Thursday, April 11, 2013

Take Your Benevolent Neglect and Shove It

Last night I decided that I am completely done with my natural father.  I had left my profile up that I had created when we first made contact because part of me was always hoping that he'd come around...but I realized that I was doing more harm than good to my heart.

My father's wife is one of my friends on that profile, as is my natural mom.  She calls me "dear heart" all the time which rubs me the wrong way because while it sounds nice in theory, truthfully it feels patronizing.

I put up the following status last night on that page...and tagged my father and mom.

Pretty much done. Tired of talking around the issue and not getting anything in response from the one person who should be explaining himself. I have given my heart and my love and gotten crapped on in return. This profile will be deleted soon and I will move on.
Not going happily...but it seems like it's pointless to keep it up when I have another one where I have my friends and family, both ...adoptive and natural, on it..and who are proud to call me their daughter, sister, friend.
Your loss. Not mine. I truly thought that I'd found another piece of my puzzle, but it appears I was mistaken. I found a corner piece that belonged to another puzzle from another box.

I would have loved to have heard stories of my father's natural family. Would have loved to have experienced the same type of loving reunion and total acceptance that I have enjoyed with my mother. Alas, it's just not to be.

I have given up that dream. — with (Natural mom's name) and (Natural father's name)

So then, this morning the comment war started.  Sigh.

My father's wife's comments are BOLD and my responses are in ITALICS.

  • (Father's wife) I'm sorry Christina. I will be passing this message on to P today. He hasn't looked at FB in a really long time. He just doesn't do much of anything except work. Sad really...You know you can lead a horse to water....take care dear heart!

  • (Me) I am not water, and he is not a horse Mavis. I am his daughter and he is my father. And I don't really care if you say something to him or not about what I wrote. I know it won't make a difference.

  • (Father's wife) I wasn't calling you water nor him a horse Christina. I was only saying that you can put something in front of someone and it's up to them to partake or not. But, you are wrong in your judgement of him. He is a loving man and I know that he has love in his heart for you and completely accepts you as his daughter. He is, however, a very inattentive man. P doesn't pay attention to my daughters (or me either for that matter) (Her daughters are not P's children), but we know that he is a loving man. P is the kind of man that is taciturn and thrives most in his relationships on benevolent neglect. I am sure you are a lovely young woman but it seems you want to draw a line in the sand. It seems that there is a chip on your shoulder about all this from your response above as well as not a small amount of anger. I can't claim to know what it is like for you but I am trying to understand. However, line in the sand or not, that is your choice. I don't expect you to understand him and I know that you want more of a full relationship with P than there is now. I hope that someday that will happen. He is a very imperfect human being as are we all. He has his challenges just like all the rest of us. These things are certainly not in my power but I wish you brightest blessings always no matter what you do.

  • (Me) The thing is, I'm not just "something" that he can choose to partake in or not. I only wish that I'd known about his tendency towards "benevolent neglect" before I started talking to him as I probably wouldn't have gotten my hopes up.

    Am I drawing a line in the sand now? Yes. But it's been two years since my last contact with him so I'm not really sure that HE wasn't the one who drew the original line in the sand. For you to say that I have a chip on my shoulder just proves that you don't understand the pain that this has caused and how much self control it has taken not to "take my ball and go home" months ago. Should I NOT have anger towards P? Should I just accept P's avoidance as his way of showing love? Perhaps that works for you and for your daughters, but that isn't how love is conveyed in my world. Love is given freely and without excuses. I apologize if you have thought that I am angry at you. I am not. I feel sorry for you, to be honest. How sad to have to live with "benevolent neglect" on a daily basis and not realize that you deserve more. I deserve more and I am simply taking care of my heart here.
  • (Father's Wife) That I do understand. And, yes, it did seem as though you were angry with me for something I cannot change. Do I respect him for the way he proceeds? No, I don't. But, I have been with him for fourteen years and I have a complete sense of myself that doesn't need his attention. I do know that he loves me and he treats me kindly always. I don't want or need your pity nor that of anyone else, though. My life is full and I am not unhappy. Unfortunately, P does not live in your world. We are hundreds of miles apart and he does not have a communicative gene in him. You can be angry with him all you like. But I do pray that light and love continue to be with you always, Christina.

So, now what? I know my natural mom is going to jump into the fray and I'm not going to stop her. When she talked to P after she found him on FBook, he told her he was in this for the long haul and wasn't going to leave me high and dry. Sadly, that's exactly what has happened.  And what the hell is "benevolent neglect"?  Neglect is neglect, no matter how you try and slice it.


  1. Sure sounds to me like his wife has settled for a very unfulfilling relationship. i am sorry he is ditching you a second time--or maybe it is more like "still".

  2. Thanks Lee. The "he treats me kindly" got treat a dog kindly, not your wife.

    Sigh. Moving on to bigger and better things.

  3. ((((Christina)))) I am sorry. And yeah, treats you kindly... um, say what now? People are supposed to treat everyone with kindness - as for a man's wife well I would hope there was a more deep and meaninful relationship than being treated kindly.

    And as for a man's daughter - well he needs to be doing a hell of a lot more than having love for you - WTF - actions are important - anyone can say they have love for someone.

    I am so sorry. He just doesn't get how much he is missing out on.


  4. Mavis, the great defender of P. Her comments are all over the map, P pays her no attention whatsoever yet she lives a full and happy life? What a healthy relationship that must be. I'm sure the 'light and love' she sends will keep you warm and cozy at night, pfff.

    Good luck with Mavis and P, they sound delightful.

  5. Wow, I am new to your story, an adult adoptee that never had the fortune of making contact with either mother is dead and I don't know who my father is. You ARE very fortunate to have reunited with your mother, and you have a loving relationship. As for your don't get to pick them. You have a very healthy attitude of outwardly showing anger towards someone who has let you down for your whole life. Just try really hard not to expend the negative energy on him. Even his wife is feeling much the same as you are, disappointed. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the self esteem you do to get pissed off about not being loved and respected as she should be. Bravo to you and your birth mother. If my mother were alive, I could only hope to have the reconnection that you have.


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