When I was pregnant with my first son I needed to know my history. The doctors were asking me all of these questions I could not answer. I looked up my real grandmother's phone number. You see I knew who she was but we had been out of touch since I was six. She was a dear family friend but she had no idea that I was her granddaughter. My mother had worked with her, her husband, and her son. When she became pregnant with me my real father and his father bullied and convinced my mother that telling her that I was her granddaughter would hurt her. That she would never believe my mother.So it was their little secret. My mother was only twenty and wanted to keep these people in our lives. I was cheated out of a grandparent. I was even named after her. I needed answers so I called her and told her the truth. It was hard for her to believe but she accepted it. My real father was eager to talk to me. I was excited.Turns out what he really wanted to do was start a relationship with my mother...which she promptly said no to. It was never really about me. Then after numerous phone calls and letters with my grandmother, her husband died. There was no mention of me in the obit. My real father told me about my grandfather's death in an email. An email he sent to my mother. Every time I would reach out he would give me a picture and a tiny bit of information. I wanted to know if I looked liked her. What was it like on his side of the family. What was my hertiage? Where did I come from? He would deny me the right to talk to his mother. She doesn't remember you, he would say. She is too sick. I forgave him but I was still very hurt. You try growing up as someone's dirty little secret. I was thirty years old and he still couldn't tell his family I exsist? He only was interested in being forgiven. Forgiven for not being there, for not trying to stay in touch, for his denial that I was his. Every time I would open my heart for him and every time he would deny me in every way that counted. My step dad and my mom had been divorced for a long time. At some point the man that raised me ceased to call me his daughter. When introducing me to his friends he called me his ex wife's daughter. My heart was crushed. After raising me for twelve years that was all I was to him? I would wait till Christmas to see him. He would generally make a stop to my house to see me and my kids. He lives thirty minutes away and I get one visit a year. When he feels like it and when he wants to come over. This year he didn't come at all. I have no idea why. I know he is busy. He had some health issues recently. And yet he flew to see his other daughter who lives three states over. The only time I hear from him is when I call him. I call him on Father's Day, his birthday, Veterans Day, and Christmas. I realize that I have never gotten over my childhood desire to be accepted and loved by these people. I want them to just love me. Get to know me. I want to them to be proud of me. Every time they knock on my door or email me this little wounded girl comes out. She is begging for something they can't or won't give her.
So I am going to.
For my Real Dad, You know I am a damn good person. You wanted to deny me, well then that's your loss. I am amazing. I am someone I would want to hang out with. You may never thought I was worthy of your time but you were wrong. If you can only manage to think of me when you need forgiveness or be told it's ok with me that you were selfish and put everyone and everything else before me then don't bother. It's not ok. It's just not. You missed birthdays. You missed me growing up. You missed getting to know an exceptional woman. You missed out.
As for you Dad, if you can't bothered to visit me because you can't bare to look at me. If it makes you see your own faults, then Geeze I am really sorry but get over yourself. I am not you. Your arrogance is making you miss out on watching my kids grow up. You are knowingly choosing to miss out. That's all on you. They are terrific little people and you are just to busy to see them. You are and always have been to busy to see me. You missed out on the one person who loved you more than anyone else ever could. You were my dad. I am tired of giving myself. I am tired of the hurt and the hope that I have held that you two could finally accept and truly love me. I am so over it. I am done jumping through hoops for your approval, you try doing parlor tricks for me for awhile. If you are looking to be absolved call or email someone else. Get a hobby, get a therapist, go to your local priest but don't come here. Nelly's house of forgiveness and absolvement is closed. I forgive you, but that forgiveness is for me not you.I am going to do the one thing neither of you ever had time for. I am going to heal that little girl inside me. I am going to love her. I am going to accept her. I am going to be proud of her. I am here. This is me. I am not going to be anybody's dirty little secret anymore.