How can I be aware of all I have going for me and still lack confidence? There is a gaping void somewhere that I try to fill but cannot find.
The thing I have discovered through much self-exploration is that I believe all the incredible things that people say about me, but I don’t know how to let it in emotionally. It all traces back to my father and I hate saying it because not only is a girl with daddy issues cliche, but also, this will be the first time I’m saying it somewhere that he can see how I feel.
I have spent my life trying to make him happy but I have always believed him when he said I was hurting him, or not doing enough or abandoning him. None of that has ever been true. I have thought about him and how to make him content for as far back as I can remember. When I recall my childhood, the memories I have are always of plans I had to show him how much I loved him. The times he would recall of me not doing enough were the times external sources pulled me away knowing that he was using me.
He would make me the center of his world every time he was single; we took trips, played games, had exciting hobbies together and I was his best friend. Then he would meet a woman and I had to fit the mold of the life they were making together. I always tried to because I wanted to be close to him but the truth was always that I had to accept being put on the back burner while he changed everything I had known for someone new. I never resented these women, on some level I saw that this was not their choice and I would watch their own children get pushed aside by his need to be her one and only. Last year I read the memoir that he had written and saw pages and pages devoted to each of these women. I was mentioned in two sentences, one to say that I was born with none of his feelings about that and once to say he and I were still in touch. I never read about our times together or what I meant to him, being the last person to stick by him through family fall-outs, divorces and shattered friendships. I was barely ten words.
Not a day goes by when I don’t feel the need to be there for him, but never being enough has worn too thin and I need to surround myself with people who are happy with me even when I’m not serving them. In the story of my life he would be a main character, he would fill the pages, in his story I see where I stand and I need to remember that I’m worth more.
On a conscious level I see myself becoming the person I want to be. So why then do I need to hear from others so badly that I am enough? I can have a day full of accomplishments, running, paying bills, writing, seeing friends, running errands etc and before the night is over I need to tell someone and hear that I did well. I don’t want to need that. I see other people not needing that and I try to emulate it with no real clue where to begin. I stand in the mirror and try to compliment myself sometimes like a crazy person, just trying to really hear the words.
This topic is the most vulnerable place I can go to. It terrifies me to put it out for him to see and I’m uncomfortable sharing with others who could judge my decision to do so. Yet tonight it was the only thing I could write because in this moment it is everything. He is the parent I have left and I’m not enough for him. To be confident in myself I need to work to move past it and right now that starts with writing what is real.
3 thoughts on “Him”
My darling Samantha, You constantly amaze me with your maturity, your courage, your strength and your wisdom. It took all of those things, and possibly lots else to write this post. As always I am very proud of you. I can only hope that this helps you free yourself of him and the emotional pain he continues to cause you.
You know I am always here for you and I will try. as you have asked me. to hang on for you. I don’t believe I have the words to tell you how much I love you and how much you mean to me. You have been. and still are, one of the brightest lights in my life. I want more than anything in this world for you to be happy – keep working for it. You are an amazing woman and today you took a big step in exposing this problem for all to see and hopefully it will help you find the strength to close this chapter and move on to a happy life. You deserve it. I love you more than I can adequately express. Grandma
Hi my wife,
I’d rather talk in person or by phone than share my response in public, but I did want to recommend a book: The Drama of the Gifted Child, by Alice Miller. The word “gifted” is not used here in the usual sense. I think Ms. Miller’s wise and short book might help you let go of needing to DO to prove yourself worthy of love and realize that it is enough simply to BE the authentic person you are. Much love from “your wife”
Samantha, I am so very sorry that you have carried around so much pain and anguish. The fact that you say I have made you feel unworthy of my love and respect for you upsets me beyond belief. I really want more than anything in this world for us to regain the wonderful relationship we used to have. I miss you in my life so much. There has to be a way we can move forward from here to rebuild the love and trust between us. I am thankful that you have been able to speak honestly and freely about how you feel, even though it was a bit of a shock for me to read it on your blog. It has allowed me to fully appreciate how you feel and given me another chance to gain the understanding I need in order to bring us closer together.
I hope we can establish a dialogue on this crucial subject in a more personal venue such as email or on the phone. I love you very much and look forward to hearing from you. Dad