Last week, a friend was telling me about troubles they were having with their father. The situation was very familiar to me, and we talked for a while about respect, adulthood, and the right to make choices of our own.
The following morning, I began to think about how old I was when I finally separated myself from my father. In doing so, I realized that it has been 8 years since I last visited him. (Time sure flies when you are at peace…)
As I thought about this, another realization came to me – I have not loved my father since I was four. After that time, my father became a very controlling, scary man, who just provided a place to live. For years, I felt bad because thought I was “supposed to love” my father, and I really didn’t feel what everyone said I was supposed to. I tortured myself with guilt because, to me, this meant I was a bad child.
It is so odd to realize this and see it in perspective now. I feel better releasing the burden of guilt over not feeling things I thought I should have and simply accepting that these things were never cultivated in my life. There are no more strings attached, and I no longer have ties to this man. Woohoo!