Saturday i made a new post with the title ‘Love’. I did plan to write that post. And in my mind, towards the end of that post, my family, my father would come into the post.
That post ‘Love’ is still here, waiting to be filled. Today i made a new post, this one. My father. I don’t think i ever wrote about him on lfs.nl. I don’t talk about him a lot. Only with my family, very rarely.
I haven’t seen my father for around 27 years. He does still live. I know my mother will hear it once he has passed away. Some pension thing. He is 85 now.
When i moved out of the house i am born in, where i grew up for the first 21 years of my life, my mother decided to divorce. I did agree with her. I do remember, when i was 14 years old, saying to my sister that i didn’t understand why my mother stayed with him. There was no love. No contact. No joy. So, it wasn’t a big surprise that after i left the house, the last daughter to leave, my mother left too.
In our house, my father wasn’t a big presence. He worked, he slept a while after dinner, always too long. He sat in the kitchen when he woke up, smoked cigarettes. He was hardly there. Me and my mum were in the living room, watching tv, chatting.
I do think it was difficult for my father. He had three daughters, all intelligent, outspoken. Not afraid to speak up to him. He might have tried to make it work, but i don’t remember. I don’t remember any real interest of him. No questions. No hugs. Nothing. Ever.
I did try to keep in touch with him. I remember coming at his birthday. I rang the doorbell. A face with eyes wide open surrounded by foam from douche gel appeared for the little window in the door. I was the only one there. Later on a friend came by, which was a relief to me.
He did call me. Sometimes he talked, other times he didn’t say a word. I knew it was him. I could hear the water bubbling from the aquarium, close to the phone.
He refused to fill in the forms for my study allowance. The parental contribution would be set to maximum, if there was no information given. I talked to the dean at art school. She said the only solution for me was to get two signatures from people and a signature from my father himself, to get me uncoupled from my father.
The dean gave me one signature. I went to my family doctor and asked for his signature. I had to explain to him it wasn’t a judgement on my father, but a judgement on the relationship i had with him. So he gave me a signature too.
I don’t remember talking to my father. I know i went there. I don’t know if he yelled or just said no. I simply wiped that talk from my memory. I know i got into the house of our neighbours. I do remember the wife getting angry and telling me to leave the papers with her. She would take care of it. And she did.
I do clearly remember the last contact i had with my father. He called me up. I don’t know if this was after or before the signature talk. But, he called me up. He asked me if i wanted to let my blood be taken and be checked. Because he didn’t believe i was his daughter. I responded very calmly. Sure. If that was what he wanted, i would let my blood be checked. No problem.
There was no argument. We had a simple talk over the phone, like two mature people.
It wasn’t a simple talk though. And we were not two mature people.
That was the last bit i ever heard of him. I received no more phone calls from him. This must have been 1988. 27 years ago.
My feelings of hurt, of anger have diminished over the years. I hardly think about him anymore. I do sometimes wonder if maybe i would like to see him once more. But no. Our ending was final. I do feel rejected, yes. He is still my father. But all the usual feelings a child has towards his parent have faded away.
I really do pity him. He had a row with my middle sister, a day after she had her first child. She was still lying in the hospital. He didn’t even look at his first grandchild. The other three grandchildren he never saw. He never saw his three children again. All the things which make a life full with pleasure, he pushed away.
I do not write this piece asking for pity myself. Each life has its own pains and sorrows. You simply need to deal with it, go through it as good as you can. I did spend time yesterday and today thinking about this article. I even cried a bit. Some memories do still hurt. Or maybe they hurt more now.
This is an old pain though. Not too present in my life now, more a faint memory.
Tomorrow i’ll write a new post. I don’t know what that will be about.
Make a good day!