A few posts ago, I mentioned that my parents divorced. Like, most my age, I was raised by a single parent and things were rough, but I didn't know any better. And that was OK. My dad left a few days before Christmas when I was twelve. It was a day before my younger sisters birthday. We learned to get along, just us girls. My mom was excited by the prospects of not having to 'be home by a certain time' and she filled her holes with antiques and bargains at Target.
Things were fine (if you overlook the battle with child support where I was forced at a young age to call my dads mother and beg her to call her son and ask her to convince him to pay it, only to have her hang up on me).
Until I turned 15 and my dad started sending letters to my sisters and I that spoke very poorly of my mother (an opinion that ten years later I agree with). I ended up standing up to him, and telling him that I didn't think that kind of behavior was acceptable.
A few weeks later was Parent-Teacher conferences at our schools. My mom had to visit about a dozen teachers (three kids, each with about 4 teachers), starting at noon, and she didn't get home until late- like 8 p.m. My middle sister was on student council, so she was at school directing lost parents. Leaving me with my youngest - and mentally handicapped- sister, home early. Which was fine. Until I got the mail. There was a letter addressed to me from a company called "Child Find America." It informed me that the man I call my dad was not my father. Another man was, and identified one of my mother's friends brother as my biological father. So, I sat at home, alone, with the weight of the world on my tiny, teen shoulders. Even at 15, I knew better, whether or not the content of this letter was true, I knew that the sender was fake. The letter was typed, but not by computer. It was laced with typos and inaccuracies. There was no letterhead. And the reference to a person- how would a company even know that I knew that woman?
It was sent by an individual. But who? For the longest time, I believed it was my dad. (Note, I call the man who raised me, "dad" and the man who made me, "father.") It could have been my new step-mother. She was not warmly welcomed by my sisters and I. Several years later, I began to think it was my mother. Either way, some adult was playing a very mean game, and I was simply a pawn.
When my mom came home that night, I confronted her, my face red and splotchy from crying all day. I didn't know who to call. Who I could talk to. Was it true? Did my grandparents know? Did my dad know? Did my father know I even existed? I mean, he had to. I had met my grandparents, except I didn't know they were my grandparents. I had seen pictures of their son- my father, I just didn't know he was my father.
This story continues. I will finish later today, or tomorrow. Because even at 28, those holes still trip me up, still play a big part in my life.