Who Suffers Most?
Deadbeat Dads Get Off Cheap
You must feel pretty good about the money you saved. Believe me. you got off cheap: I hear you wrote a check for $500 and then washed your hands of my Mother and me. Never another penny – and that robbed me of my Mom. Let’s see, $500 child support over 18 years? That works out to about $2.32 per month. Hell, anyone should be able to raise a kid on that, shouldn’t they?
Even a teenage mother everyone already thought was a ‘bad girl’, a dropout - smoking, drinking, dancing and riding in cars with boys?
How Is a Teenage Mom Supposed to Cope?
Deadbeat Dads Rob Their Child of a Mother, Too
I grew up with my grandparents because Mom left town on me too. She moved to a larger town to get away from the small town talk and prejudice heaped upon a teenage mother and to find some work to bring a little money in. When she moved into Birmingham, she got waitress work and sent some money home every week. Can you say ‘abandonment issues’?
My Grandmother and Grandfather loved me, I never doubted that. They were just tired and worn out from a hard life with lots of kids and little money. So I was pretty much raised by my Aunties and have always been surrounded by women. Sometimes when I say that to other guys, they look like I told them that I had been raised by wolves, it seems so alien to their experience.
It didn’t really hit me hard until I was 16 and applied for a social security card at the local post office – when the small town postmaster said “You have to fill out the name and information in the ‘Father’ section. Don’t you know the name of your father?”
That day I learned your name but after that, very little else.
To this day, when I fill out a medical history form, I have to tell the doctors that I know nothing about my father, his family, or their medical history. Still embarrassing, after all these years.
My Mother never talked about you. And wouldn’t let anyone else talk about you either. Apparently for all my life, the Aunties thought my Mom should come clean and tell me what had happened. They always lost the arguments. My Mother was nothing if not stubborn.
I picked up a little bit, here and there, after my Mom had passed. I even have a picture now so I know what you looked like back then. Lot of good it does me.
Deadbeat Dads are Better Than a Lot of Dads I Have Seen
But I got by – I suffered the bullies, was humiliated in sports, dealt with school the best I could, and discovered how how to escape through reading. Would you have been proud of a bookworm kid or busted my chops for not being a jock. I guess we’ll never know.
When I looked around I saw that some other guys really had a-holes for fathers. Verbally and physically abusive. My best buddy just could never please his grumpy carpenter Dad. Honestly there were numerous times that I felt lucky that my Deadbeat Dad wasn’t around – I certainly didn’t envy the kind of relationship those guys had with their Dad.
A Deadbeat Dad Misses Out
Deadbeat Dads miss out on all those wonderful parenting moments, when a kid accomplishes something, learns something, moves past something.
Or when a child shows with their actions that they possess the values that you always hoped that they would acquire. Your values, your spirit, your ethics.
A Deadbeat Dad will miss seeing them move through life’s stages, you never see them become the adult that they grow up to be – you never see yourself in their actions, their lives, their eyes.
Deadbeat Dads Aren't There
Here it comes, just like you knew it would:
YOU WERE NEVER THERE FOR ME WHEN I NEEDED YOU JERK!
- I never had anyone attend a parent teacher conference for me.
- I had no one to help me figure out what exactly it was that girls had and why I wanted it so badly.
- You weren't there to teach me to drive or show me how to work on cars, or how to make things, how to build things - anything that I loved or wanted to do.
- I didn't have a clue what to study, whether to go to college, what kind of work would suit my skills
- I was a skinny little kid - where were you when I was getting my butt kicked by the schoolyard bullies?
- I was horrible at sports and hate them to this day – where were you when I was picked LAST for the frickin pickup games. Could I have been a player if you had been around around to teach me ANY skills at all?
Who Suffers Most?
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How Did I Deal With Having A Deadbeat Dad?
I never tried to look you up, never tried to find you. I figured if I wasn’t important enough to you that you would try to make contact, why should I ever care about knowing you.
When I was in my forties I got up the nerve to ask my Uncle to tell me something about you. I had been told that you were buddies, back in the day.
He said that he believed you would have gotten married if your father had allowed it. Said he had been in touch with you all these years, even spoke with you last year at a church service down in the country.
He told me that you had two sons – so I guess you really didn’t miss out on the joys of fatherhood , after all. When it was convenient for you. Apparently you were there for them even though you never did squat for me.
Of course that means I have a couple of brothers I have never met, who I might have loved and befriended. But we’ll never know that, will we?
I Turned Out Pretty Well in Spite of My Deadbeat Dad
I never had a father and so I had to figure out on my own the kind of man I wanted to be.
It seems to have worked out alright. I have stayed sober – just a little booze and some smoke for self-medication - only one arrest and no convictions on my record.
I discovered that I love to build things and make things work. I put myself through college and went on to work at Fortune 500 companies.
And, it made me a better father - I have always tried to be there for my daughters. I never sacrificed family time for the sake of a job or my career. I missed promotions and rungs on the corporate ladder because I made it clear that my home life took precedence.
I learned a lot about the ladies from my Aunties and my mother – and that helped me be successful in affairs of the heart.
And, I'm not sure how being a poet would fit with your ideas of what a man should be. But I have been writing since high school and have a book selling well on amazon.com.
Again, no thanks to you.
So, in closing I just want to say. You did nothing for me and in the end, you were irrelevant as well as worthless. I hope you enjoyed that nice family life you found after you walked out on us.
I have enjoyed mine.
How have you been affected by a Deadbeat Dad?
Suzie from Carson City on June 14, 2016:
pb.....Hello! I just happened upon this hub~couldn't resist the title. I'm sure you didn't mean to tug at my heart strings, but it happened. That's just me, I read personal stories like I was right there and it all took place while I witnessed it. That makes you a damned good writer, by the way.
Yeah, I admit I got a little choked up as I read your story. As I read on though, I felt much better.
You're a pretty special man & have a right to be proud of yourself. How wonderful you have a family of special ladies in your life. Sounds like they're pretty lucky to have you too.
I'm glad I found this hub. I love happy endings.....Peace, Paula
Jus'Say'n on September 04, 2015:
So tired of the Feminazi "Deadbeat Dad" line --- it's so worn out!
Why do we never hear about the "Dead Beat Mom's" etc....
Used to be called "ho's".
Man who doesn't take responsibility?! "Dead Beat Dad"
Whoore who doesn't take responsibility?! (Kill's/Aborts the child)
Women's rights advocate!!!!
TruthDefined on September 04, 2015:
Excellent comment, MaggieMarie!
TRUTH is refreshing!
Wicked Stepmother from My Living Room on January 30, 2015:
I'm so sorry you had to grow up without your parents. I'm sure that was really difficult and confusing for you. Have you ever thought that perhaps your dad was waiting for YOU to contact HIM? Have you ever learned the true circumstances which led to him being absent from your life? It might be worth looking into, even though you're doing fine. You might learn some things you didn't expect.
MaggieMarie M from Western Washington - Puget Sound Area on April 04, 2013:
I fully understand your frustrations, and where you are coming from with your hub. My father left when I was way too young to remember, leaving my mother with no visible means of support and two small children to raise...at the time in a society that didn't offer allot of help.
However, in all fairness, today the road goes both ways. There are mothers out there who have children by different men, then leave them for greener pastures (?), then expect everyone else to support them because they are young mother raising small children.
We raised our great-grandchildren for over 3 years (pretty much still do), with the youngest coming to us at 14 mos. Both fathers paid their child support to the state, while the mother never paid a dime and STILL got the children back! And, oh yes...the support went the mother, not us! There is something TERRIBLY wrong with the SYSTEM that allows parents to misuse and abuse children, whether they are the mother or father...The old saying still goes "Anyone can be a Father (Mother), but it takes someone special to be a DAD (MOM). Best wishes to you.
Cluminella on April 04, 2013:
We never really know why we are dealt this kind of hand. I watch my children suffer the consequences of the poor choices their dad made. They will, as you have, become stronger for it.