So last night i was watching One Day at a Time, its a sitcom set around a Cuban migrant family living in america.
*****This post has some spoilers for the first season*****
The crux of the season final is about the father figure of the family returning from Afghanistan and not being accepting of his daughter as she comes out to him.
I didn't realize at the time but it was having a profound effect on me, it wasn't until long after that i realized that my jaw hurt from being clenched shut for the duration. I couldnt sleep, i felt unsettled by it but i couldn't put my finger on why. It wasn't until I stopped and thought about it, that the episode was built around an absent father not accepting his children was what bothered me.
I'm not gay so that has never been an issue between me and my dad, but for reasons known only to him he just decided he didn't like me when i was young (or at least just didn't care to be around me) and me specifically he couldn't spend enough time with my sister conversely. My childhood and a large part of my young adult life has been a long never ending quest for my Dads approval that never came, and then one day he did some terrible things to my family as a whole that he was put out of the picture in a way that he could never really come back. So I never got any resolution to it. To this day it has a hold on me and I hope one day to just be able to let go of it, but I struggle with it. I wonder if it something about me, if there is something wrong with me (in fact deep down I think that I hope for this, because then its something that I can fix) but its not, its him. I know from family history that there was something wrong with my Granddad so he was not very nice to my Dad growing up, who continued the cycle with me as I grew up. I'm determined that the this ends with me, I won't be defined by their problems and every day I continue to work on myself I distance myself from that inheritance.
The worst bit in all this is that it strained my relationship with my sister, and if i'm honest that is probably mostly my fault. I had a lot of jealousy towards her because she had the acceptance from him that i wanted so badly and never got, and to be honest of the 2 of them she is the one who is worth my time not him, so that is something I need to work at rectifying.
My Dad isn't coming back and even if he did, I don't see anyway that he could be welcome, his actions that I won't go into here as he left our family were awful and to be honest I was the one in our family least effected by it. So I have to let go. I was shocked at how much the simple idea of an unaccepting dad affected me and I don't want that any more. So I'm done with it, its his loss. I have my Mum and my Sister and my sisters family now, and I am lucky to have that and that is how I am going to see things from now on.