The hard thing

by shelbyisrad

Last Thursday evening my grandmother, mom, and I drove into Wilmington to pick my uncle up from the airport. It was late, around 10:30pm and  the topic of birth came up. My mom was telling us about how she made the doctors wait for my biological father to get to the hospital before they broke her water. She went on to say I was born shortly after he arrived and then Grandma chimed in:

“He was so so happy to have a little girl.”

Hearing those words knocked the breath out of me. I have never known my dad, he was out of my life before I was a few months old.

And honestly, it never remotely occurred to me that he would ever want me.

That he would be happy — let alone so happy to have had me.

I still cannot wrap my mind around this thought; it is so foreign to me. This man, Michael Radovich, actually wanted me? That he maybe even loved me? Those thoughts were never a reality for me. From when I first figured out that my biological father (i cannot seem to type the word ‘dad’) left, the rhetoric in my head became: “I am not wanted.” “I am unloved.” “I was not good enough for him to stay.”
And those thoughts were only worsened through years of abuse, my mom leaving, and trying to find my worth in boys who were only interested in my body.  Those thoughts bounced around in my head at every turn, every failure,  and anytime I realized I wasn’t good at something.

“I am not wanted” “I am unloved” “I was not good enough for him to stay”
It was almost a mantra, a terrible, awful mantra but I thought it was the truth. And this so called truth dug its talons into my heart and tore at my life-source.

It was the reason I struggled with faith. Because I couldn’t —still can’t fully wrap my mind around God wanting to be my father? I didn’t understand the image of a father, because I always though a father leaves. Even now 8 years after I started this faith journey I struggle with the idea of God the Father. It is daily work for me to embrace it.

So when my Grandmother implied that my father did want me, it rocked me.
And I still don’t know what it means.
In some ways it makes it worse, if he did want me why the hell would he go? Why was I not good enough to make him stay?

And that’s where I am… I can’t wrap this up in a pretty bow. I can’t tell you I’m over it, or that I’ve figured it all out.
I can tell you its made things messier, and I’m sifting through the pieces that fell when my world was rocked.
I’m in the middle of the muck, and you know what? I’m not afraid of being here. I am setting fire to the weeds and then I’m gonna dig through the ashes. I will find the treasures I need and continue on this journey, unafraid of the mess.

{This post has been birthed through my participation in the Story 101 Ecourse. A writing course that is so much more than an e-course. It’s a community, a tribe of women boldly living their truths and discovering their voice guided by our story midwife Elora}