It was a pretty easy decision considering I haven't seen him in three years, and he rarely responds to my emails. Through no choice of my own, but his very active choice, I have been eschewed from his life.
There is nothing quite like the exquisite pain of rejection by a parental figure. Those of you who have experienced it know the feeling, like a knife twisting in the side of your ribcage. Except it's somewhere in your stomach and suddenly your breath is ragged and tears are welling up. It's like a heartache I've carried around for 26 years, worse than any break-up you can imagine.
And every time I am reminded that my biological father has completely moved on from me, and the familiar sting of rejection rises in my throat, I ask myself, "Why?" "Haven't you had enough, Kate?" "If he wanted to see you, nothing could stop a father from his daughter."
I saw a picture of him a year ago; I hardly recognized him.
I daresay he and I have gone through some of the most traumatic moments of either of our lives together. Which makes it especially difficult when someone you share such a bond with chooses to push you away. And no matter how I try to hold on to him, I just can't.
With medical school fast approaching, the window of opportunity to visit my biological father is shrinking fast. Of course, he would never visit me, in case you were wondering. I know I won't have time once I start school, begin residency, have kids, live my life. And with a surety, I know that if I don't use this time, I'll never see my biological father alive again.
My husband has never met him. And he doesn't want to. I told him I was thinking about visiting my biological dad one last time, and my husband pleaded with me not to go.
There is a song by Bonnie Raitt "I can't make you love me" which says it perfectly:
Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight
And I ask myself,
"Haven't you had enough, Kate?"
Yes, I suppose I have. So onward with the new chapter in my life; no looking back. As much as I wish things were different, or that I could change them, I can't. And even through this hurt, this betrayal, this agony, this anger, this senseless decision of yours, I wish you well, Joe-dad. I doubt I will know when you pass from this life, so this is my sort of goodbye to you.
I wish I could say my well wishes to your face, but I deserve to be happy. And that's what I'm going to do.
For those of you in my shoes, I know some of you. It gets easier every year, now that I don't expect anything from him, or make an effort to talk with him. I wish you all the strength to move on with your life. But please do; lots of people are lining up to love you like you deserve.