Wednesday, July 2, 2008

the other father

from age 3 to 11, my nuclear family consisted of three muskateers: my mom, my younger brother and me. when i was a wee one, my mom caught my biological father cheating on her, made a tough decision to divorce the man and did the best she could to raise my brother and i. i was too young to remember the divorce. my brother and i were still babies. because my biological father was never really around during my formative years, i never felt like i missed out. i have fuzzy memories of weekend visits with him, but i don't remember him being present in the years before my mom met my 'dad'.

when i was 11, my mom started dating a wonderful man whom she married two years later. shortly after their wedding, my stepfather adopted my brother and i so as form a more cohesive family, all sharing a common last name. by the time of the adoption, my biological father had faded far away from my life. i later found out that he remarried and had another son and daughter.

just as i assume my biological father was building a home with his new family, i, too was growing up in a loving home with a really good guy who i came to know as my only father. i never felt like there was something missing in my life. my thoughts very rarely wandered to the man who had sired me. my folks had another daughter and son, who, although technically step-siblings, have never been anything but my beloved brother and sister, whom i have loved, tortured and protected in only the way a true sibling can.

two nights ago, i got a text message from my mom. "you're biological father called - he wants to talk to you. he wanted your number, but i took his instead." first emotion that rushed in was confusion. what does he want? ugh... i don't want to deal with this. so i put the phone down and forgot about the message until yesterday. i called my mom to get the scoop. "he and his son were in san diego and drove by the house (where i grew up) and i think he probably just wants to touch base. i didn't get any weird vibes." huh. i still felt pretty unsettled about the whole thing, but pushed it off once again in favor of hemming a dress i'd been working on.

this morning i woke up with terrible, flu-like symptoms and have been feeling like shit all day. i finally managed to drag myself out of the house to go grocery shopping and when i got home, i immediately retreated back to refuge of my bed. soon after flopping down, i realized that i was psychotically thinking about the ginger ale i just bought. i wasn't hungry or thirsty and my stomach didn't feel bad, but i really really wanted to have some of that ginger ale. as soon as i realized that my longing for the ginger ale wasn't driven by thirst, i tried to just be in that moment of 'need', to quietly sit with my emotions and try to recognize what was under the 'need to feed'. my thoughts immediately drifted to the text message from my mom. but i thought i was done with this? i don't even know this guy. i don't even really care to know him. how would i address him if i did call him? i thought i was totally fine with having no relationship with my biological father. so why is this bothering me?

i wanted to call my brother to get his take, but the pressure in my ears and my aching back muscles impeded my want. so i just laid there in the twilight. then the tears came. soft, quiet tears that bubbled up from someplace inside of me that i couldn't name. i didn't particularly feel grief or sadness. the tears didn't feel like they had anything to do with abandonment issue or loss of father. but they were present nonetheless. so i cried. just let the tears come out. no trying to explain them or justify them, just let them come. and when i was done crying i just laid there a little longer. i realized that i also wasn't psychotically obsessing over the ginger ale anymore.

i'm still kind of twisted inside about the whole incident, but a beautiful lesson came out of the whole thing. i allowed myself to be guided by awareness, and was rewarded with balance. i'm proud of recognizing my age-old avoidance method - stuffing instead of releasing - and consciously opting to change my patterns of self-medicating. perhaps the future holds a relationship between my biological father and i. perhaps not. more importantly, the future - and the present - hold a much more significant relationship: one with my healthy self. and that feels complete.

35 comments:

Deb said...

Coming out of lurkdom to say, Wow, thanks for sharing that. I can't remember the last time I cried over anything. I never give emotion a chance by stuffing it all down with food. Next time I am faced with the choice of feeling or stuffing, I will think back to this post.

As for your biological father, I wish you luck with that. I am also someone who had an absent biological father but a totally awesome replacement, my grandparents who raised me instead.

I am adding you to my blogroll and look forward to reading more from you.

BikiniMe said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. How well I know that urge to eat rather than let go and cry -- especially when I'm not sure at all what it is I want to cry about. I think it takes a lot of courage to just let the tears come. You are a very brave person, my friend. :)

K. said...

Gosh Belly,
I wrote u this long comment and it seems blogger lost it! anyway I was telling u that I too never grew up with my dad and didn't even have the benefit of a replacement. I think your tears and underlying emotions,are perfectly normal, and I am glad you didn't suppress them. No matter how good a replacing parent has been, the fact still remains that not having a iological parent around always creates a deep seeded wound, one we might not be aware of, but still a very real one. So this call touched on that wound. I think you should stay still and listen to what your gut tells you about calling or seeing him. Whatever your heart agrees with is what you should do cause then u'll be at peace. best wishes whatever you do and feel better. K.
til-i-reach.com

Joye said...

I just found your blog. Your airplane and veg coworker post had me laughing.

belly said...

thanks, ladies, for the kind words. i still haven't figured out what to do with the father situation, but i did get some wise advice from a good friend of mine. "you get to invite him in to your life if YOU want to. nothing more to it. you're in charge here." so since i'm in charge here, i've decided that waffling about what to do is where it's at for now. ...because i can never have too much to fret over:)

iCANdothis said...

its been a LONG while, but i just read your post.

i'm adopted, i dont know any other family than the one who raised me and i wouldn't have it any other way.

i always wondered about my bio parents, but it was never something i acted on or did anything about. just knew that they were out there somewhere and if i wanted to, i could probably track them down.

they both died unexpectedly (seperately, a year or two apart they didn't stay together after i was born to my knowledge) and now i will never ever have the chance to meet them. in some ways, its a blessing because i have them in my head a certain way and im okay with that. if it was anything else, i think it would be painful. on the down side, i'll never get to see what they look like or see if i picked anything up from either of them.

it's a hard choice, one that you have to make for yourself when you're ready. but don't let it eat at you because it will. whether you decide to meet with him or not. good luck and give yourself a safe place to fall afterwards, for better or for worse, whether you decide to meet him or not. :)

Nicole said...

Thanks for your site. I need the encouragement and found it here.

Come and read my real life story and how it worked for me. http://nicolesweightloss.true.ws/

Herbalife Las Vegas said...

Interesting, not sure what else to say.

Christy Lee said...

nice blog there mate!!!
Hello my name is Christy Lee. I am seeking out possible link partners that our visitors would be interested in visiting. I've found your website to be a very good fit for our visitors. I have already gone ahead and added your link to our website at: http://weightlosspictures.blogspot.com/
I am contacting you to see if it is ok to have done so. Also, I would like to ask if you mind linking back to us? If so, please use the linking details below and send me the location of our link on your website.
Here is our linking details:

Title: Weight Loss Management
URL: http://weightlosspictures.blogspot.com/

I hope this can be a way for us to benefit our visitors with excellent content.
You can email me at:
wheepin_guitar@yahoo.com when you have added our link on your page.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Christy Lee
http://weightlosspictures.blogspot.com/

Herbalife Las Vegas said...

Great blog, Great info!!

Sara said...

Good luck figuring things out with your biological father. Maintain a relationship only if it adds to your life in a positive way.

KaNtWheYt2012 said...

Great blog and very motivating. I read about your blog on another weight loss blog (kimkinsdiet.blogspot.com). I'll visit again soon. Happy losing!

Herbalife Australia said...

wow what an inspiration. hope it goes well with the biological father. great read..

Weight Loss Supplements said...

Really beautiful post. I think we can all emphasise. Really glad I found your blog, will be adding it to my blog roll

Natalie said...

So many people seem to be struggling to lose weight . . . I just thought I should share my new favorite weight-loss system - Isagenix. My family (parents & siblings) found this after they moved away. At first I hesitated trying it . . . even after they ALL lost weight. But finally my mother convinced me, and starting last month, I began the system. I can't believe I have already lost almost 20 pounds! I was just shy of 200 lbs, which was the heaviest I have ever been, and now . . . 182.4 as of yesterday morning! And its only been 7 weeks. And my husband has lost even more than me! Two months ago I thought this was impossible. I have pain in my hip and neck that really limit my exercise, and I work full time, which makes it hard to find the time to constantly buy and prepare healthy meals. But Isagenix is fast, easy, and very healthy! I spend less on isagenix meals then what I was spending before, and the meals are super fast to prepare. The website is http://reachyourdream.isagenix.com . If you sign up as an associate you get to buy at wholesale prices, which is a lot cheaper! No obligation to sell it, but you can earn $ signing other people up if you just want to. Any questions, just ask me! reachyourdream.isagenix@gmail.com

Thelma said...

Emotional problems may sometimes contribute to overeating. I can attest to that when I lost my job and become obese. I started out with EFT training and I'm few pounds away to my target weight.

Anonymous said...

Seems like there are alot of us who would rather eat than feel. I too am working hard to lose weight and feel..as opposed to feed my emotions. Very honest and insightful post. Check out my blog if you feel inclined I am a counselor looking to lose weight.
www.fiftyonepounds.com Be blessed with success as you share your struggles and help others and yourself. :)

Weight Loss Treatment said...

Nice informative post thanks for sharing it.

saranya said...

I love the way of presentation in your blog, keep up the thoughts

Weight loss

Paul A Drockton M.A. said...

http://fithuman.net

Did You know that your Blog is one of Google's top 100 for weight loss and dieting?
Pretty amazing if you ask me!

Cathy B said...

Untill the medical establishment acknowleges the role that emotion plays in our capacity to over eat we will continue to pile on the pounds. Well done for taking steps to address your emotions,you are wlll on your way to success. Take a look at my blog, I regularly post tips on weight loss.

Take a look at my blog for some tips and advice on weight loss.
Weight Loss Specialist Blog

Shumaela said...

Bariatric Surgery can also help, for more information visit

http://www.placidway.com/search/Mexico,Obesity/Bariatric%20Surgery,/search.html

sludwig40 said...

Just found your blog... just awesome. thank you

Ian said...

Remember: the body can only put out quality when we put in quality fuel!

http://bryce19958.eliteweightlosspackage.com/

Thomas S. Moore said...

I lot of children are growing up without one of the parents. It used to be that the fathers were the ones that are never around but now its starting to go mother/father either may not be around.

Waist Hips and Thighs

DogsTube said...

Thanks for all the valuable tips in this post, specially liked the text about reduce calorie intake. keep up yhe good work you are helping many people!
www.how-to-lose-weight-fast-with-fatloss4idiots-reality.com

lose 10 pounds in a week said...

Thanks for the great tips

Skin after Weight Loss said...

Age is claimed to be a factor that reduces skin elasticity and thus reduces the ability of the skin to readjust it's size after weight loss

Sabatella said...

Hi, I am 47 years old bodybuilder, nutrition and supplementation specialist and interested in this kind of research of how a fitness lifestyle and a weightcontrol plan affects peoples life. I get very happy when I see success and motivation in people to become mote healthy.To all of you in this battle, keep fighting and have a great life.
pass by my blog greatforyourlife.blogspot.com

Kourtney @ edmonton hcg said...

I feel like this was so insightful. It is so interesting to see how you shift perspective and focus on what you need in order to be happy. It is super beneficial to address those feelings and realize that they don't need to be stuffed inside in order for you to feel happy. Sometimes addressing and uncovering those hidden feelings really can make a difference. I know because i have a story similar to yours and i rememeber using food as a coping strategy. Well, it turns out that I infact have been able to address these feelings (with the help of my husband) and use food as a mean of living instead of a mean of coping. It is so interesting to see how much i was in denial and how depressed I actually was about something that happened years and years and years ago. ANyways, on a happier note i have lost 45 lbs since last February and i feel amazing. I am the skinniest i have ever been and i can't tell you how amazing it feels. Keep up caring for yourself. It'll make all the difference in the long run. I promise. look forward to reading more.

Lucy@ hcg toronto said...

Thanks for sharing this.

It must be a very confusing feeling to be place to be in. I could not imagine how you must feel right now.

I feel you will make the best decisions for yourself. Continue to care for you.

hugs

Weight Loss said...

Dear Friend,

If your goal is to lose fat as fast as humanly possible, it should be no surprise that you absolutely MUST learn to maximize the amount of time your body is actually burning fat. After all, if your body is actively burning fat for 10 hours each day, you'd get much faster results than if it were only burning fat for five.

But what if you could literally burn fat twenty four hours a day…every day?

Do you realize how much faster you'd progress? How much more quickly the fat would melt away? How much more rapidly you'd have the body you want?
WEIGHT LOSS

Monika Borua said...

Nice Blog ! Thank you for your very nice articles. I look forward to visiting your site in the future!
Methods of Modern Farming
Earn Money Online

Anonymous said...

I had trouble losing weight, too.
But I finally found the system that
worked for me and my friends.

I would highly recommend checking it out!

http://tinyurl.com/ABuster101

Megan Lynch said...

This post is really inspiring. I learned about life and how to face difficult problems properly just by reading your article. We need to get through the challenges, no matter how hard they are so we can be stronger, wiser and better individuals in the end.