A strange thing happened at the weekend; I didn’t actually want to say goodbye to my Mum and leave. We had had such a nice weekend, a really good time as a family – taking her to meet some friends and just hanging out doing things together. It was fun and I was sad to travel back to London. I felt I needed to spend more time there with my parents.
At the same time, my biological father had made another attempt to contact me. My relationship with him is much more straightforward: non-existant. I haven’t seen the man who fathered me, (I refuse to call him a parent because he failed so spectacularly at that), since my 14th birthday. He turned up unannounced, berated me for being a ‘slut’ after having seen me with my friends in town the weekend before. He had taken umbridge with all my friends being guys, who liked metal and skateboarding. Oh and that I had bright purple hair, thick black eyeliner, and ripped up punk clothes. It wasn’t really anything to do with him, he just saw an opportunity to ball my Mother out about something. He didn’t even realise it was my birthday. So, I had not seen nor heard from him since and was quite glad.
Over the weekend, I received a badly written message on facebook about why it was my Mother’s fault he hasn’t contacted us and wasn’t around while we were growing up. That, in fact, he always thinks about us and would like to explain. I am conveying his message somewhat more eloquently than he did.
I have spent a lot of time thinking long and hard about whether to reply to him or to simply block him. I do not want to enter into any debate with him, I simply do not want contact. However, I want him to know, if not understand, that it is wholly unreasonable to pass off his decisions and actions onto my Mother. He made the choice to not take part in our lives. For many years, he lived at the top end of our street; we would see him out with other children who lived on the street but he didn’t want to see us.
This isn’t a sob story; my life and that of my family is better off for not having him around. It is a blessing.
I decided in the end to draft a letter, saying everything I had always wanted to say to him. That even if I didn’t send it, the process in itself would be cathartic. Laying out all the things he had done to fail his children, the selfishness of his actions and what consequences they had. In the end, I sent a much editted version, stating the facts and what they meant. I doubt he will feel guilt, just anger and defensiveness if anything at all. I told him I can forgive him for all the things he has done, even though he has not once offered an apology. I also thanked him for showing me all the thing a man shouldn’t be in his life; all the things a parent shouldn’t be. I sent it for myself so that I can use this to draw a line fully under the issue. And it felt good.
I have one wonderful Father, who walked me down the aisle and understood I did not want to be ‘given away’, who respects me for who I am and makes the best Granddad a little boy could hope for. I have a Mum and a Dad who are making a success of marriage. He might not be the Dad who fathered me, but he is the only Dad I need.