Today I saw a story on the News about a group called, “Breakfast with Dad”.
The jest of the story was they had a breakfast in Dallas, Texas and ask men in the community to come have breakfast and meet and possible be a mentor to these young men. They ask 50 volunteers to come to this event, they had 600 show up!!! That is wonderful and now these young men have much needed mentors, father figures, and just straight up great men to hang out with and learn from. These young men’s chance of staying out of trouble, having a successful marriage, and becoming a successful adult just increased exponentially!!
I just have one question? What about the young ladies out there? They need a father figure just as much!! Father’s don’t only impact boys, they are a major influence on girls, too. A father figure effects who they become as adults. I know this because I never had a father, my stepdad is not a great father, and I’ve watched my husband be an amazing father to our son and our daughters, who are all adults now. I look at our peers and their children and I can tell you the ones with an engaged, loving, and a present father have had a much easier time growing up and being independent, contributing adults.
This is my experience of life without a father….
This post is different; it’s not about natural health, but in a way it is. Can a lifetime of longing, dreaming, and wanting cause someone to be unhealthy? I believe it can, because a life long dream of mine turned into a broken heart and therefore more depression, anxiety, and pain both physical and emotional. This is the hardest thing I have ever written, at least so far. Why am I writing it then? To give my readers insight into who I am, why I do what I do, and most of all hope; hope of healing, relief, and freedom from the pain and the dreams that will probably never come true and my struggle to be okay with that.
As I write this tears streaming down my cheeks, I feel the weight lifting from my chest, the air a little easier filling my lungs, and the pain deep in my soul getting a little easier to bear. I can’t say I wasn’t warned that to go on this journey, was to take the chance that my heart might be more broken than it already was, but I had to know. Know what you may be asking; to know the truth, which now I’m beginning to expect the whole truth is something I may never know, but I know more now than I did and I have the hope that one day I will know more.
I have known and felt the abiding pain from not knowing who I am, where I came from, or who was the other half of creating me and why wasn’t he in my life. Did he not know about me? Did he not want a life with my mother? Did someone intervene and keep him from me? Did he die in Vitetnam or an accident? Or was it my worst fear, he didn’t want me? You probably figured out by now the he I’m referring to, is my biological father. I know I’m not the first to experience this, I’m not the only, and I’m by far not the last to long to know not only who he is but why wasn’t he in my life.
I’ve asked questions for as long as I can remember; I ask my mother, my grandmother, and anyone I thought might know something, anything! The answers were alway I don’t know, I’ll tell you when your grown, he doesn’t want you; so why would you want to know him. I did get none identifying information, mostly from my grandmother, but never the answers I needed, desired, or desperately wanted, as much as I need air in my lungs and blood running through my veins. The results of not being told anything, of needing and wanting a father in my life, PAIN! Emotional, physical, and even deep rooted heart break in my spirit.
By the time I was in my thirties, I was done with not knowing, done with asking questions, and done most of all with lies. My grandmother had been gone for over ten years, so that only left my mother that could answer my questions. I approached my stepfather one Christmas and ask, hoping he might know something, at this point all I really wanted was a name. I figured if I had a name, (YES!! I was into my thirties and didn’t even know my father’s name!) I could find out the rest, but with no name came no hope. My stepfather didn’t know or so he said; I didn’t understand how you could be married to someone for twenty-five plus years and not know the name of the father of her child? You never ask? She never told you? You raised this child, how could you not know? But he didn’t, really didn’t, I still don’t get it. I’d been married almost fifteen years myself, had three children, and there wasn’t anything my husband didn’t know. But my mother had never spoken of it and if he ask, she never told him, but I highly doubt he ever ask; there are just something’s you never, ever speak of with my mother!
Not me!! After thirty years of tiptoeing around her feelings and ignoring my own, I couldn’t; wouldn’t be quiet any longer. My stepfather said he would talk to her for me and I begged him to wait until after Christmas, after we had all gone back home and to our own adult lives. Well, that was not to be, he confronted her that night and the next morning she was irate, with me! After many harsh words, screaming, yelling, and many tears she wouldn’t budge! After months of phone calls, emails, letters, and voice messages we were no closer to coming to any type of agreement. She just couldn’t understand, “why I couldn’t just let it go”! Let it go? It’s my father, extended family, possible siblings, and DNA, how can you expect me to let it go? It has been an all consuming desire for my entire life, there is no letting it go! Well, it was decided since we couldn’t come to any type of compromise that we just couldn’t be in each other’s life anymore. I don’t remember who decided, but for 12 years there has been no contact. I have been written off, by all the family I had ever known and to say I was heartbroken and depressed would be a major understatement!
I spent the next couple of years in a deep dark depression and many hours of counseling. The counseling (and medication) helped and I did finally pull out of the depression, but I still had a huge hole in my heart and no way to fill it. Until one night over a year ago I saw a commercial, it said you can do DNA testing and figure out who your ancestors are. Even if your female, new DNA testing has made it possible to trace your paternal line. I had been told you couldn’t trace your paternal line if you were female due to X and Y chromosomes, no longer true! So I immediately ordered DNA kits from 2 different companies, sent off my samples, and waited. A long month later I had my results and I went to work.
See there is something you need to know about me, when I set my mind to something there is no stopping me! I get a burning desire in my belly and a stubborn determination like you’ve probably never seen anywhere else! I sat to work learning about DNA, proving paternity, and figuring out what I didn’t know and why it was such a big secret, “to never be spoken of”! It took about a month, a consultation with a genealogist, search angles to check my work, and notebooks full of notes but I did it, I figured it out! Okay, now I have a name, what now? The reason he wasn’t in my life, an affair that resulted in my conception. He is still married to the same woman and I have an older sibling and a younger. I finally had what I thought I wanted, but it wasn’t enough, I wanted to know why! So I contacted him….
Why?!?!? It’s such a weird word, the answer is never really what you want it to be. I had what I had always wanted, a name, but it was not what I really wanted! I really, at 50 years of age, just wanted a dad! What I also had, by this time was several Chronic Illnesses. So can a broken heart make you physically ill? Yes, a broken heart can be so severe it can kill you. Consider the examples of people who have been married for many years, when one passes away the other is so broken hearted they pass away too. So how do you heal a broken heart, how do you heal a damaged soul, how do you heal a body so taxed by stress, anger, grief, and despair you can’t even get out of bed? Well you start from the ground up!
You begin to heal by rebuilding your physical body with nutrient rich foods, herbs, and supplements to replace what has been used up. You seek spiritual healing through prayer, meditation, music, nature, whatever works best for you. You begin to heal your mind by eliminating stress, breathing, resting, and changing your focus. Finally, you work on your emotions, you learn to forgive, for you not them! And let me tell you forgiveness is a process and it takes the desire to be free of the pain, and time, it doesn’t come easily or quickly! Some days I’m still working on it! My philosophy is we are made up of 4 parts, physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. They all have to be in balance for true health and healing. We are not a group of parts that function separately, we are one miraculously designed being created to work optimally in balance. So my focus is balance and to teach others how to achieve balance and true healing.
Am I healed, NO! I fear the damage was so severe and long term that complete healing will probably never come, but I’m better; better today than I was yesterday and I have hope that tomorrow will be better yet. Now I focus on what I have, not what I don’t. Is my heart still broken, YES! Is Father’s Day a joyous occasion for me, NO! I avoid it as much as possible and try to focus on the wonderful fathers I know, like my husband, friends, and sons. Do I still want a dad, well yes, guess I always will. When you grow up without something so vital to your development it takes a lifelong toll. But now it’s about healing me, it must be. I can’t let them dictate how I think, feel, or react. I choose today to get better, to be better, and to help everyone I can find health and healing.
BE WELL AND LOVE YOURSELF DESPITE WHAT ANYONE ELSE SAYS OR DOES!!!!
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Recent Examples of transformation from the Web:
The right to break the cycle of abuse, violence; right to heal, right to own our mistakes and the resources and the support to seek transformation on our own terms, right to be free from discrimination based on criminal history or family history. As per www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transform