I absolutely loathe Father’s Day. I try not to hate anyone or anything in life but this one day is something I can’t accept or like.
My father is 73 years old, older than my mom’s parents, who is set in his ways. He is from Greece, and as per custom, the sons are of favorite in order to keep the family name while the daughters are to marry off and become good housewives. My brother could do no wrong in my father’s eyes growing up but I always got the short end of the stick.
Since I was a wee child, a long, long time ago, I’ve never had a father. My parent’s separated when I was nine months old and I lived with my mom, brother and grandparents for 13 years of my life until I moved to Ithaca. My father lived down the road from where I lived growing up in New Hampshire.
Every other weekend, if he wasn’t too busy for my brother and I, it would be the same routine: get picked up, go out to eat, maybe stop at a store for my dad to purchase something for my brother and sometimes I would be lucky enough to get something too, go back to father’s apartment and do absolutely nothing until we were dropped off or picked up on Sunday afternoon.
Not even 24 hours would I be with my father on a given weekend. The amount of days I’ve actually spent with my father couldn’t even add up to a 365 day year.
When I moved to Ithaca in 2007, 10 years and one day ago, my father did not “approve” of this move. He thought that he made the “wrong” decision in “letting” me go to Ithaca with my mom and new mom. Full disclosure, I told my mom I wanted to move. She said, “O.K.” Moving to Ithaca ended up being the absolute best decision of my life; I made friends, I became social, I came out of my shell, I graduated high school and I graduate college.
To this day, my father doesn’t understand all the good that’s happened in my life.
I don’t celebrate Father’s Day for many, many reasons, but mostly because I don’t have a father to celebrate. I see my friends with their fathers and I wished, for most of my youth, that my father would be the person I needed and wanted. I prayed that the broken feeling of not having a father would be fixed. I was always the child who called my father in order to see him, the one who always remembered his birthday or called on the holidays and was always in the middle when it came to my parent’s arguing.
I put in so much time and effort on a relationship, one I desperately wanted, that I would, and will, never get. I know what a father should be:
A father is someone who is constantly in their child’s, or children’s, life.
A father is there at every event the children are a part of.
A father shows compassion when life becomes a lot.
A father knows their favorite color, food, animal and season of the year.
A father doesn’t leave when the going gets tough.
A father shows love to his children.
A father doesn’t take his kids for granted.
I wouldn’t wish the father I have on anyone. My father has called me names no child should ever be called, see and listen to conversations that should have been private, be yelled at like you’re not even their child and emotionally abused by someone I am genetically half of.
The last time I saw my father before visiting him in January was when I graduated high school in 2012. He moved in 2015 from Massachusetts down south to Naples, FL, without informing anyone. I found out six months later of the move.
I thought visiting him would be something different and things would change. They didn’t; I found myself in the same situation I lived over and over when I visited my father a young child.
In that short week I learned that I don’t have a father to call my own like my friends do or those who have celebrated Father’s Day from posting on social media. A father doesn’t cause their children heartache, isolation and negativity.
I smile at everyone’s happiness and praise of their fathers. For 23 years I wanted to experience that same happiness and joy. I’ve realized I will never understand the feeling of what it’s like to have a present father in my life.
I don’t hate my father. I don’t necessarily like my father. I love him but not how I love my moms or my grandparents. Four people who have not left my side through thick and thin in my life, have seen the BS I had to go through with my father and reassured me of those people I always have.
I give an extra nod to my second mom on father’s day; for coming into my life at my horrible and terrible pubescent teenage years and loves me like her own as my relationship with my father kept getting worse. She filled in the shoes of a father, that second parent I desperately wanted and needed.
We all have our parents or guardians, present or passed, that have raised us. Some people have mothers, some don’t. Some people have fathers, some don’t. Celebrating these holidays make brings different memories to people and there is no wrong way.
I don’t celebrate Father’s Day for my father and for me, that’s okay.