Friday, June 15, 2018

Father Day? Daddy Issues? Celebrate or Pass? Sunday June 17, 2018

The Father’s Day Letter to my Estranged Dad presents as a wonderful evolutionary coming of age processing of an adult son’s cathartic reflections of his father-son relationship.  I initially started writing something light and positive but life is not always a win nor effortless. With some life experiences the struggle is part of the achievement.  With this said the Father Archetype is something that I vested six years in study.  All to say, a Ph.D. from a university that specializes in Jungian psychology has left me with an ongoing recognition that I don’t fully understand the symbolic and unconscious meaning of The Father.

There is so much to know and learn about the Father Figure.  Maybe I should have just said it’s complicated and sometimes I struggle to grasp the depth of the true meaning of the Father Figure Archetype.  Love, hate. One is the son and becomes the father. Or chooses not to become the father and a part of that branch symbolically dies? Or does more life go to ...
the other branches so that they become stronger?  What is the presence of the Gay Father personally or within the family at large? Or the Gay Son’s meaning with the patriarch, and the family system? The death of the father? Is the President of the United States a Father Archetype, and of so what does he represent?  What happens if the father is in a healthy loving functioning relationship with his spouse; or if he is a single dad?  What if he has wandered from the family through divorce creating another family, or become incarcerated, or just is a drunkard-emotionally-unavailable-damaged man?  Many of these behaviors or personalities are a part of the father son process that can lead to rich life lessons or ongoing challenges to the grave. Often unanswered is the norm of the Father complex.

Last year I had a 2017 Father’s Day Blog that presented Father’s Day Stores that I introduced. Father’s Day can range in meaning for many people.  Whether a positive relationship, over enmeshed, distant or unforgiving.

In recent years more layered life challenges have led to Dementia and Alzheimer’s increasing  the challenges and riches of the father relationship - see Celebrating Father’s Day with dad’s suffering with Dementia with your father.  We are forced to find alternative and creative interventions to connect with the Alzheimer’s dad even if it is through Baseball Therapy to outings for ice cream or walking around familiar places around town (which might be challenging with wonderers).

Additional challenges fall with the Bittersweet tale of managing Father’s Day and Suicide from the child lens or the father having to revisit loss annually because of his son’s suicide on Father’s Day.

However, to honor the happy loving motion-picture-Lifetime TV movies that oose tears from the most alpha of men is something admirable.  Yet, the issue of the estranged relationship’s toll on the father on Father’s Day and the mindfulness of what not to say to estranged children for Fathers Day can have friends unsure of the right social protocol.

The key is to recognize the Father Archetype or Father Figure and have an aware of its meaning in your individual life while being mindful of the sensitivity it might present to other and how you can departmentalize the recognition for each individual or group or family or community.

Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash
Photo by Ashes Sitoula on Unsplash

Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

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