He may be a fa­ther but he sure ain’t a dad

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS & LIFE - MAU­REEN SCURFIELD

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I wrote you re­cently about my dad be­ing a young fa­ther and how he has a new wife and kids, but has for­got­ten about me — his first child. Well, I took your ad­vice. I gave him a call, told him I missed him very much and asked to go out for lunch. We were sup­posed to go last week­end but Satur­day night he texted me say­ing he was “sick” and couldn’t do lunch, so we resched­uled for the next week­end. I waited around all week­end — no text or call. I’m very hurt and up­set that a fa­ther could do this to his own child! I re­ally wanted a re­la­tion­ship with my dad, but now it seems like he doesn’t care for me at all. I’m just get­ting sick of his choos­ing his new fam­ily over me. He was MY dad first. Don’t I get to de­cide if I want to share him ? I may sound self­ish, but that’s just how I feel. Should I just for­get about my dead­beat dad, or should I keep try­ing ? Please help me! — Hurt Daugh­ter, Win­nipeg

Dear Hurt: I think it’s time now to look for a sub­sti­tute dad. You have tried ev­ery­thing you could try, and this man, who is un­wor­thy of the name Dad, has not re­sponded. Do you have an un­cle or grand­fa­ther who would ap­pre­ci­ate the love and at­ten­tion you have tried to show your dead­beat dad? “Dad” is a role. Your dad is not ful­fill­ing that role with you. There­fore he is a bio-dad, but not a real, par­tic­i­pat­ing fa­ther. He’s no longer de­serv­ing of your try­ing to en­gage him. It’s time you started slowly and ca­su­ally look­ing at a re­place­ment in some­one else, or just let­ting it be. Frankly, he’s be­ing a jerk and it makes me an­gry, as an adult and mom, that this has hap­pened. My deep­est apolo­gies from the good par­ents of the world. One thing you can do for a happy fu­ture? Make sure you marry a solid fam­ily guy who will be a great hus­band to you and fa­ther to your chil­dren one day. Note: He does not have to be older than you, just ma­ture for his years, steady and loving.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I hate what I have be­come. I used to be a trust­ing, loving, happy-go-lucky guy who hap­pened to be gay. Then along came my neme­sis — a ly­ing, cheat­ing heart­breaker who pre­tended to be like me but was ac­tu­ally a scor­pion un­derneath. Af­ter he was through with my heart, it was full of holes. Now I have be­come a sus­pi­cious, unlov­ing, up­tight man al­ways look­ing out for No. 1. I don’t get hurt any­more, but I don’t fall in love any­more. I have lots of money, a house, a cot­tage and my choice of part­ners if I want one. But I am deeply un­happy. What can I do? Where should I go? I don’t want to be lonely like this any­more. — No Love In My Good Life, Os­borne Vil­lage

Dear No Love: The scor­pion not only stung you and wounded you badly while he was with you, he con­tin­ues be­ing part of your brain, through neg­a­tive thoughts and be­liefs. You need re­pro­gram­ming back to the guy you were be­fore. You will never be as trust­ing, and that’s good, to an ex­tent. But you can get back to giv­ing new peo­ple the ben­e­fit of the doubt while pro­ceed­ing slowly to know the char­ac­ter un­der their per­son­al­ity. What you need is the best psy­chol­o­gist you can find who is gay or gay-friendly and un­der­stands the whole scene here. Can­cel your ca­sual sex/love life for a month and go in­ten­sively for ses­sions and then grad­u­ally start see­ing peo­ple again, while still hav­ing the shrink as your coach. You have mem­ory of what it was like to be the man you en­joyed be­ing be­fore this trauma. You can get back to it.

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