To be an “adult” or not


I am going to tell you a little about my background to understand the question.
When I was 3 my father left and my mom raised my brother and me. When I was 18 I found my father and we began to talk and now have a great relationship.
I only get to see him once a year or so . I am 23 now and so since I was 18 I have only seen him 6 times. This summer I will see him for the 7th time. We talk on the phone all the time so we have a good relationship.
What I struggle with is being an “adult” when I visit. I am 23 years old and since I did not have a childhood with him when I do see him part of me wants to be a kid. I don’t mean act like one, but not have responsibilities when I visit him. He pays for everything when I am with him and I always bug him to do things like a kid would.
My question is do I have a right to not be an adult when I visit him? Sometimes I feel childish talking to him on the phone about the things we can do when I visit.

Category: asked May 27, 2015

3 Answers

Shifting a parent/child relationship to a point where both parties are adults is difficult. Where you don't really have a parent/child relationship to begin with, it's doubly difficult. I think you need to have a clear idea about what you want in a relationship with your father, and then work towards that. It's totally understandable to want to be a kid again and build that relationship with your father, but that's not how it's worked out, so you need to come up with a plan of attack. Just figure out what you want, and it will be much easier to figure out how to do it.
The feelings you are currently having will not last forever. You missed out on a part of your childhood that you are taking this opportunity to regain. As your needs are met, you will find that you naturally act less like a child around your father, as your interests will organically shift to more adult activities.
Your dad ran off and left you when you were small and needed him. Now that you are an adult and it doesn't require any effort on his part, he can satisfy his need to not look like an asshole to the rest of the world for putting up with you once a year. So if you can tolerate looking at his face, then I damn sure would not spend a penny of my own money when I visited him. If I ever see my mom again, I'm going to hit her in her lying whore mouth as hard as I can and then spit in her face and walk away.