Often times relationships with parents tend to go through a rocky phase during teenage years, in the “know it all” phase. However, my relationship with my father very seldom gets out of the rocky phase. We have gone through many up and downs in the years of my life my father has actually be around for. In this paper I will analyze my relationship with my dad using the six stage relationship model, listening barriers, and both of our self-esteems.
Being my dad, the contact stage in our relationship began quite long before I remember. However, our involvement stage did not reflect the average father daughter relationship. Not long after my birth my father became a recluse and had no true involvement in my life. Partly based on the fact that we did not have a traditional family, as we did not have a shared living space. Often times though, he would blame his lack of involvement on his low self-esteem. He periodically would have some involvement such as times when my grandma would provide him money to take me for activities so he could get to know the girl I was becoming. However, I never received the same involvement from him, any time I began to self-disclose I would hit a brick wall. This would often resulting in me crying to someone, typically my mother or grandmother, about how upset it made me and further drove a wedge in our relationship because I never would talk to my dad about my frustrations with our relationship but rather other people.
Because of the lack of involvement on his end it was very difficult to reach the intimacy stage, however with a little probing from my grandparents and my mother we slowly reached it around the time I was six or seven. We began social bonding, we would go out to movies and he often times introduce me to his girlfriends as their relationships got more serious. We began to spend time on the football field together or played computer games at home, just something to two of us could do. As I began to spend more time at his house we started having more affiliate cues, such as our bear hugs and my Duchene smiles that my dad started making fun of as I began to lose teeth.
Then our relationship experienced our first round of deterioration. I moved to another state and my dad got a divorce the same year. One cause was his recurring self-esteem issues, after divorcing his wife at the time, Tanya, he no longer seemed interested in anything. I would call to talk and he would just be very short and down most of the time, often resulting in my frustration and attempts to end the conversation quickly. Another cause was financial difficulties, my dad is a teacher who did not make a lot of money and lost most of it in the divorce. So often times when I would ask him to come visit for special events like my birthday or sporting events he would reply “I don’t have the money”, which is a hard thing for a ten year old to understand. At the time all I ever understood what that yet again my dad could not make it to something...