I had an interesting weekend.
Sat morning, my sis calls and says she is meeting our biological father, whom we havenít seen in 28 years. I was four years old when my parents divorced and he essentially stayed away for our entire lives. He didnít pay child support like he was supposed to and built up major arrearages. A few years back, he wrote my mom a letter asking her to forgive his arrearages so that he could be eligible to receive disability. The whole front page of the letter was very woe is me, have mercy on me stuff, Iím hurt and canít workÖ back problems, knee problems, Iíve had a stroke, etc. On the back page of the letter was a little blurb, ďtell the girls I said hello.Ē I was relegated to the back page, which just reiterated and really drove home how Iíd felt my entire life.
For the majority of my life, I was pretty much just over him. I didnít care to get to know him. I didnít seek him out. I called him ďsperm donorĒ because thatís all he was to me. It was very much a defense mechanism wherein I felt if he didnít want to know me, if he was going to reject me, then I sure as hell didnít want to know him and I would reject him right back. My attitude was, why should I?! What has he done for me? Why should I put myself out thereÖ I donít need his approval or affection. I donít need HIM. And further, I felt like the ONLY reason Iíd ever want to meet him is to show him, to rub in his face how freakin awesome I turned out without his influence. And to show him that he missed out on knowing a damn good person.
Apparently, my cousin and aunt (real fatherís niece and her mom) had found us on facebook about a month ago. I didnít respond to their friend requests because I didnít recognize the names. My sister DID respond to their requests and began communicating with them. They set up this meeting wherein they were going to come meet my sister. When sis got there, they surprised her by bringing our father and our half-brother.
So, cut to Saturday. My sis called me to tell me where she was. She was very concerned that I would be angry at her (I wasnít) and told me she intentionally didnít tell me about the meeting because she knew Iíd be critical and try to talk her out of going (I wouldíve). She asked me if I wanted to come up and meet them all and spend some time getting to know them. I already had plans to hang out with BF and his kids, so I declined. She tried pressuring me and I got upset because I felt cornered or something, started crying, and got super angry. I told her I wasnít mad at her, but I wasnít coming and that I hoped she enjoyed her time meeting them.
So, later on that day, BF came into town with his kids and we had a REALLY good day together. I needed that time away with them and time to take my mind off of what my sister had told me. BF helped me process it and encouraged me to be open to the possibility of contact with the new family, and that he felt I might regret not meeting them, particularly my father. He tempered that by saying we have 2 different outlooks- he comes from a very family centric environment and doesnít fully understand what Iím going through. Family is important to me, but these people are just blood relatives. Theyíre not family- they havenít been there for me and I donít even know them. I donít consider them family. Anyway, we talked about it but that wasnít the major focus of our day. We had a really good time.
The next morning, I woke up and started thinking about what BF said. What if I DID end up regretting not meeting them when I had the opportunity? It was weighing heavily on me, so I made arrangements to drive up to meet them. It was so ironic that I met my deadbeat father for virtually the first time ON Fatherís Day. When I saw him for the first time, I just stopped and stared at him for an uncomfortable, inordinate amount of time. The resemblance was so striking it seemed as though I were looking in a mirror. Iím way prettier than him ; ) but there was definitely a resemblance. In fact, thatís the first thing I said- ďItís like looking in a mirror,Ē and he agreed.
We spent some time together just engaged in light chit chat, get to know you type stuff. There was no delving deep into difficult emotions or attempts to heal. He did say that he loved me, that it was never his choice to abandon me and that he always wanted to be part of my life. I just stared at him. He asked, ďWhat, you donít believe me?Ē I stated that I wasnít sure who to believe. But I honestly believe my mom never tried to keep him away from us. She confirmed this once I got home. She said the only thing that even could be construed as her keeping us away was, once, he asked her to bring us up to his state to see him. She declined as 1) she couldnít take the time off work (it was shift work with no PTO) and she couldnít afford to just pack up and take us up there and 2) she felt it was his responsibility to make the effort to see us, so he could very well have made a trip down here.
On the way back from the meeting, I spoke with BF the entire 3.5 hour drive home, and while I held my emotions together tightly during the meeting, I got overwhelmed and cried some on the way home. Both BF and sis think I handled myself well. I was glad I went; it was like a piece of the puzzle was put into place. I donít know how things will turn out, but Iím in touch with the cousin through facebook- we seem to have a lot in common as weíre messaging and getting to know each other. My half-brother was kind of shy and didnít say much. He friended me on facebook but hasnít reached out further than that. My father hasnít friended me on facebook but has my phone number and has texted me a couple of times.
If you made it this far, I applaud you! I donít know what Iím looking for here. Mainly I just needed to get this out. Any words of wisdom or hugs or whatever, would be greatly appreciated.