Yesterday I was supposed to get lunch with my biological dad. He’s a semi-functioning alcoholic at this point. I don’t think he’s still doing drugs because he is managing to hold down a job at a big retail store. He sent me a birthday present a couple weeks ago – a bunch of stuff I’ll never use – but still, I was glad he remembered me and went through the effort of putting something together and mailing it. For an alcoholic, that is a lot of work and I acknowledge his efforts and appreciate them. 

When he called the other day, I told him I had a little free time this week and asked if we could get lunch. He’s not yet met my daughter, and I think this is good for now, so I try to plan our visits when she’s at daycare. We made plans for lunch yesterday, and I told him I would text him to confirm when it got closer. The night before, I sent two texts, but got no response. The morning of, I sent two more – still no response. 

Last night he called me while I was in the middle of a toddler meltdown and cooking dinner. I didn’t answer. He left a 2 minute and 41 second long voicemail about how he got caught up at work and left his phone in his coat pocket and a million other reasons. And then he said: “I didn’t mean to disappoint you.”

I froze.

I didn’t mean to disappoint you.

This from the man who was so caught up with work and alcohol that he didn’t realize his daughter was being sexually abused for 6 or so years under his roof? The anger and sadness consumed me. Disappointment is a feeling that I just automatically pair with my biological father. I remember sitting on my mom’s front steps waiting for him to come pick me up on Friday nights. And I remember the times that he was late or never showed up at all. My mom used to yell at me, like it was my fault that she got knocked up by an irresponsible alcoholic 😒 

And now, as an adult, I still feel a smidge disappointed when he forgets about our plans to meet up or is too intoxicated to come. However, that disappointment is nowhere near as bad as the disappointment I feel surrounding my trauma. 

I didn’t mean to disappoint you. 

My whole life has been a disappointment – one right after another. And it starts with you, dad; it starts with you being so oblivious to what was going on. Years of sexual abuse occurred in your house and you don’t even know it – or you choose to ignore it – I’m not sure which to be honest. 

No, I’m not angry that my dad didn’t get lunch with me like we had planned. I’m angry because he has always been so consumed with his addictions that he can’t be capable of being present for me…not even when that Little Girl needed him. 

 

 

 

 

Image from https://www.google.com/amp/amp.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/social/helping-kids-deal-with-disappointment/

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