One of the things I’ve been working on over the past few months is forgiveness. Primarily, forgiving myself for past actions that I’ve held over my own head ever since. I’m trying to do that because I end up beating myself up and making myself feel horrible over things that happened years ago.
The one big thing that I beat myself up over is my relationship with my daughter, Rugrat. Y’see, it was about seven or eight years ago when I was approached by her mom and asked if I would be okay with her moving to Ontario. Her new boyfriend’s family was there and they felt as though they could create a new beginning and a new life for themselves, which would end up benefiting Rugrat.
Looking back, I realize that I was selfish with that decision. I was still in my early 30’s and not really caring about anybody but myself. I was in a relationship with my girlfriend (the now ex-wife) and I thought the responsibilities of being a dad were going to be great when they were “part time”.
What a fool I was.
If I had only known then what I know now, I would absolutely have said “no”. My daughter isn’t living any better of a life in Ontario than she could have lived here. In fact, it’s probably worse. She has no phone or internet and I haven’t even talked to her in over a month. I only get to see her once a year (if I’m lucky, twice) and while I know she loves me, I don’t have the relationship today with her that I dream of having.
I’ve got nobody to blame but myself.
I look at the relationship I have with my son today and I’m very happy. We’ve got, at this point, the relationship I’ve always wanted with a child. It could be better, obviously, but where his mother and I separated five years ago this life of having a part-time dad is all he’s ever known. The difference now is that I take advantage of every moment I have with my son…never taking him or our relationship for granted.
So while I’m still struggling with that decision, I know that I have to forgive myself for making it. It was in the past and there’s nothing I can do to change it…I can only make the most of the present.
That, however, is easier said than done.