When your hero is not your hero anymore..


In our tender years, we generally look up to the two people we’re most close to – mom and dad. For most people, mom is a synonym to affection, care, nurture etc. While dad is inspiring, motivating and a hero-like figure.

He earns the bread, looks after his family, pays the bills, takes care of every big small need of his kids and never lets them down.

During the pre-teen days, when world is a bed of red roses without thorns, most of us have an inclination to be like our moms or dads. In school paintings we draw our dads as super man and while giving a speech on “who is my hero” we describe our dads.

dad

These rosy days last long for few like me and generally end for many as they hit the teenage clock. With denied permission, checking school bags, inquiring about grades, restricting outings and friends, most dads become Hitlers for their kids.

The other category – they still live in their dreams. The restrictions and permissions feel logical enough. The denial and strict attitude feels necessary. And we still consider our dads as our heroes.

Until finally maturity or harsh reality hits. Then we realize those taunts – he actually means them. When he says he has no faith in you – he meant it. When he told you on your face that you can never do anytime in your life – it wasn’t just meant to shatter your ego. He did mean it. He wanted you to feel the shame of disappointing him. Feel the agony of letting him down amongst his peers.  Feel zero confidence because you’re not worth it. He meant it all.

Maybe you’ll try understanding why he said those things. At times even shrug them aside thinking he really dint mean to say those things. Or even completely laugh about it that he much be having a bad day today.

Until it happens again. And again. And yet again. And everyday.

father

Then you’re forced to think. Really? I am that pathetic? I am totally worthless? And you conclude that you have not achieved anything and you deserve those daily doses.

All those files full of certificates of appreciation, all those friends who boost you, all those unknown people who have faith in you – you ignore them all.

Since you worshiped your dad – he was your hero – every word he says is inked in your mind.

You cry about it every night. Some days those sobs put you to sleep and on other days the same sobs don’t let you sleep.

But it doesn’t stop anything. Nothing changes. With no family – no emotional support you finally start to live in suffocation. Suffocation of your own actions. Actions you were made believe were bad and for which you deserved such a treatment.

And your once beloved dad – stays your hero no more.

dad-father

I hope it’s not true for you.

I hope you don’t live in the constant thought of, when can I run away or death is my only way out.

I hope someone saves you from suicide, someone understands you, someone believes in your convictions and someone stays by your side and says – its okay. You can’t change your parents. You can only learn to live with them.

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57 thoughts on “When your hero is not your hero anymore..

  1. My dear Sakshi, you are a wonderfull person. Actually, one of the most wonderdful I have met till date. you are always proving yourself, and have so many achievements to your credit. You dont have to prove yourself to anybody else… 🙂 Be happy…There is always a silver lining in everything. That’s how the universe works.. and I believe strongly in that.

  2. i always address my dad as dad, not father 🙂
    that’s absolutely true. my dad is my first love, i always look up for a man who ‘looks’ like my dad 😀

  3. Know the feeling…and seen similar experiences, and yes, we say to ourselves, well, really, what did you think, he’s only human…but sigh…

  4. The hero was the one that was there less? Guess mom was just too tough. That or didn’t show enough appreciation having to do most if the correction. So Mom got the ugly while dad got the hero? Have to think here you rasied who? Who taught who? Men may have paid the bills but who can’t. Get a bill send it back with money. For some reason Dad just never really got that concept through in my experience with men.

  5. Opps forgot. How many public over spending males do you know? I could name a few but that would be insulting somebody another person voted for.

  6. I had a great love for my dad and he remains my hero even though he has died. However I know it is not the same for all. I love this poem by philip larkin. If you don’t want to click on it I will just give you the first line,,”They fuck you up, your mum and dad”. Thought you might enjoy it. http://www.artofeurope.com/larkin/lar2.htm

  7. Great post, got me with – “most dads become Hitlers for their kids” but I think it’s not just most, I think all 🙂 but anyhow, at the end of a day our dads will still be our dads – the first man we ever loved and looked up as our hero.

  8. Great post! My parents the last few years have done a lot of bad things and this is exactly how I feel – I lost my hero. And was he ever really worthy of the hero label? Probably not. He was just fooling me. And through the years I remember his little digs at me – such as overhearing him tell a friend that our kids will never be as successful as we were. Nope, Dad. I am not. Career-wise I am more successful. I love how you put into words my feelings and that I am not the only one out there that feels this way.

  9. This is tragic. Many parents try to live vicariously through their children and when are disappointed in and have regrets concering their own lives, they take it out on their children. Many times when they say they are ashamed of you, in reality they are ashamed of themselves and what they failed to accomplish. This is little comfort when it’s aimed at you. They often push their children into sports or accademic achievments that they never succeeded at so they try to capture that success through their children. They try to live their dreams through you.
    Is this fair? Of course not. As individuals, everyone is entitled to their own dreams and visions of the future. All you can do is realize that you have a purpose separate from that of a demanding, overbearing father. His failures are not yours, so don’t accept them. You are not a failure and neither is he. He is reacting to his own pain.
    Speaking as a parent of a daughter who just celebrated her 36th birthday, I can tell you this. As we age, we face the reality that our time to achieve all the things we wanted is getting shorter. Many older people get bitter toward young people because they see them as having opportunities that many young people seem to waste. Too many parties, too many luxuries, too much time spent on ‘playing’ instead of working. They focus on accomplishments and not on joy.
    There needs to be a balance. There is a time for every purpose. A time to work and a time to play. All you can do is realize that your father is doing the best that he can with what he has at the time. And then, let it go.
    Be happy with yourself and live your own dreams. You are not your father and he is not you. You can listen to what he says, but you don’t have to own it. That is only one man’s oppionion and it doesn’t have to be yours. Many times the harsh words directed at you, are those he says to himself in his own mind.
    When you have children, you won’t do this because you know how it feels. Maybe he’s forgotten how he felt when his father did this to him. It’s time to find a different role model and be your own hero. Never allow anyone else, even a parent, hurt you so much that you want to end your life.
    Take back your power. Be a super-hero.

  10. and sometimes, and only sometimes,
    saying “i can’t change you, only to notice” leads to him/her opening heart and changing.

  11. My father isn’t the antagonist in my life as it seems yours turned out to be. I’ve known families with similar situations though. I would even be willing to posit that a mother is the other side of the coin for a boy. Similar situations can take on many forms: fathers, mothers, siblings, relatives, “friends,” or other toxic people. They all can lead you down the path of poor assessment of self-worth and suicide.

    The words of encouragement don’t change much though. It’s a matter of surrounding yourself with the best support, and having the conviction to move in your own direction. This is much easier said than done, and requires people willing to put money where their mouths are… so to speak. It takes time and wisdom to locate them.

    For what it’s worth, take heart. If you’re wise enough to realize the situation, you have a fighting change to make a change for the better.

    • This is so well put Corvidae, so many people have low expectations, simply because instead of getting the love and support of a parent or friend they experienced jealousy reflected back from a damaged soul. It is too simple to judge anyone who lashes out – because they are hurt too.

  12. There are libraries on the matter.

    The truth is that it is about life and oneself – memories, emotions, thoughts, ideas … all are our own. He is himself – in his life. Both tortured by their respective “expectations.”

    Untill we see our moment face to face with ourself. What do I need to do now, for myself ! With a calm resolution and boundless energy, leaving all things in their places without vengeance in heart, and taking the road now before our being with cheer.

    Great share !

  13. Dear Sakshi

    I am younger to you, and may be a bit inexperienced to comment on this; but I was so very tempted that I could not resist…

    What I feel is dads, in general are not that bad in true sense. Instead they are a lot more subtle. Whenever I think of my dad I always see a friend in him. Fathers (and I believe men in general) are too hesitant to show emotions easily. So you won’t get direct words of affection, love and care from them. Why? I believe that is because of the kind of role that is expected from them. They are the anchors to the family against the ‘outside world’. I feel that it is the requirements of the world that makes a person what he is…

    As far as I have felt, dads do sacrifice a lot for their children. And mostly the sacrifice cannot be seen at first sight. There has to be a reason for every step he takes and every word he speaks. Try to see the hidden reason; talk to him. Understand him.

    Because, I feel that it is actually very difficult to understand a father’s heart. But once once that true heart is understood, you will find the best friend in him…

    That’s what I feel from my experience (although a bit less than yours). I earnestly hope that each person finds his/her hero in his/her dad…forever…

  14. Very interesting, and it plays into the topic of the poem I’m hoping to write today. A Father’s Lament is the working title, about my perspective as the father as my first son gets ready to go off to college. So much in this piece rings loud and clear about the struggles my son and I have had over the years. I only hope I haven’t left him feeling quite the same.

  15. Peace to you.

    I can’t have a relationship with my father. We had a very difficult relationship, and he finally forced my hand… I told him that, although I took no pleasure in it, and wasn’t trying to hurt him, he wasn’t capable of behaving in such as way that he could be a father or as a grandfather to my children. I carried around a lot of childhood scars because of him.

    I understand his behavior. I understand his pain. I learned well into my 30’s that his father (my grandfather who I never met) had a motorcycle accident when he was 17, that caused a severe head injury. The result was frequent seizures and unpredictably explosive, violent behavior. I cannot imagine the hell my father lived through growing up that way, but I can see the little boy in him that was traumatized. I can empathize with his- but the fact remains that he’s not done what he needs to do to take care of himself, so he can’t be a father or a grandfather. I’m sad for him, but I won’t subject myself or my children to his abuse.

  16. My father wasn’t emotionally available. He may have been in the house physically but he wasn’t there for me in other ways. I needed him especially during my early teen years when I wasnt into having a relationship with my mother, I think many teen girls need their father more than their mother. I have gotten over it, I now have a good relationship with my parents. I love them so much and I realized they did the best they could. Being a father or a mother is an extremely tough job, I don’t dwell anymore on mistakes they made. This was a very touching post, it also brought tears to my eyes.

  17. I didn’t want to LIKE this, but I did because you wrote it well. I hope this wasn’t your true life, but if it was, know that you turned out wonderful, and he was totally wrong!!!!!! Peace!!! 🙂

  18.       sakshivashist,My New Friend and Fellow Blogger,I had to express my Thoughts on,”when your hero is not your Hero anymore…… Sak,I actually had tears in my eyes!Your opening-“in our tender years,Wow,Awesome,for, “tender-years” draws Attention*!! I also loved,adorned,your Illustrations..right on time,holding the readers interest..Believe, me I had to drop up a email,because,I Truly* enjoyed this Post….Btw: My Dad Passed away when I was only (4) years Old.I Do Not remember him!!!-Sigh-I’m told I look so much like him..awwww.lol..But, life goes on..I shall follow your Post,and hope you do like-wise,you are a excellent writer,so feel free to leave me Suggestions..I will listen..lol.Peace Friend….blm1957@wordpress.com .

     

     

     

     

     

     

  19. What a great post. I had a very negative relationship with my dad during my teenage years but I have learned to ignore his criticisms. He was a very filial son and followed absolutely what his father.told him to do. My views do not completely match up with his but we have both agreed to make peace. i will be never as filial as him and he will never be as liberal as me.

  20. Pingback: Day #13: A Father’s Lament | KingMidget's Ramblings

  21. Wow. What a post, my father (I’ve never classed him as a dad for this reason) killed himself when I was a baby and I never really understood the complexities of his decision until I had my girls. Obviously there is a need for discipline and I have to remind myself that my wife mustn’t always have to be the bad cop, but your words are an inspiration. Thank you.

  22. David (in the Bible) whose father didn’t even consider David worthy to stand before prophet Samuel said in Psalm 27:10 “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” Irrespective of his father’s faults, it didn’t stop David from being the anointed one. Just trust in God. God bless you.

  23. They say there comes a point when you realize someone else’s ugliness toward you says everything about them and nothing about you. I never quite got that until now, in my midlife, where I have learned to be gentler with myself. And I realize ugliness is always about the other person, even if directed at me. I hope someday you will see that it was your father’s misery that created it–not any true lack in you.

  24. My father is apathy personified. Not sure which is worse, a critical father or a totally disconnect, disinterested one.

  25. Hi. Thank you for the “like” for my post “The Light of Christ Will Always Shine Through the Darkness”. His light shines through you as you use your God-given gift to write and express yourself to others. You are a blessing to others.

    I am sorry for the struggles you’ve had with your Dad. Please don’t allow yourself to be defined by his treatment of you. Perhaps he has struggles of his own that he takes out on you. In your heart, keep loving him. Deep down, I’m sure he loves you, too. Believe in yourself and see yourself as God sees you, a wonderful person He created with plans and purposes meant just for you.

    Don’t give up on your father. Keep him in prayer. In time, perhaps your love for him can bring about good things.

    God bless you, my friend. 🙂

  26. I have found that most fathers learn from their fathers. They are human. They make mistakes. They think they are doing the right thing. This is all true about mothers, too. They learn from their mothers. When I was very young, I married a man who hated his father and would just as soon spit on him as look at him. But he was everything he hated about his dad. That’s what he learned. He was just as abusive physically, sexually, and verbally. While you are able to leave a husband, you are always blood to your dad.

    My mom died when I was 5 and my father wasn’t mature enough to take care of 5 little kids. We were all split up and raised by different people. Put us side by side and you would never realize that we were siblings because we are all so different. But that is because we were raised in different circumstances. I was raised by an aunt and uncle (who were as different as day and night). My aunt was very abusive and my uncle was my “protector.” I could have chosen the path to be just like my aunt, who was my mother-figure, or I could choose to become a good mom. I chose to be a good mom.

    We all can choose our path in life. I pray you learn from your dad’s mistakes. God bless you! ❤

  27. liked the post . yes .people should lead by example. the way father behaves , and lead his life has greater impact on children.

    but somewhere i feel instead of keep blaming children and saying ” you cannot do it in your life time” they should try and make them understand how important is it to CHANGE the attitude towards life for the betterment of self. .

    Catch them doing right..
    🙂

  28. Sad face.

    My dad was pretty terrible so I never thought him much of a hero – he was always more the villain, with either violence or indifference – so when I found out two years ago he was having another kid I was worried because I’m not there to protect this one like I did all those days and nights my little sister climbed into my bed scared.

    Then I saw him for the first time in four years a month ago, and he’s a completely different person with absolutely no trace of the raging alcoholic I grew up with. He recognised what a mess he made of our family, and he doesn’t want to do that again.

    So the way I see it, from these experiences we have been taught exactly how not to be without having to learn it from our own mistakes.. And we’ll be better parents for it.

  29. I agree that it is difficult when you discover that your perfect Mom and Dad are human, with human frailities and flaws. Just as I expected people to ‘love me for who I am’, I learned to love my parents the same way. Of course, this is supposing that, as was the case of my parents, the love is deserved.

    And thank you for visiting and liking my 1950 adventures.

  30. This is a really eloquent, contemplative post. I’ve always had a difficult relationship with my father; I hated him (well, a mixture of love and hate really) for many years whilst also trying desperately to win his approval. I considered him to be the first male from whom I’d need to ‘win love’… and when that didn’t work I concluded that I couldn’t really be loved by any other man. After a really, really long time I actually realised how stupid I was being. How silly it was to look at father’s day cards and wish that I had a loving and encouraging father that I could give one to. Eventually, I worked to emotionally distance myself from my father. Not meaning that I no longer cared about him, but… more that I didn’t take anything that he said personally. I realised that he, also, was a product of a dysfunctional upbringing where he needed to win his own parents’ affections through acts of service. Like you said, we’re all broken human beings trying to make our way through life the best that we can. I do hope that I won’t pass on the same generational ‘sins of my father’ to my own children (I do hope that they will always feel loved, valued and encouraged… I am lucky that I have complete respect and love for my husband as a balanced male role model!) but I guess we all have no idea how difficult parenting is until we try it ourselves. I now try to love my father without condition, and to respect him, as my parent, no matter how he acts. Ah, relationships are hard! Thanks again for this food-for-thought.

  31. Hi.
    unfortunately we don’t choose our parents.

    Their primary mission is to give us life. To put us on this Earth so that we can experience how it is to be alive on this planet.

    But probably, it’s inside of our own family that we have to face the most difficult times of all, and we are forced to learn how to become stronger and work on ourselves and our weaknesses.

    Parents disappoint, hurt, betray our trust and as you said when we become adolescent we realize that they are not perfect like we used to think before.

    I know it hurts, especially if they don’t support nor try to understand you.

    But I am sure that somehow all this pain and sorrow is making you stronger and wiser and is helping you understand which kind of parent you would like to be one day and how you will treat your own children.

    I am sorry to hear what you are going through.

    I wish you will be soon a free bird and all your beauty will shine through and bless the world.

    🙂

    Lotussong

    • As a parent (mom) who loves and enjoys my children (ages 12 & 18), I’d like to say that parenting is much more than just giving life to another human being. It’s dedicating myself to their needs, health and well-being, It’s providing for them, looking out for them, and sharing experiences with them. Sharing their joys and helping them through struggles. Parenting is about loving them, and sharing God’s love with them. I’m not perfect. No parent is. Yes, we make mistakes, but our sons know we love them. I’m sorry for those who haven’t experienced positive relationships with their parents, and hope someday they’ll have loving relationships with their children. I also hope that fractured relationships will be mended. Love and forgiveness can work wonders.

  32. Hi Sakshi!
    Don’t hold your breath too much over your dad. He is only being your dad & trying to get you to remember about what you did & how to change it. I never got over mine never being open until he had a bad stroke & few small strokes which through seeing nurses I finally realized what I could do to make his days better. When I saw him & finally got to talk to him because I was living in the same place he was except for a room away, he noticed me & took me under his arm & finally helped me out of a real ordeal besides giving me money to
    go to a poetry convention after he had seen my poems & I could finally let go of the meanness I had when I knew him earlier in life. He was so hard to get along with & finally
    able to get to know him the last few days before he went to heaven. So don’t let the bad or even your dad ruin any relationship with you. Just keep trying to see him because if you don’t, you may regret it later. If he would die today, would you feel that it was worth missing him & not knowing he still loved you even if he did tell you that you were nothing good? Life changes & don’t give up on it! I almost did & had a bad time until I got to see him when I did.
    He really changed for the better! Nice to be able to give you this hoping it will help you see a different lite on life. It makes the world seem a lot different either way. I know from being brought up that life is a many splendored thing! It has lots to live for opposed to what we decide for the present. The present always changes from the future. Be good & think straight before acting out! You will never regret it.

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