Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Letter Unspoken

Dear You,

Today is your day and while part of me is happy and excited for you (because I am a mother and know the joy a child can bring) I can't help but feel there are a few things I need to say to put it all to rest.

I've never taken the time to speak what is on my mind. I've been too preoccupied with the belief that you would wake up one day and feel miserable for walking away from a piece of you (and secretly hoping you would get your karmic payback) all the while believing I would be the "bigger" person, the accepting person, the one who would be better than letting your young, stupidity reduce me to the same level. I was wrong. Instead of moving past this I have harbored secret ill will towards you for six very long years. I have learned this has done more to me than it ever will to you and that it is time to move on.

Six years ago my life changed (ultimately for the better.) I can remember the day as vividly as if it was yesterday how things began to unravel. I had just found out that I was pregnant and I couldn't believe it, I was not excited and I didn't know what to do. We had talked about 'accidents' and if one should happen what we would do, I swore I would never tell you and you admitted that you wanted to know. That day I broke down in tears and I called. You were on your way to play football with the guys and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to say to someone - and I wasn't even face to face.

We talked and I tried to put on a brave face saying I would do what needed to be done and talk to you once it was over - we[you & i] were never meant to last, I didn't want to be tied to someone and I really wasn't ready for this. In the end, I couldn't do it. I laid on that table and heard the sound of her heart, I saw the tiny, grainy image on the screen and knew there was no way I would be able to go thru with the procedure and I left. I drove 2 hours to see you and remember buying a "daddy's bib and a book" for you, you said you would support me and you said you wanted to be there for her because your father had never been there for you...I believed you that day and thought (in my own young naivety) that we were strong enough to make this work unconventionally.

I laid next to you that night and put your hand on the little 'bump' still forming in my belly and wished with all my might that you would love her as much as I. I wished for some sign I was doing the right thing, something to steady my thoughts and reassure me I was not alone, I didn't want to be alone with this. Shortly after, I met your family and as scared as I was not knowing what they thought of me I was beginning to believe it was all going to work. One day, we would all be 'friends' and "our" child would have a happy and loving family even if it was unconventional.

It was New Years Day 2002 when you boarded the plane headed overseas - you promised you would only be a phone call away and it would be ok. It wasn't. Within weeks I was in the hospital scared and alone being told I was in labor and they couldn't stop it. There was a very real chance I could lose this baby and there was nothing they could do but hope and pray. I called you then - drugged and a little sluggish to let you know and you said nothing. What was I hoping you would say? What could you say? That was the first time I ever hated you - that moment right there, I hated you for doing this to me, I hated you for being gone and not having your life turned upside down. I hated you for being able to be young and do what you wanted without any second thought...I just hated you.

Over the next few months I was in and out of the hospital. I was an emotional wreck and I relied on you to reassure me that I was not alone. I thought my life was over and I would always be a "mom" I would never be looked at again as sexy, beautiful, desired...remember I too was young and wanted to be just that. I never regretted the decision I made that day in the clinic, but I did regret with each passing day ever telling you. I regretted knowing you and I regretted thinking it would ever work between us as friends.

The day she was born, I called you that morning, it was evening your time and you were getting ready to go to work, you said you'd call after you got off work. Later that night, after it was all said and done you called and wanted to know if she had all her fingers and toes and if she looked like you or was she 'pasty' like me. I laughed it off, but even then I knew you were not connected to this life. You had no ties to this beautiful little girl who had already won my heart and you would never be much more than a phone call. Two days later I offered you a reprieve (or so I thought) in the form of "being friends for her sake. Nothing should keep her from knowing you and I won't be the wicked witch in this story. We had no feelings for each other and we both knew from the start it was not meant to last, but with her it was." You accepted and agreed that should be the way.

I never put your name on the birth certificate, that would have required your signature and I guess deep down in side I knew you wouldn't stick around. I was selfish and thought if I didn't list you then you would never fight me for what was mine, I thought you could never interfere in my choices with her if you had no rights. You did come to see her briefly when she was 2 months old, I let you stay at my house and sleep in my bed, but it was wrong, it felt all wrong and it was strained. You left 2 days later and despite all your 'kind, but empty' words you never returned. I tried to maintain contact with your mother and family for the first year, but that too eventually became strained and felt awkward. I guess it was about the same time another baby came into their lives and it was obvious that she [our baby] was not apart of their world. My plan to be one happy extended family had failed.

Many times you relocated, but I always knew where you were. I always had a way to contact you in case I needed it - I wanted to know when your life went to sh*t and I secretly always hoped some other woman would take you for all you were worth, I wanted to watch karma come back and get you. We played 'tag' on and off though out the last 4 years, you've apologized and said you didn't deserve a second (third or fourth) chance yet each time you asked and I obliged. I let you communicate with her via telephone and I let her know you were 'daddy.' She wanted so badly to have a father and I just couldn't bear to lie to her or crush that hope because you just weren't around.

Time after time you would promise to come visit, even your wife (girlfriend at the time) inquired about you coming to visit only to end with a lame excuse as to why you could not. I reached my end and told you that I wanted her to be adopted by the only man she had ever known as a 'daddy' figure. You said ok, but began calling each week and doing the things that should have been done sooner. When I questioned you, you admitted that the idea of her being adopted translated to "you not being her daddy." The truth is, you've never been her daddy, it doesn't matter if that is what she calls you, you aren't. Never once have you kissed her booboo's, read her a story, tucked her into bed - you've never even seen her!?!?! I couldn't believe what I was hearing - we moved and I stopped answering my phone. We needed time to adjust, time to move past you. I couldn't answer her questions anymore and she blindly loved you, how could I tell her you hadn't met her because you were to stupid, scared, young to get past yourself and get on a plane?

Over the next year you were married and I made contact again, this time with her too. I had vowed this year would be different and I was going to let go of the hate that I'd been carrying around all this time. It was then that I found out your wife was pregnant, she was due in May (on the very same day as my daughters original due date). Not only was she pregnant, but she was having a little girl and you were excited. It was like someone had knocked the wind from my sails. All my talk of letting the past go came to a halt - how dare you go and have a little girl (you should have had a boy) and in May (seriously there are 12 months to choose from...couldn't you pick a different one.) Yes, I know these are irrational thoughts, but they were honest.

I've spent the last few months getting to know your wife and watching her progress with her pregnancy. I prayed your child would not come early, would be no where near my daughters birthday and happily we escaped that. Today, your wife is being induced and even though I've been supportive throughout, I found it hard to be happy for her and for you when she emailed to say the baby was coming today. It just felt twisted and painful.

For many years, I've projected my thoughts of what should be onto you. I've projected my idea of what life should be like for my daughter and every year you've let me down. It's not so much that it didn't happen as much as it is that for all these years I believe you when you said you would be there. I have always believed you even when I knew better. For six years I've dreamed of the day you would have your very own child, for the day you would get that slap in the face from reality and show you all that you've missed. Today is that day and it doesn't feel good - not like I thought it would.

I've never voiced my true feelings because if I did, that would make them real and I wanted to believe I was better than feeling this way. I wanted to believe I was evolved and mature enough to not care, this just goes to show I'm not. I have however grown enough to admit to my short comings and work to be better than them. You are not entirely to blame for the events that have unfolded over the years, but you are not exempt either. Despite all this, I do wish you a wonderful birth-day of your daughter today. I do wish you all the special moments I've gotten to share with mine and most of all I wish for you the wisdom that comes with age - the kind that can show you how to right the wrongs and let the past live in the past. I'm not saying it will be easy and that I won't feel this way anymore, but for today I am pouring these words, these thoughts out of my soul and setting them free - setting myself free.

Every minute and every choice I've ever made has been worth it, without you I could have had no her.


Jojo said...

You are not un-evolved and went through this by yourself and even befriended his wife ...I probably would be seething. He is D.Q.'s dad? I understand dear dad left us, and he went and had a daughter with someone else. I had gotten over that (after a LONG time) but never got over the fact that I wasn't his baby girl anymore. It hurt so much that he had a daughter, so I completely feel you. You are such an open and strong person, she is lucky to have you as a mama. And believe it or not, karma is very much alive and thriving, so life unfolds itself in funny ways..just wait and see

Semi-Charmed Wife said...

I just sent you an email...

April said...

Wow, that was intense. And from I just read, it sounds like you have every right to be angry. Do not call yourself have obviosly showed WAY more maturity throughout it all then he ever showed.
You sound like a DAMN good mama to me. :-)

Dawn said...

You are so amazing. I wish I could give you a big hug right now.

You're the bigger, better, and more mature person. Your daughter is blessed to be your little girl and in time she will come to appreciate all you have done for her, including giving her a father figure she can respect.

A Buns Life said...

My biological father was NEVER involved in my life, though I knew of him and had memories and I know where he is today. My mother remarried when I was almost 4 to the man that I called Daddy until the day he died (when I was 22) He was never able to formally adopt me, but it didn't matter. I knew who my REAL daddy was, and your daughter does/will too.

Lori @ Front Porch Legacy said...