I have contemplated writing a post like this for some time now. I’ve even written it four times throughout the year only to delete it. This post isn’t like the rest. This is deeply personal to me, but I feel like I need to publish it in hopes to let go. This might be too personal. I have to say in warning this is a novel of a blog post. I won’t take any offense if you don’t read it. I just need to get it out without editing.
I have always been looked at as a happy girl. For those who didn’t know my back story, as someone who had everything. Not true. I’ve had major heartbreaks. The biggest heartbreaks of my life didn’t come from a boyfriend. They came from my parents.
Before I start I need to say that I was raised my by Grammy. To be honest, I was blessed to have her raise me. She showed me more love, generosity, and honesty than anyone could have. She loved me unconditionally and raised me as her own daughter. She had her hands full with taking care of my handicapped Grandpa and Great-Grandma. She never once let on to how hard she had to work. My Grammy showed me exactly how I wanted to be as a parent and as a person. Without her I fear what path I would have gone down. She will never know how thankful and grateful I am for her. She’s my rock, my heart, my best friend, and my salvation.
When I was one, my mother became pregnant from my father’s boss and left our family. Lifetime movie alert. What I remember of her she wasn’t very attentive or particularly motherly. I can remember sitting in my playpen in the living room by myself with wrestling on the tv. The doorbell rang and a strange man, who was not my father, was at the door. He and my mother kissed and went into her bedroom. I think that’s the earliest memory I have. I had to have been around 18 months. I have had the memory for years, and wasn’t sure if it was something my brain made up or if it was true. I finally told my Grammy about it, and she told me it might be true because my mother loved watching wrestling. I still get chills just thinking of it.
My father and her eventually split, and I never saw her again. She never came to the custody hearing to fight for me. What mother does that?! How can someone just leave their child to start a family with someone else? My whole life I wondered “why don’t I matter?” ”What’s wrong with me?” Even though I always had a sunny disposition, inside I always had hatred in my heart towards her. I had to grow up too fast for someone who wasn’t even in grade school. A young child shouldn’t have to feel like they need to lie that their mom died to avoid pity or judgment.
Five or six years ago, she found me on myspace. Yes, back when myspace was cool. She sent me an email telling me she has been looking for me my whole life. That’s funny. My contact phone number has never changed, and she quit calling me when I was in 2nd grade. Our phone calls were only 3 minutes. I never wanted them longer then the mandatory three minutes, but the least she could do was fight for me. When I was 13, I found pages and pages of legal documents and court transcripts dealing with my custody. I knew everything and told her that I would give her one chance to tell me the truth. She lied and said I was kidnapped. She even showed me papers stating I was kidnapped in Guam. Too bad I knew the U.S. Navy directed us to leave for the mainland. I had enough of her lies. She was offered an all expenses paid trip to visit me several times. She never took it. Not even once. It honestly sickens me.
After hearing her excuses and lies, I told her I never wanted to hear from her again. She called me her “baby” and I went off. She pushed my one button. 20 years of rage inside of me exploded. I called her every single derogatory word you could think of. I told her to go ___ herself and leave me alone like she did for my whole life. I needed her growing up not when I was becoming an adult. She was and is dead to me. Harsh for some, but true to my life.
In my earliest years my father was attentive and loving. He had a mean streak that didn’t show itself until I was around 4 or 5. I loved being a daddy’s girl, but that all changed when he started dating. I wanted my dad to be happy, and there were a few of the girlfriends that I truly liked. My third grade teacher being my favorite. Of course, they never lasted. He had way too many girlfriends to count. Anytime he started to get serious with a girlfriend I would be put on the back burner.
I was always made to feel like a burden on his life. He was extremely two-faced. To the public, he was a strong Catholic, God fearing man, and a doting dad. When it was just the two of us, he was often angry, inattentive, and uninterested.
One of his girlfriends didn’t want to feed me dinner and forced me to go to bed at 5 in the afternoon. Why? Because she didn’t want to deal with me. I had to lay on the couch and watch her and her sons eat dinner. I was starving. I remember they were eating spaghetti and all I wanted was one bite. Weird fact: I had a dream an evil woman was going to come into my life a week before I met her. Creepy. Another girlfriend’s children, who were around my age, were abused and continued the cycle onto me. In his defense, I don’t know if he even knew what was happening. I was too young to know. Several girlfriends came and went, but no one was as bad as those two until he remarried.
One day, my father told me he wanted me to meet his new girlfriend. We went over to her house and I immediately got a bad vibe. Something about this woman was not right. I could sense it, even before I knew her husband died from cancer only two years earlier, and my father had money at the time. He asked me what I thought about her and I said I wasn’t impressed. There was just something I couldn’t put my finger on. He told me I better get used to it because they were engaged. Umm what?! Didn’t her three sons and myself get a say? They didn’t like my dad, and I didn’t like their mom. I’m sorry but the kids come first. Period.
They quickly got married and everything went downhill. I’ll give you one example. I don’t eat pork. I haven’t since 3rd grade. Because I refused to eat the pork she made, or even touch the meat to clean up, I was grounded. Not any kind of grounded – grounded from seeing my Grammy. The woman who raised me! My father didn’t raise me..she did. I lived with her, she cooked for me, helped me with my homework, I slept there, and she loved me. She raised me. Not him. In the ex-wife’s words she said “We only have to provide shelter and food. Seeing your Grandma is a privilege.” Excuse me?! During that time, I was inside my Grammy’s car in the parking lot instead of socializing and eating lunch with my friends in high school. It was the only way I could see her. I almost filed for emancipation, but my Grammy talked me out of it. There were many instances with the ex-wife, but I think that example gives you the gist of it.
They eventually split, and my father and I started to slowly repair our relationship. It really didn’t get better until I left for college. He was single and focused on fixing us. Most of the time I would want to spend time with him and he wouldn’t be up for it. I’d eat dinner by myself, be left home alone starting at 9/10 years old not knowing how to cook, or watch tv in hopes that he would join me. He would get in spurts of spending time with me, and then seem to get bored. That was the majority of my life.
Fast forward to his most recent woman. When they started dating I loved her. She was nice, relatable, and he still made an effort to be in my life. She wasn’t the issue. My father started to call her daughters his and the grandchild his own. He quit saying “I love you” to me, and always said it to them. Was I jealous? Of course. Confused? Who wouldn’t be. I kept asking him to spend time with me and he didn’t want to. He found a new family, and what happened to me when I was one was happening all over again.
I was six months pregnant. Pat was in Boston working, and I wanted to stay in our hometown in WA with my doctor and family until the baby was 6 months old. I decided to ask my dad why he would show and tell his girlfriend’s daughters (who were 16 and 19 by the way) that he loved them and not me. I hit a button. He flipped out, told me to “shut the fuck up,” and get out of the house or all my “shit would be on the front yard.” That was my breaking point. I was pregnant, hormonal, and after years of abuse decided I’ll do just that. I started packing my things and got an apartment with the help of my Grammy. He denies ever saying those things, but that’s my dad. He gets angry, scary, blows up, then denies, denies, denies.
The day I gave birth to the coconut I decided to give him another chance. I called him to tell him the news. He told me he would come visit me the next day in the hospital. I was in the hospital for three days. He never came.
When Damian was one-week-old I got a text from him asking when he could see him. A text? Really? I decided I’ll regret it if I didn’t try. We met up for lunch once a week for about an hour until Damian was three weeks old. During the third visit, I told him I started a blog (not this one) where he can see pictures of Damian. He quit answering my calls and text. I eventually went to his house, and he said he was sick and didn’t want to be around Damian. I never saw him again.
Shortly after, I received a friend request from his girlfriend’s daughter. I told her it was too hard for me to see him treat them like daughters and that it wasn’t personal. It had nothing to do with her. It was too hard for me. Her response? She wrote all these things about my life that were lies (only to come from my father) saying I was spoiled and got a new car. I didn’t. She said the only friends I will have are late night comedy shows because all my friends will bail. (FYI they didn’t. My friends rock.) I was baffled. I’ve only met this chick once or twice. Who is she to talk about my life, friends, and all these lies?! I called my father, and he took her side. He said I started it. I have still have the message, and everyone I have shown is confused to why she said those things. That was it. I officially reached my breaking point. I was done with him.
I started hearing from other people in town that he saw Damian roll over and was showing pictures. Impossible. He was printing the pictures offline pretending to be a Grandpa instead of being in his life? I also heard from multiple people that he would have to retire, and he was saying I was a bad mom. He said I would get bored of my son, and he would be left to raise him. Sorry but I’m not him. I never will be. I had to cut all ties with him. I tried to go to the house and take my dogs, who I would secretly visit when he was at work, but they were gone. Another heartbreak. I miss those pups everyday of my life.
I know this post may seem jumbled, but I had to get it out. I cry to myself a lot. My whole life I have wondered what is so wrong with me that neither of my parents really want me. To say that I have daddy issues would be an understatement. The hardest part of my relationship with my father was that there were glimpses of love. I just wish that they lasted for more than a few weeks or months. Maybe it would have been easier if he just left my life like my mother did. My heart hurts and breaks everyday. I wish that I could pretend that I don’t care, but I do. Sometimes I’m tired of being the brave little girl who puts on a happy face.
I look at my son, and I have to be brave for him. He’s so full of joy and innocence. I want to show him the love my Grammy gave me. He has two parents who love him more than he’ll ever know. I couldn’t imagine ever abandoning him. That’s what real parents do. I would never cut him out of my life. I will fight for him, his dreams, and his ambitions. I want to give him the mother and father I never had. I’ll never be able to call someone “mom” or “daddy” but Damian will. My goal in life isn’t some crazy career aspiration. My goal in life is to be the best mother I can be. To be the mother I never had.
Here are two songs that really speak to my heart: