Over a game of Boggle I asked my Mom for about the 300th time in my life who my Dad was. She never did tell me his name, but basically that he was a screwup.
She told me he was a truck driver, I think. And that he at one point drove his truck under a bridge and either ripped the roof off or got stuck. For years of my life, I’ve held onto this story as a kind of reminder if I mess stuff up in my life, I’m like, in my head telling myself, “oh I’m just like my old man, ripping roofs off tractor trailers.”
I’ve been in counseling for the last two years and I’m actually making some progress. I realize a) I don’t have to hang onto my past, I can learn from it but I don’t have to repeat it. B) I don’t have to be controlled by my feelings, I don’t have to be a slave to my anger or my hurt. C) I can feel those things and not resort to not dealing with things healthily. I just have to deal with it.
Basically, I don’t have to go through my life just waiting for the roof on the shoe truck to drop / rip off, or something like that.
Tomorrow morning, will be my 2nd Fathers Day where I’m the man of the hour. For years of my life, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day haven’t really been pleasant for me. I always forget, and so I have to spend 100 bucks for 50 bucks of flowers to my adoptive mom and I feel like crap about it, or I get my adoptive dad a book or an amazon gift card because I can’t think of anything. I always feel like I screwed up somehow.
And I also on those days am a) on Mother’s Day reminded of my moms death, and b) on Father’s Day that my dad didn’t want me. And those things suck. And they hurt. And they make me furious. Not traffic flipping the bird furious but let’s light the earth on fire furious. And after all those years, I’ve had that anger. I’m done with it.
Tomorrow morning my two year old daughter will come bouncing into the room and give me a card that she made; she’ll tell me about a thing she made and give me a nicely wrapped present. Then for the next 3 hours after that remind me of all the things she did for me and ask me if I’m happy and hug me and tell me she loves me.
She’ll have no idea that sometimes this holiday reminds me of my own issues with abandonment and the pain and crap associated with it, because all that will matter is that IM THERE.
I will be there, I will be present, I will show her that while its a day about me, I’ll try to make her feel like really it’s a day about her and about the fact that she quite possibly, along with my wife, saved my life. Saved my life from years of unchecked baggage, addictions, self hate, general douchebaggery because I want to be a better person for my family.
I don’t want to rip roofs off of things. I’m not a tortured artist. I’m a maker of things. I fix things. I like making things and playing rocket ships with her and just being there. And reading stories at night.
None of those things are about my past. As a matter of fact id say I’m more resolved to be there because of my past.
I may track down my biological father one day. It may be because I want to know who he is, or to be honest it might be to punch him in his face. I hope it’s just the first and not the latter.
Until then, I’m looking forward. I’m kind of done looking backwards. I’ll wear my scars but I don’t have to keep looking at them. I’ll let God heal me. And that’s the truth, I’m LETTING Him heal me. Because for years, it was too painful to.
But hey, I can deal with it now. I have new things to look forward to.
Instead of backwards.