I do not know my biological father. I have never met him.
There used to be a stigma attached to that. I have never been one to offer up that information. Maybe I was protecting my mother. Maybe I was protecting myself. We didn’t want to be judged. Or pitied.
It was no one’s business.
The details aren’t important. Anymore. Life has a way of marching forward.
Eventually I was told the story about him.
He was a mythic creature of sorts. To me anyway. To some he was real.
Him not being around was normal. It was the only way I had ever known.
Growing up, I never had a desire to meet him. Not one. Who needs a father who doesn’t want to be needed?
He was the one missing out. Not to know his own flesh and blood.
It was his problem. Not mine. He could deal with it.
What did I care?
That served me well for a lot of years.
Then I turned forty. Forty is a profound number. It makes you think. A lot.
I found myself reflecting on life. All of the moments that had gotten me to this place. Made me this person.
When I finally let my guard down to think about it, really think about it, I realized just how affected I had been, not having him in my life.
Not even having the choice to decide IF I wanted him in my life.
I had never wanted to admit that to myself.
Every relationship that I have ever had, probably suffered in his wake.
Not having a father made me emotionally unattainable. No need to apply. Don’t waste your time and efforts.
Keeping friends at arm’s length was the only way to protect myself. I wouldn’t give anyone the power to hurt me.
Except that is an incredibly lonely, empty way to live your life.
Then I married. And had children. And they started tearing down those walls. My husband was contractually obligated to love me forever. I had the marriage certificate after all.
Surely my kids would love me unconditionally. No matter what I did to screw it up.
Even with that there was a huge hole in my life.
Through the years I have filled that hole in my soul with denial. And working. Working to be smarter, stronger and funnier. Anything to make myself more lovable.
Anything except dealing with the truth.
I had never allowed myself to feel the pain. I could not let my circumstances dictate how I should feel. I was always one step ahead.
Until recently. And then a beautiful thing happened.
I gave myself permission to feel. Permission to understand. Permission to question. Permission to blame. Permission to rise above. Except for real this time.
I deserved all of those things. I was worthy.
There was a lot of anger inside of me. Anger that had been pushed down. I internalized everything. As long as the world thought I was okay, then it must have been so.
Today I am not afraid of my truth or who knows. Maybe that is the whole reason I started this blog. To have a voice. An outlet. A release. Maybe it all led to this.
Of course it all led to this.
I do not know my biological father.
I am not that little lost girl anymore, though. I am a grown woman.
So from one adult to another:
You turned your back on me. You hurt me. Which was hard to work though since I didn’t even know you. You made me guarded and mistrusting. You made me wonder what was wrong with me. Why did your family not do something? Anything.
I was angry for how you made my mother struggle as a single parent. She worked two jobs just so we could eat during those first few years. Sometimes it felt as though I was raising myself.
You were not there for my first steps. To walk me to my first day of school. You weren’t there for father/daughter dances. My first broken heart. My first car. Graduation. You didn’t walk me down the aisle at my wedding.
You gave me no example of how a man should treat me. You made me doubt the motives of every man who was ever in my life. Yet in spite of myself, I married my husband at age 30. He has certainly paid a lot for your sins.
When asked to complete a health history, I can only tell half of the story. That gets me every time.
Because of you, I have four amazing children who have never had a grandfather. You see my husband’s father died before they were born. I know he would have loved them, if only he had been given the chance. So now they only dream of what having a grandpa must be like.
I am smart, compassionate, organized, dependable, funny and an amazing multitasker. I am a perfectionist with OCD tendencies. Maybe we share some of those qualities. But I can’t say.
I have dimples. Do you? I have often wondered.
This post has lifted the weight that I have carried all these years. No one can tell my truth. Because I already have.
I forgive you. Because to not forgive only hurts me. And my children. And it keeps me from growing and learning the things that I still have to learn.
This was my story to tell.
I am sure you have your story. Your reasons you made your choices. What you may or may not have felt all these years.
What strikes me as most odd, is that I have still compassion for you. You have missed out as well. We all make mistakes.
Maybe one day when you are poised to leave this world, you will be ready, secure with the belief that you’re leaving behind a life well lived.
That is my hope for us both.