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AIBU to wonder how any parent could walk by their child in the street without uttering a single word to them?

(27 Posts)
CommaSpliceQueen Tue 06-Aug-13 21:01:02

This happened to me again today.

My daughter is 5 and doesn't know her father. We split up when she was merely a few weeks old due to him being physically and verbally abusive to me, and yelling at/shaking dd.

Anyway, he's never made any attempt to get in touch. And for obvious reasons i haven't went out my way to encourage him to have a relationship with dd.

Today, me and dd were walking to the supermarket. A very narrow pathway next to a busy road. I looked ahead of us and my whole body seized up. My ex - dd's father - was walking towards us. When he met my eye, he paused for a moment and looked as though he was considering turning back. But instead he walked on. And i walked on too. Dd was chattering away to me, completely unaware her father was only 20 feet in front of us.

I felt really numb but tried to act as normally as I could. My walking pace was very slow. I didn't want him to think i was scared and was rushing by him. Anyway, he kept glancing at dd. He looked really sad tbh. Had a sort of 'longing' expression in his eyes.

As he got right beside us, i knelt down and pretended to be tying my shoe. I thought he might have stopped too and tried to say something. God knows what. But i just wanted to give him that opportunity if you see what I mean? But he didn't stop at all. He just kept on walking as fast as he could, looking over his shoulder a few times at dd.

I'm just trying to put myself in his shoes. If i were him, i don't think i could have physically stopped myself from saying something to my own child - even a mere hello. There's no way i could have just walked by her as if she was some random stranger.

On the other hand, he's probably spent the last five years trying to pretend he doesn't have a child, so seeing her today obviously shocked him and perhaps stirred up some deep emotions.

He lives in the same town as us, and we've had 'encounters' like this maybe 5 times in the past five years. And he's never talked to us. Every other time, he crossed the street, didn't look at us etc, but today he actually looked at her several times.

Ah, this has turned into a ramble. I just don't understand his thought process. Was it shock? Or did he really just not want to say hello to his daughter? Random people are always saying hello to dd. She wouldn't have thought it odd at all.

HollyBerryBush Wed 07-Aug-13 08:52:55

Does he believe he's the father?

Punkatheart Wed 07-Aug-13 08:57:55

I can sense even from a posting that you are shaken up. But perhaps his guilt on lots of levels prevented him from speaking. He did look and clearly there was some emotion there. I have realised from experience with my own child's father - that men seem to be able to cut themselves off from their children in certain ways. I have seen a woman do it too when she left her family - but it doesn't seem as common.

Your daughter has a good parent and I am sorry that you were shaken. Keep doing a great job and chattering away to your little girl. You will be rewarded with love and little arms around you. I have a teenage now and I really miss that. The best I can hope for is her to send me a funny video on Youtube.

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