My mom had a one night stand with this man when she was 17 and I sparked into life. This is the only image I’ve seen of my biological father. I only know his first name, Allen. My mom did some hunting through a mutual friend in the late 90s and found out he was an alcoholic living in the Midwest. I decided I had no interest in trying to contact him because I had enough alcoholism with my stepdad (father figure #3) and I’ve learned blood doesn’t matter near as much as choosing someone. He didn’t choose me so why should I choose him? I also learned I have a younger half brother I will never know.
Although I was adopted by another man, the man I call Dad, when I was 4, I suffered from my not having a strong relationship with a father figure in my life. My parents divorced when I was 10 because they were too different (they actually married more for me than each other) and I turned out like my mom in all the ways that made them a poor match. He’s a sweet man. I know he loves me in his way. But he didn’t protect us from our mom or poverty when he could have. And now everything that I am, and nearly everyone I love, are an affront to his conservative Christian values, so we have nothing to talk about and only text on holidays.
When I was a teen I went through a big emotional process around being abandoned and neglected by father figures. I was a good Christian girl at the time, so I turned to God the Father as a sort of substitute for what I would never have from a human father, which now seems pretty amazing to both be conscious of and try to heal without a therapist involved at 15 years old. Though I have learned over the years that one of my gifts:quirks is an unusual desire for and depth of self awareness.
Hmmm…A self aware woman is a transgressive woman and that gives me another story for this project.
BTW – these aren’t going to be all painful stories, it just happens that going through old photos has brought up some things.