This week has been very heavy and intense for me. I am finally coming full circle from when I started my journey. I am shedding the last pieces of darkness within that have been holding me back. For so long now I’ve been working within and tackling each of my demons but the one I’ve struggled with the most is in the aspect of relationships and staying true to myself in them. I’ll have to take myself down memory lane first before I come full circle to what has recently transpired in my life. That is the ending of one chapter and the beginning of anew.
When I was 18, I realized that I had commitment issues that stemmed from abandonment issues with my father. Before then I could never really commit, I would always run away when a guy wanted more from me. I had a massive wall, a fence with barb wires and guard dogs, my heart was so closed off. I was afraid to give myself to another because I couldn’t bear the thought of them leaving me. It was easier never to allow a man in, to be in control and walk away whenever I saw fit; it was the only way I knew how to function.
Though, when my mother became very ill around the age of sixteen-seventeen, I found myself alone and having to deal with the possibility that she may die and that’s when I began actually to dive into myself and my writings. It was through journaling that I realized that I had issues and patterns that were affecting my ability to be in relationships. I knew that if I didn’t address those problems, I would never gift myself the opportunity to love someone truly and to be loved. And since I’m not the type of person who can ignore something once I see the light, I have to work through it- its part of my obsession with growth.
I decided at age eighteen that I needed to find my father in hopes that would help clear out this abandonment thing, so I can move forward. I ended up knowing this older woman who I had a friendship with and one day she mentions to me that if I ever wanted to find my father, she could look him up for me. (She worked at a police department.) So the day came sooner rather than later that I made the decision that I needed to find him. I called her and gave her the little information I knew about him. Two days later she calls me back and tells me she has found him. I remember when I received that call from her, my heart began to beat so rapidly; I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I couldn’t believe it was real and how fast it all happened.
That day I asked my best friend to come to my house so that together we can call him. (I needed all the support I could get) My best friend called him from her cell phone because I couldn’t build up the courage to do it myself. When she called the number, a woman answered the phone, and Susse asked for my father by name. The woman said he was working and if she could take a message for him? Susse responded no thank you; I’ll just call back later, soon after the call we both needed to get ready for work and start our day.
A few hours of me being at work, I receive a call from my best friend telling me that my dad has been calling her phone non-stop and that he even left a voicemail! She said Stephanie you need to listen to it.
HOLY SHIT! (I thought)
I recall the sudden panic within me rising as she dialed me into her voicemail as I’m about to hear my father’s voice for the first time, my entire body begins to shake. Tears are rolling down my cheeks, and my heart feels like it’s in my throat. And if that’s not bad enough, the message starts to play, and I hear my fathers voice for the first time, as he says: “Please, please call me back I think my daughter STEPHANIE is looking for me.”
What!? ( I couldn’t believe my ears)
Listening to those words, I immediately fell to my knees, and the rush of tears that flooded my face was uncontrollable. To hear my name come out of his mouth and for him to know I was looking for him, even though I was not the one who called. I wasn’t expecting that, not for one minute. In my mind, I didn’t even think he remembered me.
I had to leave work immediately; I was an emotional wreck. I knew I needed to call my father but there was no way I could do it alone, I left work and rushed over to meet Susse. I needed her support, and she was there for me all the way, I met up with her at a park close by our house. When I arrived, she got in my car, and we began to dial my father’s number.
Can I express how intense that felt, mainly because no one in my family knew what I was doing or going through, this was my secret to bear.
As I dialed his number, he picks up the phone, and again I’m caught off guard. You see I never expected him to react the way he did.
In my mind, I always thought my dad didn’t want me, that he had forgotten me and that he probably had other kids by now. And at that time when I sought him out, my intention was NOT to build a relationship with him nor to get to know him. I only thought that if I showed him who I was how beautiful and strong of a woman I had grown into without him; that somehow, that would heal my issue.My intention was just to show him what he missed out on. I figured that would be enough for me.
But boy was I in for a surprise. There are too many details for me to go into or I’ll be here all night. I will say that the first time we spoke I thought I would be the one crying and emotional and in fact it was the other way around.
My dad was the emotional one on the phone- crying like a newborn. Again I was placed in a state of shock, any emotions I would have had, all froze at that moment…
The day we spoke on the phone or shall I say he did most of the talking. He told me that he knew I was looking for him and shared with me that he had asked God that when I turned eighteen either he would find me or I would find him. The crazy thing is that indeed I found him when I was 18, around the beginning of January of 2005 (2-3 weeks) before my 19th birthday.
Let me backtrack for just one second so you can understand how things can play out in one’s life and how everything has an effect.
As I stated earlier, I found my dad at the beginning of January 2005 (3-4 weeks) before my 19th birthday.
However, I met a guy online that I was not looking for, this guy was Manny, and we met Dec of 2004, we connected. I met him around the same time when I found my father and was attempting to heal my abandonment issues. I share all this because as I sit back and reflect on my life, I now understand why Manny had such a substantial impact in my life, in a way that it’s taken me years to work through it.
It was the way things played out…
See after I found my father I knew that I would have to meet up with him at some point. And so when I finally built up the courage to set a date, I set it for February and asked my best friend was go with me as my support system in meeting my dad for the first time. No one in my family knew I had found him and I wasn’t planning on telling anyone anytime soon, so having my best friends support was crucial for me at that time.
I remember “the” morning, I was supposed to meet my father, after fifteen years, only to wake up to a call from Susse telling me that she could no longer go with me. Because she had this dream with a spirit that told her she couldn’t go. I don’t know, and at that moment I didn’t care what the reason was, I only knew that I was hurt, and how alone I felt in that instant.
Once again, I found myself standing alone.
I couldn’t believe that she was bailing out on me, on the most important day of my life. A day where I had to come face to face with past, my present, my fears and my hopes and I couldn’t bear to do it alone. I didn’t have the strength in me to face him for the first time on my own.
I quickly hung up the phone with Susse, and I just cried and cried for awhile. Until I picked up the phone and called Manny, at this point, we had only just begun dating; still, I didn’t have anyone to turn to at the moment. So I called him, as he picks up the phone and I’m on the other end barely breathing, trying to keep it together, attempting to catch my breath while he tries to calm me down, asking what happen, are okay?
I shared how I was supposed to meet my father today for the first time after fifteen years and the one person who said they would be there for me, can’t actually be there for me, and I didn’t know if I could do it alone…
Manny tried to calm me down and said he would come over to keep me company. When he arrives at my house, we spoke a bit, and he then tells me that he would like take me to meet my father. (Errr ?!?! That stopped me dead in my tracks. I couldn’t fathom what I had just heard)
We had barely been dating more than a month and here he is offering to be with me at such a pivotal moment in my life?
I couldn’t think about it too much because the anxiety of meeting my father was all I could handle at the moment. So, sure enough, Manny took me to meet my father that day.
When we finally pulled into his neighborhood, I had a full-blown panic attack. Manny had to circle the block for at least 20 minutes before I could get myself together, enough to even stand up and get out of the car. Manny was there for me and with me to meet my father for the first time.
I share all of this because I never really realized until just two years ago why my relationship with him messed me up so much. See I went from being a person who was always in control, one who never gave enough of myself away to get hurt and here I was finding my father in hopes that I can work through my issues when I meet Manny simultaneously.
Here is this guy who I barely knew, but we had a connection, and still my guard had been up with him throughout this whole time. When all of sudden he ends up sharing a crucial moment in my life and personal development. So although at the time I did not realize this, that, experience that we shared together bonded me with him whether I wanted it to or not.
All of sudden I find my dad and this man I wasn’t looking for and all my walls just came crashing down, in one second, and in one letter that he wrote to me a month later in March, expressing to me that he was in love with me …
At that point, I found myself in a serious relationship, that I had not planned for and for the first time I was able to give myself emotionally away. And with that came the physical aspect, as I ended up losing my virginity with him. Still, that was nothing in comparison to giving myself emotionally away to him so intently and purely.
After I met my father I never really attempted to stay too connected to him nor build a relationship. If I’m honest, looking back I had Manny there to distract me, my relationship is what became “important” after all wasn’t that the reason I found my dad so that I could be in a relationship?
The other obstacle in allowing me to connect with my dad was that my mom had been ill for a long time and I never built up the courage to tell her I had found my dad. Because hearing from her in the past, I could say she still held resentment towards him, and I never wanted her to feel as if she wasn’t enough. So I never told her about my dad, and that made it more difficult actually to build something with him.
Through all this what I never discerned was that just because I had found my father and I was able to now be in a relationship for the first time. It didn’t mean that I had cleared away all my issues. I had only just touched the surface of it. I had so much to work through still, and I had more to learn before giving myself away to another.
But I didn’t know that at the time.
I went on, and I gave myself wholeheartedly to Manny, I gave him everything I had within me. MIND, BODY, and SOUL in a way where I completely lost my sense of identity over time. And that’s one of the other most painful things I’ve had to experience, losing myself in the process of loving someone too much, that I forgot that I too was special.
As bitter-sweet as that is and as long as it has taken me to heal from that, to regain who I was in a balanced way and let me tell you that the road has been a long one. Filled with many obstacles along the way but it is part of the process, it’s what adds to your book of life, it builds character, adds strength and wisdom; so I am grateful that I had to go through that in my earlier years rather than later in life.
As you lose yourself you start to do things that you usually wouldn’t do; you put up with certain situations that in your normal state you’d never allowed.
The reason I’ve gone down memory lane is that after ending my second relationship knowing that I needed to focus on myself. Life starting placing several people in my path, and I kept allowing myself to rush into relationships because another was putting the metal to the petal and because I had this void, this need to find this GREAT love. And so, I’ve allowed myself to get caught up in these passionate storms, which come into my life; but as quickly as they arrive, is as fast as they exit.
About a year in a half ago through my inner-process, I noticed that my yearning, and desire to find this GREAT LOVE was coming from a deeper place – A void. And I was trying to fill the wound that long ago I opened up but never fully healed it, I put a little medicine on it, closed it up enough, to think that it was healed but the infection remained, and I unaware of it, just keep moving forward.
But through my inner work process, I became aware that I never finished what I started with my father long ago. I found him, but as I mentioned previously, I never attempted to build anything substantial with him. Fast forward to four years later Manny, and I break up and everything in my life changes. Our breakup brought me to Atlanta, and throughout that time I had lost contact with my dad because I moved, I and I changed my number, and I never heard from him again.
Then back towards the end of 2011 the urge to find him again emerged within me. I now really wanted a relationship with him because I was now 25 and now wanted to know who he was as a person. Because I had grown so much, and so had my desire to see the part of me that was him.
Again at 25, two years ago I started looking for him once more but I reached a dead-end, but towards the end of 2011 I had a dream with him where he came to me, and he told me he was looking for me.
That day I woke up from that dream knowing it was one of my premonition dreams. Over the years I’ve received a lot of information through dreams, whether it was of things that are going to happen, or people that would contact me through my dreams, only to have it happen in real life shortly after. Anyways that dream with my dad where we spoke, and he was telling me that he has been looking for me, was my confirmation that I would find him again.
But here we are Jan 12, 2013 and guess what…
On Tuesday night, Jan 8, 2013 I was online sending out some surveys on FB when I’m looking through my inbox, and I come to find some email messages, that I had never seen or opened. One in particular that read in Spanish “I’m your cousin, I have information on your father, please call me.” Now this message was sent to me back in October 2011, and what happened? The following day as I’m driving I receive a message on FB that has my fathers number on it. WTF, that is insane…
Because that was around the time I had dreamt with my father. But I never saw the message until Tuesday night Jan 8, 2013. I called the number that night, but it was no longer the correct number. I emailed the person back on FB and apologized that I never saw the email but that I too have been looking for my father for the last two years and if she had his number to please send it to me….
What a journey so I officially reconnected with my father on Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013, and it has been intense. But I am so happy that his in my life again and that I am getting to know him. There is so much of me that is him, and on my next post, I will talk about how’s its been getting to know him these last three days…
I want to point out one last thing, which I picked up on yesterday. The first time I found my dad it was at very start of January 2005, and I met him in person in Feb 2005. Now were in 2013, and I found him again at the beginning of January a few weeks shy of my birthday and I have booked a flight for the end of February to meet him. I just noticed this coincidence last night…
Life is magical and it works in mysterious ways. I am grateful and humbled by the presence of life itself, and as this quote reads, I feel it be so true in my life today.
”Someone I loved gave me a box full of DARKNESS. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”