That last blog entry……the very last sentence. Did I grab your attention?
My bio father is a predator.
Let’s back up a little. Back to August, 2021 when I first spoke with him. As I mentioned in the last entry, he was so affectionate to me. And in all honesty? I was literally living for it.
He offered up so much information about my roots…..where my ancestors came from, different personality traits that seemed to run through family members and connected me to some of my own traits, and medical information that could affect my life. For example, Type 2 diabetes runs on both my bio mother and father’s side……and I’ve always had some struggles with my sugar bouncing between high and low and doctors have told me that most likely eventually someday, I’d be Type 2.
And he was SO interested in me. Every single phone call (and these calls would last for at least an hour but usually more) he’d ask the deep questions. He wanted to know about my mom and our relationship struggles, my dad, the struggles I went through growing up and the struggles I have faced in my adult life.
And let me tell you – I was an open book. He asked and I gave. Spilled my guts. Told him every single thing.
I mean…..this was the man that created me…..he was thankful that, after all these years, we connected. He told me that. And he constantly told me that he loved me. Why wouldn’t I open up?
Our deep conversations went on from that August until recently in May, 2022.
In the meantime, over all these months, I would spend time on the phone with my bio half sister getting to know her. She introduced me to her own family too! Just recently I met another bio half sister and we chat via Facebook quite often. And as I type this, I just connected with yet another bio half sister and we’ll be talking soon.
I should probably clear something up before going any further. For privacy sake, I’m naming them Sister #1 and so on. The first half sister I met – Sister #1 – was the child of my bio father and his first wife and she’s younger than me. They also had a son. My bio father and his wife divorced when the kids were young and Sister #1 and her brother (who was unfortunately killed in a car accident years ago) lived with their mom and only spent random weekends here and there with my bio father. Sister #2 is the same age (months apart) as Sister #1 and experienced her own eye-opening events with our bio father after finding him and ended the relationship. They have absolutely no contact…..but both bio half sisters have a relationship. And Sister #3, well…..seems something happened there as well. She has no contact with our bio father (her choice) but has recently reconnected with Sister #2 and I can’t wait to talk to her!
HOLY SHIT. You still with me? It’s so confusing!
Now, while connecting with my bio half sisters, early on I connected to a gal that would turn out to be my bio niece. She’s a super nice person, recently married and we chat here and there. She is the daughter of the half brother that was killed in the car accident and unfortunately never got to connect with him. And he had another daughter. Niece #2. She reached out to me too………and she’s where the story started getting a little weird.
So I think I heard from Niece #2 in late winter/early spring. She sent me a message on 23andMe and we got to chatting. She has a couple kids so I asked her if she was in contact with my bio father – which would be her kids grandfather. She responded that initially she had but something about him really creeped her out. He was only interested in HER. Not the kids. Not anything else. Just her. And he would always ask her to send him new pictures.
Stupid me……I responded that he was harmless. It might have just seemed creepy because he’s so much older (82) and she didn’t really know him and that he was probably just genuinely interested in her. Afterall, she was created in part by his son who was no longer walking this earth…..I’m sure he just wanted to know her.
I continued to talk to him without a second thought of anything being off. As a matter of fact, it seemed so random to me that I didn’t even bring it up. To anyone. Not a soul.
Fast forward to this past May…..
Rob and I came down with Covid. And we had a huge mess left here by some shady cement contractors. We weren’t contagious anymore but we still felt like shit, but Rob felt a little better than I did at this point. The cement contractors had intentions of coming back…..in a WEEK……to finish up the job and clean everything up. You know…..after they went up north for a week to celebrate Memorial Day. Our yard was a mess, their equipment left all over, our grass and our neighbors grass all torn up…….and River couldn’t go outside and roam his yard because we had no gate on our fence AND it was a mess! We couldn’t leave it like it was and wait for them for a week…..we couldn’t stand it and we didn’t want our neighbors to have to deal with it…….so Rob had been outside – all damn day – with equipment rented from Home Depot finishing up what they left and starting clean up.
I was sitting on the front porch and told Rob that while I sat outside watching him work I was going to call my bio father because I hadn’t talked to him in a couple weeks.
We sat on the phone almost an hour. When Rob told me he was about ready to go inside, I told my bio father I was going to have to hang up because Rob had been out there for like 11 hours working, he was exhausted and still not feeling a 100% and while he took a quick shower I was gonna get some bacon going for a quick late dinner of club sandwiches.
His response to me literally left me speechless.
“Do me a favor. Give me something to think about. Jump in the shower with him.”
I swear, there’s not much that leaves me speechless. I had no idea what to say and there was dead silence for a few awkward moments……and then he broke that silence with a little giggle. I just said “I’ll talk to you soon” and we hung up.
I was in shock. Rob walked up to me on the porch and I must’ve had some kinda look on my face because he asked me “what happened?” I told him and the first thing he said was ‘WHAT THE FUCK?’ He was in just as much shock as I was and then he got livid. The next person I told was my brother and he had the exact same reaction.
Seriously……I don’t care what kind of world you live in, that is NEVER gonna be okay.
I stewed over it – not knowing how to handle it but having a strong “I need to end this” feeling. But I also felt like I needed answers. So after stewing about it for a couple days I called Sister #1 and said to her, “Listen. I need to talk to you about something and I’m not sure how to say all of this to you because it IS about the man who raised you, but……” and proceeded to tell her what happened. Without going into detail (because it’s not my part of the story to tell), there’s a history there. A history of highly inappropriate and seriously questionable behavior on his part.
And she was honest with me. She told me some stories from her childhood that made me hurt for her, sick to my stomach and let me know that how I was feeling wasn’t unjustified. Not long after that, Niece #1 told me her own story from a pretty recent trip she and her husband made to visit my bio father (her bio grandfather) that left both her and her husband very uncomfortable.
And then I came to understand why Niece #2 was so uncomfortable with their conversations. (Again…..their stories aren’t my story to tell…..but I needed to vaguely include them so my own story didn’t come across as “it’s just me”. Which in afterthought it a HUGE ‘symptom’ of what people that have gone through something like this take on…..nobody will believe me…it had to be meant different than I took it…etc)
A short time after all of this, I connected with my Sister #2. And she told so many of the same stories that I had experienced over the 10 months with him – but it took this one last thing to open my eyes.
Sister #2 and I had some good conversations. I told her that I felt SO stupid for not seeing it all from the beginning. I mean…who says “I love you” right from the get go? And I was literally spilling my heart and soul to him in every single conversation and he’d just tell me how great I was.
She said it best. “It’s like he grooms you”. OMG! That statement hit me like a ton of bricks.
He was telling me all the things I never heard from my parents. He was telling me all the things that helped validate who I was. That I mattered. Then AND now. He was saying all the right things to earn my trust and then BAM.
And I fell for all of it.
I joke around sometimes that I’m an easy target. That if you show me any kind of kindness, we gonna be best friends. That’s just how I am. Because for most of my life, I just didn’t have that. I perfected being a loner. I mean, I did things in “groups of people” but close friends? Like, REALLY close friends? Nope. That was something I didn’t have. (Thankfully that’s changed.)
I was initially using the word “pervert” but Niece #1 used the word “predator”……and after hearing all the stories and thinking back on all our conversations the first 10 months, I truly believe predator is the right word.
I haven’t completely processed all of this. I mean, it only happened in May. But my biggest struggle – after the initial shock – has been……“THIS is what I come from? THIS is what’s running through my blood? THIS is a part of me???” and what do I do with that? It’s been kinda tough for me to separate ME from THAT.
I try to take my mind back the nature vs nurture thing. He might have created me, but he is NOT me. I am NOT him. And I had a dad that I loved, everyone else loved and I never heard – in all my life – a bad story or word about him. EVER. And even though there were the struggles with my mom, I was taught integrity, kindness, doing unto others the way you’d want done to you………. and my moral compass is pretty strong.
Even though I’m still processing….even though it pops into my head sometimes and I will dwell on it if I don’t catch myself….even though it’s all ridiculously difficult to accept and it makes my stomach turn, I refuse to let it define me. I refuse to let it lead me down to that ugly place.
The good, the bad and the ugly of my life……I didn’t become who I am because of him. His DNA. I became who I am DESPITE who he is.
And….I became who I am because of them.
And….because of me.