I don’t know if this is the right place to share this. I don’t know if this is the right time to write this. But when you’re a writer, you have to get it out. And right now, I’m puking emotions all over the screen.
My sister had surgery today, a complicated procedure involving her neck, spinal cord, bone grafts, and titanium plates. I’m so happy this is a first step in her healing process that is another story for another day.
Today, I saw my real dad. The man I lived as a family unit with my mother and sister until I was 10. And that’s pretty much where our history stops. What history I do have isn’t good. It’s filled with his violent, emotional, physical outbursts, all focused on my mother, but implanted in my history, as much as my DNA is implanted in me at a cellular level.
He had no idea I was coming to my sister’s surgery and as far as I know, she didn’t tell him. I’m not sure if he had known I was coming, if he would have shown up. If anyone else from my mother’s side of the family had come, he wouldn’t have been there. I guess that’s his way of not facing his past.
I’m writing this through my tears. Today, I sat on a two-person sofa beside a man I have nothing in common with other than he donated to half of my genetic makeup. Physically, I have shoulders and short, stocky structure. His fair skin. His hands. A love of photography bordering on obsession. But nothing else I can note.
Why am I weeping for a man who gave up life with us? Who I begged to pay attention to me. Him I so desperately wanted to love me for me. Instead, he loved others. His girlfriend. His wife. Her kids. Their kid.
The only thing I ever wanted was his attention. To spend time with him. To get to know him. To get answers. Why is the big one. Why did he do what he did to my Mom? Why did he just stop being a Dad to us? Why, why, why?
My dear friend, Dresden, just texted me the reminder “We all turned out so kick ass. Absent genetic contributors and all.”
Yet, I question that because I’m still seeking approval from a man I’m not sure I’ll never get approval from. Isn’t that what we’re all seeking from our parents? Approval. It’s such loaded word and can make or break your psyche. Your confidence. Your life at so many times.
Mom has told me repeatedly how happy he was to have me in his life. How much he loved me. That he would grab strangers by the hand at the hospital to have them come look at his first born, his baby. But, when it’s been 30 years… really 38, as he pretty much bailed emotionally and physically when mom was pregnant with my sister.
Maybe it’s hitting me harder because my late Grandfather’s birthday is just around the corner. He’s the one who stepped up when my father took off. He took me to my softball games, taught me how to drive a car, and slipped me his credit card without my Grandmother knowing when I was going out with friends. He’s been gone 4 years and the pain still hasn’t receded. I have another wonderful man in his place, my step-father, Steve. Two amazing men who love me for me.
But, it still doesn’t change the aching loneliness. Doesn’t stop the flood of tears that won’t stop coming pouring out of me. All I know is, today I sat on that sofa and have never felt more like a lost little girl, wishing I could find the directions to put me in his heart and in his life.