Welcome to Part 1 of my summer series called “My Struggles as a Dad” where I share openly and honestly about the areas of my life that I’m struggling with. Today’s post is one of the most difficult ones (and one that I’ve been trying to avoid for so long): My Relationship with My Dad
Broken relationships effect almost every other relationship in your life.
My relationship with my dad is extremely broken.
Here I am 37 years old, happily married to my wonderful wife Anne and the proud father of two wonderful children: Rianne and Ryan. However, there is a brokenness with my own parents. I hardly see them and I barely talk to them…especially my own dad. I haven’t seen him or spoken to him in months.
Let me take you back to the beginning where it all started…
My father immigrated from India to Canada in the mid 60s and lived in Vancouver for 10 years before going back to India to have an arranged marriage with my mom. They got married on Feb 10, 1975 – they looked so happy…yet they was something that was hidden, something that was kept a secret, something was about to destroy this recently married husband and wife.
When my mom came to Canada, she saw there was a lady living with my dad who she thought was just a cleaner. She innocently assumed that she was just a servant…just like they have in India. However, this was more than a servant, or a cleaner…this was my father’s lover, his mistress, his girlfriend even before he married my mom.
When my mother found out, she panicked. She didn’t know what to do. She was all alone. No family, no friends…a brand new immigrant with all the hopes in the world, just married to find out her husband was having an affair. Then it got worse,…my dad got violent and threatened to beat her if she told anyone. She did…tell people…she did…get beaten.
In the midst of this violence and chaos, I was born…Feb 12, 1977. A young baby out of the womb not really knowing what was going on around me. Actually, maybe I was aware…even as a newborn. I was aware of the fighting, the screaming, the violence. Luckily, I was never beaten or assaulted. Unluckily, my mom was beaten regularly and continuously. Out of fear, my mom ran away to Battered Women’s Shelters and took me with her. Most of my memories from childhood were of going in and out of shelters and even running away to India out of fear.
Children aren’t supposed to grow up in this kind of environment. However, I didn’t really have a choice. A child has no choice at that young an age. He or she simply assumes that his parents will do the best for them. In my case, it was the worst childhood possible (at least from my perspective). My friends at school weren’t going through this…why was I?
This is my victim story. I lived in that story for elementary school. high school. and even into University…hiding the truth, pretending everything was okay, however, I was broken. It led me to drinking and drugs…Marijuana, Ecstasy, Acid. However, when I had one bad LSD trip, I made a choice to say “No” to drugs forever.
In my early 20s, there was one moment where EVERYTHING changed…I found Jesus.
On Feb 4, 2001 in my bedroom, I surrendered my entire life to Jesus Christ…my past, my present, my future.
That was the day when everything changed.
I am now a husband, a father, a community leader, a blogger, an entrepreneur.
I am also free…free of the past, free of my childhood, free of the pain of what happened.
However, my relationship with my dad is still broken. He has never admitted he did anything wrong…never said “sorry.” Just a simple, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me” could heal so many wounds. However, because of the refusal to apologize, I struggle to forgive. I barely see my dad. Yes, he came to my wedding (as the picture below shows). Yes, he came to the hospital when Rianne and Ryan were born. Yes, he send us cards and even gives us money on occasion.
However, there is no relationship. Yet, that is what I long for, what I yearn for, what I deeply want and deeply need….a relationship with my own father. So, here lies my struggle: to be the best dad when I didn’t really have a good dad myself. So, here lies my struggle: to be the best husband when I didn’t really witness a strong marriage growing up. So, here lies my struggle: to forgive…fully….completely…and move on…let go…let God be the Judge (not me).
Are you struggling to have a relationship with your own dad like I am?
I would love to hear your feelings in the comment section below!