Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chapter 3: the longest chapter

Chapter 3 -- four years in one blink 

If I tried to break my story down year by year I would be writing forever and the theme would become more than redundant... I'm not in the mood to bore myself or anyone who might actually read this... So you are going to get - four years in one blink.

At age 14, the desire to meet my dad peaked.  I had held onto his name for two years, and although that seems like a very minimal amount of time - it was 730 days of feeling like I had something but just couldn't quite reach it. 

My mom agreed to let me call him.  His voice sounded very nice (not the picture  I had imagined).  He seemed excited.  He wanted to meet me.  So, it was really happening - I was going to meet the man who helped give me life... 

So when the day arrived - I was nervous.  I was partly angry, partly sad, partly excited, and partly scared.  I really didn't know what I was - but I knew what I wanted - answers.  And those answers never came -- not then anyway.

We had a wonderful visit - a little too wonderful.  I really liked him, and part of me was very mad that I liked him.  I think in some weird way I had hoped he had been a loser, a low life, maybe even a drug addict... Anything that would help justify him not wanting to be my dad for so many years... But he wasn't any of those things - he was great.  

So what was so wrong with me that an awesome guy like him walked away?  Why had he started a family with someone else - raising other peoples' kids?  

I knew it wasn't my fault.  I knew he did not even know me, but part of me felt an even bigger sense of personal rejection and inadequacy.  Logic told me it wasn't me - my heart couldn't help but feel...

Over the next 4 years my dad and I grew a quasi-parent/child relationship. He moved here to take a job, and made a lot of promises... Many did not pan out.  I was happy that we got to talk every so often and had the occasional meal out together once every couple months.  

I wanted him to be more present... I needed a dad, but I also didn't want to have to ask him to be there.  I wanted him to want to.  He usually didn't, and I was not about to act like I cared or wanted that.  I would be strong - he wouldn't have an affect on me, :-/

There were many disappointments that came through those years.  My moms fears of it being more hurtful to have an inconsistent dad than any dad at all were justified.  BUT there were also many things I did not understand and even though I thought I knew everything I didn't.  I barely knew a tip of the iceberg.  There were details that had been kept from me, big ones...  But as I said before - this isn't a blame game and it's not about airing juicy details.  If it was, there would have been a lot of blame to go around to everyone and the details aren't juicy - more like depressing.

At 18, my dad and I had a huge tipping point... A conversation that led into an argument that led into a huge blow-up that opened up emotions in me I never knew I had.  Just as quickly as my dad had walked into my life, he was out again.  

I didn't care (but i did).  I was mad at the world and no one understood me.  I had proved my mom right - that it was a mistake to have let him in.  I had been hurt too much, and I was not going to have the dad I had hoped for.  In fact, I was back to being completely fatherless again.  

I was burnt out, starting college, working full-time, partying most nights, acting out in pure rebellion.  I didn't like my mom thinking she had warned me and somehow won a weird argument.   I definitely didn't like my dad, and I hated myself.  God never left me, but I left Him for a while.

I really thought I knew everything there was to know about life.  I managed a store, was making good money for my age, and maybe I didn't even really need college.  I ended a relationship with a boyfriend who I had dated all through high school... A boy that made me laugh and feel special, a boy who fell into the wrong crowd and started making decisions that were extremely unhealthy.  Someone who I really knew I wasn't supposed to be with, but somehow made me feel trapped that I needed to take care of him.

I finally got the courage to end it.  That relationship made my view of men go from really horrible to even worse than horrible.  I had watched another really awesome guy turn into someone who continuously let me down.  It was bad but my expectation level was worse.  I wanted someone to rescue me.  He just couldn't.

Two months after the break-up I met someone else.  

CORRECTION: 2 months later I blindly leapt into another relationship.  

1 comment:

  1. Rachel,

    "So what was so wrong with me that an awesome guy like him walked away?"

    I'm failing to name the emotion this sobering statement instilled in me. It is so beautifuly honest that I know it will stay with me for a long while.

    Proud to know you and glad you're allowing us all to know you more.

    Your friend,