Disposable Daughter.

I miss having a father. My mum and biological father split up when I was two. Although we had contact on and off again over the years, we were never close. We lost contact altogether a few years ago.

My mother married my stepfather when I was four. Old enough to know better, yet I always thought he was my ‘dad’.

I was the flower girl at my mother and step-fathers wedding.
I was the flower girl at my mother and step-fathers wedding.

I took his last name, (though not legally till I was 16), I called him ‘Dad’. He was, and to be honest, still is my ‘Dad’. He was far from perfect, but he was the only father I ever really knew. He had a ferocious temper, and was very strict, but he also had a soft side, and a great sense of humour. We’d often muck around, teasing each other, play fighting. He was my dad, I was his daughter.

When I was 15, Mum and Dad separated, something that had been on the cards for a long time. However Dad and I stayed close. I would still see him, go out for dinner with him, and stay there some weekends. He was my dad. I loved him. I love him.

The divorce between my parents was not particularly amicable. I think Dad was pretty bitter towards my Mum, which sometimes put a strain on our relationship. Dad started dating someone when I was about 20, a woman that already had 2 young sons, 2 young sons who called him ‘dad’ despite having their own father, who they saw on weekends. The distance between us began to widen.

They got married when I was about 23. The man that had always been my father, suddenly began to look like a stranger to me. They never asked me to be in any of the photos. A few people asked me how I knew the ‘happy couple’, and looked shocked when I said that he was my step father. (a term that I had never used, he had always been just my Dad) Something I will never forget, and brings tears to my eyes as I write, is sitting at the table, whilst his best man made a speech about Dad, and his life, and never once mentioned me. It was like I had never existed. I excused myself from the table and went and cried in the toilets. Where had my dad gone?

The distance grew, though was never spoken about. Until I left my husband, about six years ago. My dad had always liked my husband, (they were startlingly similar) and after I rang him, and told him that I had left him, he never spoke to me again. He rang my ex, to see if he was OK. He invited him to Christmas, to his 50th birthday, to other significant events. But never rang me again. I wonder if he thought I was how he perceived my mother to be? Just throwing a ‘good man’ aside? Except my husband was not a good man. Or not a good man to me anyway. Dad never knew the way he treated me, the things he said to me, the life that we lived.

But I think, really, he was just looking for an excuse. An excuse to walk away from me. Because he had been edging away from me for a long time. I rang him, about a year later, and asked him to talk to me. He said No. Said he had nothing to say to me. And hung up. A little while later, I spoke to his mother, my step grandmother. At this time, I was pregnant with the twins. She said she wanted to see me, that she wanted me, and the babies, to be part of the family. I never heard from her again either. I found out later that my dad had proposed a ‘vote’ to the family, about whether they would ‘speak’ to me. Apparently it was ‘outvoted’. It was decided that they would not speak to me again.  I know how ridiculous that sounds. Who the hell does that? But, to my knowledge, that’s what happened.

He was my dad for so many years. Despite everything I still see him as my dad. And I can’t understand how he could turn his back on me. He wasn’t like my real father, who walked away before he ever knew me. He knew me. He chose to be my father, and still walked away. Did he always see me as just his stepdaughter? Just the kid of the woman he married? How could I be so disposable?

I miss having a Dad. I don’t know if I miss him, because maybe he never really was my dad? I miss having a person in that role though. I find myself tearing up at stupid things; Dads on reality singing shows being proud of their children, wedding scenes in movies where the fathers give their daughters away, corny sitcoms that have ‘Daddy and daughter’ dances.

I wish I had a Dad. A Dad that was proud of me for getting my life together, for marrying a good kind man, for having a beautiful child. Instead I have two fathers, neither of whom loves me like a daughter, or wants me in their lives.

21 comments on “Disposable Daughter.

  • Sue Armstrong , Direct link to comment

    Oh Jane, I wish I could find the words to help you with this, I thought of saying ” You’re better off without him” “He doesn’t deserve you” ….. but I know that won’t help your hurt xo My father was violent, more so when he was drinking, if I had been brought up in this era, the authorities would have certainly be involved. I got very good at hiding the bruises and making excuses. He was there for my wedding day but never told me I was beautiful, the first time I heard those words were when I heard someone say it as I walked down the aisle. It’s taken a long time for our relationship to be ‘normal’ but I still feel I am walking on a tightrope. My daughter’s dog will not go near him and I’m sure she can sense the danger within. We can’t choose our parents but we can choose to not accept that it is not our fault. I wish I could give you a hug right now, I understand xo

    • Sue Armstrong , Direct link to comment

      *choose to accept it’s not our fault* sorry emotional, didn’t proof read lol

    • Hesitant Housewife , Direct link to comment

      Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story Sue, I’m sorry you have had to go through that. Makes me want to give you a great big hug right back. Maybe our experiences with not so good parents helped us choose such good fathers for our own children? Silver linings and all that xx
      Hesitant Housewife recently posted…Disposable Daughter.My Profile

      • Sue Armstrong , Direct link to comment

        you make a good point about our husbands Jane, there’s a saying that girls marry men like their fathers, believe me I deliberately did not :/

  • Neen , Direct link to comment

    I am speechless….

    Reading this makes me cry so I can only imagine how you feel.
    You are definitely not disposable to those that matter xxxxx

  • Natasha , Direct link to comment

    My heart aches for you…it is him and not you….but I know that doesn’t make it any easier.

    I try to live on the philosophy that you make your own little family as good and strong as you can and in doing so you reduce the ability of people like him to hurt you.

  • Debbie @ Deliciously Inspired , Direct link to comment

    First: Thank you for sharing your heart and I am sorry it hurts so. Second I would say continue to know that you are building a steady foundation for your children and your choices each day gives the next generation a better legacy. Third and most important is something I learned when my dad was absent or distant. It became my life preserver – that we do have a Father, a daddy that is always available, that never flinches away from what we what have done, that loves us unconditionally, that guides our next steps when we turn to him and reminds us that we are never alone. He is a father to the fatherless.

    A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling. Psalms 68:5

    PS – I am now 54 and have a great relationship with my dad – I can’t promise that this will happen in your situation and it doesn’t help the oozing sore you are experiencing today – just wanted you that today is often just a snapshot.
    Debbie @ Deliciously Inspired recently posted…Day 13 May Blog Challenge – QuestionsMy Profile

  • Ljfur1 , Direct link to comment

    Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal story with us all…
    I don’t know what to say I don’t think anything I say will take the hurt and pain that you must be feeling away. But I am sure the experience has meant you have chosen an amazingly wonderful husband/father for your precious girl.

    You dear wonderful Jane are anyone but Disposable. You are so far from that. Anyone would miss your presence.

    I wish I could give you (& Sue) a giant hug and wipe away all the tears.

  • Tegan , Direct link to comment

    I wish I could reach through the computer screen and give you a big hug. It’s heartbreaking that you had to go through it not once but twice. I am happy that you have a good man in your life right now. xx
    Tegan recently posted…E is for Emergency DepartmentMy Profile

  • Lydia C. Lee , Direct link to comment

    Good on the Grandmother for doing the right thing. Famillies are weird and people’s motivations are tricky and illogical. I would suggest seeing someone (a professional) to put these things to rest. (I’m reading about Hellinger at the moment, so that may be clouding my view – I don’t agree with anything he says but it’s still filtering into my brain).
    He may still come back to the fold, you never know….(assuming you want that)
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted…FraudMy Profile

  • Chantelle , Direct link to comment

    Wow, I feel so emotional after reading this. I have my own Dad issues with both my Dad & Step Dad. I have had different circumstances but similar feelings at different times during the course of our relationships. I’m so sorry for your pain. Because I know the hurt runs deeps. Bless you! Xx.
    Chantelle recently posted…Some Soul Baring.My Profile

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