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The Dudes With New Dads Club
Welcome to the most exclusive and awkward club around.
There are more people who learned in adulthood that their parentage was shrouded in mystery than you would believe. I know this to be true because people have come out of the woodwork and shared with me similar stories of meeting a long lost father in their middle age. So many people. So many rolling stones...
And who knows? You might be one of us, too. Until you take the test, how can you know for sure? (Although, being a mirror image of a parent helps with that, I guess. lol!)
But there are as many different circumstances to this dynamic as there are people. As there are snowflakes. Our relationships with our "new" fathers are miracles. They're gifts we never could have predicted would be ours one day. But I'm different in that, while some members in this exclusive and awkward club are celebrating the addition of a parent to their already robust support system, I am celebrating that I only have the one father. I'm celebrating that not one drop of the one I called "Dad" my entire life's blood flows through my veins.
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By learning that my father wasn't my father, I am freed from the prison he tried to lock me inside my entire life. I realize that my "dad" saw everything he was not whenever he looked at me. The ease I learned things, the talents I was born with, the early successes achieved, the apparently charmed life (as he called it) that I lived served as a mirror for all of his own failings and limitations. His was a world of limits, be they self-inflicted or taught to him by HIS parents and that's what he attempted to apply to me everyday of my developmental life. How it must have confounded him when, despite all the psychological torture he literally admitted to subjecting me to courtesy of his military training, a love of life and everyone in it defiantly burned in my heart...and a love for him, who deserved it the least. How threatened he was by a child. How lost he was to seethe with hate with every overture of love I gave him. It helps me to ultimately forgive him to realize that he is living in a hell he can't escape and that follows him wherever he goes, everyday of his life. There's no punishment I could ever wish to inflict upon him that comes close to the one he has condemned himself into.
But I hear the messages of love and support from my actual father and marvel. To experience an existence where my father wants the best for me, is sending his love and support to me in every way he can, who cares about me and believes in me. This is an existence utterly foreign to me. And with just the smallest taste of this bright new world I find myself in, I feel invincible. I am Captain Marvel, effortlessly crushing the rickshaw inhibitor chip my "Dad" desperately wanted to bore into my soul--and with a flicker of effort. Realizing that I have been navigating through life with one arm tied behind my back FOR NO REASON.
Everyone is different. I hear the stories of my fellow "dudes with new dads" and I hear them lament that they didn't have a father until late in their lives. On many levels though, I envy them that. To have no father at all would be better than to have one hellbent on training you to diminish yourself at all costs. Good riddance.