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Family.. really is who you make it.


I do not know my father. I know his name. I know a few stories my mother has relented and told me. But with her, everything is really tight lipped. She hates that era in her life. She especially hates it because after she told him she was pregnant, he told her he was going back to his “estranged” wife. My mother was a cheap fling, tossed aside like a wrapper on a stolen candy bar devoured for instant pleasure.

I was born… and I remained a constant reminder of the man of her dreams who slipped away.  She hates me, has told me as much repeatedly. But, that’s her life and her problems. However, it does leave yet another very confused, hurt and damaged child of the 70s.

I found my father about 15 years ago. Of all places to find him, I found him on Classmates.com. My mother, grumbling and unenthusiastic at the time, paid for a membership so I could contact him. And I did. I contact him. A few very heated, very angry, emails went back and forth. He accused me of being a money grubbing welfare mom, just like my own mom. He said he only slept with her once…..

I replied, “It only takes once asshole.” I told him I was a little too old to be asking for child support. I just wanted to know what makes up the other half of “me.” What diseases were in the family. What was the heredity. Etc. He was curt, told me there were no cancers or anything like that. Then he ended the conversation with, “I have guns in my house. Oregon State recognizes protecting house and home from invaders. I will shoot on site if you trespass trying to find me.” That promptly ended all correspondences 15 years ago.

Today, I got the wild hair up my ass about looking for my brother. See, my “father” had a son when he hooked up with my mom. This kid was bout 4 years old. My mother told me the kid’s name, approximate age, and where he was from. I googled him today. I am not sure which is more the devil’s tool… facebook or google.

But, I found him. I am pretty sure it’s him. Listed relatives are the same names as those my mother gave me. His age is appropriate. His location is exactly where she stated. I sent him a message.

I am a realist. I am not expecting a homecoming, balloons, or party in my favor. If he is anything like his father, it will be a battle ahead of me.

But damn it, I deserve to know who I am.

My mother is absent and drunk. She’s bitter, angry and hateful of everyone. My family is broken, severely. It’s like I don’t have any parents at all. I’m bundle of nerves that don’t have a beginning. I don’t have a start. This is just something I need to do before dying.

I have perfected the art of “Family is who you make it.” I have learned to lean when needed. I have learned to be there when needed. But, for the most part, it’s my friends who are my family.

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