Yesterday I went to the Social Security Office bright and early. As a newlywed I apprehensively went to go change my name. I have been apprehensive as I am not one of the contemporary women who find it necessary to keep my last name but due to my husbands wishes I hyphenated my last name. I got there early and left twenty minutes later and anyone who knows about the SSO knows it takes eons to get things done. The early bird eats the worms and boy did I leave with a big worm!
When the clerk handed me my paperwork for my new hyphenated last name she gave me the name of the man listed as my father. Now growing up in foster care I heard over the years who my father could have been. Considering my mother’s mental state I never knew what the truth was surrounding that situation. In the past I have thought about locating him but did not pursue it unsure of how I would feel if I found him. Would I be angry? Would he have a family well-kept living in the suburbs with a manicured lawn? Would I be upset that he was not there to shelter me while I went through the abuse of foster care? All of these questions prevented me from searching for him in the past. Well I decided to give it a try so I googled his name. HE CAME UP! As a counselor practicing in the city and state that I was born. Ironic, maybe. Stunned standing still in the light rain I struggled as the world around me became a blur like the streets of NYC but I was the only one standing there. Where the world is usually bustling with sound stillness takes its place as I gather the events. I think to myself, “Who should I call?” After mulling through two options I phone my husband. For the sake of respect I will brief through this part.
I felt alone, again very alone in the quiet streets as I peddled my bike in the light rain misting on my face. My eyes begin to well with tears as I feel the familiar feeling of loneliness. He did not understand me and I struggle to dial a number of someone who might. So I do, from a collective memory that won’t go away, I dial. No answer…ring…no answer…I leave a message figuring the individual who checks will recognize the familiar urgency in my voice. After all, I think they still know me sometimes better than I know myself. That thought puts a brief smile on my face.
To the subject at hand fast forward 24 hours later and I am sad. I called this counselor who donated his sperm to create me 25 years ago and I got no response. Initially I called once and he did not answer but I received a text stating he was in a meeting. So I text back and requested that he phone me when he got the chance. Hours later this was brewing inside of me so I try calling again and left a voicemail. I do not think I even left my name partially afraid that he would recognize the last name and not call back. When more time passed and impatience began to set in I sent a text. I simply said that I did not want to continue to bother him at work but that I think he is my father. I apologized for springing that on him but that he could call me or email me which ever he preferred. I tried emailing before this text message that I sent in which I would mildly regret later but I got no response. The email got returned so the address provided is not valid. My text was an attempt to obtain contact before the weekend began as the cell phone he uses I gather is a business line. So now 24 hours later I feel rejection setting in, I feel misunderstood by the loved one I reached out to. I feel a sense of loss. The plan is to try again Monday. One thing I am not is a quitter! I will leave a formal voicemail and leave my name, contact information, and state my purpose precisely for calling. I will wait a week and if I get no response I will send a letter to his place of business. Then I will begin the process of letting go. Of moving on without something I never expected to obtain. Of walking away with my dignity and strength that was established void of a father and still void after he chooses to make no attempts at knowing who I am. After all, it is material for another chapter in another book.
Loneliness is dish best unserved…but if someone cooks it for you. Ingest the meal the best way you know how, let the body process the nutrients and spit out the waste.
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