Thanks, Crappy Dad!

I was commiserating the other day with someone about what horrible, toxic, deadbeat and emotionally unsupportive fathers we each have. I was wondering how much farther ahead we’d both be if we had grown up with men in our lives who encouraged us and made us feel safe and loved. I can’t even imagine what that must be like. (If you can, then call your dad right now and tell him that you love him. Seriously. Do it right now.)

But my wise friend said that she’d keep her crappy dad, because otherwise she wouldn’t be who she is. (And I’ve got to say that she’s pretty darned amazing.)

She makes a very good point. We may have sprung from the loins of a couple of really rotten human beings, but that’s part of what makes us who we are. Without the trials and tribulations and struggles that came from being raised by single mothers, we wouldn’t have the intestinal fortitude that we have. Without the financial stress, we wouldn’t have the work ethic that we have. Without the deprivation, we wouldn’t appreciate what truly matters in life, and here’s a hint: it sure isn’t money.

And then there’s also the DNA contribution, I suppose. That can’t be discounted. I guess they were good for something.

So, if I had actually had the opportunity to meet my father before he died his sad, alcoholic death, I might have said to him, “Thanks, Crappy Dad! You taught me much about the kind of person I would never want to be!”

Come to think of it, that’s quite a gift. I just sort of wish it had come packaged a bit differently.

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14 thoughts on “Thanks, Crappy Dad!

  1. Brian

    I know how you feel. I literally can’t stand it when parents behave like a virus and then bizarrely act like you’re the only thing that matters to them. If you love me, FANTASTIC, let’s work with that. If you don’t, FANTASTIC, we can work with that as well. But don’t send me 2 different messages and then complain about our relationship when YOU’RE THE ONE who’s making it impossible. Selfish, ignorant and dumb.

  2. K

    I definitely get where you’re coming from. I do believe everyone does the best they can, though, and the best we can do is make the most of it. Adversity sure can seem like a setback, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.

  3. lyn sutton

    When parents hand us bitter lemons some of us learn to add sugar and make some awesome lemonade…others just let it sour their whole existence. Glad you opted for sweetener 🙂

      1. lyn sutton

        And once you overcome childhood abuse the scars are never far, especially if it came from both sides as mine did. I was 50 before attempting to heal. By then the toxicity was killing me and contributed to permanent disabilities. To free myself I lost family and was painted the black sheep but only I can give myself the healthy life I deserve. Your blog is one of the positive tools of support I use to stay the course. Thanks.

    1. Brian

      ”When parents hand us bitter lemons some of us learn to add sugar and make some awesome lemonade.” I’m sorry but this does not and can not always apply. Sometimes, and in my case consistently, parents hand us both bitter AND sweet lemons. Meaning when our actions measure up to a narrow-minded perspective of how a person ought to live, they show us love. And when our actions DO NOT measure up, they basically treat us like we’re horrible people. Evidently, their minds consist partially of the following degenerative logic, ”My way works for me, therefore it must be right. All you have to do is listen to me and everything in your life will be fine – the way it should be.”

      I’m sorry but these fckwits called my parents show nothing more than the incorrect and dangerous assumption that I do not have to think for myself. That my individuality is wrong and that expressing my creativity could somehow be a bad thing. It’s enough to make me reach for my samurai sword! SLASH! Don’t blame me! They’re the ones not acknowledging the power of my passion! Don’t prevent me from creating beauty if you don’t want things to get ugly!!!!! … Omg it tastes even sweeter than honey! It blows lyns lemonade out the water 🙂 FEEEEEEL that coolness soothe thy body as the venom of hate is removed with it’s cause 🙂 🙂 🙂

      But yeah, it’s only ‘good’ if they agree with it and always ‘bad’ if they don’t. So I’ve solved the entire issue by seeking to move forward without them. No phones either because I’ve changed my number 🙂 I just take a mellow comfort in knowing that all I have to do is run my ass off if I ever see them. It’s just how I feel. Won’t be like this forever. They’ll be my visitors, and I’ll be theirs… we just won’t be team members.

      Eventually, I’ll be able to renounce their incessant controlling behaviour, opening up a good relationship between us, which is good. But if you’re on my team, you acknowledge that all people, not just others, but we… must assess our own attitude toward particular things that affect our life and our mind and make necessary changes where applicable if we seek to evolve/grow/heal. Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge this and who’s conduct is a consistent demonstration that this is the case, seek not to change them. But don’t spend time with negative people either because anyone who has no respect for natural law, is both consciously and subconsciously against the divine interest of your positive team

      1. Well, I think you’re well on your way to proving the point nicely, Brian. You can’t control the lemons that are handed to you in life, but you most definitely can control what you do with those lemons. How you choose to move forward in your life is entirely within your power.Keep working toward that positive team.

  4. Angiportus

    …And some of us squirt lemon juice into the eyes of those who hand us one platitude too many.
    I’ve always thought that if my childhood and teens had been filled with better people–e.g.,if there had been even one person who Stuck Up For Me–I’d be a better person myself now. Maybe not real better, but some. I just can’t see rationalizing that stuff away. And some of us just can’t help still being sour at times, and we need a guilt-trip over it like a submarine needs a screen door. Some of us are doing the best we can to recover from all that toxic crap, and it still takes a lifetime or more. At least I won’t be doing those awful things to anyone else.
    Consider a tree struggling to grow in a rocky crevice; if it could talk, I am sure it would thank the sun and the rain that nourished it, not the poor soil in which it never chose to sprout.

    1. I hope you’re not thinking I’m the purveyor of a guilt trip. That was certainly not my intent. And this post alone is evidence that I’m still sour at times. I’m not trying to rationalize, either. I’m trying to make the best of the hand that was dealt me, and I view that as a positive response.

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