Living Fatherless

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    Jul 26, 2008 3:29 AM GMT
    I grew up without a father.
    When I was younger, I always felt awkward around proposed "father figures".
    I saw him twice when I was around 10 years old.
    Some people don't see them at all, so I am grateful.
    I did feel very very awkward around him

    Sometimes I wondered how different life would have been if there was a father in my life.

    There was once a time I would save every father's day project I made in school, in hopes of being able to give them to him one day.
    I don't know where they are anymore.

    There was once a time I was considering doing a oprah/maury/tyra-"find-and-reconnect-with-your-long-lost parent/sibling"-type show. Sometimes I feel that way now.

    At times I wonder-If I have a child, how would I father them, given I never had that interaction. The easy answer is "everything I wanted my father to do for me". But is it really that easy?

    Sometimes I wonder what I missed because I didn't have a father - What significance and impact a serious male influence would have had. I wonder if my interactions with males (in a general/social sense) would have been better since I would have had that with my father.

    I came out as a good and accomplished person despite a lack of fatherly presence. But it's that thing, that realm of unanswered questions - the kinds that don't have a chance of being answered now that I'm 20 and my childhood is over. They come back every so often.

    Just my thoughts: something I always wanted to get opinions and reflections on from other gay men.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16461

    Jul 26, 2008 3:44 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear you didn't have your Dad around while you were growing up... but you also didn't have pain some do with things like alcholism or other issues.
    I'm glad you are reasonabley comfortable with that and it sounds like you have turned out very well indeed.

    I consider myself pretty lucky. My Dad was (is) a great influence and while it wasn't perfect, we had a pretty good connection and I learned a great deal from him as a kid and as an adult.
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    Jul 26, 2008 3:50 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidSorry about your not having a father while growing up. Hope your mother and you and a very close relationship.

    It's okay. It's not great, but it's okay. She loves me, but does not accept my homosexuality. She's waiting for me to find a girlfriend, get married, go back to church and will not be truly happy until I do all three. I can't talk to her about boys or relationships [even though she has an addiction to the man that plays Lancelot in "King Arthur" on thursday and I told her, he REALLY doesn't do it for me... and I'm a gay so that's a shame".

    All that aside, everything else is fine. It could have been awful like the horror stories I hear from other gay youth -- being kicked out, being homeless/sheltered, traveling out of state/country, etc.

    muchmorethanmuscle saidI witnessed a very abusive relationship with my parents. It also spiraled into abusive relationships among the siblings. If I had the option to make that go away and be raised without a father I would do so. I'm only telling you this because even though you may feel the need to connect with your father - your life may have been better off.

    I think that too, it may not have been the most pleasant experience. Sadly he was too much of a player to be a father... it never hurts to think.

    Of course there's more to my family history than just this isolated portion that involves my dad.
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    Jul 26, 2008 4:23 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidA lot of gay men find themselves recreating their own families with good friends.

    Hopefully you have and will continue to develop some good friendships throughout your life.

    Those kinds of friends come with time and... sigh - that's for another post
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    Jul 26, 2008 8:12 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear about your plight.

    Watched CNN's report on Black in America, and realized that the majority of African-Americans grow up in single parent families. It sort of surprised me, but at least I learnt something...
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    Jul 26, 2008 10:29 AM GMT
    Hey blind2limits, I also grew up without a father and while I hesitate to say 'I understand your pain' because I don't know that I really do, I likely have an approximation. I have thought many of the things you seem to be thinking, and your comments about the Father's Day gifts made me have an amusing realization; such projects were never initiated in my classrooms, but Mother's Day projects were. I think I was the victim of good teaching, lol, I must have been made busy with something else and never thought about it. Anyway...

    Life would have been different with a father in your life, clearly. But there is nothing to be done about it and I put it in the same line of thinking as 'what if my mother had been gone and not my father?' These are big questions, all kinds of possible outcomes, but just not worth dwelling over.

    If you want to find him, do it. I know where my father is; I found him by Googling my last name and I wasn’t even looking. I haven't made contact yet (I had a post about this), but I am going to soon. Sounds awful, but I want to meet him before either of us dies, etc.

    I think most parents are challenged by how to be a parent. The lack of a father won’t make it harder exactly, in my opinion it is just one less resource for the new struggling parent. You need to define yourself in the end anyway.

    And yes, not having a father and having awkward 'male role model' experiences has most likely had an impact on how you identify with other males. I can relate to this. As an adult however, you can overcome whatever these tendencies might be. There are books on this matter, but some go into the la la land of no father = gay, so be aware.

    Pull up your boot straps man and keep moving forward. You seem like a good guy, keep at it and strive to be happy.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 26, 2008 10:42 AM GMT
    Like with everything in life we have to look at what we have and make a judgment call
    Are we happy we what we have right now?
    Is there really something missing that we can't replace?
    or is it more just wishful thinking when we look at a happy family or a child playing with his father?

    It seems to me blind that you've made it relatively unscathed to where you are right now
    and that should give props to people like you and your Mom and the rest of your family who raised you

    You're a smart kid who seems to have his act together and will be doing something with his life
    would a father been a help or made you go further?
    who knows ...
    some of us had fathers who shouldn't have been
    some had fathers who were emotionally and physically abusive
    and I'm not saying that you shouldn't wonder what it would have been like to have one
    But I wouldn't worry about it too much
    because you turned out just fine icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2008 2:32 PM GMT

    blind2limits, I got the perfect movie for you! LOL

    It could have been tailormade for you, really! I just finished watching it last night. It's also about a gay guy growing up fatherless and facing the prospect of being a father.


    (Personally I'd rate it an 7/10)
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    Jul 26, 2008 2:43 PM GMT
    Well I was fortunate enough to spend at least some time with my father. He was killed in a car accident when I was 19. It was devastating. He was my best friend and a hero in my eyes. Always thought how nice it would have been to be able to enjoy each other longer through life.

    Life deals many different cards, and we just have to do the best we can with what we are dealt.

    Even though you did not have the influences of your father...I'm sure you strive to be the best person you can be.

    Best to you.