Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Broken Fatherhood...

Funny title. I thought of it yesterday. I might even change the radio show to this.
This is how it feels though. Like my fatherhood is broken.
I went for a long walk tonight. I like walking when I want to think and contemplate. Tonight was nice and cool and I had the park to myself. I was thinking about my Christmas book and trying to mull over a sermon I am putting together built around the book.
So I was thinking about the Christmas book...which in turn led me to think about Christmas...which in turn started me thinking about how not much about my life is as I'd hoped and dreamed it would be at 49...which finished with me thinking about "My Broken Fatherhood".
I'm 49. I always thought that by this time I'd have been married about 25 years and had 3 kids and they'd be off in college now and the love of my life and I would be successful and maybe taking nice trips and dreaming about the next phase of our lives.
Instead I find that after 13 years of being divorced, I am becoming more reclusive and more detached from the dating life.
Part of it...most of it...is that it feels almost wrong of me to find happiness. I know it would require me to share my heart with someone else and there is precious little room in there for anyone besides my daughter.
I also know that it is likely that I would marry someone with a child or children and that seems wrong...because I'd end up spending more time with someone elses kids than I do with my own daughter.
And maybe it feels wrong because I don't want to allow myself to feel happiness. I don't understand that part.
I didn't initiate my divorce and I didn't deserve it. I made plans and dreamed dreams and the person I dreamed them with decided to make them come true with someone else. I was left holding the bag and paying the price. I doubt my ex ever spent one sleepless night over our divorce but I have had many.
The wolf hour came early and often for about 8 years after we split.
Maybe it's that it took so long and maybe it's that I don't want to expose my heart to hurt again and maybe it's the reasons about my daughter. But I just don't feel like bothering to try again. I feel like I'm becoming a curmudgeonly old man who loves his solitude and will one day be sitting on my porch for hours yelling at the neighbors kids to stay off my lawn. Like maybe I'm going to turn into Clint Eastwoods Walter Kowalski...gruff and tired and desiring isolation.
Divorce is like someone taking your favorite picture and erasing all the color. It's just a black and white image...it's not a portrait.
My heart is toughened now and maybe that's for the best. But I fear that one day I'll wake up and be 68 years old and wish I had remarried. That will be too bad.
God hates divorce, the Bible tells us. But He doesn't hate divorcees. He just hates the emotional landmines it leaves us walking through.
Being married and being a father were all I ever wanted in life. At 49 I find myself divorced, fearing relationships almost entirely...and because of all this it feels like even my fatherhood is broken.

2 comments:

Shawn said...

So true...so true. Your story, my story, so many of our stories, they all have a common thread. Some part of our innermost being is broken. It's the Sanctus Real song "Broken Inside" that calls me out.

I'm not alright
I'm broken inside, broken inside
And all I go thru, it leads me to You
Leads me to You

God hates divorce, yes. He still loves us, YES. Sometimes I think He loves us just a little more because we need it that much more. Just remember men Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you....plans not to harm you but to prosper you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Thank you Craig, for showing us all we are not alone in these struggles!

Tom Blow said...

Wow Craig, I'm just in tears. My wife of 26 years has just left me and will be filing for divorce. I have 12 children and 10 still in the home. The separation took me by surprise. 8 weeks ago she wanted to go to counseling and three weeks ago she just moved out to "think it over". She still hasn't spoken to me. I'm just heartbroken. Like you, all I ever wanted to be is a dad.