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Father/ daughter relationships deeply affect how women relate to men later in life...
I had lost some of the poems I had written long ago. I just found them during our recent move. I wrote this poem nearly 20 years ago, back when I was half~way across the country raising my own kids.
Currently, I live with my dad for the first time since he left my mom when I was 12. Both of us have gone through divorces these past 2 years. I manage his 9 bedroom home and work for his company, so we spend a great deal of time together. So much has evolved in our adult relationship, so much reconciled, so much processed from a mature perspective. After going through the healing process from divorce, dating again, getting to know myself as never before, learning to love who I am, finding myself, etc, I have realized so much about myself and my other relationships. As I read back through what I’ve written long ago, I’m amazed about how much it reveals about who I am today based upon my relationship with my father while growing up. From all I’ve lived and read, it is so true, how our male/female relationships as adults stem from our childhood relationships with our opposite~sexed parental relationships.
My father was a successful business man. He was emotionally distant. But, he also was the one who wanted to go places, do things, take us on long vacations, keep us in touch with all the relatives. He is a very generous man and quite forgiving. As I matured and headed into adolescence, it seemed my dad distanced himself from me more and more, like he didn’t know how to treat me. Looking back, I think his distancing himself was more about his and my mother’s relationship falling apart, not a dislike of me. But, back then, it seemed personal. Today, I find myself being “Peter Pan” like, refusing to grow up, wanting to stay young. Maybe, subconsciously afraid of being rejected if I act mature, stoic, serious, feeling like I couldn’t ask for my needs to be met for fear of rejection like I was the one who had to always compromise, give in.
BUT…..these last few years have shown me so much at an adult level…..I’ve learned what’s his…….his flaws….his shortcomings….that have nothing to do with me… I’ve also learned what my insecurities are…what I need to change…to mature in….how to stand up for myself when I need to…I have stood up to my dad so many times in these last few years……respectfully telling him how I feel about certain things that have arisen in our relationship. I can’t tell you how many times he has apologized for how he’s treated me, saying it had nothing to do with me, and it didn’t!! To be able to differentiate what are his and which are my issues has matured me considerably. That is true for any relationship, to be able to accept what is yours and what is theirs. It’s important to do our own work. It’s important to not take on someone else’s stuff.
I love feeling young and full of life. Most often I am looking at the bright side of life, always ready to forgive, to love, and to live…..
I don’t believe in blaming and making excuses for ones behavior, but there is so much to learn by analyzing and assessing the past, present and future of our relationships……