Thursday, May 9, 2013

Why Do Dad's Leave?

This is a question that has puzzled me for most of my life.  How could a person leave their own child? 
I couldn’t abandon my dog for God’s sake, or even my cat which I wouldn’t mind most of the time.
I’ve come to an understanding about why father’s leave their children.

I actually came to this understanding through my own understanding of when I abandon things.

I abandon things when I’m afraid I won’t do them perfectly.

Because, when I do some thing, I need to do it well, because everything I do has meaning about me, my worth and my value as a human being.

Rather than feel the feelings of my inadequacy and my deep rooted shame about not being enough, it seems easier to avoid whatever the task is.  

Most of this is rooted in the fundamental idea that I’m not lovable simply for being a human being.  I don’t love myself.  So, in order to prove to myself that I’m lovable or worthy, I do things, I make money, I achieve, I accommodate others.

Now imagine that you are a man who fundamentally believes you are a complete and utterly inadequate piece of shit, and that there is no possible way you could ever be enough for your child.
Sort of like seeing yourself as the world’s worst singer and tying all of your value to how you will perform a Karaoke song.  Your options are too sing the song, confronting your deepest fear, the feelings and all the pain of your inadequacy, or avoid it like the plague.  This is what the absent father does.

If YOU avoid anything, you also have the capacity to abandon.  Likely, you subconciously avoid things on a daily basis.  We all subconsciously avoid feelings we don’t want to feel, especailly our most shameful feelings.

I would argue that there isn’t an abandoning father on the planet who isn’t dealing with immense and deeply buried pain.

This is not an excuse to abandon, but a call for compassion, understanding and a path for our own healing. 

Healing is the only way to break this cycle.  If you aren’t healing your pain, you are likely to repeat the pattern through your own emotional abandonment of the relationships most important to you.

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