Monday, February 4, 2013

Sins of Our Fathers

The sins of my father...

Turns out, it's more than a really dope Usher song, but an actual thing that, until today, I didn't know effected me so deeply.

My father was a cheater. My father wasn't there for me when it counted. My father tried to make amends with money. I idolized him with the sort of idealism that only exists in those not young enough to know better, those naive enough to believe that all anybody has to be is good and good would come to them. I was the best daughter I knew how to be, and he still left me behind.

I knew my father was a cheater when I was maybe 9 years old. He told me I may have had a sister (and possibly a brother) that my mother didn't know about. Made me keep that secret for years, only for me to meet the girl and not feel any sort of sisterly bond. That didn't make it any better.

Unlike what Usher says, the sins of the father don't just fall on the son. After my father left, I spent my time trying to fill that loveless space he left behind. Filled it by chasing after a boy who couldn't give any less damns about me for two years, spent time on a future baby father of 5 hoping to be lucky number 6, and fell in love with a cheater. I became some spiteful amalgamation of the cheater and the cheated on, over and over and over again, never stopping to ask myself where this whole thing started.

The father's sins on the daughter are tougher to see. Sure, everyone is walking around wearing 'Daddy Issues' t-shirts, but the fact is it goes so much farther than any of us can really see with the naked eye or fully explain with superficial proclamations  My father molded me into a cheater's accomplice, a woman seeking love in all the places where a strong male figure should have stood. My father didn't teach me what to look out for when it came to wolves in sheep's clothing, how could he from thousands of miles away? My pride and hurt wouldn't let me ask him for a thing, making it so even now, when there's something wrong, I don't say anything to anybody; I handle everything on my own, because if my own dad could let me down, who can I really rely on?

Every man I've ever been involved with has had issues with their fathers, from the absentee father, to the abusive father, to the father that was there, but never there enough. We're all broken by our parents in some way; like priceless crystal glasses, from the moment we're let out of the box, we're smudged with fingerprints, dropped, cracked. Nobody's parents were perfect, and none of us will be perfect parents, but we all aim to be better than our parents were.

That gives me pause; my father's real father wasn't there. My dad's last name is different from the rest of his siblings. His mother treated him, and continues to treat him, as if God himself set him down in front of her and said "Raise him." Those things couldn't have been easy for him; he did the best he could, it just wasn't enough to prevent me from going through it with men, with myself, with the perception that I put forth of this solid ice queen.

One day, I think I'll forgive him. One day, I'll feel more sorry for him than angry. That day isn't today. Most likely won't be tomorrow, but it's coming. I can't focus on what he or my mother did wrong; I'm grown now, it's up to me to make whatever went wrong, right. I'll keep in mind though, that the cheating gene is in me. Keep in mind my propensity to run. Never forget the ease with which I tend to toss people who I find needless away. I will keep in mind  the rest of my life what it means, that the sins of the father are passed down to the son. Or in my case the daughter.

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