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I don’t talk to my biodad. Last time I saw him was almost a year ago when we went to the funeral home for my uncle. My parents separated when I was 7 and got divorced many years after that.
My mom met her boyfriend more than 25 years ago and he’s my « real » dad. I love him very much but we don’t say it. It took us a long while before we could hug, I was reticent to have to share my mom. And I didn’t recognize his authority. I was still hoping my biodad would remember he had two daughters. I stopped hoping he would call on my birthday a few years ago and I have been happier.
My mom’s boyfriend is the one that lends me his drill, he comes to Ikea with me, he assembles furniture and he helped me move a million times when I came to Montreal. Every time I go home, he makes my coffee, he makes homemade fries and he shows me his new computer, his pond, his new TV.
These pictures show the shelves my dad bought for me at Ikea. He went there by himself after we had gone and what I wanted wasn’t there. He returned to buy them for me. And he lent me his drill. I don’t depend on people much and I came to see this drill thing as a big thing. He goes at my sisters and fixes things or he goes skiing with them. I never ask for anything but the little bit I have, I cherish.
I put books I’m selling on them and the gifts I put aside for future birthdays or Christmases.
Shelves to put the books I am selling on Amazon.
Then there is the bookshelf he assembled for me. It was the first big piece of furniture I bought myself. I am still very proud of it.
I was around 10 years-old. I was sitting in the back of our car when « it » happened.
I don’t know how the conversation started but the result was this : « I saw your dad and I reminded him it was your birthday. He doesn’t think about it. »
That’s how I knew my dad never thought of me and must not love me. In my mind birthdays were special and it was impossible for parents to forget their kid’s birth dates. It was impossible for my dad not to think about me or call me on my birthday.
I loved my dad with puppy desperation, craved his attention. My parents were both unattainable, drinkers living in their pain. My mom didn’t know what to do with me and my dad saw me on weekends because he had to.
After that, I would wait all day long on my birthday for my dad to call. Which he never did if my mom didn’t see him and remind him it was coming up. From that time, the weeks surrounding my birthday became very depressing. At 26, I thought I had nothing more to live for. I had already lived through too much stuff. I thought my life was like a jump from a plane all the time. My mind and body seemed to shut down like a computer. It took me a couple of weeks to reboot myself. I thought really hard about why I was feeling that way and I « discovered » that my dad never calling me was what made me so depressed.
It was something else that made me really want to shut down at 26. But from that time, I think about my dad only briefly on my birthday, not expecting any calls. It liberated me to know the reason of my distress. His birthday is in February and I think about it only when I review my calendars to enter birth dates, appointments, etc.
It would take me many more years after that to understand why I forgot birth dates or thought about them weeks before and would write down to call but totally forgot about it on the very day. I was reproducing the same thing. So I decided it wouldn’t happen again. I was so sad when people forgot me, I had to not forget them, right ?