I’ve been sitting on this post for a few weeks now. In fact, I haven’t been doing much writing of any kind over the past three weeks because I’ve been trying to come to terms with this incredible development that has happened in my life. I just haven’t felt inspired to write because I felt like this secret was holding me back from saying anything else…nothing else really mattered but this.
Okay…here it goes.
Just over sixteen years ago, I was in a relationship. It was one of those “this is intense and incredible” relationships that had me feeling like I was the luckiest man in the world. For reasons that are many (a little from my parents, a lot from me), the relationship didn’t work out and things ended on a sour note.
What had happened, though, was that she got pregnant. When the relationship ended, she wanted nothing to do with me and wanted me to have nothing to do with the child. She told me that the birth certificate would not have anybody listed for the father and that she would just disappear.
Being a selfish, stupid guy in my early 20’s, I took this to be my “get out of jail free” card. I was so scared of potential fatherhood (not to even begin to mention how scared I was of my parents’ reaction to everything) and so selfish and only concerned about myself, that I didn’t even begin to put up a fight or argue about the situation.
As the years went by, it became a situation of “out of sight, out of mind”…though I never stopped thinking about the child that was born, a little girl who would never know her biological father.
I never told my ex-wife about her. I had some major trust issues (among other issues) and I always thought that she wouldn’t understand or would want to leave me if I had told her about my “big secret”.
Fast forward to about five years ago. I received a Facebook message from the mother. She just wanted to know that if something happened and my medical information was needed, that she could come to me. Of course I said yes, and was quite excited about the possibility of seeing my daughter or eventually meeting her. I “creeped” the mother’s Facebook account and found a couple of pictures of my daughter…I was blown away by just how much she looked like me. Soon, though, the privacy settings kicked in and that was the last I heard from her for quite some time.
When I began dating Sunshine over four years ago, we both went out of our way to tell each other EVERYTHING. No secrets. So she knew from the very beginning that I had a daughter that I had never met. As it turns out, that was a pretty smart decision.