned by my father but emotionally.
I have also been physically abused.
I am now in the process of leaving him and stay on my own for my own emotional being and inner peace.
Just remember that despite your father’s failure and mine, there is one one thing we and they can be proud of and it is that we become the better version of they are.
What they did to us have forced us to understand what is important in life and how lucky we are that we can have that at such a young age.
I am proud of all your inner work to be at this level.
Thanks for your very encouraging message. You are indeed correct. You and I and so many others have become stronger and better persons as a result. I am self reliant, strong, courageous and not afraid to go out on my own.
We can encourage others like ourselves into understanding that even though we had a difficult start we have the power to change our lives for the better.
Very true indeed Rose.
Thank you Purna.
Great story Rose. Another winner and hits right at home. Brings back some memories with my father. Situation was different, but relationship was complicated and I realized I had to let go and forgive as well.
Keep up the good work. Your stories always empower me.
Thanks Bill. We all have had our share of struggles but we have all survived and are better persons because of it. We can only encourage and motivate each other along the way. Thanks for those wonderful comments.
Thank you Rose for sharing your intimate story. Lessons can be learned harshly, but the benefits are so much more when we choose to listen to them. I commend you on your courage to embrace your past but to not hold on to it. And I love this, “Use the past as a guide to move forward to become better and stronger.”
Thank you very much Eve. None of us had the option of choosing whom our parents are but we can no doubt choose to become better people. Forgiveness was never for my father but for me so I can become the person I was meant to be. In order to be free I had to forgive and move on. Thanks very much for your comment.
I loved reading your story (it was really inspiring)… Probably because I can relate myself with it… My father stopped talking to me when I was 8 and when I was 12 I sent him a letter (btw I’m 15)… He responded but the questions I had/have in my mind are still there… I asked but he would run away from it… I want to get to know him again but he never has time for me… I am the one who has to call him every single time! Even though I’m the child and he is the adult… It’s like I’m forcing him to be my father… I want to keep in touch mostly because I have younger siblings who I don’t whant to lose… I want him to be the man I remember but I’m not sure if he still there… And the fact that he doesn’t seem to care hurts…
Ju I feel for you because I was the person you are today but the good news is you can be strong and get through it like I did. You can never force anyone to love you but you can sure learn to love yourself. Your love for you is what will keep you fighting when everything else around you says quit trying. Do not give up on your father keep trying but remember if he doesn’t reciprocate it was not because you didn’t do the best that you could.
Remain strong for yourself and your siblings and hold tightly to them and you all will make out and become better people.