My feeling is when a person is crying/grieving let them do so. By handing a crying friend a tissue there is a hidden message asking them to stop crying. People need to cry in order to heal. Allow the flood gates to open and release the pain.
During my life rarely have I allowed the flood gates to open, those gates have stayed latched shut tighter than Fort Knox. On the rare occasion when I allowed the waters to escape , the reason behind the tears would generally be because of my father’s. Yes plural, there were two. The passive aggressive, emotionally unavailable biological father, and the asshole step-father.
My biological father was severally physically and emotionally abused during his childhood at the hands of his father, my grandfather. The only ability he had to protect himself was not to show emotion. My grandfather would beat him and he would not cry. My biological fathers emotional unavailability was a way of protecting himself, this cost him to never connect with someone in a meaningful way. I believe that he only married for the purpose of maintaining, “normality”. He married to have someone there, present in his home to cook, clean, grocery shop etc. It wasn’t because of sex, because he found that elsewhere. During my short stay with my biological father, he and my step-mother slept in separate rooms. It was well known in the community they had other lovers. Not just my dad, as my half sisters would tell the story, both of them had affairs.
My father was an expert manipulator that could turn on the charm at will. Emotionally he was dead. He pacified me with money and lots of it. I always had nice new clothes, the addition he built onto our home was for me, my bedroom-living room-to entertain friends in. He paid for my travel, because it kept me out of his hair, and to be quite honest to keep peace between my step-mom and myself. She hated me and I wanted to kick her ass on a daily basis for cheating on my dad. I have no clue why it never bothered me that he cheated on her. Maybe because I held him at a higher level socially and intellectually, she was only there to use him for money.
During those years with my biological father, I needed the stability of a father. Being emotionally absent from my life, he was unable to teach me about men. The only message I ever remember him giving me was once after a boyfriend cheated on me and I was distraught, my dad said, “Becki get used to it, all men cheat.” Short of that, and marry rich, he never had any other advise. I never married rich. But he was right , I was always cheated on.
Unfortunately my father had a history of some real hurt from my grandfather, and my grandmother took off and abandoned him while he was in his teens. So his own experiences made him shut down.
It became a painful reality for me knowing my father was truly incapable of having a relationship. I begged for emotional acceptance and for him to notice me. He was emotionally absent , mostly he just didn’t care, he never listened when I talked and never really knew anything about me.
A fathers character and his relationship with you, influences your identity, strongly. My mother, was my fathers first ex-wife, I went from being severally abused to emotional abandonment. My father gave me a relatively safe environment to lay my head every night. But my feelings of grief were never resolved. The grief went into the abyss of limbo for years. What my father didn’t know is how much I loved him, I adored him, he was handsome as a younger man, strong and charismatic. He just had an empty heart incapable of giving and receiving true love.
My stepfather was a arrogant asshole, even his living relatives would attest to the fact. My stepfather was also emotionally unavailable. Maybe before he married my mother he may of been kind. I only know him as the asshole that never protected me from my mothers wrath, he allowed the violence to exist , he turned the other cheek. He worked day and night, I can’t blame him. I am sure once he married her and some time past, he questioned why he married mommy dearest and had no clue, or to much pride to give up and leave. Because, “What would people say?” So he stayed in loveless marriage, in a house full of hate, with an alcoholic.
Sometime in my late 30’s it hit me. I grieved for “little Becki”, the child that never experienced a parents love. It sucks! Recently one of my best friends lost her dad, he was the kind of father I dreamed of having as a child. I witnessed the love he had, and outwardly showed to his family. Today, another of my dear friends called and the father she so loves will, pass soon and quickly. She is with him at his side, waiting for him, at any moment to crossover.
My father wasn’t the first child to be emotionally abandoned, and I am not the last.
So keep your tissue’s, we need to grieve.