Monday, August 1, 2011

Who is YOUR dad? (this is a LONG one!)

After the events of this weekend, I felt I needed to get some things off my chest and let out the emotions i've been bottling up for 10 years.

As many of you know, I didn't know my real dad until I was 7 years old, and haven't spoken to him since I was 17. My step-dad, although he's not perfect, has been far more of a dad to me than the man that created me.

My mother was a great mom. she made a lot of sacrifices to make sure I was raised right and taken care of. We didn't have nice cars, houses, or money, but I always had what I needed and the unconditional love of a mother who tried her hardest to raise me on her own for quite some time.

My real dad cheated on my mom and left her for a younger woman when I was still a baby, less than a year old. He moved out of the state with this woman and they were (and still are) married. My mom never mentioned him and let me call my brothers dad - my dad. I knew he wasnt, but I called him dad anyways. I know she never meant to deceive me, she was just trying to protect me.

When I was around 7 years old, my mom finally had to tell me the truth. My real dad had come back and was requesting visitation rights to see me. I was confused and angry. My whole world was turned upside down. I felt lost, but all I ever really wanted was a dad, my own dad. Someone to take me to ball games, take me shopping, worry about me talking to boys, be over protective, and support my dreams as I grew up.
It didn't take long for visitation to be set up. It started with supervised visits at my grandparents house. My grandpa was my father figure in my life, and was there to protect me when I felt uncomfortable. After some time, I started spending whole days with my dad and stepmom and then whole weekends. It was awkward for me at first, but evenually got better. I was getting what I always wanted. Although it was divided, I finally had a whole family.

I'm a pretty smart cookie, and it take me too long to realize I was spending more time with my stepmom than with my dad. I found out that my stepmom couldn't have children. Guess who already had a kid? yup, good ole dad! and a daughter no less, what my stepmom always wanted. By coming back into my life, my stepmom could finally have a "kid".

I liked my stepmom, so i didn't think too much of it at the time. Things were always tense between my mom and dad. eventually they grew friendly and at one point, for a whole year, we lived on the same street together. I thought it was the best thing ever! I lived with mom, but if I wanted to see my dad, i just walked across the street and 1 house down!

As I got older and started asking questions, my mother told me she wouldnt lie to me. She told me about her past with my dad. She told me that her feelings towards him were due to what she experience in the past and that I needed to develop my own relationship with my dad, and get to know who he currently was, not what he was back then. She did her best to never talk bad about my dad around me, and let me develop my own thoughts about him based on his actions.

As a teenager, I began getting active in sports and school activities. We also had moved closer to my mom's family, so I got to see them more often. sometimes family events were held on weekends I had with my dad. It was always my decision on what I wanted to do, my mom supported me if I wanted to go to my dads, but also supported me if I decided to swap weekends with my dad. It didn't take long for my dad to start accussing my mom of making sure he didn't get to see me, and for switching the weekends (which of course was not true).

It was easy to follow the visitation agreement when I was too young to make a decision, but eventually, it turned into MY life, not theirs. I wanted to do things to better MY life for the future (sports, choir, dance teams) and it was not meant as a way to NOT see my dad. after a while, he chilled out, but if he did get upset, I just ignored him. My stepdad always reminded me that this man was my father, and that he loved me and to just remember that. As rude and hurtful as my dad could get, my mom and stepdad always encouraged me to keep my relationship with my dad, that it was important in life to have him in it.

One day, things just went too far. I was about 15 years old and spending the weekend at my dads. My stepmom was gone, and some how, my dad and I got into an argument. he started saying horrible comments about my mother and about her parenting, things that hurt ME and were untrue. I couldn't beleive he could be so hurtful, and to his own daughter. he accused my mom and I of only going through with the visitiation agreements because we wanted money from him. (I would like to just state, that during this time, he wasn't even making his full child support payments). My mom and Stepdad were both working to raise me, and now my brother! my fathers child support was to help wtih things I NEEDED, however my stepdad was the one who was paying for my things. I had to drop from sports, from choir, and from the dance team, because although my mom could come up with HALF the fees needed for me to participate, my dad would never cover the other half. Just once, I wanted my dad to help me participate in events with other kids. But instead, he just wanted to see me, but not take financial responsibility for me. I was so upset during the fight, that as soon as he walked away to go to the bathroom, I grabbed my backpack of clothes and ran out the door and as far as I could. 6 blocks away, a kind church lady found me crying, in an unfamiliar city, and took me to call my mom to get me. I didn't speak to my dad for over a year after that.

During the summer after I turned 17, I received an email from my stepmom. She wanted to surprise my dad for fathers day by having me come visit. She said they both missed me, and it would mean the world to them both. I decided to put aside my hurt feelings, forgive and forget, and try my relationship with him again. Things were okay for a while. but it was only a matter of time before things got worse.  It was my senior year of high school, the most expensive time in a kids life (other than the baby years). There were pictures, proms, class rings, graduation announcements and such, and don't forget college applications and fees. I was working during this time, and due to my mom and stepdads financial situation (and little child support from my dad coming in), I was paying for most the expenses with the money I made at work.  I even got some help from my mom and even my grandma. Every time I would ask my dad for help, he would complain that "thats what the child support I pay is supposed to help with". Really?! he was barely paying anything! I tried to just let it roll off my shoulders and not let it get to me.

The breaking point fro me was when I got my college acceptance letter. I was 1 of 90 students around the US to be accepted into Penn States Architecture program. Id been busting my butt for years to get into a great school. I was a near straight A student, I took college and high school courses together, I worked half days for an architecture firm, and I even volunteered at my lil brothers elementary school reading program. I had finally accomplished what all parents can only hope for, for their children to get into a great school! To fulfill their dreams and begin their life right! To seal my acceptance, I had to send in a $300 deposit! school itself was utterly expensive, but we'd figure it out! mom and grandma each pitched in $50. I had $100 off the bat, and could work for the rest. So, I decided to call my dad and ask for $50 to help pay for the deposit, and then we could figure out the college expenses at a later time..... and I got the worst answer ever.
"Just go to community college, its cheaper and then YOU can afford it"
Community college?! what a slap in the face. I busted my ass, proved myself a solid student, showed promise, showed determination, and the best my own father wanted for me was Community college? because then I could pay for it, and he woulnd't have to help?! i was devastated. I wouldn't be treated like that and I called it quits right then. I'd tried to keep my relationship with my father for all those years, and he was just rude and unhelpful. I came up with the funds for the deposit on my own. I went to Penn State, and I had to work 2 jobs, and take out thousands in student loans to do it, but I did it. Doesnt matter that I was only there a year, I accomplished something great.

It pained me to hear later on that my dad was running around to friends and family bragging about MY accomplishments, how smart his daughter was, and the great things she would do.... even though he wanted nothing to do with HELPING ME acheive these things. Through it all, my mom and stepdad were there to support me, wether I succeeded or failed, they were there.

Its a shame that I had to pay for my schooling all on my own. That I had to work full time in order to live. My mother wished she could help me, but it just wasn't feasible. and over the years, I heard about the great things my dad had: new house, new car, vacations.... meanwhile, I struggled to find a working vehicle, Worked full time while finishing my degree, lived in bad  parts of town in horrible apartment conditions. Its taken me nearly 10 years, and I finally have a decent apartment, I dont' have a car, and I have a decent job. I will never have anything nice until I pay off all the loans I had to take to go to school, and I'll be 40 before that's all paid off.

This brings me to recent events. every few years, I look up my dad online. I usually don't find anything, or if I do, its nothing of importance (posts on gardening forums, car problem forums). I recently looked him up again. Apparently my dad is good at poker, and last year won $12000+ in 1 tournament. another $16000 in a different tournament, and just recently, headed to Vegas for another tournament. He even bought brand new furniture for his new place. then, i came across this on a website forum he posts to:
I tried to use the BOYS ARE BAD AND ONLY WANT ONE THING type of attitude as my daughter grew up.

When she was a teenager, I told her boys were dogs and to stay away, they are no good. As she got into high school and college, I told her that experimenting lesbianism would be ok by me, you can't get pregnant by another girl. My wife and daughter laughed of course.

Now that she is older, and so am I according to the gray hair, I think I wouldn't mind being a grandpappy. lol

Maybe with a grandbaby, those dollar store all day suckers at the impulse area, would finally make sense to purchase. Not for me, for the grandbaby. lol
Funny, seeing as how he hasn't spoken to me since I was 17. The last time I SAW him was 3 years ago at a memorial for my aunt who passed away. He walked right past be 2 times and didn't say a word to me. My stepmom eventually came up to me to say Hi, and told me that my grandmother had to tell her who I was, she didn't recognize me (funny, considering everyone says I look just like my dad!).
A couple weeks ago, I got a friend request from my dad and step-moms facebook account. I was amazed. I didn't get a message or anything, just the freind request! After not speaking to me for 10 years, that's the best you can do?! I didn't know what to say, so i thought about it for a few week and finally replied. I let him have it to. It was not a nice letter at all, and I do not regret sending it. Its how I felt and still feel. What could he possibly say after 10 years to make me not hate him as much as I do? to not have all this anger built up inside me, all directed towards him?

This leads us to this weekend. Saturday morning I received a text message from my Uncle, my dad's brother. Not uncommon, as him and I still talk, and i'm still in contact with my cousins, his 2 kids. The message however was about my dad. Friday night, my dad had a massive heart attack and was airlifted from his house to the hospital in Olympia. I was initially in a daze, complete shock. then, I was in tears. and I couldn't stop. I called my mom to talk to her, and the first thing I could think of was "omg, this is all my fault". I sent this nasty horrible letter, and the man had a heart attack because of it.

After telling everything to my mom, she helped calm me down, and told me this is NOT my fault in any way. of course, heart attacks take time and involve many health factors, and we know my dad isn't a healthy person. I didn't know what to think or feel. My mom told me that I needed to do what I felt was right and regardless of what I decided, she would be behind me.

I'm still angry at him, i'm still mad, i still am waiting for an apology or something. I feel bad that this has happened to him, but I have decided it doesn't change the way I feel at all. I know the past can not be changed, but that doesn't negate the fact that it happened. and this is one situation where I am NOT willing to forgive and forget. Who knows, maybe this will change him. Maybe he will realize the wrongs he's done. maybe he will realize all the pain and hurt he caused me and work to making it better, but until he honestly and truly tries to mend things, I stand by what I said, and I will continue to live MY life, without him in it.

I'm gonna go now. I've spent the last few weeks trying to take care of my OWN things in life and need to just move forward and do the best I can for ME!

Peace and Good JuJu to you,


  1. Why didn't you tell me this happened? I am just a phone call away ya know...and next weekend I will only be a few minutes down the road! I love you!

  2. its all been sort of a whirlwind... it was easier for me to just zone out and write it down then trying to call someone. talking on the phone just made me cry, and i'm done crying about it. lol. I can't wait til you live closer!!!


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