To grow up without your biological father is a profound thing…a life altering thing.
I cannot begin to wrap my head around why someone would not want to be apart of their child’s life.
Dealing without my biological father and with him has been interesting to say the least. My memories of him are vague and come in fragments. My experiences with him in these last two years are happy, sad, hopeful, and empty.
He left when I was five. The few memories I have him are actually good ones. I remember him playing baseball with us. I remember him being really funny and a jokester. I remember him trying to do my long hair on the days that he would have us at his house. I remember him always being on the floor and playing with my brother and I.
From ages five to twelve– we had zero communication. I did not know him. I thought of him very little. It wasn’t until my brother’s funeral that I saw him. I was kind. I was open. I wanted to be apart of his life. He never called. He never wrote.
From ages twelve to sixteen– we had zero communication. I did not know him. I thought of him very little. It wasn’t until I ran away from home in one of my stupid teenage angst episodes that I tracked him down through a relative of his so I can really “get back” at my parents. He flew down the next day. I was so hopeful. We spent three days together. He was so easy to talk to. He was fun. He was really cool. He was raising another family that was not biologically his and coincidentally were around my age. I tried really hard to be okay with it but it quite literally broke my heart. He went back to his home state. We communicated for a few months. The letters stopped. The calls stopped.
From ages sixteen to twenty seven– we had zero communication. I did not know him. I thought of him more often than ever before. Two years ago, I talked to Chris about finding him. We had a daughter, I had a whole family I knew nothing about, and I was getting older. My heart wanted to find out who that other part of me was.
Chris tracked him down and asked him if he was capable of being apart of my life before I spoke with him because he didn’t want to see me hurt. He explained my pain and my bio Dad reassured Chris that he wanted to be apart of me again.
Our first conversation was painful. He cried most of the time. I was brave. I was strong. I appeared to be at least… Inside I was wanting it to be really really easy for him to stick around this time because I felt some where that I had made it too difficult in the past and that is why he never stayed. The internal people-pleaser wanted him to be proud of me, I wanted him to see my life and want to be apart of it, and I wanted him to be my “dad.”
A few months after our first conversation, he hopped on a plane and visited us three. It was an awesome visit. I was very open and forgiving. We welcomed him in our home with open arms. It was wonderful. B loved him. Chris and him got along. There were talks of him “starting over with us” and moving down. I was so happy. My hopes were so high for our future. I had my biological Dad in my life finally and it felt marvelous.
He went home. The honeymoon phase ended.
The sorrow that I had buried for years started to resurface. I was hurting… bad. How could he have done this to me? He didn’t deserve my family to be in his life so easily. How could he have not even looked for me all these years? How could he have raised children that were not his shortly after deciding to not be apart of my life? What did I do to deserve this?
I sought help through a wonderful man at our church. He counseled me with such love and grace. For him, I am forever grateful. He helped me get healthy. He helped me see God’s love for me. I felt valued. I felt strong. I felt worthy.
I shared with my dad how I felt. I shared with him what I needed to maintain my mental health. He seemed on board.
The calls got sporadic. The visits, fewer and far between. It was hard for him to hear how he made me feel. I get it. He deals with his own guilt and sadness. I get it.
But I am parent and these are my truths:
Nothing will ever keep me from my daughter.
I will quite literally lay down my life for her.
Her happiness is very important for me.
I will remind her she is worthy, strong, brave, and brilliant.
I will deny myself 99.9% for her. (The .01% is reserved for my “mommy breaks” LOL)
I have one chance at this. I will forever want to be better and do better for her.
So you can see why it is hard for me to comprehend why this man… whose blood runs through my veins would rather make me feel worthless to spare himself a “hard” conversation with me or to even deal with the awkwardness.
I want you to know: he is a good person. He helps people. He is kind. He is generous. He is funny. He is gentle. I am actually really proud of who he is. There is just something that prevents him from totally present with me.
Maybe it’s because we didn’t forge a close natural bond when I was a kid?
Maybe it is because he cannot handle the guilt and shame that I represent for him?
Maybe it is because he is just too busy for me?
Maybe it is because he just really doesn’t want to be apart of my life?
I don’t know the answer to those possibilities. I don’t know why he never kept his promise of moving here. I don’t know why his calls have gotten to about one or two every two months.
I just don’t know.
What I do know is that all of his decisions are his own.
But for me– I have learned FORGIVENESS.
Forgiveness for me is not “Okay-I forgive you. I will never feel sad or hurt again.” Forgiveness of this nature is active work. I have to ask God often to help me love him and forgive him. I refuse to allow anyone to have power over my life in the way that unforgiving causes. He is not capable of being the father that I have always dreamed of. This is my reality and it is okay. I will be okay. I am still blessed beyond measure.
Do not ever allow anyone to make you feel unworthy, unloved, or disregarded.
Thanks for reading xo