T Nation

All Fathers READ.

It’s been a very long time since I had tears in my eyes but they’re welled up pretty good as I write this.

It’s been 9 months since the last time my dad came to visit. His previous 2 trips up here have ended in dissapointment and disgust towards who he has become. He’s always had a drinking problem which was the main cause of my family’s complete seperation 2 years ago but I see now that his bottle of Vodka has become his new #1 son. My dad is probably the most unhealthy, unfit and uncaring person that I know and it hurts badly to know he probably won’t be alive in 5 years but worse is that he doesn’t care enough to see me grow up, never win a bodybuilding competition, never meet my wife or hold my first-born child.

I’m 20 and my younger brother is 18 and I know we both missed out on a lot due to not having a father figure around for the last 10 years which I always reminded myself that it was just making me tougher and a better man but now I realize it was only creating a void. I thank god that my mom is twice as concerned and supportive of us to make up for the defecit of my dad but I still had to learn a lot of things the hard way with no one by my side. I suppose this makes me the ultimate hypocrite though.

I despise fat, lazy and weak willed/minded people yet I’m only alive because of one. We’ve tried too many times to talk with him, express what he has done to our family and try to get him to quit or at least lessen his alcohol abuse but he just shovels the same shit our way over and over again to shut us up that he’s quitting and he’s sorry. My favorite quote is “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits” which is how I strive to live everyday of my life but I’m throwing in the towel.

After he leaves in a week I doubt I will ever see him alive again. I can truthfully say that I’d of much rather never known my father and had dreams of who he might be than to see the real man give up and call it quits early.

So if this post gets through to just one dad and is enough to make him realize that his negative actions have far greater impacts on his family and his sons in particular then it was well worth writing. You only have so much time, spend it with your family not falling over.

P.S- Sorry for the tears I know it’s very untestosteronish. I promise I won’t cry for another 10 years.

Sorry man. Make him read what you wrote.

Without getting into too much detail, my pops and my relationship was never solid.There were times I’d only talk to him once or twice a year, and our conversations usually ended with me full of anger. He died on April 6th of this year after being given less than a year to live in 1993.

If I have one regret in my life, it’s that I spent too much time dwelling on what I couldn’t control instead of looking at the present as just that- a gift.
Ya’ll be good.

Honey, you are not alone. You are not ever alone. Know that.

I know this is T-Nation, not E-Nation, but if I could give you a hug right now, I totally would. I’ve been there, I understand, I get it.

You’re going to be ok and you’re going to be a better dad than yours ever was. I know my brother and I are better parents than our parents ever were or will be.

Go read the book Toxic Parents. It’s fantastic. And maybe it’ll help you in your resolve to avoid that kind of influence in your life.

Take care,
Carrie

I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that. I can relate, only I’m a daughter, not a son. Like you, I’ve found that in a way it has made me stronger. Always trying to prove myself has also helped me achieve goals. I’m a strong, independent, young woman. I like to think I’m tough, but the truth is my dad can still make me cry.

Thanks for sharing.

[quote]ThatGirl77 wrote:
Honey, you are not alone. You are not ever alone. Know that.

I know this is T-Nation, not E-Nation, but if I could give you a hug right now, I totally would. I’ve been there, I understand, I get it.

You’re going to be ok and you’re going to be a better dad than yours ever was. I know my brother and I are better parents than our parents ever were or will be.

Go read the book Toxic Parents. It’s fantastic. And maybe it’ll help you in your resolve to avoid that kind of influence in your life.

Take care,
Carrie[/quote]

Carrie,

I have to check out that book. Isn’t there one called “Toxic People” too?

You reminded me that a teacher of mine once said, “Those who have a coherent understanding of their parents, whether they were good or bad parents, will themselves be good parents.” or something like that. :slight_smile:

group hug. :wink:

-brokenground

I kinda know what you’re talking about. It sucks. And like Carrie said- you’re not alone.

[quote]E-man wrote:
P.S- Sorry for the tears I know it’s very untestosteronish. I promise I won’t cry for another 10 years.[/quote]

This is T-Nation, but theres nothing wrong with crying when it comes to something like this.

[quote]brokenground wrote:

Carrie,

I have to check out that book. Isn’t there one called “Toxic People” too?

You reminded me that a teacher of mine once said, “Those who have a coherent understanding of their parents, whether they were good or bad parents, will themselves be good parents.” or something like that. :slight_smile:

group hug. :wink:

-brokenground[/quote]

Yes, Susan Forward wrote Toxic Parents and Toxic People. It’s a GREAT read and I recommend it to everyone who had bad parents.

Like you, my parents can still make me cry. I’m 28 years old! Come on! Y’know?

Ugh.

That’s a good quote from your teacher. I’ll remember that.

And yeah - group hug. lol! :slight_smile:

~ Carrie :slight_smile:

E-man, your sole responsiblity as a man and as a father is to take care of and love your child and your wife forever. Period. Above all, in your situation in which I can relate more than you know, you need to make sure to listen to your family and show your love for them, not just say it. Love is verb defined by your actions. Good for you and good luck to you my friend. My heart goes out to you. Be strong.

My “father” was no father at all.
he was shit and forever will be shit to me.

i’m 31 now and have seen him twice in 31 years.

he CHOSE not to be a father to me.

and thus i’m 100000000000000000000% motivated to be the best god damn father i can be to my children.

when i think about my family legacy, i feel strongly it starts with me.
i stive to be the kind of many that my children can be proud of. and i hope that i one day will be spoken of in high regard by my children and family.

It doesn’t matter if your father isn’t there for you.

What matters is that YOU are there for the people YOU care about.

You can’t expect all fathers to be ideal, or even, remotely worthwhile. There are a lot of below average people out there, and some are real shite. That’s life. Nothing is perfect, and is often, really really crappy. But it can always be much worse.

Americans really, really seem to have father issues as described in this original post. It is a weird socialogical trend. You don’t see this so much in other countries. It comes up a lot with people’s personal issues, and it is a common theme in American movies / stories. I think your country builds too much of an expectation that the father HAS to be there for the kids, say he loves you, go to you ball games etc… and I really think movies / stories are the cause of this.

A lot of other countries have seen some pretty harsh wars and had a lot of orphans, so that could be part of it. I think in general they are far more accepting of the fact that fathers often are not there, never were, or aren’t necessarily there.

Nevertheless, I know where you are coming from, and it does suck. However there is probably no chance that YOU would be a crappy father, therefore, there is something good to come out of it.

If I die before my father, my friends are instructed to take my ashes on one last roadtrip to where ever he lives and dump them in his gas tank.

I dunno man… I lost my dad at 14 and i don’t think you can underestimate the extent to which, no matter what, he is your father and it seems he needs your help more than your resentment. Sometimes it is up to us to support our parents when they cannot support us.

On the other hand i know nothing of your situation, so all i can say truly is that you don’t want him to die with resnetment being the last true feeling.

My heart goes out to you bro. I haven’t spoken to my biological father in about 12 years–he was never there growing up, just someone to visit once or twice a year, so I ended it. My dad–who is actually my step-father but has been there since I was 3–is a great father, and always has been. Every time I hear of a story like yours, I thank God for my dad.

Not trying to rub your face in it.

You know firsthand what a shitty father is. Now you know what not to do as a father when the time comes. Adversity is the best teacher. You can(and I’m sure will) come out of this better equipped to be a strong father and role model than a lot of us(myself included) who grew up with both parents.

Tell him you love him before he goes. At least know that you said your peace, so when the time comes, there will be no regret of not telling him.

It’s up to him to change his life for the better. But you can at least tell him that you do care and love him, even if you don’t want him to be a part of your life anymore.