Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day - Not For All Abuse Survivors

I want to wish any fathers who are reading this post a Happy Father's Day. Be good to your children so that they will grow up and want to honor you on this special day. The same goes for any mothers reading this post. Your children want to love you. Give them reasons to love you. Protect your children from the abusers in the world. Teach your children to love you and to love themselves.

Father's Day is supposed to be a day to honor our fathers but some of us grew up being abused by our fathers. Abuse can take the form of physical, emotional, mental or sexual abuse. For those of us who were abused by their fathers, this day can be a day of bad memories rather than good ones. Memories of abuse can also make us wish that we could recreate the father of our dreams which can in turn make us feel sadness and grief for that father that we always wanted and never had.  Father's Day can be a day of ambivalence for survivors. You can love your father because he is your father and sometimes he was nice to you. You can also hate your father because of the lies that he told you and because of the abuse that was done by him to you.

For those of you who had great, loving fathers, I am glad for you. I didn't walk in your shoes. You also didn't walk in my shoes so you may not understand why survivors sometimes struggle so much with this day. You may not understand our need to break the silence of child abuse. That is okay. You don't have to understand but don't judge us either. For those who are struggling, I do understand. My dad died back in January 2000 so I no longer struggle with this day. Take care of yourself today. This day will be over with in less than 24 hours. Then it will be another day. Do what you need to to get through this day. Love yourself. Give yourself a break. Breathe.
Patricia

12 comments:

From Tracie said...

Thank you for this, Patricia. You wrote so much of what is in my heart today.

Much love to you.

LifeSights Coach said...

Thank you for writing this...it's been a tough day, just like Mother's Day. My father passed away a few years ago but my mother is still alive. I love them because they were my parents (I guess out of obligation. I always found myself perusing the cards and passing up most of them because the words were so false. I know that I'm not the only one who does that. There was no "unconditional support", etc. etc. I wanted so much to have someone to give a card like that to...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for acknowledging this today Pat. I'm always still surprised at how holidays bring up the need to talk about the abuse. Today's though...my kids wished ME a happy fathers day because if course their fathers were not present either. It was nice to have them acknowledge that u did double duty as a single parent even though for many years I was married. Susanks

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie, you are very welcome. Glad that my words helped.

Patricia Singleton said...

LifeSights Coach, you are very welcome. I understand your feelings and your words. That was me for many years too. Yes, I felt the same way about picking out cards for Father's Day and Mother's Day.

Patricia Singleton said...

Anonymous/Susanks, you are very welcome. Being a single parent makes things so much harder. I am glad that your children were able to acknowledge the job that you did alone.

Melanie Greenberg, PhD said...

Patricia,

This post was heartfelt, balanced, and clearly articulated the ambivalence and pain of survivors. I can hear how painful it is to think about the supportive father you wanted but didn't have. The support you provide to other survivors in your writings is a way of bringing this quality into your life and providing support to others who need it.
warmly,
Melanie Greenberg, PhD

Colleen said...

Thank you. It helps to know. I am not alone.

Patricia Singleton said...

Melanie Greenberg, Thank you for your comment. Welcome to Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, you are very welcome. You are not alone in this issue of Father's Day. Over the years I have had many mixed feelings about Father's Day, Mother's Day and their birthdays and how I "should" feel about my parents. This was especially difficult during the years that I was actively working on healing from incest.

Jill said...

Thank you for this post. Today I choose to honor my heart instead of my father. It is a struggle in a family full of codependents who feel the need to tell me what I need to do. I will be sharing your words. Nobody has to do anything they don't want to do.

Patricia Singleton said...

Jill,You are very welcome. I am so sorry that I took so long to post your comment and to respond. I have been so busy this Summer that I haven't been on my blog in a very long time. It took me awhile to reach a place of honoring my own heart over the feelings of others. It is a great place to be in healing.