Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Next Step?

After Sam died, I quit talking to my Dad. I didn't intend to, but that's what happened.

I remember when I told him I was pregnant. I was out of town with my MIL...I'm not sure if Mr. h was there or not, but we were at Wal*Mart of all places in the evening. Okay, now I remember what we were doing there, we were buying ceiling fans for his grandmother (so I guess he was there). Anyway, I remember him being excited for us. Not any more so than anyone else, but excited. I think.

As far as I can recall, we kept him updated throughout the pregnancy, but I only had a couple dr. visits and there really wasn't much to update him on. On the early morning of Sam's birth, Mr. H called my Dad to tell him what was going on. I couldn't speak to him or my step mom. I was an emotional wreck. I got up to go to the bathroom because I felt funny down there and when I got to the bathroom and wiped, I felt Sam's foot hanging outside me. I was hysterical so Mr. H cut their phone conversation short. I don't know if we spoke to them while at the hospital again.

When we came home 2 days later, after making funeral arrangements, I called to tell my Dad. I expected him to come to the service. He did not. He said he had to work and couldn't take time off even though he works for himself and manages his own schedule. He later called and wanted to come a few days after the funeral so we could "spend time together and have fun". I think I've mentioned all this before, but it still bothers me so I'm saying it again.

I've been thinking about my Dad a lot lately. Well, not really a lot, but I miss having a Dad. Our relationship wasn't always the best- he never remembered my birthday, we never celebrated holidays together, he asked for a paternity test so he wouldn't have to pay child support- our relationship was not that great, but it was something. Sometimes I try to convince myself that not having a father was better then having him as a father. But I haven't truly convinced myself of that yet.

I've been thinking of writing my Dad to tell him how I feel. I know the things he said after Sam died ("it was Gods plan", "it wasn't meant to be", "there must've been something wrong with him" etc etc etc) weren't meant to be hurtful. I know that now, but it has taken me over 2 years to get to this place. I want to write to him rather than call because I don't want to forget anything. I don't want to be interrupted by what he has to say. And I really don't want to talk to him, I just want to make amends.

But then I remembered today, that I tried to reach out to him. About 6 months after Sam died, I sent him a card and in it was a picture of Sam, a copy of the death notice from the paper, the program from his funeral, a packet of forget-me-not seeds and a blue ribbon that said "Baby Boy" along with a card that had his birth info and his footprints on it. I guess this was my way of trying to make contact with him. I tried to make the first step towards reconciling. He never reached out to me. He never responded to my card, never had anything to say about Sam- his grandson. My older brother (who lives in the same town as him) told me about a year ago that my Dad said I was the one who had a problem. If I wanted to talk to him, I should call, because he wasn't the one who had issues. WTF?

I don't know what else to do. Of course I could call him, I could send him another note, I could've visited when I went to see my grandmother for her surgery and I didn't. I don't want/need to be left emotionally vulnerable. I'm afraid of losing again. I want him to "get it" but I'm afraid he never will. I don't need the drama! As far as I know he doesn't even know about Jack, and that just makes me sad. I want things to be back to "normal" even if things weren't all sunshine and roses.

I don't know what to do next.
BTW, the recipes for Vanilla Buttermilk Cake and the how-to for the cake decorations are up on my other blog, if anyone is interested. My Dad may suck, but this cake doesn't.


The Nanny said...

Oh goodness, that's so hard. I'm so sorry. I wish I had a magic answer of what to do next :-(

Antigone said...

You've already reached out...more than once. It sounds like you're the designated adult in the relationship with your father. Seems like no matter how many more times you reach out his reaction isn't going to improve. I think a letter would be good for you though. It's a good opportunity to say everything you want and need to. Whether or not it actually gets through to him it will at least have give you a chance to articulate your feelings.

Eric said...

Damn Monica. Do we have the same dad? Crazy how death can push family members away.

Travelwahine said...

I agree with Antigone. You are the adult in this relationship. I think writing the letter would be very beneficial.

And let me tell you, you are such a good person. Sending him all of those momentos of Sam. You've really taken the high road.

HUGS to you Monica. I know we all wish our family would get it, but unfortunately some don't and never will.

Thinking of you and the boys.

Rachel said...

I think the problem with babies dying before ever taking a breath on this earth and being held in their parent's arms is that people don't know how to react. If you lost a one year old, your father would have never, ever ignored it.

I think for your sake you do need to reach out for your dad. After all, he loves you as much as you love Sam and Jack. Even though things are difficult, there was once a day when he held you and tried to protect you from the world.

Maybe you don't need to go into detail. Just tell him that you miss him and wish he could have been there for the past 2 years.

I wish you luck! I know if seems easier than it actually is.

Virginia said...

I don't know, Monica...I would be tempted to leave it myself, but then again, I probably wouldn't. I'm the family troublemaker, the one who confronts and won't let things go - and it sucks. I'm mad at him for you and you don't deserve this. And I want to tell you HE doesn't deserve to have you reach out to him. I can't decide for you, but it does sound like writing him a letter might be the release - and perhaps end? - you need.

Erika said...

I agree with Antigone. I think a letter is the way to go- but it sounds like he may not be able to meet you halfway, which is very hard. Write the letter for you, not for him. And if he doesn't respond, then I can't see putting yourself out there to get hurt over and over again. HUGS.

missing_one said...

Oh hon. I know how you feel, truly. Maybe one day I will tell the story.

Please know it is not you. You have reached out and asked for compassion, of which he clearly cannot give. Maybe one day he will change, maybe not. It took me not talking with my father for probably 4 years until he finally realized what an ass he had been through my childhood, teen years, college years.

People can change, but they have to want to. I would just wait, maybe one day a letter will appear. That's what happened to me, and then I responded, and we went back and forth for a bit. Now we exchange emails and see each other once or twice a year.
But let me say this, as much as my father used to be an ass and said he's changed, I think the only think that really proved it to me was when he took off work (which he doesn't have a work where he gets sick days or anything) and flew across country (when he and his wife have such limited means) to come to Jessica's memorial.

It was then I knew the time was right, and he had changed.
But it took years.

Please know, it's not you. We as daughters think that we should have relationships with our fathers, then blame ourselves when we don't. but it's not our faults. We have done nothing. All we wanted was the love a parent is supposed to give freely.

Anonymous said...

I agree a letter will be the best way...how difficult some people just dont understand...take care

Amanda said...

I am so sorry that you have to deal with that. Family is so very important. I have come to understand that even more since lossing Logan. I think a letter would serve many purposes. First, it would allow you to clear you mind and say what you need to and also it might bring your dad around. But even if not, at least you have had your say and maybe you can then put it behind you. ((((HUGS)))) I know whatever you decide will be right for you. Take care.

Monica H said...

Nanny- I wish I had answers too.

Antigone- I have reached out, but I don't feel it's enough. I'm a "fixer" and I want to fix things.

Eric- No, but they might be brothers...eh?

Travelwahine- I sent him the momentos because I felt guilty :-(

Rachel- Sad thing is, I don't really know if there was a day when he tried to protect me from the world. It's nice to try to believe that he did though.

Virginia- I'm not afraid of writing the letter or releasing the emotions, I'm afraid of the confrontation.

Erika- I think I will eventually write the letter for me, but I'm afraid of being rejected again.

Missing_One- Email me if you want to chat...I've never asked him for anything, EVER. All I ever wanted from him was to be there for me. I just need my Dad and he bailed on me.

TyFamily- No they don't get it.

Amanda- Thank you for your kind words. I know what I need to do, it's just so hard.

Kristi said...

Sorry, it's taken a while for me to respond. I agree - a letter would be good for you to get your thoughts organized & not be interrupted. I would hate for him to not respond how you would like or not respond at all. you don't need that kind of pain.

Eric said...

For what it's worth, I did the same thing with my dad. I wrote a letter letting him know how I felt and I even went so far as to apologize about anything I may have done that may have upset/offended/hurt him in anyway. (Although truly there was nothing that I did like that).

I never got a response back. I have even sent a similar email, to no avail. I think to my dad, out of sight is out of mind. And to him, out of mind is probably easier than dealing with the reality of what he has done (or not done). I have given up. The ball is in his court on this one. Sounds like you may have the same thing going on.

Anonymous said...

where to begin, M? i don't talk to my dad either, and i have not even told him about the girls because i don't know if his reaction would dissapoint me.
i think you have done more than is necessary to reach out to him. i have little doubt that your father loves you, but rather i wonder if his idea of a father-daughter relationship is as skewed as my dad's. my dad beleives i am supposed to look for him always and supposed to automatically esteem him as much as i do my mom and grandma (in a word - no). and when this does not happen, he gets mad and upset and yadda, yadda, yadda...
i agree with Antigone, perhaps a well versed letter is the way to go and perhaps you might want to directly ask him what type of relationship he desires, what in his opinion is the way to go about reconnecting? put him on the spot, it is not fair that you bear all the thought processes here. keep us abreast, as this subject is one i struggle with from time to time.

Brenna's Mom said...

Honey I know exactly how you feel. My father and I have never had a great relationship- but he is a good person and we do get along. After my daughter was stillborn he came to see me at the hospital, came to the funeral (no one else from his side of the family did), he called me a few times the first week. Then nothing. Now, mind you I almost died. He didn't call me for MONTHS! When I finally called him he went on and on telling me how him and his girlfriend took her grandkids on vacation. (I have a 12 year old son who my dad has never taken anywhere!). It bothered me so much, and still does to this day. Our relationship is very strained because of it. Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time we spoke...