Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 4-The Thing for Which I Need to Forgive Someone Else

Oh good Lord. This one is easy.

My sperm donor.

Yup, I said it. My sperm donor. My biological father. My mother's first husband.

Or, the guy I not-so-affectionately call, "Willie."

Willie is the true example of "Papa was a rolling stone."

Illegally entered the country in 1973 (ish). Here newly from Chile, he quickly married (not my mom) and had a son. He abandoned them within a couple years, came to Chicago and met my mom. They were both into dancing (disco! disco!). He was abusive from the start, but she became pregnant with me and married him partially because of that pregnancy and it was the thing you did when you were 19, pregnant and from a good Catholic family.

He was never good to her. Despite that, my mother stayed and they had my sister a year later. A 21 year old girl with two baby girls, she was often left home with no money and no car.

He worked for cash, never brought home the money and almost never came home anyway. When he did, he was drunk or physically abusive to my mother. When he was away, we knew he was probably staying with another woman. He spent an entire summer away one year for that reason.

Growing up, I knew when things were going to be bad. My mom would send us to a neighbor's or friend's house. We would come back to overturned furniture, broken windows, disheveled shelves. Evidence of a chase, a fight. My mother had bruises and one time he knocked out her four bottom front teeth.

He finally left for good when I was 8. By then, I just wanted so badly for a normal life. I wanted him gone. I wanted my mom to be okay. He didn't want to leave unless my mom gave her the house (her parents bought it for them), the car (again, her parents bought it for them) and all of her valuable jewelry.

She did.

That's how badly she wanted him gone. And because she rejected him, he rejected us. I suppose to try to get back at her.

I can't imagine he thought he needed to get back at us. But, he left her and left us. And he never came back.

No child support payments.

No birthday cards.

No Christmas presents.

No dad to tell when I received straight As or the first time a boy broke my heart.

And I remember speaking to him on the phone a few times between the ages of 8 and 21.  Literally, three to four times. And the anger and fury and tears that would fly.

I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I hope you die! I won't come to your funeral. And you'll burn in hell!

And he told me I was a little bitch, just like my mother.

My mom remarried when I was 12. That man, Joe, became my dad.  MY DADDY. I took his name when I was 13. I finally felt comfortable calling him dad when I was 21. I name my first born son after him.  He is my father. My dad. The man by which I measure all other men.

And so. I forgive you, Willie. And it doesn't even matter to me if you deserve my forgiveness or not. In my life, despite you, I still love, still succeed, still persevere.

And so, I forgive you.

1 comment:

  1. You are such a strong and AMAZING woman Angel. I am SO glad that things are better for you now. I am so glad that your step dad was able to be your daddy. Mine was too and it's an amazing gift. XOXO