Thursday, July 06, 2006

the things that shape us

a little over 2 years ago, my dad cheated on my mom. it has been one of the worst things i've had to deal with since the day i found out. not only did it almost kill my mom, but it brought about feelings in me that i didn't realize i could have for someone whom i had loved so much. my dad and i were ridiculously close. the typical father/daughter relationship. the best kind there was. and all of this has been so god dammed heartbreaking. in so many ways and on so many levels.

i started keeping a journal to my dad online. i was just feeling too much and going through so much, i needed an outlet. i had to get these feelings and emotions and thoughts out of my head. so i wrote (privately). but i never read them. the one time i tried to go back to read something i had written, i couldn't get through it. it just hurt too much. so i have never, until today, read what i've written. i'm in a different place now, of course- and i can actually read this without crying. and i can read it and totally respect and see what part of me it came from. and i remember feeling that way. and being so angry. and there's a part of me that is happy i'm not that angry anymore.

i've wanted to talk about this. i've wanted to touch on this subject because it haunts me daily. especially with the wedding coming up, and how certain things won't be happening that typically happen in weddings, because of my dad's actions. and i've never known where to start. or how. so i figured that i would share with you, something i've only shared with boyfriend up until now..... my first entry in the journal to my dad. and let me preface this by thanking you. for taking the time to read this.

5/24/2004

dear dad,
god, i don't even want to call you that. i'm so disgusted by your actions, that i feel like you don't deserve the title. i'd call you something else, but i don't know what to address you by. i guess for now i'll continue calling you that name- just recognize that it holds no meaning to me. speaking of names, let's talk about the one you gave me- my last name. i've always been more than proud to be jenn .. i fucking adore my name.. it is me... i am it. you've ruined that. for some reason, your actions have made me not want to keep my last name. i'd change it, but what the fuck am i going to change it too? and i'd do it just to hurt you. blake's too. it used to make me proud that blake had MY last name, and i knew you loved it too. now i want to take it away from both of us- because you don't deserve the recognition. you don't deserve the claim. you don't get to point at us with pride and say we're your family. cause you left us. cause you can't leave her. what the fuck is that?! YOU CAN'T LEAVE HER?!?!?!? pathetic. fucking pathetic.

seriously, what the hell are you doing? could you be more selfish? could you be possibly more hurtful towards the people who have done nothing but love and stand by you all these years? i can't stand you for what you've done to mom. the way you have and continue to hurt her. it's horrible. to hear her bawling her eyes out day after day because of the choice you made- to hear the sound of her heart literally breaking... the pain you've caused. the pain you continue to cause her. it's heartbreaking to me to know how much 1 person's choices can completely alter someone's life. but she'll be fine without you. don't worry about that. she'll get to the point where she doesn't need or miss you anymore. probably right about the time you realize what a huge, fucking, idiotic, stupid ass mistake you've made. but you'll never come back. that would mean that you would have to admit you made a mistake, and you don't believe you've done that. it's one thing to feel as if this was something you "had" to do- whatever- but you can also admit that you were wrong. yes, you can admit that. or maybe you can't. maybe you've never been able to admit that you were wrong. i really wouldn't know- i wasn't the one married to you. as a child, you realize that you don't really "know" your parents... you only know what is presented to you in the way it's presented. it's no one's fault really- it's just the roles that each plays in life.

i have so much to say. i have so much stirring inside me. i feel like your actions have completely fucked with my head in ways that i won't even realize until i'm forced too. i'm sure i'll take this out on my boyfriend in some way. someone who doesn't deserve whatever potential shit i might throw at him because of YOU. not his actions, but yours. i only hope that he'll be strong enough and wise enough to see through it- to know where it comes from, even if i don't. but i'd be stupid to think that the 1 relationship that was closest to me for my whole entire life, wouldn't affect me in some way when it fell apart. especially based on the reasons. thank you dad, for whatever trust issues i will now have because of this.

you know, it's not like i ever worshipped the relationship that you and mom had. i never idolized the 2 of you and wanted to be like you guys or anything. i don't have anyone that i look up to in that way. there is no relationship that i long to mimick. yet still- at 30 years old- to have you do something like this.... is still traumatic. you, the one person who was supposed to be different, isn't. you've proved to me that men, no matter how old they are, are still typical. the one thing i hate more than anything... the one thing i can't stand.. TYPICAL guys.. the cheating, the oggling, the asshole behavior, the bullshit. and you're it. you're TYPICAL. and it's such a fucking waste. you disgust me. you disappoint me. you're supposed to be better than that!! you're supposed to be SMARTER than that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you're supposed to be DIFFERENT!!!!!!!!!!!!! but you're fucking not! you suck- just like most men do. and i hate you for it. i hate you for being like everyone else. i hate you for not being able to keep your fucking dick in your pants. i hate you for turning your back on the ENTIRE fucking family and walking away. and i hate you for however this is going to fuck me up because you couldn't stay faithful. i hate how i see you now. how i think of you with nothing but disgust and horrible thoughts. talk about being disappointed. being let down constantly by the men in my life. how wonderful that the main character now equals you.

50 comments:

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

We gotta talk, I have problems with my dad due to many things. I will talk to you about it I can relate. It is such a disappointment and like a rejection from a father figure. It threw my whole life around.

Becky said...

wow.this was powerful. and to me in a weird way comforting to read because its how i am with my dad now. he's dying from drinking and getting a new liver which i feel he doesn't deserve...he cheated on my mom and eventually she had to leave him because the bottle meant more than his wife and kids. i wasn't close to my dad though so it wasn't NEARLy as upsetting to me as it was to you i'm sure. thanks for posting this. i'm sure it helps a little TO post it

norcalgirl28 said...

Sooooo....I guess whether they are happy or not happy, it didn't help to see the pictures of my parents together at our wedding the other day. I am sorry, I had no idea. Reading your letter brought tears to my eyes as this must be such a frustrating situation that you have absolutely no control over...and we mothers have control over quite a bit so it is frustrating when there is not one damn thing we can do about a situation to make it "right" again. Writing is so therapeutic, I just looked it up to make sure I spelled it right "to cure or heal or to preserve health" In this case, I definitely think it was to preserve your mental health to write and have that outlet to vent. Of course XOXOXOX being sent straight to you girl. I'm here always if you need me.

carrie said...

You are stronger simply for the fact that you were able to write this. It is amazing how much our parents affect the lives of their kids (even grown ones). A blessing and a curse depending upon the circumstances. Our wedding had its fair share of uncomfortable moments thanks to the cheating ways of my husband's side also, but the day wasn't about them, it was about us. Your wedding is about you, and hopefully your dad knows what he's done now, and you both can reach a place that feels okay. But to be let down by a parent, especially a father to a daughter, is a horrible feeling. Sending hugs . . .

Carrie

CAT said...

((((Ster)))
I am giving the person you were then a hug, and the NEW you now one too! You are a strong person to share those feelings now.Your dad was in the wrong naturally, but I hope in time the relationship can be mended.....

My dad has been married 6 times, all because he is a cheater. My mom, the 3rd wife, was cheated on when I was 6. I asked my mother why so and so was always over for dinner when she was at work LOL

Melissa said...

Dam woman that was powerful. Good for you for sharing it. That just sucks so bad. I feel for your mom and for you and you sister. What a dam dissapointment.

Hugs.

Nikki said...

Wow Jenn, I'm floored.

That was so totally honest and laying it all out there.

Powerfull.

Toots said...

(((((Jenn))))) I love you so much and I'm crying for that broken girl..and I'm glad you're not in that place anymore..and I hear ya on the wedding stuff..

Tara said...

(((((Jenn)))))
See? Im still commenting! ;o)

VERY powerful, and it completely and totally hit home for me. My dad was an abusive alcoholic. He cheated on my mom and is still with the woman he cheated on her with. I was in that angry place a few years ago for what seemed like forever, and just recently my dad and my relationship has gotten a bit better. That letter tore at my heart because I felt, and sometimes still feel that exact same way. Its damaged me in the sense that I get freaked out that the same type of thing will happen to me...I'm working on that. Im glad you are too.

tray said...

wow-i love you ster, i am in tears.....and i am here for you anytime, anyday. that was very deep and very brave of your to share and I'm so glad that you don't feel as much anger now, as you did then. i hope you continue to grow less angry and resentful, he SURE DID fuck up.....but don't let that interfere with you and your relationships, don't let THAT ruin the person YOU were and always will be. I llove you girl!

tAnYeTTa said...

I'm impressed that you were able to get it out. I could feel the emotions jumping off the screen. WOW.

myboyfriendiscrazy said...

Pretty raw stuff. Glad you can talk about it after all this time.

Virginia Belle said...

ster, i don't know what to say. other than i think it is good that you found a way to vent your frustrations and found someone who you can confide in. i wish i could relate, but i can't. so i can only offer my sympathy.

i know it must have been hard and a long time coming, but it's probably better for your health that you aren't holding all that anger in anymore. that you have moved past it. (i have a theory that holding anger inside causes cancer. just my own personal theory.)

i know it must be shattering to be disappointed like that. oh sweetie. i have to stop because i'm starting to cry. {{{{{hugs}}}}}

Domestic Chicky said...

I had similar feelings/experiences with my mom. I wasn't close to my dad, but I remember feeling so betrayed because I really looked up to my mom as a kid. It hurt me more that she didn't consider what it would do to me. Well, hell, I was 13 at the time. Everything revolved around ME then!!!LOL

Lotta said...

My dad did the same thing to my mom. They went to counseling and worked it ou. I found out years later. All I can say is that it's hard to see your parents faults all bare ass naked. (not literally) I hope the pain eases for you.

Kristin said...

What a powerful yet hearbreaking post... I am so sorry for the price you have all had to pay for someone's (in this case, your dad's) selfishness... people don't stop to realize the ripple effect of destructive behavior...

Not being angry anymore is a great place to be... congratulations for getting there.

xx.

Kel said...

Sweets, sending lots of hugs your way.

Finding out how your Dad really is hurts, it hurts bad. I've found out the hard way as well with my Dad. I heard many times how he probably did cheat on my Mother, and when push came to shove he pushed me aside for another woman (my evil step mother).

That makes his current health problems (needs a new liver) that much harder to bear. I don't know if I'm happier if he lives or dies.

Anyway this isn't about me but you. I'm glad you shared this with us.

Mel said...

((((Jenn))))
You know what? I find it astounding how tough you are... to be as fun and sweet and funny as you are on a daily basis even with such a painful experience in your recent past.
I respect you so much for knowing how to keep on keepin' on in spite of pain and sadness.
I heart you, Jennster.

mothergoosemouse said...

Jenn, you mentioned a boyfriend in the text of your entry about your dad. Is that your current boyfriend/fiance? How have things been?

I can't even imagine going through what you did. It would be the LAST thing I would expect from either of my parents.

Shawna said...

Wow... I knew this, but your journal entry...just wow. I am not sure if I've ever mentioned it, but when I was around 16 my parents told us that they were getting a divorce. It didn't happen, they went to counseling and are wonderful NOW,but while they were in counseling I found an "assignment" they were supposed to do for one of their sessions...it was my dad's about my mom and I found out that she'd been having an affair w/ a man she worked with. I never confronted them about it or said anything to anyone. I didn't hate my mom, but I wondered WHY? My dad is an amazing man, but I know he's kinda like J in the sense that he used to have a hard time showing much emotion though he's much better about that sort of thing now. Anyway, I guess my sister next in age to me also read the same thing and she had SO much resentment she would tell my mom she hated her, write things in her diary about hating her etc... It's weird how differently we dealt with it. Fast forward to when I was about to divorce J. I didn't go to my mom and dad. I was embarrassed I think, but my mom knew something wasn't right so she emailed me to let me WRITE about it rather than talk face to face... and when I told her what was going on, she opened up to me about the affair she'd had... only it wasn't just my mom. My dad had cheated too. My dad. And I can semi relate to some of your feelings that you wrote down, but I found out about this so long after the fact, and it's weird but it bothered me way more than my mom cheating. You have to know my dad. Like I said, he's an amazing man. I think the thing that saved me from having horrible horrible thoughts about it was that I was going through the same thing at the time I found out... I already knew what it felt like to be in both my mom's shoes and my dad's shoes, and I wondered for a brief moment if it was something that had been passed on to me, but I realize that is in no way true. I made my decisions just like they did, and even though it happened between them, that isn't the way I was brought up, but every one of us needs to feel loved. We need to feel like someone out there needs us like we need them, and sometimes when it comes along, it blindsides you and you're doing something you never in a million years thought you'd do. No one is perfect, and your dad made a mistake for sure. But I think if you could have a heart to heart *or a lot of them* with him and hear his side and how he was feeling and WHY.. Maybe you could at least have a little understanding and you could someday mend your relationship with him. I know I hope to god if my kids ever find out what J and I went through, that they wouldn't think horribly of me or him. That they would understand that we are only human, and that we did our best to love them, and each other, even though we made mistakes along the way.

spidey said...

Jenn, I am so sorry you had to go through this. I can't even imagine how I would feel if my dad did that. It is hard when we realize that are parents are human and sometimes let us down. It must feel good to share it, though...

Meg said...

Oh Jenn, what powerful words. I can't even imagine what I would do or how I would feel if I were in your shoes. It's wonderful that you found an outlet for your feelings and that you are now to a point where you can reflect on them. I hope you continue to heal, although I get the idea that he will never be completely forgiven. Good luck and if you ever need a virtual shoulder to cry on, I am here!

melissa b. said...

oh honey. ((Jennster))

Lisa said...

Oh wow. Yeah, I think I would have written the same exact letter if I found out my dad was cheating on my mom.

kim said...

*hugs you* im sorry jen and im glad youve moved on to a place in your life you are more able to deal with it

Beth said...

That was really open. Thank you so much for sharing it. That made me cry (although, I am crying over EVERYTHING these days). I too have the daddy/daughter relationship that you had. My dad did something stupid once, and I didn't find out until like 13 years later. What you wrote is probably how I would have felt then if I had found out. My parents worked it out, and I am greatful.
Glad you are at a point where you can talk about it now. It can only get a bit better from here.

Anonymous said...

me too. dad cheated. came back. told mom to try it out. she did. a lot. i found out nearly 20 years ago,from mom. dad still doesn't know that i know. very bad. it hurts for sure, but your man can prove different and help you heal. btw, my comment about covering cleavage was totally rhetorical! i don't know you, but beleive that cheating is born out of lust, an and lust is born out of the thoughts. when any of us flaunt, we can make men fight to be 100% faithful. didn't mean to wrap you and you 2 zillion friends around the axle -- so to speak.d

Mrs. Chicky said...

Aw, sweetie, that's some pretty tough stuff to go through. Parents are suppose to be superheroes and when they shatter our images of them it hurts so much.

Much love your way.

Anonymous said...

Wow Jenn that was powerful. You are a very strong woman. I'm sorry you had to go through all that. Hugs. Mindy

mollymcmommy said...

((jenn))

very powerful and raw post.

Its funny growing up that we don't really see our parents as "people" that can be selfish, make mistakes and not be "perfect".

You continue to amaze me girl how strong you are.

m

Stacy said...

i'm sure that wasn't easy to share, but it was very brave. good for you for facing up to what's hurting you and trying to make things better.

Piece of Work said...

I liked the comment way up there that said it's amazing how you keep on keepin' on! You are so full of fun and life, despite having to deal with this heartbreak, so recently. Good for you for not letting it dictate your life.

I can't imagine how difficult the whole experience has been--I know I would write an identical letter if I found out my dad ever cheated.

I'm interested to hear what has happened in the last two years.

xx

Sarah said...

Takes guts to share that and it's obviously still fresh for you. Sorry that you felt pain and anger.

I remember feeling that type of anger towards my dad. Not for cheating, but for leaving. In hindsight, cheating wouldn't have been any worse than leaving. It was the fact that he left. Interestingly enough, just about a month ago, my stepmom told me how hurt and sad he was to leave me.

It made me realize that my parents are just like me - or more accurately, human, like the rest of us. They aren't perfect. They make mistakes, have issues... They go through shit and sometimes make it and sometimes throw in the towel.

I see now that neither of them loved me any less. I am now able to separate ANYTHING that happened between my parents from who I am today. Yet, just like a human being, I make my share of mistakes too.

Do I still love my mom AND my dad? Yes.

penguininthesun said...

I remember the day I realized my parents were... people. I wish it never came.

It also brought tears to my eyes, reading that.

I'm glad you found a way to take it out. I'm really sorry about what he did to your mother and your family. It's really a tough situation.

Thanks for being so strong, Jenns... you really are awesome :)

dianne_lone said...

I feel sad when I hear about married people splitting.. In a relationship, it is the hardest thing to do. My webdate friend just split up with her husband. It was so hard for her 3 kids to be able to cope up emotionally. And for her, its the farthest thing to being OK. We always try to inspire her and her kids. She's currently dating this guy she also met through webdate. This guy takes care of her kids now and she feels fine with that.
Never think that your parents splitting up is something that will destroy you, it should be a challenge for you to keep your mom and dad happy, even they are on the rocks. You are the inspiration of your mom and dad. Help them to be over this. Be strong. And have a good life. Regards.

Yorksdevil said...

After the intro I didn't know whether to carry on reading as I knew it wouldn't be pleasant. Since you felt you could post that I managed to read it, but it was uncomfortable and, God! How did you get to where you felt you could open your soul to the world like that? There's nothing more valuble in this world than family, so for people to do this kind of thing to theirs just seems completely alien to me.

theresa said...

Jen,

As a victim of a husband that left me for another woman 4 years ago and as a well-known matrimonial paralegal in NY let me say, "Holy Crap!!!! I've never had the opportunity to see how affairs affect adult children and you did it so eliquently.

Your dad will hit bottom and regret what he did, they all do. Mine did, but I didn't take him back.

This is something I always say....ADULTERY, SUCH A HUGE PRICE TO PAY FOR A CHEAP THRILL. Ain't that the truth?

Painter Beach Girl said...

This was powerful, really, it is hard when you realize that your parents arent who you thought they were. I do realize that people cheat for many reasons, some just want the thrill and some are missing something they think they can get elsewhere when what they need is to find it within themselves and that can be very very sad and isolating. Some people cheat to give themselves courage to get out of a marriage as well. It is too bad you have had to deal with this!!!!

Stephanie A. said...

I am so sorry, Jenn. That experience had to be so painful. I'm glad that you're coming to terms with it, though. Those loads can get heavy if we carry them around long enough.

Big, huge-ass hugs to you!

Pendullum said...

Powerful post...
I have forwarded ot on to my sister in law who's husband has just left her for the other woman...
her boys are traumatized as they knew before their mother and had the 'secret friend' that daddy had...
It may help her to see what they are going through too...
Thanks for the post!

jen said...

BIG HUGE HUG TO YOU JENN!

Mommy off the Record said...

I'm sorry you had to go through all of this. Hopefully, writing it down and letting us read it will be theraputic for you. Thanks for sharing this. Powerful writing.

Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

This is such a brave post. I can't imagine how hard it is for a parent to let you down when you are little -- considering its so hard when you are grown.

--Kelly

Kevin Charnas said...

oh Jenn...whoa. I'm so sorry that you and your family have had to deal with that, but I'm proud of you...really proud.

texas math said...

Ok first of all...its late on Saturday night...and I can't sleep and I thought this would be a great time to catch up on blogs...so I come to yours first because usually I get a laugh ....then I read this and it breaks my heart (I think because you described the father/daughter relationship and with Kaci on the way that is ALL I have been thinking about lately)...but at the same time I think to myself "if I feel this bad just reading it...how does Jenn feel living it?"

No words to say here (other than the words I just typed). And thanks for sharing.

gina said...

((((STER))))

Wow! That is wonderful that you put your feelings down on paper. You can totally read your emotions you were feeling at that time. I don't understand why some people can have no feeling at times that they can truely damage and hurt people they say they love.

I am so glad to see that you and your mom are doing better now. :)

ginger incognito said...

Big hugs to you, dear.

Mary said...

oh jen, i am soooooo very sorry for what you felt there! Even more I am soooo very sorry for the pain I have caused in my girls lives! Your story is so very different than mine, but it sure is an eye opener to the pain we parent inflict upon our children when we get into our own selfish worlds. I know we are all so very human and I know we all make our mistakes, how very sad that so many lives have to be touched with the pain we each cause by the choices we make in our own selfish lives!!!

Rainman said...

Jen,
I'm sure that was very tough on you to deal with. I think your handeling it well.

I think more guys/girls should read that post so they might realize what it does to families.

Erica Ortiz said...

Wow, I just read this and it is so RAW and so vivid to me that I feel like I am going through it too with you.

I know how maddening it is as an adult to go through this with your parents.

Mine had a similar situation... the fighting, the accusations of cheating. I don't believe that my dad did what my mom thought he did, and how it affected me as a grown adult was just sickening.

They were in their 70's (I was raised by my grandparents) and all of a sudden, I felt like I didn't know them. It crushed me... the rock, the sanctity of marriage that I knew my entire life was crumbling before my eyes.

My dad got sick and passed, and I still cannot hear my mom talk about him being a cheater. I won't believe it... I do NOT believe it. And it makes me ANGRY because I believe that he suffered his last days in a prison that my mom made him because she was punishing him for something she thought he'd done.

I can't imagine having to deal with the reality that he HAD done that. And for that, I'm so sorry for you, your mom, and your entire family.