JUST BRENDA: How can I resolve my relationship with my father?

It’s hard to shed some of the scars our fathers put on us, but the only people those scars hurt is…well, ourselves. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

What you need to know:

  • It’s painful, and closure may not come the way you want it, but at least you can talk
  • It doesn’t have to be a super deep relationship, but he can be in your life

Hello,

I have a somewhat odd and estranged relationship with my father who was only really in my life for a good 11 years and things went south after that.

We haven’t been in contact for most of my adulthood. Recently, he has been trying to reach out and I honestly do not feel a need to build a relationship with him… but I also feel guilty because I fear what would happen were he to pass on, or if I die, and we never got to resolve this.

Then I also recall the immense pain and disrespect he put on my mum and I remember why I want nothing to do with him.

How can I live with the fact that he, my siblings and I will never have the relationship we were essentially owed when he chose to biologically father us?

 

Dear Distanced Doris,

That’s a heavy one. If you still feel so guilty about it, then you should talk to him. I am sure your mother doesn’t want you carrying what she feels about their relationship into yours.

You obviously still want a relationship with him. It’s painful, and closure may not come the way you want it, but at least you can talk.

It’s hard to shed some of the scars our fathers put on us, but the only people those scars hurt is…well, ourselves. It doesn’t have to be a super deep relationship, but he can be in your life, for as long as you are comfortable with it.