Monday, November 3, 2008


I haven't thought about my biological father in a while.

Well, that's not completely true. Every time I come home from work and then check the mail, I wonder if he's finally come around and written me.

So far, nothing.

But what I meant was that I haven't done anything about contacting him myself. He sits on the back-burner of my life, always there, but never taking center-stage.

And that bothers me.

I think it says something about my attitude about my fathers. Maybe it even says something about how our society thinks about fathers. But mostly, I think it says something about me.

If pressed, I suspect I could say something about why finding my mother was so important to me. That need exists at an emotional level, but I think I could find some words.

When it comes to my father, I don't know what I want. A letter would be nice, I suppose. But is it important to me? If so, why don't I do something more about it? What about him matters to me?

Is all of this born from my distrust of men? Do I just not expect much from him, so it doesn't even occur to me hope for something from him?

I don't have answers to these questions. Independent of his own apparent rejection of me, I don't know what I think of him. I'm not always sure why I think of him.

He exists not as a positive presence in my life. He exists merely as an absence, a void. And confronting that void is frightening in some way. Whether because I'm afraid of what I will find or because I'm afraid I will find I don't care, I can't say.

And until I confront these issues, I don't think I will be able to say.


Lori A said...

I recently posted on our blog about mothers who don't want reunion. I want you to know I thought of you the whole time writing it but didn't want my train of thought to wander.

There is one part of what you said about your father that I can relate to, and that is "what about him matters to me".

I still, after all the things I went through, wanted my father to be my father. I have no idea why.

I didn't want him to be who he was though, I wanted him to be who I wanted him to be, and it took a long time to come to grips with the fact that he was never going to be anyone other than who he was. Who he was was not a positive presence in my life. In fact he is the most prominent reason I distrusted men.

As sad and realistic as that was I still held out for the day he would change. He never did.

I know there is a vast difference between knowing and not knowing your father, but my point is that I hated who he was and still wanted him to be my father, up until the day he died.

I have no idea why.

phil said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Lori. I find your comments interesting, and I think I understand. I'm still digesting them, but I wanted to let you know I appreciated them.

Lori A said...

I had trouble finding the words for this one. I guess what I'm trying to say is no matter what happens we sometimes still want our fathers to step up to the plate and just be a father. Mine never was and I don't know why I cared after so much had gone wrong, but I did.

Does that help at all?