There are lots of dads out there who have stepped out of their kid's lives. They span the experiential continuum from desertion to apathy. Mine chose desertion. I never knew him.
When I found him down in Florida, we talked for maybe two minutes through an open door. That was it. I've always wondered what he was thinking when he walked out and never came back, never contacted us, never provided any financial support. It took me years to see the scars that were left by the whole experience. Keep in mind that I'm not asking for any sympathy, maybe understanding for others, especially kids who are experiencing the same thing.
I would have never believed it, but . . .
- I had an anger that I carried with me most of my life as a child and adult. It was low level, but anger nonethe less. Its targets were many.
- My knowledge about relationships, especially those with the opposite sex was less than minimal. I had no idea what went into a good marriage or what to look for in a marriage partner.
- I had trouble and still do establishing solid relationships with men. I relate to women much easier.
- My knowledge about kids was less than minimal.
- I had a constant fear that I would run just like my dad when my back was against the wall.
- I wanted to trust and find hope in Jesus Christ, but the actions of his people through his church filled me with doubt about the reality of his love.
- I was extremely protective of my mother. She sacrificed everything for me and I'm thankful. People took advantage of her and she received very little support.
- My respect for the governmental and law enforcement establishment was minimal because of how they reacted to my mom and my dad's actions. It led me to a life long involvement in politics and efforts to achieve change through government. I'm giviing up on that. I'm retiring from a lifetime in the political arena.