Yay!!!!!!!!!!! I'm actually getting to do this today!!! Michael took Abby to run some errands and Parker is watching Baby Einstein. I'm not sure how long this "me time" will last, so I better get to thinking....
Ok, so I had alot I wanted to talk about today, but all that has changed. I just got a phone call from my dad. A very disturbing call. As I'm typing this post, I am in tears. Tears of confusion. Tears of pain. Tears of worry. So, today is the day that I'll tell of my daddy issues.
My parents got divorced when I was 6 years old. I don't remember hardly anything about my parents being married. The only parts I do remember are things I'd rather NOT remember. My dad was and still is a real bad alcoholic. He was physically and verbally abusive to my mom. That's really all I've ever been told about their marriage, and I respect my mom for not revealing all the details. My dad had "every other weekend" custody of me and my sister while we were growing up. I remember having alot of fun with my dad, but I also remember him passing out on the couch in the middle of the day and leaving me and Lauren to fend for ourselves. He would also drink and drive and I would sit in the front seat and when he would start falling asleep, I would tell him to wake up. I had to learn to drive at the age of 12, because sometimes that was the only safe way for us to get home. I would call my mom sometimes and let her know when we were heading home and she'd call the police to see if they'd track us. But like I said, I do have good memories. We used to get together with all of my dad's family and have big cookouts. Even though all the adults would be drinking, me and all my cousins had so much fun together!
As I grew older, I would try to talk to my dad about his behavior. He would just get really mad at me, so I stopped voicing my opinion and started praying for him! I knew that nothing was impossible with God, but after years of unanswered prayers I began to question if it was even possible for dad to clean up his act.
I've shed many tears for my dad. Some of the tears have been over the guilt of not going to see him like I should. Some of the tears have been over the resentment of him not wanting to see me. He has always tried to provide for me and my sister. You can tell he wants to, but it's just like he doesn't really know how to love us to the fullest. There are barriers that I've never been able to conquer in my relationship with him. I don't think I'll ever be able to. I want to know that in the end, I have no regrets. Unlike my dad. I think he'll have alot of regrets. I think he does currently. One of those being the fact that he didn't walk me down the aisle, or even attend my wedding. I still can't really talk about that to anybody. It hurts. Bad.
It got even harder when I had kids. My dad was actually at the hospital for Abby's birth, but he only stayed for a little while and then left. He was not there when Parker was born. Again....that hurts. Since I've had kids, he has never once came to see them. I always bring them to him. He LOVES his grandchildren, but once again, there's a barrier there. A barrier that he doesn't know how to get through...or doesn't care to. I've tried not to take any of these things personal, because I know it's him. Not me. People have told me that I have done everything that I can do. It's his turn. I've tried to go on with my life and not go out of my way for someone who doesn't return the favor. But he's my DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll always love him with my whole heart, no matter what. I'll always want to go out of my way for him, even if that means driving 2 hours to see him only to get to his house and him be passed out on the couch.
But you know, out of all of that....there's a deeper issue. It's an issue that I have just discovered exists. My daddy issues have caused other issues. I've learned that growing up without a dad has hurt my heart beyond repair. Throughout high school, I was always looking for a guy to make me feel special. I wanted someone to fill my daddy void. And even now that I have found my husband, I still put pressure on him to fill that void. I've just recently learned that nobody can fill that void but my Heavenly Daddy. So, why is it so hard for me to allow that to happen? Because my view of my earthly daddy is clouding my view of who God is. It's hard for me to imagine that there's a God who is loving, who will never fail me or let me down, who will hold me in His arms and rock me. Because I never had a dad that would do those things. I just can't comprehend that kind of daddy love. I hope to understand and experience it one day though.
So, now I'll go back to the phone call I just got from my dad. I only talk to my dad about once every week or every 2 weeks. He usually calls to check on us and see how his grandbabies are doing. But tonight was different. I could sense distress. He told me that he's had a couple of "breakdowns" lately. I asked what he meant. All he said was that he had been to the doctor and the doctor told him his health was getting bad. Now, I'm not oblivious to the fact that my dad has been smoking and drinking since he was a teenager, but nothing prepares you for this kind of conversation. I asked him what this all meant. He wouldn't tell me. He just kept saying, "It's nothing, Tonya. I'm ok. I don't want you to worry about me." YES I'M GOING TO WORRY ABOUT YOU!!!!!!! Now, tell me what's going on. But he never would. Some might say that's selfish, and it is. But that's just how he is. He has never wanted to do or say anything that would hurt or scare me. He wants me to think he has it all together, even though I know better. So, that's what I'll do. I'll just keep loving him like I always have. And when, or if, he's ready to talk then I'll be there.
In the meantime, all I can do is pray for him. There's still time for God to perform a miracle. All I want out of this life is to see my family in heaven. Including my dad. Please pray for my dad. Larry Odom. Pray that God will save him and change him. God doesn't just work at youth camps and church services. He can save a 52 year old alcoholic as well.
Thank you for letting me get that out. As always, I hope this post will speak to someone else that is experiencing a similiar situation.
love never gives up,