I have a dad-shaped hole. And I am angry about it. I realized this in therapy today. My therapist and I were talking about anger – what I’m angry about, how I express it (or don’t), and how I can deal with it now. We talked about how my parents are doing on the “making amends scale” – 0% dubbing them a sociopath, 100% giving them a completely clean slate. I put my mother at an 80%, about a B-. Passable. Mostly. I realized that there’s still one grievance from when I was little that I’m still, to a certain extent, holding against her. There is still one thing that happened, still happens, to a certain extent, or at least still proves to be a wound that continues to be rubbed raw, and I am angry about that thing. I’m planning to talk to my mom about it. I think that healing can happen there.
But my father… his ability to accept responsibility for the things that have hurt me and made me angry, that I put at a 40%. My first response was to give him a 20%, but out loud I decided to tack on an extra 20%. An F. In the taking responsibility department, my father got an F. He failed.
Jamie asked me what it would be like for me to accept that my father is just going to keep on failing in that department.
And then, I got angry.
I didn’t want to accept it. I didn’t want to accept that my father has hurt me, is just going to keep on hurting me, and that that isn’t going to change. I didn’t want to accept that while I have a father, I do not have what Jamie called a “Daddy energy.” I have a daddy-shaped hole in my life, and that is an anger that I can’t just settle down and accept.
I’ve known that hole exists for a while. Perhaps not to the degree that I am today, but I’ve known it’s there – because I’ve spent my entire life trying to fill it. I can remember a time in middle school when I asked my male music teacher over and over again whether the presentation I had given in class was okay, just because I wanted to hear him tell me that yes, it was okay and yes, I had done a good job. I craved that validation, that recognition. I desperately needed to fill that hole.
Because it’s a hole that never should have been there in the first place.