When Your Father is a Plaster Saint!

Many of us grow up in the shadow of a plaster saint. A childhood like this can ruin a childs life for years afterwards.

Probably one of the most difficult jobs to accomplish is growing up in the shadow of a plaster saint, a prominent man, is self-centered and a house devil to boot. This has all the makings of a Shakespearian Tragedy or an Italian Soap Opera. Your choice! The combination can be absolutely devastating on any normal family life; especially when his public face paints him as both a pillar of both the community and the church.

This combination of attributes spells trouble in any family, and can affect the children of such a man for the rest of their lives. They can do this without even being aware of the effects their actions will have on future events. To top the situation off they are often clueless as to what they are doing.

A father of this sort is usually the victim of an early childhood disease that often leaves them crippled for life, or at least leaves them with a fear that as they become older they will eventually leave them crippled during their old age. Another attribute of this kind of father is going far beyond the level of being frugal, but becoming an absolute tightwad. The only place where their tight-fisted ways fail is when they are spending money on themselves. Here they can be “penny wise and pound foolish.” This often displays itself in far more automobile then they need while the rest of the family suffers.

They also are sure to be in church every time the door is open, making a scene of being a strong church-goer the whole community knows about how holy he is. What they don’t see is the scenes that happen behind the closed doors of his own home. For no reason he will fly into a towering rage if there is even a hint of missing church. In the same vein he will also seek high office in the local lodges, especially those with a religious bent. This is also done with no regard of family life. If he isn’t away on business he spends most of his time at the lodge.

He will dote on his children as infants, but completely abandon them as soon as they begin to walk. Years later when the children are in their teens he will try to enforce his will over them. This often takes the form of trying to enforce a career onto them a way of life that is completely foreign that often has religious overtones.

The final blow is delivered when they start their own business that takes all the time left. The result is that family life suffers even more. To top off all there lesser faults he dies young eiher leaving no will or one that is so hopelessly outdated it fails to meet the challenges that the family he left behind will face. If this sounds like you look into a mirror to see what looks back!


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Judith Barton
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Posted on Aug 18, 2010