Going to Be Long, Never Talked About This Before
I never really know how to start things, so I guess I'll just jump right in.
My two older sisters and I were abandoned by our father, Danny. It's bugged me for my entire life, but I just can't bring myself to talk to anyone about it, not family, not former therapists, best friends, husband, whoever. Don't know why. So I'm extremely grateful I found this site!
Danny cheated on my mom from around the begining of their marriage. To this day, I don't know why she put up with it, she's a very intelligent and loving and beautiful woman who totally could have done better! But I digress. So he cheated on her and spread awful rumors about her, basically acted like a high school bully. The marriage was already falling apart by the time I was born. When I was born, the doctor spend over an hour trying to get Danny to hold me and he never did because he was mad at my mom. So I guess right from the start, I was the daughter who he didn't like. Because I know he adored my two sisters.
My mom has told me that she tried to stay with him through the cheating and through constant emotional abuse. But she said that her breaking point came when I was still an infant and she was feeding me and Danny held a loaded gun to my head in order to scare my mom. She changed the locks while he was at work the next day and then filed for divorce.
Danny never tried to get any sort of visitation with any of us during the divorce. And life went on, we never got phone calls, birthday cards, child support, none of that. My mom did her best to always have his most recent phone number on hand in case we wanted to talk to him, she was amazing like that, but Danny was good at changing his number alot.
My mom was (and still is) twice the dad that Danny could have ever been. She worked two jobs and put herself through college and still managed to never miss a school play or piano recital or dance recital or gymnastic tournament or any of those things. Wow, she even found time for us to join all of these activities! And more. I don't feel like I missed out on anything as a child by not having Danny. Mom made sure we all knew how loved we were and that his absence was absolutely not our fault. She's just the best.
Well in time, my sisters both decided to start a relationship with him. Long story short, when the middle sister got married in 1998, Danny was very excited, he couldn't wait to come give her away. And somehow my sisters volunteered ME to call him on the day that he was going to drive here for the wedding (he lives in Ohio, my sister got married in Minnesota) to make sure that everything on his end was going according to plan. I talked to him for a bit and he said things like "I'm sorry your mother never allowed me to be in your life" (so it was HER fault he constantly changed his number whenever we got it? Interesting) and like "I know how awful your life must have been without me" (I never missed him when I was a kid) and he just made me nauseous. I got to a point where I had to just tell him, "Actually, my mom is the best person I know and none of us missed you." He completely blew me off.
So my sister's wedding day comes along and (no surprise) Danny never showed up, never called, and according to his sister, he never even left his house. But he DID take his phone off the hook so that my sobbing sister couldn't get through to him. That was nice. :P
That's when I started asking questions and learned all about the past. That's when I really started to despise that "man".
Then a few years ago, long story short (again), we met up with two half-brothers who came from one of the affairs that Danny was having while married to my mom. They look exactly like Danny, just like I do. He denied being the father behind their back, but welcomed them with open arms to their face. It just sickened me, those poor guys being duped like that. It made for alot of humiliation for them later on, but that's another story.
Danny never knew that I got married (also in 1998) or that I had children. I begged my sisters not to let him know. I wanted to be as seperate from him as possible.
After the birth of my second child in 2004, I decided that I wanted to see Danny. Not to visit and not to argue, not even to speak, but just to see. I don't know why, I guess it was a whim. So I started saving up money very slowly and I decided that my best friend and I would take a vacation down to Kentucky (where he was living at that time) and go eat at the restaurant where he worked. That was going to be good enough for me. I'd see him from a distance, nothing more.
Well less than a month before we were going to leave, Danny had a stroke and died. Left behind 10 children total. Now here's where I start feeling all messed up.
My sister and I flew out to Ohio for his funeral. This wasn't something I did because he died, but because my sister was bringing her infant daughter along and she needed help caring for her. My sister was mourning, I seriously can't imagine why. So I volunteered happily because (honestly. Yes I'm shallow sometimes) I love to fly and I was getting cabin fever (December in Minnesota, brr!). And when I went, I was surrounded by all of these half-siblings of mine, all of us were there except for my married sister who owns a business and couldn't take time off. And all of these people, including the two half-siblings who we'd only known a short while, these people all knew Danny, they had relationships with him, they shared stories of him, and I realized that I was very out of place and even more unwanted by him than I ever thought. Everybody there had at least one good thing to say about him. All I had was a story about a gun being held to my head and a very distant recollection of once being with him and being pushed down concrete stairs, then left on a porch to bleed for a few hours until my mom came home from work. And I guess that's when it hit me that he wasn't necessarily a bad father, he just really really hated me. I would almost think that maybe I was the product of an affair or something, but I know my mom isn't like that and I look *exactly* like Danny, unfortunately. I just don't understand, WHY did he hate ME so badly? Of all 10 of his kids, why was I the one he decided wasn't worthy of a dad? It was such a total self-esteem killer.
At his funeral, people had really mixed reactions to me. Danny's brother and sister were wonderful, warm, inviting people. I love them dearly! As well as his sister's son, he really helped me keep my head on straight. But alot of family didn't even know that I existed. And still more looked at me like I was a virus. A few tried to be sweet and say things about how much Danny loved us and wanted all of his children in his life, blah blah blah. I didn't believe it for a second, but I guess they meant well.
Then I listened to my sister talking with other people about what kind of father Danny had been. My sister had spent a couple years living with him back when she was a teenager and she tried to pay him visits through the years whenever she could. I don't remember most of what she said, I was busy taking care of her daughter, but one thing really stands out in my mind. She said that the last time she visited him, she had been about 26, which was 2 years prior. And Danny had told her to sit on his lap, then he hugged her and told her he loves her and asked her to tell him everything about her life. And that just stunned me, I don't know why. And though I don't admit it EVER, I know I had a little envy when I heard that. It just made me feel even more like an outcast. I still don't know why I'm the one he hated. Through my adolesence, I did try to call him sometimes and I tried to talk to him, but our conversations just never produced anything except an attack against my mom. I really think he hated me because I'm the one who stands up for my mom instead. My sisters tended to let him rant, then complain to each other about how awful he was to Mom. LOL, I guess I'm not passive-agressive enough.
Still, I wish I could understand it, I wish I could get rid of all the rage I have for that guy, I try to let it go but it just keeps bugging me!
Just a couple days after my sister and I got back from Ohio, my *very* special and wonderful dog, Nadir, died when there was that outbreak of rat poison in dog food, if anyone here remembers that. He was only six and he was very dear to me and I found myself completely outraged that I'd spent so much time in Ohio that I could have spent with Nadir. I know I'm being dramatic, but in all honesty, it felt very much like Danny had TIMED his death in order to make me more miserable, in order to keep me away from something I loved. I know that isn't really what happened, but that's the sick feeling I'm left with. Don't know why.
So I seriously have absolutely no expectations that anyone here might read this. It's way too long, it's like a treatment for insomniacs or something. ;) But because I've been sitting at my computer and sobbing all night, I needed to get it off my chest. My oldest sister is getting married in a few months and all the half-sibs will be here and I guess in preparing myself for that, I've been making myself miserable with the memories of who Danny was.
I'm glad to have had the chance to write it all down. And if any of you just jumped to the bottom and are reading this, you can post just to say hi, you totally don't need to read anything above this! :)
Take care all!