>Fatherlessness

>I just finished reading Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. The last word in my copy of this book is fatherlessness. What a final sounding word.

I am fatherless. My father is not dead, but I do not have a father and it has been many, many years since I’ve had one. My father’s father died in a tuberculosis asylum in 1942 when my father was 18 months old. I have in my possession the actual handwritten letters that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother from the asylum before he died. They are my only inheritance, these letters written by a 25 year old man dying from tuberculosis. Mostly the letters are filled with I love you’s and please kiss my boy. The one running theme in them is my grandfather’s plea for a new pair of pajamas. At the end of every letter, he asks if my grandmother is going to come see him soon and if she does will she please remember that he needs a new pair of pajamas. I remember the first time I read through those letters and cried and cried wishing I could have taken him something so simple as a new pair of pajamas. I don’t know if he ever got any new pajamas before he died and the thought that he lay there gasping his last breath in filthy, old pajamas, all alone, breaks my heart.

When my grandfather died, my grandmother almost immediately took up with an ex-con and had a baby out-of-wedlock with him. Her sister turned her into the Child Protect Services of its day. My father was taken away and put in a foster home where he was routinely chained to a tree and fed like a dog until he was 6 or 7, I believe. Then he was returned to his mother’s care, but I’m afraid the damage was done.

My earliest memory of my father is of him and my mother having an argument. We were outside under a street lamp. Most of my memories of my father are of him angry. He was angry and violent. He called me a whore and a slut to my face and threw me out of my home when I was 17. I’ve tried to reconcile with him several times, but eventually his dark anger always returns and for my safety and the safety of my children, I’ve cut off all ties to him. And so now I’m fatherless.

When my son was a little boy, he’d ask about this mysterious grandfather. How I wanted to lie to him and tell him that my dad had died valiantly in Viet Nam. He was dead to me anyway, why not give the poor man the thing he’ll never have, a hero’s death, and as a grand bonus I could give my son a precious present, too. A grandfather he could be proud of and look up to, even if he was dead. But I never could bring myself to lie such a big lie and especially one that would eventually be found out. That never leads to any good. So I told the truth….sort of. No, I didn’t tell that his grandfather was in prison because he’d holed himself up in an attic with an arsenal of weapons and dared the SWAT team drag him out. I said something lame about him being in Viet Nam and now being very sick and that we can’t have a relationship with him because he’s not well. I left out the part where my father’s last words to me were that he would kill us all (my mother and my siblings and everyone) and then himself in order to end his agony on this earth.

My son was not satisfied with my evasive and vague answers at all. He would always press just a little and then, getting nowhere, would walk away with a mystified look on his face and I would always wonder if leaving him to his imagination was actually worse than telling him the reality. But I did not want to ruin my child’s innocence and tell him the truth that his grandfather hated himself and his children and his grandchildren. I didn’t want to tell him that his grandfather wanted to see us all dead and that he was a dangerous, evil man, and if he ever appeared at our front door we had best run away. Run away as fast as we could.

NO! I wanted to protect my son’s vision of men. I wanted him to see himself as coming from a long line of brave and courageous and good men. I wanted my son to see himself as one of those men. Not the sick, dying man begging for pajamas and certainly not the crazy, violent lunatic who still might show up at my door one day and take the life he should have protected and valued.

I had thought that I’d walked through all of this before. A year ago I would have spoke about this from a place of peace, but today I talk about it through the furious winds of a hurricane that howl around me and threaten to consume my sanity. It is dark here. Very dark. And I do not want to go here again. Not ever again. Trust me, I’ve had therapy and I’ve had prayer and I’ve had healing up the ying yang. But apparently God has ordained for me that I take another trip through this again but this time through the eyes of my son.

Satan has perfect aim and he knows just where to shoot the arrow. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Satan has wounded me badly. Very badly.

But this time, complete Victory is at hand. I know it. Here in the darkness, I know there is light and I know there is a blessing coming soon. But geez, it is dark here now. Dark and lonely. I have no father to protect me now and I never have had one. I’m finally grasping just what all that has meant and how it is that the sins of the fathers are visited on the 3rd and 4th generations. But I will be the generation that makes the difference. I will be the righteous generation that causes the Lord’s blessings for a thousand generations. I claim this as my own. That the gates of hell and the sins of my father will not prevail against me or my own. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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9 thoughts on “>Fatherlessness

  1. >Not having a father myself Chloe, I know how powerful of an effect they have on your life.My father was horribly abused as a child too. When I think of the pain he endured at the hand of his own father, then at his mother's, it breaks my heart.It also helps me understand why he unleashed his rage on me and my little sisters. We were easy targets, what being 6, 4 & 2 and all. We couldn't fight back and hurt him.I've endured horrible name calling and physical beatings as well. I know how it ravishes your heart and breaks your soul. I also know what it's like to step into the shoes of your abuser and abuse yourself.It took me years to be able to see God as a father. I mean, my only images involved pain. I couldn't bear the thought of another "father". How twisted my perceptions were.When I read about your father my heart broke. Somehow other people's abuse seems worse than our own. Maybe that is a defense mechanism. I don't know.My own children have struggled with the father thing too. Theirs committed suicide in the most violent way, but not before unloading his pain on them as well. And his father did the same, and his father……….It seems to me that a father's role is powerful. Why else would the devil do everything he can to annihilate and completely rid the world of strong, loving and caring father figures?I wish I knew something else to say to you this morning.

  2. >I’m proud of you for clinging to hope and trusting in God’s promises, even in the midst of overwhelming discouragement and confusion. Weird how hope and discouragement can coexist, isn’t it?

  3. >My dh & I have also chosen to be the generation to break the chain of sin. It is hard. It is lonely. It is dark. But I just want you to know and understand that He who loves you best, is still there with you. He will bring you to the light. There is light coming. And when the Light is there, it is brighter than you have ever known. When I was in the middle of working on my junk, it was so ugly and dark as you say. But I've come through. I've been able to live again. Please know there are many who care for you and who are praying for you. You are not alone. :hug:

  4. >I will be agreeing with you in prayer that you will have victory over satan’s schemes to keep your family in chains. God is so powerful and mighty and He is faithful to complete the work He’s started in you and your son. I’m sorry that you had no father to speak of; that is incredibly sad to me.

  5. >Having never been in that situation, I cannot fathom what you went through, nor the strength it takes to have emerged a strong, determined and caring woman such as you have become! I stand it awe. I am also praying for that strength to stand you in good stead over the next two weeks till family week. Praying for you, personally. Praying for the Tick to be that Father you never had for Wolfie, praying for Wolfie to emerge through all of this to be the strong man of God he was intended to be.

  6. >Do not be afraid of the skeleton parade. There is a work to be done here inside of you, inside your dear son, and inside your dear husband. But it is not YOUR work. It is not up to you. God is faithful, and He will do it. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.You ARE the generation that will break the curse, because you are empowered by the Spirit of the Living God. That’s the truth, and that’s just all there is to say about that.I’ve been fatherless for 7 years now, and lived with the truth about my own father for twelve years prior to that (we had our own little skeleton parade while he was still alive). Sometimes it’s just easier to NOT have an earthly father, you know? I loved him, but I sure hated learning his dark secrets, and living with the consequences. The truth is that you and I and Wolfie and Tick all have been adopted, and we have a heavenly Father who has no skeletons to parade. In fact, in Him is no darkness at all…He will never disappoint you or treat you with cruelty. Your picture is up on his refrigerator. You are the apple of His eye, and His love for you is perfect. Earthly Dads always let us down, somehow or other. He will never leave or forsake us.

  7. >((Chloe)) I too am so proud of you and the Tick for paying the price to be the generation that sets things right for your children, and your grandchildren to come. I keep thinking of this scripture promise for you. It describes exactly what you’re doing, and why it’s worth it.Is. 58:6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is. 58:7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Is. 58:8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Is. 58:9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, Is. 58:10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. Is. 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Is. 58:12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. God bless you with courage, refreshment, peace in the midst of storms, and unshakeable joy in His presence. I pray for you often.

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