© 2009 Txema Rodríguez

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Pledge of the deadbeat dad

- 28 abril, 2009

I clearly remember the day I found out what was going on. The powerful sense of relief and emptiness numbed every single emotion, including betrayal.
I knew I was about taking the biggest leap in my whole life. My hands against the light reminded me my grandfather’s. Suddenly aged, panthocratic, yet innocent and bursting with the urge of creation. I also felt the whole body shaking, the fear of going mad and then, the rest of fears collapsed in two: losing them and not being enough.
I changed hundreds of diapers with those hands. I shot thousands of photographs over their beautiful faces as they were growing up. Now we have to travel far to spend a short weekend together. Now I am the weak one, the deadbeat dad, even though financially supportive, a hopeless failure.
I suspect they are being lied to or denied their right to hold a strong and encouraging masculine reference. The suspicion wouldn’t hurt me so much if I could keep their hearts and minds from all harm until they are secure, self-assured, self-possessed, self-reliant, self-respecting, self-sufficient enough to choose their own fights, choose their own thoughts and heal their own wounds.

Beliefs, memory and perception are tricky. They can be deeply affected by interference and nasty storytelling. I dread the idea that they will pay the price of our faults. I dread the idea of them trapped in a vicious cycle of lousy relationships just because they were told a horror tale of deprivation, absence and neglect. It’s just unacceptable.
What did I see in my ex? What was I thinking? I don’t care anymore.
I won’t nullify the miracle and treasure of the days we welcomed them to life.
I resist to join the war. I won’t hold on to hate.
I pledge not to bad mouth and brainwash them myself.
I won’t tell them stories of saints and sinners.
My amazing girls still walk on water.

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