My Mother Died, My Father Doesn't Want Me
By Mia C., age 17, North Carolina
Sweet Advice Featured Columnist
Editor's Note: Mia is responding to an advice question sent in by LaShuntae, who writes:
It will be four years on March 17th, 2010, since my mother has passed. She had a heart attack in her sleep, and I found her. I still haven't dealt with it. I mean, I cry all the time. But I haven't gotten over it yet. I understand it takes time, but I feel as if I'm never going to get over it. The only reason that I feel so different is because I didn't know my daddy. I just met him August 16th, 2009. A day before my birthday, if I told you I was excited, I would be lying. I was curious. I wanted to know if he wanted to know about me as much as I wanted to know about him. It turned out to be worse than I thought. And it hurts to know that he didn't feel the same way as me.
Everything is just getting worse. I dislike Mother's Day, Father's Day, my birthday, Christmas, and my mother's birthday, only because I can't celebrate them with her. I just don't know why I have to go through this alone; my family isn't concerned about me. And they show no interest. I have had suicidal thoughts, but I can't go through with it, because I want to do so much with my life. How do I deal with this?
LaShuntae, age 16
Death is a such a hard thing to overcome, no matter if we think we've let that person go or if we truly believe we have. Sometimes the smallest of things can remind us of the person and bring back the pain of losing them. I'd love to tell you time heals all wounds, but that's not true. It may ease your mind, as more painful memories slowly start to become less real, but it will always be there.
Losing someone is always hard; without that person in your life you will feel like it will never be the same. Truth is, it will never be the same no matter what you do. But you shouldn't feel like you cannot enjoy holidays or birthdays, because if you really enjoyed that with your mother, she'd want you to keep enjoying it. If those memories are something you two shared and she was a big part of it, you shouldn't dread them; you should embrace them. Enjoy anything that makes you think of her or you can remember about her. Her memories are her gift to you, her way of being there for you. Her saying happy birthday a few years back is the same as her saying it now, only it's memories of her that speak.
I have a little girl myself, and I know that if I were to pass I'd want to see that she enjoys her life to the fullest, enjoying every memory we've ever shared. As for your father, men are very funny, complicated things with their feelings, and sometimes it's hard for them to accept something they haven't always been a part of, and they don't understand what to do. I grew up to where I am now without my father's love, support, or help. I know how badly you're hurting, but if he doesn't want to be a part of your life then he doesn't deserve to. Everything you're going to do in the future will be a wonderful part of your or someone's life, and he cannot say he had any part whatsoever in it.
Suicide is a hard struggle for many teens. Every time it crosses your mind I want you to ask yourself, "Do you want to be LaShuntae or a statistic??" Do you want to be remembered for the things you've done in your life and the accomplishments you've had and the trials you have overcome, or just a number, and very frightened number?
If you want to do great things with your life, DO THEM. Don't let the lack of people in your life stop you. You've overcome so much now, and there's no sense in waiting around for people's concerns. You're strong, and you will become stronger from all this, just wait and see. If they show no interest in you, let them be that way. One day, whatever you do, you can be proud of it, and someone else in your life will admire you for it. I know how hard it is to do things without the support of others. But you will make it - that's a promise. I cannot promise anything will be easy to overcome or come to you without working for it. But you will do it, and you will look back one day and realize what you're going through now will be nothing, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing you did it, even without anyone's help.
It may help you to talk with a school counselor and empty some of your hardships onto her. Never be ashamed or afraid to cry because you need to or you just feel like it. I know after I cry I feel better. Let these people and trials you're overcoming be the motivation to do great things you want to do, and do them!
I cannot give you a simple way to 'deal' but I can tell you, you will make it. You've made it this far and you will go farther. Grow from your life experiences - you rule them, they don't rule you.
Every birthday, Mother's Day, and Christmas you should do something you or your mother used to do, even if it's a cake she'd bake or ornaments you'd make. Do it and remember her - only the good memories. Let your mother still be a part of your life. For Father's Day, every time it passes reassure yourself that you are better than him and you will overcome these hard times and take responsibility for yourself. Don't let others' thoughts, opinions, or the lack of them be your crutch, keeping you from accomplishing all you want with your life. I hope that this can be of some help to you, but I know you will make it through this.
Wishing you all the strength and peace you need,