Peering Your Peers

Peering Your Peers

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Father Where Art Thou?!?!?!

August 18, 2011

Growing up I never had a “Dad”.  Sure I had a “stepfather” but never a “dad”.

My real father abandoned me as a child.  We finally reunited when I was around 17yrs old.  One the first things I told him though was that I will never be able to look at him as my Dad.  How could he expect me to just forget the fact that he was never there for me.  To this day I wish things had been different, although some little voice in the back of my head tells me not to think of possibilities that never happened, otherwise I will get myself into that deep pit of depression again.  So I deal the best I can with the understanding that I never had a “Dad”.  

Now I look around me and wonder what I am doing.  I have children.  My oldest is being raised by his grandmother and I havent seen him since he was 2.  I remember back to how I felt as a child when my father walked out on me and I realize that I did the same thing to my son.  I beat myself up about this constantly.  How dare I walk out on my son…How dare I choose drugs over my child…How dare I…

I have recieved alot of conselling over the past few years to help me learn how to use the tools available in order to ensure my mental and emotional wellbeing.  This help has been invaluable.  Now when I think of my oldest child, even though there is still an underlying dispondancy, I can honestly say I made the proper decision in walking away considering my lifestyle at the time.  I did not make the right decision in staying with the drugs and I would not be making the right decision if I did not reach out and let him know I am here and I care. 

I dont expect him to come running into my arms and act like the past never happened.  I know it will be a slow process.  Who knows he may not even be ready or interested in knowing me yet.  If so though I will not allow that to get me down.  At least he will know that I am there and hopefully respect the fact that I tryed to make contact again.

I then look at my second middle child.  He was given up for adoption by his mother and myself after some serious deliberation.  He went to a good home though and we got to choose the adoptive parents and that eased some of the pain.  It wasnt until recently though that it has started to sink in that, yet once again, I walked away from a child.  It hurts that I agreed to let him go.  His mother has visits with him but as for myself I still struggle with that.  I dont know that I am mentally or emotionally in a place where I could participate in these visits.

Now I also have two of my children that I am involved with.  They are currently in foster care and I am working as hard as I can to get custody of them.  I know I have to make the impossible happen.  I have been 17+months clean and in that length of time I have completed everything that Family and Childrens Services has suggested.  Finally after 7 years of involvment with FCAS I am finaly in a place where I have a chance.  I know that I am fighting an uphill battle but I figure that just makes me a better fighter and I am optomistic that I will win.  I have to win.

I remember when I first got reinvolved in my chldrens lives 2 yrs ago, after multiple absences. My children hardly knew me.  They stayed distanct and withdrawn.  Not knowing who I was.  It took a few months for them to allow themselves to bond with me.  I cant blame them.   I was in and out of their lives so much before that.  It doesnt suprise me that it took a long time for them to realize that I wasnt going to leave them again. 

But I still had to bring them back after visits.  Not only was that hard on me but it was also hard on them.  The looks in their eyes when I brought them home was so dolefull.  Crying and asking me why they cant  “…stay and visit daddy….”.  My excuse (and I still use it to this day), “Daddy has no bedrooms for you, Daddy’s got to find a bigger place for us”..  What else can I say. They are 5 and 7 and dont really understand the concept of drug addiction and homelessness.  All they know and understand is that they cant stay with their dad.

I wonder if, like myself as a child, they have developed a core belief that “daddy doesnt want them”.  My youngest especially as she is at that age where core beliefs become set.  I grew up thinking I was unlovable because of what happened with my father.  I dont want that to happen with my children.  I want them to know that I always loved each of them and will until the day I die.  I may not know how to show it to my oldest now but I truly hope I can figure it out.  I hope I can help to remedy some of the pain and other mental and emotional problems that may have been caused by my behaviour.

I live for the shiney, bright-eyed, innocent eyes as they look at me and smile

I live for their inquisitive natures as they explore the world around them and ask “WHY DAD?” (over and over and over and over and over and…….)

I live for the sick days when I am not allowed to put them down without the world ending.

I live for the independant days when they push me away and say “go away dad!”

I live for the sad days when they just want a hug and someone to wipe away the tears.

I live for the angry days when brick walls are more amiable then they are.

I live so they can live.

I dont care how long it takes or what hoops I may have to jump through my children will know in the end that I didnt stand by and do nothing.

I just hope that I am not to late and my children never have to tell me that I will never be a dad to them because I was never there.

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