If you follow myself and my journey, you might remember me being nervous about meeting my biological father a few months ago. Guess what? I am STILL nervous. Although I posted him for Father's day, we still have yet to have "The Meeting". A few months ago when he came to Charlotte we never met up partly because I was not the reason for his visit but also because we honestly both chickened out. Although we BOTH chickened out, I'm going to be honest in saying that I was relieved when he didn't put pressure on me to meet up.
The week before our meet up I was excited and anxious but when I woke up the morning of our meeting date, I just wanted to have some reason as to why it wouldn't be feasible for us to meet. I was so scared of our meeting being awkward and I was beginning to panic. What am I going to say? I have so many questions, how do I ask them without seeming bitter? I'm allowed to be bitter though, why are you scared Imani? On the day of our meeting I didn't have an answer to any of those questions and when I sent him a text and told him I had a few errands to run before our meet up, he seemed relieved. I worded the text as if I had no control of my day so our meeting had to be up in the air. He did not respond with "I really hope to see you", but with "I'll be back in 2 weeks, so it's no big deal". He never did come back and I mostly knew that he wasn't going to.
Although I still have not had the meeting with my father, I forgive him for his absence in my life for over 20 years. I know that I've forgiven him because I am now able to look at pictures of him with my other sister who's basically my twin, and I don't begin to cry anymore. I know that people make mistakes and his biggest mistake was not watching me grow. I know that he knows this because he told me so when he first reached out to me. I'm not going to say that it doesn't hurt to know that it's not his priority to meet me in person but I also know that we are the same person, so if he's anything like me, I know he's scared. Being hurt by so many different people and situations has taught me compassion even in the oddest of instances.
In 2016 when my father first messaged me on Facebook I cried for hours because I was filled with so many different emotions. We began to text all day every day and I began getting used to him sending me money because I felt like I was entitled to it. It was never a huge amount but it was enough to help me with the things I was struggling with at the time. There was one instance where he promised to send me money and never sent it, that day I went off on him through text and told him that I was done with him because I was scared of being let down by him again. At the time he had just lost his mother, my grandmother, and I was completely insensitive to this. All I could tell myself was, "he's in South Carolina with my sister and his other family and he didn't even invite me like he said he would, I hate him, he's wasting my time". I went 5 months without contact with him but the hole that he had began to fill when he made contact with me became even bigger. What pushed me to contact him again was an insult from a family member that I thought would never cross the line. In the midst of an argument she said the words, "maybe if you found your father you would find yourself". I immediately broke down and after awhile I caved in and I sent him a message apologizing for the way that I spoke to him. It still bothers me that if I didn't send that message we would probably never have spoken again but a relationship with my father means more to me than how his lack of emotions make me feel.
When I sent him that message telling him I didn't want him to be a part of my life I expected him to care. I expected him to apologize for not sending me the money or inviting me to the beach but instead he insensitively acted as if I was overreacting. He didn't text me at all until I texted him and I know that he wasn't going to. Sometimes when I replay these instances I think for a second, he really doesn't deserve to know me, I've made this too easy for him. But who am I really hurting when I pretend that his absence doesn't bother me? Nobody but myself.
Nobody understands why I text my father, or why we communicate so much on Facebook , yet still have not met in person. But those same people don't know how long that's all I wanted, to know that he knows I'm alive. Even though he sends me money from time to time (when I ask), I think he owes me more than that and in time, God will make that happen. I no longer believe in rushing in any process and that includes getting to know my father. I have learned so much about myself in the past 2 years of texting and no matter how crazy it seems to you, I am satisfied with that for now. I urge any of you that are holding in resentment towards your father for the mistakes that he made to let it go and let him love you the best way that he knows how to. It's only consuming you and it is not making your father care any more or less. If you ever need to talk, know that I am here and willing, because just like you, I still get angry sometimes too. See you next Tuesday!