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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tears of anger, grief, comfort, & joy ~ Father's Day

I have always hated Father’s Day especially when James was around. Both my mother and James made it difficult for me. At the beginning, both insisted that I call him “Daddy,” which I adamantly refused…so I did have some fight in me that was never beaten or threatened out of me. Then, the same story of everyone getting angry at each other and I end up getting slapped, slugged or beaten for causing a fight or disobeying my mother. Eventually, she annually just bought a card and gift and made me sign the card and give it to him. I hated her for making me do this, but I still never called him, “Daddy.” The card was addressed to James and that is what I called him. He would accept the gift and usually like it, but would say to me things that made sure I knew I was not his family and he did not want me to be there.

I remember one Mother’s Day when my mother asked James why he didn’t give her a Mother’s Day card. He responded, “well, you never gave me any children, so you are not a mother to me.” I was really angry that he said something so mean to her and I went over and hugged her and told her Happy Mother’s Day, you will always be my mother. Makes me sick to think I said that to her knowing what I know now. My life was so confusing. Often times, I don’t think I understood what reality was and what was normal. Still don’t to some degree.

My biological father and mother divorced when I was 3 or 4. My father was really hypercritical of me. He also had some OCD issues that he expected the same detail in things that he did, from me. He criticized my mother in what she was teaching me and just how I was as a person. He criticized how I spoke, had my hair done, brushed my teeth, walked, that I spoke too much, how I ate, how much I ate, my grades, how I rode a bike…basically, seems like everything. He slapped me in the face frequently too if I was doing something improperly according to his standards which no one would ever be able to live up to. I remember my hand being slapped suddenly, when he felt I was using chopsticks incorrectly and because I was supposed to eat only one french fry at a time…I was eating two.

My father always made promises that he was “going to call every week and see me every other week,” but it never happened. Not a telephone call, not a visit, not a card…nothing. I last had contact with him in sixth grade and at high school graduation. I stopped trusting what he told me and hoping that things would ever be different. Never could talk to anyone about it…kept it all inside…just made everyone angry to bring him up. The last visit I did not cry at all, but I felt like I was so close to crying…no one ever asked how the visit went, so I never told anyone. I learned to stop talking and not to let anyone in. Also, I stopped asking questions and tried to obtain information from other sources or went without. I always assumed that each visit with him would be my last. Somehow, I knew that after this visit, I wasn’t going to have any contact with him again.

I wish I could tell you that I am angry and hurt, but that would be a guess because I am so numb and trying not to cry. However, my Grandpa was the one who tried to fill in the best that he could. He was/is my primary attachment because my mother certainly wasn’t. It was his passing in 2002 that started this major depressive episode and PTSD. I had lost my only real positive attachment and my protector.

Grandpa knew that he was going to die and started to wrote a small biography which is such a treasure. When he got to my part he wrote, “It was a great day when Clueless was born…those were fun times.” I’ve always found that to be a comfort. He really was the only one that wanted me. I miss him terribly (okay, I’m sad and crying now.) He used to pick me up from school, purchased my first real car and proudly walked me down the aisle when I was married. I think he was more happy than I was…he kept crying. I tried not to, you know the make up and pictures…more important and expensive. I really miss him this year. I think because of realizing how many losses that I have…grief builds up and becomes greater than it really was in the first place. He was such a blessing to me.

Many people have asked me about how I am able to relate to God as my Father. What I tell them, is that it was a lot of work via church ministries and therapy to get things straight in my head let alone in my feelings. God worked on my heart. His love was like a sieve to me. I could sort of hold on to it, but it would strain straight through and get filled again and drain. On thing that helped was writing out all the versus that talked about Him being a Father.

In closing, I want to share a couple of comforting versus for me. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT) “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NASV)

I love you, Lord! Happy Father's Day!
I love you and really miss you, Grandpa! Happy Father's Day!


Anonymous said...

Happy Father's Day. It isn't Father's day here but I'm all for celebrating your feeling a positive connection with at least one loving actual parent, and the spiritual one you seem to celebrate daily which rocks. So here's to your Grandpa's memory.

Just so you know, those other men never were your Fathers. Biologically one of them was but sperm donation does not a Father make. And I gave a little cheer when you said you always refused to call the other one 'Daddy'. Just the thought of using that word to describe him gives me the creeps! Ick!

Father's day is a difficult day for me too so I understand a little of the sheer confusion of it - especially when you said you're not really sure what normal was/is. I so get that.

Anyway, I'm glad you connect with God as a parent. You couldn't really do better than that 'eh.

Clueless said...

Thanks. This year, I have so many mixed feelings...I am overwhelmed and really glad that I see my therapist four times a week because I feel like such a raw, vulnerable mess.

Mr B The Tech Teacher said...



Clueless said...

Thanks. That is exactly what I needed. *big hug* back.

Katie's Blog said...

I found this one day and it really comforted me in the father department. I thought maybe it would bring some hope to you too...


Clueless said...


Thank you. I'm not sure if I felt comfort or pain or both, but somewhere I just went numb. This year is really difficult for me and I just want to disappear for the next two weeks...just ignore whatever it is that is inside.

Bradley said...

I can only imagine how painful this was to write. I hope it will be therapeutic in the end.

Big virtual hugs.

Unknown said...

Huge hugs to u clueless. And I found your blog from going on another site, can't remember where now. take care..Mary

j said...

I am glad to know that you had one positive, supportive father figure while growing up, a protective force. All it takes is one loving person to protect us from total destruction.

Sorry you are feeling numb.

(You remind me that I've gotten nothing -- not even a card -- for my dad for father's day. Again. Time for the cycle of guilt and anger ...)

Clueless said...

@bradley. Well, it really wasn't too difficult to write. I think I was numb or went away some. But, it has been therapeutic. I tried reading the whole thing to my therapist and was only able to get 1/3 read. And we've had some gut wrenching session. Not, that I've been able to cry, but they have been extremely painful. My depression and thoughts are up. Thank you for your support and I bet you give fabulous hugs. We can both cry and slobber all over each other. Eeeeewe!!!

@mary. Thanks for coming back and finding me and thank you for the hugs.

@Jennnifer. Thanks. I think Grandpa was one reason that I did not fragment into DID.

Anonymous said...

oh wow! i am bookmarking your blog. saw this in blogging women.

by the way, i also write an inspirational blog called


you might also want to check it.

God bless you dear! your testimony is a very powerful one! :) keep on!

Clueless said...

Thank you for visiting and the bookmark. I'll definitely be visiting you. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hey lady!

It totally makes sense that Father's Day would be a sucky reminder of how not fatherly some jerks can be!

I think I quit celebrating Father's Day when I was a teen. I had 3 and none of them were really... fatherly.

So, as a sort of "rebellion" from this day, I would always treat it just like any other day... and boringly *yawn* when it was brought up. "Oh. I must've not scheduled that this year. Hum."

Hehe. It gave it less energy for me. *hugs*

Clueless said...

Yes, I've tried doing that for years, but this year the denial caught up big time. I rather like denial better.

Anonymous said...

I like how you ended this but more than anything I like the parts about your grandfather. It must be a wonderful feeling to know he thought it was a wonderful thing to have you come into the world. This was a really good post.


Clueless said...

Thanks Austin! Yes, Grandpa mean more than I realized and this year is the most difficult...it hits that empty spot and I really miss him...I'm tearing up.

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