Finding My Dad

Going through the process of deciding to start my own family finally has made me start to analyse the people in my life.. my friends and most of all my family.

I lost some friends when I split with my husband, some I expected to lose (the ones he had brought to the relationship and had to stay loyal) and others I really didn't expect to take sides at all nevermind the one the chose. Everyones fault and no ones. Mine probably most of all but the ones that stayed with me were my closest then and are my closest still.

My family on the other hand, aren't quite so easy to label. My nan passed away just after my 21st. I always joke that she did it to get out of going to my first wedding.. she didn't agree with my choice. I loved her like a mother and was treated by her like a daughter. Better even, like a favourite granddaughter :-) I lived with her for a time and I will thank the Gods for her till I die.

My Aunty (on my mothers side) has equally had the greatest influence on my life - though I doubt she'd think so. She is brave, determined, steadfast, funny, kind, generous and fiercely loyal to her children. She'd not afraid to admit her mistakes and has the most common sense of anyone I know and I love her with all my heart.

When I was 16, I found myself alone. Asked to leave home, still at school, no idea what the hell I was going to do. My best friend at the time came to my rescue. Her mum let me stay with them, though they barely had the room and she stood with me on more than one occasion in the DSS queue, whilst I waited to be seen by some obnoxious beaurocratic under 18s advisor. Eventually I moved into a shoebox sized room across the road from them, where I stayed until my friend and I moved away to college together.

It was my Aunt that saved me.. when I had just 2p to my name and I was living off the remainder of a box of fishfingers and a loaf of bread and considering, not for the first time, what the point of it all was.. she came and she gave me money she didn't have and a shoulder to cry on. A considerable sum, even now, to get me on my feet and some advice. I never forgot that act of kindness because it was so simple to her. I was family. And I was in need. I did get back on my feet and I've never looked back and I will never be able to thank her enough.

I don't speak to my mother. I haven't done now for 4 years. Another story for another day perhaps.. I don't regret it. It's because we are not in contact that I can say the word "mum" without choking on it. I lost my brother when he was 17. He killed himself. Alone and desperate. I couldn't save him. I tried, but not hard enough. I know it wasn't my fault but I will always feel responsible. He came to me and I didn't have time for him. And the pain of losing him and the guilt that just maybe.. I could have done more, well that will always remain. It was after this I made the decision to let my mother go.. the pain of coping with the loss and all the time still striving, as I had done all my life, for my mother to act like one was too much. And with deciding not to have anything to do with her any more, I let go of a burden I didn't even know I was carrying.

I have a half brother and sister that I adore, but don't see very often. They're 15 and 17 and I don't visit them as much as I should. They live with their dad - my step dad. I haven't spoken to him in a few years. We had a turbulant time of it when I as a teen and we fell out. He only came into my life when I was 10. He had no experience of children and I had had my fill of experience of "dads". We never gave each other a chance. When I was old enough to understand that, we were able to make up but in recent years I had my own things going on and I needed to deal with them as I used to deal with most things. Alone.

My real dad, I never met. They were both very young when my mum fell pregnant with me. She was already divorced (it would seem I'm not the only one that makes bad choices in men) and his parents were very religious.. they wouldn't allow him to marry her and they parted. He saw a photo of me I believe and he knew my uncle socially, so I guess must have known some of my progress.

When I decided to embark on this path, I started thinking about finding him. Initially for practical reasons. Because I wanted to know if there were any diseases, etc. I should know about. But the more I think about what family means.. at least what it should mean, the more I think I would like to have him in my life. If he's interested of course. I can't blame him for not standing up to his parents. I can't really blame him for not finding me since. There could be a gazillion reasons.. he could simply have thought I wouldn't be interested. He may have even tried to find me for all I know, I've had several surnames and addresses over the years, he wouldn't stand a chance!

If I am lucky enough to be able to adopt of have my own child.. I would like her to know what it's like not just to have a mother that adores her but family too. My mum has 8 brothers and sisters.. 7 of which I haven't seen since my nans funeral, others since long before.. My nan kept everyone together and now my aunts and uncles are scattered all over, still feuding over silly things and the not so silly. I want my child to know her family. To be a part of their lives. I want her to know my step dad (I have just sent him a message of apology and I hope we can reconnect), my half brother and sister, my Aunt and who knows.. maybe I have other half brothers and sisters.

Family.. my family.. starting this has made me realise more than ever how important they are and how much it will mean to me for my child to know she's part of something bigger than just us.

Which is why I have decided to find him. That and because when hard journey is never enough :-) I don't know what the outcome of this will be either but I'm more ready than I've ever been to accept it if he doesn't want to know. And if I'm lucky.. my family will expand in more ways than one!

1 comment:

  1. Em you are such an inspiration,I really look up to you. You deserve this. I love you! x