Friday, June 20, 2008

Rambling thoughts ode to memories ...

A recent online conversation with a friend about absentee fathers, got me to thinking. I don’t feel as if I am a bitter person and honestly, I’m not. Unless it involves the sperm donor that was involved in my conception, that is. Yes, that is what I call him. He is nothing more. I don’t have one single memory of him in my life. I have a few memories of him calling and offering to allow Dad to adopt me and then fading into oblivion again. I’ve never spoken to him. I have seen very few pictures of him and I don’t recall being in any of them.

The thing that baffles me is the intense hatred that I can feel for someone that has had absolutely nothing to do with my life past my conception. And it is even more baffling when one of my very best friends has the exact opposite feeling for her father. He left when she was an adolescent. She talks of him often. She cries for him, she misses him … at 36, she is still her daddy’s little girl in every way and wants nothing more than to be able to run into his arms and have him tell her how much he loves her.

I envy her that. On the other hand, it breaks my heart. I know she hurts on a daily basis because he’s not there for her and shows no interest in being in her life. He is missing out on so much and it would mean the world to her if her father would embrace the woman she has become … embrace her husband …embrace her children.

Me? If the sperm donor showed up, I would do everything in my power to shield my child, my children, from him. Since he has had absolutely no interest in his own biological child, I’m sure if he were to magically appear out of nowhere, he would definitely not have an interest the boys. They aren’t my biological children, hence they would have no connection to him in any way. Sage however … I don’t even like to think about it. I have had nightmares about the man showing up and trying to ingratiate himself into my life. I’m not naïve in my dream. He is always doing so for selfish reasons and is basically a beaten, lonely man. But still, those nightmares terrify me. The terror doesn’t really have anything to do with Sage, but with wanting to shield her from the hurt that he could cause her.

If I am completely honest with myself, I don’t know if the fear really has anything to do with her at all.

I am a very rational, intelligent, strong woman. I have always been rational and have always been able to hold on to a certain type of detachment during times of stress. I’m the cool, collected one that people run to when they can’t handle things. I’m the one that fixes things. I think this trait is one of the reasons I have always been so fascinated with psychology and studied it in college.

I have no flipping idea where “I” go when I allow thoughts of the sperm donor to enter my mind. I’m not rational. Rational is the furthest thing from my mind when I think of him. My first thought when he comes to mind is usually, “I hate you.” The second thought is always, “What did I do wrong? What was wrong with me that you couldn’t love me?” I can understand those thoughts in an adolescent or even a teen full of angst. I would think they would mellow out once real life kicks in and you discover the ways of the world. One would really think that at 38 years old, that little girl inside would get the hell over it. But she’s still there and that only feeds my hatred more.

There are so many things about the situation that just make me blind with fury. I thought that once I was a parent, that I might chill out about it but I’m even worse than before. I don’t understand the whole concept of abandoning your child from the get go. I know there are many excuses that one could give, but in the end, none of them matter to me. I don’t care what you had/have going on in your life, how in the hell do you walk away from your own child? (I have trouble leaving mine just to go to work people!) So, how do you look at your 3 month old, 1 year old, 10 year old and just walk away, never to look back?

What kind of defect in your soul do you have to have to abandon your own child? And honestly, I don’t care if you come back and try to repair that relationship. Once you leave a child, you have harmed that child more than you can possibly imagine and crawling back with your tail tucked between your legs is nothing. I don’t care how many apologies you have, how much money you have, how many presents you can buy, or what excuses you have. You left your child, you are scum and you should die an excruciating lonely death in my eyes.

Having been left by a parent, as a child, helps me in my relationship with one of my boys. I was a year old when the sperm donor left; he was 3 months old when his dear mother left. I am probably the only one in his life who truly can comprehend his mixed emotions when it comes to his mother. It makes us closer in some ways, but we are so far apart in others. I have worked for the last four years to try to help him work his way through his abandonment issues and I have pushed for him to have a relationship with his mother. I felt that he needed to be a part of his younger brothers life since she had a child after she left the boys.

Lately, he has wanted to spend more time with her. I’m not stupid and I know it is because she has a disposable income and gets all kinds of cool “toys” for the boys to play with, but it still stings a little. Before, if someone referred to me as his mother, he would kind of ignore it … it was no big deal. I would correct the person if it seemed he might feel a little uncomfortable with it, but he never did. Nevertheless, it kind of stings a little.

I don’t know if it’s that teen angst I mentioned earlier or what, but he floored me in the doctor’s office the other day when I took him for his physical for college. The doctor referred to me as Mom and he snorted and said, “we aren’t even related” with a snort. After I picked my jaw up from the floor, and blinked rapidly in disbelief, I did manage to compose myself and not completely lose my fucking mind on him.

So, I mentally started making a list in my head and since I’m not his “Mom” and he has been wanting to spend a little more time with her as of late … that makes me what? His Nanny? His babysitter who is on call 24/7? I’m not quite sure. But I’m feeling as if maybe, just maybe, dear ole’ Mom owes me some compensation!!! In the past 6 months, she has seen him maybe 5 times. He leaves for a 3 week college program at a very reputable school this Sunday. She spent about an hour and a half with him yesterday. She took him to lunch, got his hair cut and gave him $50.

I, on the otherhand, in the past six months have shuttled him to and from so many baseball practices and games that I have lost count. I was the team mom and photographer. I have talked to his college numerous times and filled out multitudes of forms. I had a family gathering/cookout for he and his brother two weekends ago, entertaining 25-30 people for his “mother” to show up 3 hours late, stay for 15 minutes and then take them from their own cookout to the movies. I have gone to 2 concert recitals. I’ve shuttled him to and from dances and to field trips. I make sure he has a roof over his head, eats, has clothes on his back and has all of the support that he needs during the whole puberty thing he has going on. I’m already running around with him like a crazy person for football. Football people. As in fall sport that.

But hey, I’m “not even related.”

Parenthood is a tricky and treacherous road to travel on. It brings the most beautiful memories you will ever have. It also hurts like hell at times.

I read something one time though that has always stayed with me. It is how I think of my Dad, always. It said “Anyone can be a father, but only someone special can be a Daddy.” That is so very true. And no matter how much anger and hatred I may feel at times toward the man who was involved in my being brought into existence, there is no one else that could ever replace my Daddy. No one. While I do often wonder why one man didn’t want his child, there was another man who did want that child. I will always love him more than any man that enters my life. It even makes me feel kind of special sometimes, because he chose me.

Oh, and that compensation I mentioned earlier. No need for it though a little extra cash flow might be nice. I am compensated when I come home in the evenings and he can't wait to tell me about something. I am compensated when he hits a triple and once he's finally back in the dugout, he's yelling "did you see THAT?" I'm compensated every day just by having him in my life.

Damn! I think I might owe her some money now.


Anonymous badgermama said...

Ohhhh I totally know what you mean.
been there! Thanks for writing this and articulating it so well!

5:18 PM  

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