I have not spoken to the father on my birth certificate in around four years. I haven’t seen him for seven years. I don’t know how to contact him. He doesn’t have a phone. I don’t know his address. I have changed phone numbers since the time I last spoke to him.
I could probably track him down. I think my mum has his mothers phone number. I could ring her, (if she is still alive?) and leave a message for him to call me. I don’t know if he would. I don’t know if I’d want him too.
Today, I came across a woman on facebook who used to be his best friend, his neighbor, for years and years. For the brief period that I had visits with him as a child, I used to play with her kids. She took me under her wing, as my birth father had no idea what to do with a young girl in his care for the weekend. She was very good and kind to me. She was a bit of a surrogate mother to me, on those weekends.
It was a shock to see her profile picture, I haven’t seen her in probably 20 years. I wonder if they are still close? I wonder if I should contact her? I wonder what I hope will come from making contact with my past?
I can honestly say I don’t know. I need time to think, to process the possibilities. Below is something I wrote about the relationship I have had with the father on my birth certificate a while ago. Bit of background information, for those who don’t know.
This is part one, as I really don’t know how I feel or any clear thought on what possibilities could arise from making contact. Everything is swirling in my head. Part two will be my articulation of all these crazy whirlwind thoughts.
It’s not every girl who can say that she has been walked out on by 2 fathers in her life. Well, to be fair, that’s a bit dramatic. One of those fathers was barely ever in my life to have much of an impact when he walked out. I will start with his story, or what I know of it anyway.
My mum fell pregnant with me when she was 19, to my father who was 28. According to my mum, at the time he was working as a drug dealer, driving around in a brand new jag. They stayed together until I was 2. The story goes that they broke up, he burnt all of my baby photos, and disappeared from our lives. My mum remarried when I was 4, and despite being old enough to know different, somehow, in my head, I thought my step father was my real dad. I called him dad, and had his last name.
Then, one day when I was around 8, my mother told me that “Dad” really wasn’t my real father, and that, if I wanted, she would drive me to the country to visit my real father, Alan. And so, after many years, we turned up on Alan’s door step. By this stage, he had become a fully fledged hippy, living the life of a hermit in the country. No land line, certainly no mobile, strict vegan/no processed food diet, wild long hair and beard, and a nice crop of marijuana growing in the back yard for personal use. He was nice enough, probably asked me about school or something, for such a momentous occasion, I really don’t remember the details.
From then on, I started visiting for weekends every fortnight. I don’t think either of us were that fussed by it. He had no idea what to do with a little girl he didn’t know, and I felt no connection to this strange, wild haired man, who didn’t even own a telephone?!?! And besides, I had a Dad, the man I lived with, at home, with my mum. I played up for him, he didn’t know how to handle it. He was used to living a simple life, with no complications, and I was a complication in his life. There was some kind of argument between him and my mum when I was about 13, and suddenly I stopped going there on the weekends anymore.
Over the years, he would give me a call every few months, and we would ‘small talk’ for a few minutes. He would be ringing from a payphone, so would always conveniently run out of money, somewhere between ‘hows work’ and stories about his dog. The calls would get further and further apart, and mum would often tell me that he had only called because she had contacted him, and told him to ring me, despite me telling her a million times that I didn’t want her to do that.
A few years ago, after I left my husband, lost contact with my stepfather, and entered a very dark, and self destructive phase in my life, (all of which will be explained in later posts!) My mum called Alan, and told him I was struggling. She told him to call me, that I needed him. He did call, and he told me what Mum had said, about how low I was, and the self destructive things that I had been doing. He had a little chuckle, and said he figured that it was just mum being dramatic. For the first time in my life, I was honest with him, and told him the truth. I was not coping, I was not in a good place, but I was doing my best to get past it. He made an awkward excuse, and hurriedly got off the phone. I have not heard from him since. Despite me telling her not too, mum got in contact with him again, and told him after I had Milla. Apparently he told her that he didn’t care, and that I could F*ck off, he wanted nothing to do with me. I don’t know if this is true or not, but in the end, it makes no difference.
This man, that is my father, that I am half off, has never fought for me. Being a father had always been too difficult for him. Whatever happened between my mother and him, had nothing to do with me. If he wanted to see me he would have. Even when I was an adult, he never once made the effort, never even tried to get to know me. I never asked him for anything, I never questioned him, I accepted him for who he was, accepted whatever lame effort he tried to make. And I make excuses, that he is ‘hopeless’ that he can’t cope with life, that he is ill, that I don’t care.
But I promised from the start that I would always be honest. And to be honest, I do care. It hurts me. Not that this man doesn’t want to know me, as I don’t even know this man. It hurts me that the man who is my father doesn’t want to know me. It hurts that he never came looking for me.
To be continued. “What to do?”