Growing up without a dad

I want to start off by saying Happy Father’s Day to my husband, my step-dad, and my father-in-law. I love each of you. I have been thinking about this topic for a while, and after seeing some posts by my friends who don’t know or didn’t have a dad, I thought I would write my story.

For the first five years of my life, I had a dad. I thought he was perfect. I thought he was the best dad a kid could have. However, at age five, he went away and wasn’t a part of my mom’s and my life very much. As I grew older, I found out things that I wish I didn’t know, and I disowned my father.

I have a hard time leading up to Father’s Day. I see my friends post on Facebook all these wonderful pictures and stories about their fathers, and I have this huge empty hole there. I have a step-dad. I call him “Dad.” He has been in my life since I was 10 years old, but our relationship was not always the best. We have a pretty good relationship now, but it has taken a while.

I think the hardest thing for me about my dad is that I really looked up to him. I did not find out a lot of the things that caused me to make one of the most difficult decisions in my life until I was 19 years old. My mom did not have the heart to tell me the truth. I sometimes wish she would have so that I could have taken him off the pedestal I had put him on, but I understand she was just trying to protect me.

There are so many things I wish I could say to him, about how he missed out on getting to know the awesome person that is me, that because he is who he is, he will never know my family, and that his mistakes and stupidity really made it hard for me and my mother.

I am glad that my step-dad is such a good grandfather to my children. As far as my children know, he is my dad.  My children have seen pictures of me with my dad, from when I was younger, but my mom and I just tell them it is someone we once knew.

For all of you who did not get to know your father (or mother), I am sorry for you. I am sorry if you have ever experienced the pain I have. I also urge you to find other role models if you haven’t already. To those of you who are single parents, I just wanted to say that I know it can’t be easy to be both Mom and Dad. (Before my husband moved into his current position, I was the only parent here for the most part). If you are a single parent struggling with this time of year, I urge you to read this great post I found through Mommy Perks.

Also, don’t be afraid to tell your story, whether you are the child who didn’t have a dad or the mom who is being both parents.  This hasn’t been an easy thing for me to write, but I am glad I did.



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