I am an open book. Sometimes maybe too much so. I have always believed that people can’t talk about you if you’ve already told everything there is to tell. Putting my truth into the world is sort of like therapy for me. The good, the bad and the ugly. Every post that I write, there is someone out there who can relate.
Four years ago I wrote a post about not knowing my biological father. My Life Without My Biological Father Hitting the release button on that post back then was one of the scariest things I had ever done in my life. Letting the world in on something that I rarely talked about was both terrifying and important. A lot of personal growth came from that decision.
Looking back though, I think part of me wrote that post hoping my biological father would stumble upon it and reach out to me. Finally accepting the error of his ways. But of course the odds were slim. And it never happened. For 45 years he has chosen not to be a part of my life
My mother tells me often that he is the one missing out. She says I am smart, beautiful and funny. All of the things that a good mother would say. I have spent years unraveling the intricate wound that developes when a parent walks away. It affects so many aspects of your life. Even as an adult.
I am still angry for my mother. As a pregnant child herself, she chose to keep me. There was never a question. She struggled as a young, single mother. We struggled. Back in 1972 you couldn’t sue for paternity or get child support. It was he said, she said. And the woman never came out on top.
Yet still today, my mother tells me that she would do it all over again. The sad thing is my mother was never able to have another baby after me. An ectopic pregnancy not only almost killed her but also meant that I would be her only child. She tells me that God knew exactly what she needed.
Once you are a parent you have a greater purpose in life. Every decision that you make, you have your children’s best interest at heart. My kids do not know their grandfather. He made a decision all those years ago that now affects them as well. My mother reached out to him through the years on my behalf. Trying to convince him to do the right thing. To me though he is still a mythical creature of sorts.
I have never felt compelled to reach out to him. He is the parent after all. Why should I have to convince anyone to be in my life?
Times are very different today than they were back in the 1970s. For many years I had no idea what my biological father even looked like. Then one day recently I worked up the nerve to investigate. I had his name after all. All it took was a Facebook search to learn that although he didn’t appear to have an account, his daughter did. I had a half-sister.
Never once had I ever wondered about siblings. I guess I had closed that part of my life up so tightly that I never got that far. I had a sister. A sister who didn’t even know that I existed.
Suddenly the entire situation became something different. Not only had my father decided that I wouldn’t know him. Or that my children couldn’t know him. He had also decided that I shouldn’t know my only blood sibling. With this revelation I had a whole new sense of purpose. I was done playing the victim in my mind. I was done letting him make all of the decisions.
But what to do? How could I even know whether she wanted to know about me? Why would she believe my story anyway? I am sure that she loves her father. The father who raised her. Her experience was totally different from mine. She probably adores the very man, whom I equate to a unicorn.
My husband asked me to let him reach out to him on my behalf. This man had never really affected my husband’s life but he could tell that even though I said it didn’t matter anymore, that simply was not the case. If my father was continuing to choose not to be in my life, then I had every right to at least know my sister.
He was able to obtain my father’s work email. He sent a short note asking him to call at his convenience and gave his number. He quickly responded asking my husband to use his personal email for any correspondence. Apparently there would be no call.
Next my husband crafted an eloquent message to my father presenting his view of things. He told him that he had four amazing kids who didn’t have a grandfather, as my husband’s dad passed years before they were born. He expressed concern of not knowing their complete health history. That troubled him. He told him that I had always been told that he was my father, ever since I was old enough to understand such matters.
Naturally, my wife would be hesitant to reach out to someone whom she has never met, knowing that person has never accepted any part as her biological father. You may choose to keep status quo with yourself. However, she would like an introduction to her half-sister.
As a mother myself, I knew the news would be much better coming from her dad, rather than a stranger. In the marvel that is modern science it could be proven without a doubt that I am his daughter. His first daughter. Most men would want to know the truth. Unless of course you already know the truth and have known for years.
My biological father remains silent. Not a word in response. Not even a protest. Choosing still to live in denial. The very denial that has continued for 45 years.
Except, I don’t need his permission for anything. I am not that fatherless child. I am a grown ass woman. Despite not having a father, I have a supportive, loving husband. He will always have my back. My children are some of the luckiest in the world.
To be continued.