Sharing an excellent post from Will Wheaton today. He grew up, as I did, in a dysfunctional home, and presents some strong insights in this article:
No Child Deserves to be treated the way the man who was my father treated me
“I wrote this two years ago, and a lot of my fellow survivors said it was helpful to them, so I reposted it last year. I heard the same thing, so I’m reposting it this year.
To all my fellow children of shitty fathers, I see you, I love you, and I’m so sorry we’re in this club we don’t want to be in.
“Today is hard for me. I see pretty much everyone I know celebrating their awesome dads, who loved them unconditionally, the way a child deserves to be loved. I see them sharing memories of time spent with their dad, which I never got, because the man who was my father never made the effort. I’m doing my best to focus on how happy my friends are, and how lucky their children are, but it’s really hard for me to do that without feeling the massive black void where my father’s love and affection should be.
“I want today to be a reminder of all the joy my own kids have brought me. I want to celebrate my own existence as a dad, to stand up and say that I did the work, I broke the cycle. I am not the selfish bully I had the misfortune of being born to. I’m a good man, and a good father. I love my sons, and we have a close and loving relationship. We don’t need a Hallmark holiday to celebrate and acknowledge the love we share, and my wife and kids know what a bastard my father was, so they’ve never imposed a celebration on me. But it still feels good when my boys call me their dad, and it still feels good when they tell me they love me. Being their dad is such a privilege, and I choose, every day, to be grateful for it.
“Today, I’m going to make a deliberate choice to focus on my own children, my own experiences being the dad I never had, and I’m going to give a very special shoutout to my fellow children of bastards, who have the same complicated relationship with fatherhood that I have. This is a tough day for us, and if you grok what I’m saying, I’m so sorry. I see you, and I know.”