Post this if your parent is X

I see them quite often, images saying things like ‘Post if your dad is hardworking and has helped and supported you no matter what’ or ‘Share this if your mom is your best friend, and your biggest supporter’. They’re kinda sweet really, posted by people who are inordinately proud of their parents.

What about the rest of us? Whose parents aren’t superheroes, who have very human flaws, ones that can’t be papered over with a smile? The reminder of what we lack can be painful.

My mum is pretty awesome, she’s always in my corner. We get along well, and she’s always there for me. She’s cool.

My dad is another matter. He’s a good man, hardworking and caring and lovely. But he’s not a strong man, and he’s in a relationship with a very strong woman (and I don’t mean that in a good way). The result of that is that my father is not here for me. He hasn’t been allowed to be since he married my stepmother. His pliant personality is submerged below her hard and cruel one. He’s not in my corner, not on my side, and very nearly not in my life. I hate that. I want him to have time with his grandkids, to sit with him and chat and catch up on life. That’s taken away from me, partly by my stepmother, but also by his inability to assert himself. It makes me sad.

My father is precious to me. I love him so much. But I can’t have his company. It breaks my heart. He’s not everything I want him to be – not even close.

What would be ‘everything I want him to be’? I’m not demanding. I just want him to be there for me. Is that too much? Maybe it is.

So every time I see one of these images float past, I have a catch in my throat. I want my father to be all that.

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