Last week I shared the outcome of my one and only contact with my biological father. If you asked me now to describe precisely my feelings on the whole experience [Psychologist asking: “and how do you feel about that, Francine?”], I’m not sure I could.
Today, my whole “Real Father” topic is in a little bubble in my brain, sitting off to the side a bit – there, for sure, but not interacting a lot with what I do, or think, or feel in my ongoing life. There are just different parts in the bubble that I sometimes will look at again.
I can’t undo the fact that my father, 55 years ago, abandoned me. That’s in there. The idea of it can hurt, but these days, I really have to move into that consciously on purpose to FEEL it. When I spent the time with him during that trip to Japan, I liked him. He was interesting, a little bit funny. I don’t automatically go to “hurt” when I think of him. Instead, I have fond memories of that visit and when I think of my father, I choose to think of those memories.
I did get a benefit from the visit. My whole life, I’ve thought of myself as just Japanese. I’ve never said to anyone, “I’m Irish” even though technically I am half Irish. But in that short visit with my father, I got to see parts of me in him. That was my father, part of me. I got something back that week. I’m still not “Irish.” But, I see myself as mostly Japanese, and partly Bill.
No matter what might have happened had I been able to continue to visit him in Japan, he wouldn’t have become the “Daddy” I grew up with. But that final goodbye hug we had was father-daughter. That moment was probably the most I could possibly re-capture.
TODAY’S HOW TO
The final letter didn’t really come from him. It hurt immediately, but maybe the results were the right results. I keep that letter and the abandonment issues in that little bubble in my brain. I’ve written before about “things that do you no good.” Wishing a relationship to be what it isn’t is one of those things that does me no good.