How long will I be looking for the parts of my father in the men I seek out? His attention to me when I was very young was intoxicating for I was the only child at the time. His 6’2” muscular strength carried me around the house at bedtime, playfully putting me to bed in the kitchen sink, the tub in the bathroom, and finally into my own bed.
When I am the most lonely and yearning for these feelings, I am most vulnerable to the person who sees only the outside of me. The part of me I can mold and shape to be what you want me to be. In that way, I remain lost and continuing on the journey of seeking love and finding loss.
He meant everything to me. Now, writing our story of love and survival, I dive deep through the layers of love and longing for my father as I search for a ‘soul mate.’ Could my soul mate be my father and I need look no further? Soul mate brings a sense of someone who can reflect back to me what they see and listen to. With Dad, his abilities go only as far as his thoughts of himself. How can he get his needs met through the person he is with at the time? I see that pattern within myself, as well. However, he is my father. I began my life with him as my guide and it has remained that way for all of my life.
A strong German farm boy, my father has exuded the grit of survival which only being raised during the Depression of the 1930’s could bring forth in a generation of men and women. When Dad was hurt or sick, he put a piece of duct tape on it and went on. Broken bones, splits in the skin from working outside for decades and the emotional hell his bouts of drinking and spending took a toll on his body and the family. His escapades were often followed by bellows of outrage and then painful tears of despair.
I saw it all. Six years on my own with him before the next birth brought a set of twins. As his attentions became divided, I longed for him then as I do now. Striping away the resentment I’ve carried toward him for not having me remain the most important child in his life, I have attempted to find then recreate him in my love interests. My father was always the underdog and I was going to rescue and save him if it killed me. It almost did.
Is it inevitable that we spend most of our lives in relationships that mirror our initial connections with our parents when they were everything to us? Can we get back that feeling of being loved by someone else because we love him with an insane security that is familiar? Is it true that we seek out today that old feeling of being looked at, held and spoken to in an adoring manner, and believe it to be romantic love?
Let’s Talk About It.
Debra Whittam is the author of “I'm I Going to be Ok?" For any media inquiries or questions please contact: Contact@DebraWhittam.com