I am jealous of an eighteen year old, almost to the point of anger…not at her, never at her, but at the situation that dictated her fortune while spitting in the face of mine. I see how she curls up in her dad’s lap and falls asleep, I see how he talks to her with love and respect, I see how she trusts him with every topic, knowing that he will listen with empathy and understanding, answering with a bit of sage advice. She is able to interact with boys her age without constantly searching for a masculine base of protection. She knows her worth and can easily leave any situation with the masculine type that doesn’t serve her growth. Where was that for me?
The term “father wound” makes me cringe. It conjures up the image of a woman holding a gaping wound in her chest that has been placed there by this towering and masculine figure. But that is the term being used to describe the pain and emptiness I am feeling. Does it come from the biological father who was a drug addict and thief who left me when I was tiny? Or does it come handed to me in the twisted package of a man who adopted me but made it known that I was not wanted? There was no physical comfort from the man who became my father. There was lots of discipline, and lots of me struggling to be accepted and loved and noticed by a man who didn’t want me, who was done having children by the time I came along as a package deal with my mother, who wanted a boy anyway, who might have wanted a child that wasn’t the huge emotional mess that I was. He wanted silence, his own peace, and immediate positive responses to his commands.
It bothers me when I see myself repeating that relationship dynamic with men romantically now, men who don’t want me, at whose feet I grovel to receive their crumbs of love and attention and approval to the point of losing who I am in order to please them. I can’t be like my eighteen year old friend who can walk away strong and return to a masculine base that loves and protects her no matter what. I can return to a void that I have never had filled, only to look for another to repeat the cycle of choosing a man who gives me crumbs. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that I am choosing to repeat that scenario, to the confusion of every single one of my friends and family…but why? Am I trying to convince myself that getting a disinterested man to finally love me will correct the fact that I never felt love from a masculine force when I was younger? How pitiful is that? And how much worse is it that I can logically understand what I am doing and not emotionally change it?
I know my worth, and I know men who see that worth. How do I convince my inner child to stop chasing relationships that repeat how I felt growing up? How do I walk away from masculine relationships that don’t serve me and sit with the void I feel? How do I convince myself to fill that void so I can form relationships with decent men? How do I stop wanting the painful connection with disinterested men?
The jealous anger regarding my young friend melts into more sadness than anger. What I would give to feel as safe as she does when she curls up in her dad’s lap.