Finding Closure on Paternal Abandonment

An origin story.
How to accept what you cannot forgive.

I had an epiphany, one that’s been years and years in the making. I’ve been debating over sharing it on the blog for quite a while and decided- hey, why not. I’ve written this for me but who knows, maybe it might be helpful to someone else. I know I could’ve benefited by reading a post like this sooner.
This is much more personal than anything I’ve shared before… here goes


My father was irresponsible, selfish, cowardly, greedy, an habitual liar and let’s be honest, a criminal. He was a drink-driver, a low key drug dealer, a petty thief, an abusive husband and a gambling addict. Paul was a dictionary of vices, he probably still is.
The problem, or maybe solution, is that my grandfather fits the exact same description perfectly.
Paul’s childhood was much, much worse than my own. His home life affected his education which might have hampered his chances of bettering himself. So Paul became his father. BUT, this does not negate the damage he has done to me. Understanding and forgiving are two different things. Whilst I accept the reasons he became the man he was I can’t abide his lack of effort to change.
Paul knows and consciously chooses to behave as he did/does. He never tried to make reparations for his mistakes, instead he would try to lie and manipulate his way out of any wrong-doing. I’ve never seen him do anything that didn’t benefit himself. Never.
I cannot imagine being a parent and putting myself first. I just wouldn’t.
Paul was not fit to be my father, and I don’t think he really wanted to be. I don’t think he really wanted any children at all. Paul didn’t want to put anyone else before himself, and he never has, I was just part of the nest he built to fall back on. I’m sure he loved me in some sort of way -as a product of himself, just not enough to prioritise my needs above his own. I don’t think he’s ever loved anyone more than himself.

At a very early age I started overtaking Paul in terms of education, he started to become less proud and was intimidated. He said he didn’t know how to talk to me anymore and after that his sole attention turned to my brother. That’s where the bond first broke. As I aged he became smaller in my mind, insignificant. I could see through his lies and he knew it. I wasn’t fun to be around now that he couldn’t fool me, so he gave up entirely. I was almost 12 years old.
Paul resurfaced in my life when I was 16 because he saw a chance to make himself look good. He wasn’t concerned I had moved out of my mothers house, he just wanted the glory of coming to my rescue. I clung on to him til I was 18 because I thought blood was important.
By this point I already had a great father figure in my step-dad and Paul was just a tie to the family I thought I had to be part of, but blood is just circumstance.
I’ve been so angry at him for so long because he is weak and selfish.
My brother and I had rough times but everything Mum did was for us and everything she and (step)Dad do/did since then more than compensates for those rough times- that’s real parenting.
People make mistakes, I make mistakes.
Paul doesn’t make mistakes, he makes choices. Choices I cannot stomach.
So maybe his upbringing started it, I’m going to give him a little sympathy and understanding for that. What happened after is and always will be his own fault. I don’t think he was purposely doing damage, I don’t think he has ever considered the impact of his actions on anybody around him.
I accept he was a bad parent, but he isn’t my parent now. His actions don’t impact me anymore, that’s how I wanted it and that’s how he wanted it. I’m giving him a get-out-of-jail-free card.
I’m somebody else’s daughter now.

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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