I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about him or dream about him sometimes.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look at my two children and wonder if they look a little like him when he was their age.
My son is a red head and so was he and he’s going to be tall and strong just like I remember he was.
I haven’t seen him properly since I was fifteen.
He last got in touch via Facebook a few days before my son Heath was born. He’d sent both my brother and I message requests which we both ignored and immediately blocked.
This man, my Dad, taught me to swim, he made the best cheese on toast, he taught me to stand up for myself, probably a bit too much, and rather sadly he taught me what rejection felt like.
I only lived with him and my Mum until I was two and a half. My parent’s relationship was volatile, violent and fuelled with alcohol.
As small children weekends were spent at their house as it was the only contact my brother and I had with them. I do have some nice memories of that time where my Dad would play his guitar and sing Beatles songs to me.
I can see him sitting in a big brown armchair with our cat Boo curled up on his feet whilst we watched Gladiators on Saturday night TV.
The truth is he was much nicer to me than he was to my Brother or my Mum.
He had a bad temper and he wasn’t very generous and I can’t really understand why for the life of me he ever wanted to have kids.
When my parents finally divorced I was about 13, my Mum’s drinking had spiraled out of control and she had been hospitalised.
I continued to spend time with Dad and even though I knew he’d been terrible to us all I still loved him.
Then when I was about 14 he met someone and she had her own family so that was that.
I remember waiting for him to pick me up for one of our outings and him never arriving. I think he called me to tell me he wouldn’t be seeing me again as his new girlfriend didn’t like me.
I can only liken it to a bad boyfriend that keeps standing you up, you keep telling yourself it’ll be ok, it’s not you and they really do love you but deep down you know the truth.
I often think about how many birthdays and Christmas’s he missed, special occasions like us passing our driving tests, exam results, sad times like losing our Mum, and precious times like meeting his grandchildren.
It’s funny what having your own children does to you, I’m starting to understand it wasn’t my fault, I deserved to be loved and taken care of by the two people who brought me into this world.
Luckily my brother and I had our grandparents who more than made up for our parent’s shortcomings with lots of love and care.
I’m so lucky to have my fantastic brother Adam who I know will always be there for me, a husband who I adore and who is an amazing Dad and a Father-In-Law who I call Dad and is more of a father to me than my biological one has ever been.
Do I hate my own Father? Absolutely not, hate only consumes you. I’ve completely forgiven him, I actually feel sorry for him, sorry that he’s missed out on a whole lifetime of memories.
I look at my children and my heart just melts, they are my world, I couldn’t imagine missing a single second of them even on those tough days.
If I could offer one piece of advice to anyone who has been treated badly by their biological parents, rejected and made to feel un loved, it would be NEVER THINK IT’S YOUR FAULT.
When people treat others un kindly it says everything about them and who they are.
We can choose our friends but rather sadly we cannot choose our family.
Learning to accept what is or what has been can be the toughest challenge but look at me I’m still standing, I’m strong and kind and I’m full of love for my family and my friends.
What happens to us in life doesn’t define us, it doesn’t mean we will repeat the pattern and it certainly doesn’t mean we can’t love or be loved again.