Monday, September 07, 2009

Life in the 21st Century

I have made mention of my ongoing biological father woes (re: HERE and HERE)... well they just shot into the 21st century something fierce and I wasn't prepared for it.

We have been communicating via email for about 9 to 10 months now and it's been ok. We aren't really breaking down any walls but we are communicating and that's a start. One of the last exchanges mentioned that he was coming to VA for work, I mentioned how close it was to where I lived and the next response I got was that he was back home. I was pretty hurt that there wasn't even a mention or thought to try to meet but whatever, I don't know his side of the story and I was fairly ambiguous about it.

Then I got an email from Facebook... a friend request... see where I am going with this? Yep, my biological dad friend requested me. Seriously folks, take a step back and just think about how freaking weird that is. At first I thought it was more 'ha ha funny' than anything. I mean getting a friend request from someone that I am blood related too but haven't see in 20+ years. Freaking funny. Until a few days later when I remember that I have to do something with the request. I have to accept, deny or ignore... either way, I have a choice to make.

I did it. I confirmed his friend request. I looked on his page but it was largely under construction... he is new and hasn't completed all the information. I closed it out and went about my other internet hopping. As time ticked on I got more and more panicky. I had just opened my world to him. He was going to see my entire life. I can't undo what he sees and reads.

2 hours later, I ended the panic attack by removing the friend connection.

I decided that opening up my Facebook world to him is asking too much. I post status' regularly, I add pictures and videos with alarming frequency, I have my blog addresses linked in my info section... if you are my FB friend, you know my life. And the thing is, I don't care if he reads these blog posts about him. These are my feelings and I am entitled to them. If he didn't want me to write them, he should have been a better father. Own up to the fact that we weren't around for the past 20+ years. Change what I say in the future.

My real fear was the fact that he would get to know me without having to talk to me... he could just hide behind a computer and learn every little tidbit about me. He would get away with ignoring me for the past 20+ years. I couldn't stomach that thought.

I deserve to know why. Why he left in the first place. Why he never called. Why his step-daughter is his daughter when I am no one to him. Did he know how sick my mom was. Did he care what would happen to me. I deserve to ask the questions that no one else can answer now. Why did he and my mom get involved. What does he remember about our life together. Did he ever love my mom.

If he wants to get to know me on anything other than a superficial level then I am entitled to ask these questions. I know I may not like the answer but I have the right to ask them. And I don't want to be cheated out of that.

I emailed him explaining why I removed the connection. I said I was sorry and it wasn't meant to be hurtful but that it was just too much too soon. I said I hope he understood and that we could still communicate via email.

I hope he does understand but really, it's in God's hands. I'll be ok with whatever he writes back.


KaraB said...

Your strength, conviction, and grace are something I aspire to...thanks for posting this...I know you write your feelings but realize it moves other people as well.

Can't wait to see you Saturday!!!

SissyKristin said...

Amazing post--touching & raw. So so so behind your decision and your questions. you do have a right and you do deserve to know whatever the answers may be.

Rose said...

I agree with Kara. :)

This isn't quite the same, but I recently accepted the Facebook friend request & provided my personal email to my biological father's daughter (um - my half sister). It is really scary. I'm starting to like her as we communicate via email. She is willing to answer any questions she can, but I can't bring myself to ask them. She's not the one who should have to answer for my father. I agree with you that you have the right to ask your father those questions, and if he wants to be a part of your life, he needs to make more of an effort than a Facebook friend request.

Like I said not the same, but I sympathize with you. Love you!

Ebeling Family said...

I believe that you have an extremely valid point with removing him from FB friends....that's definitely a "problem" with the online network connections....they are online, and NOT personal...I pray that the Lord leads him to be able to answer these questions you have- and that this particular part of your life can start to be mended.
Praying for you!

Anonymous said...

It is very touching. You are always honest about your feelings and it is amazing & beautiful. Yet you have all the right to disconnect the friendship request, I agree.

asuthrngrl said...

I am proud of you for what you did! Here's my new mantra in life (there is a story behind it, but that is for a FB email). I have been reminded several times over the last few months this: I CANNOT control the actions of others, I can ONLY control my actions/reactions. If you apply this to this situation, you would be truly amazed, as I have been, how clearly and quickly the doubt sheds its skin and the clear truth shines through. So simple, but so powerful! I love you, and you know what, if our fathers choose to NOT be fathers, just look at what they are missing, cause we are pretty DAMN AWESOME!!! Love you!

dkamfam said...

This is such an honest post. I can't begin to imagine how the situation you are in with your birth father has caused you pain. I completely see the need to keep him out of FB for the very reason you stated, but I can understand that being a difficult decision. I hope that he chooses to do the hard thing and the right thing - giving you the opportunity to ask the questions. And being willing to answer them. I will pray for that for you.

Caleb and Adrienne said...

We're all still learning the rules and boundary issues associated with Facebook. I agree that some people think they can "stalk" your life and then somehow know all about you....which isn't so and isn't real. I'm so happy that I came out the "stalker shadows".
=0) Now about that whole meeting in sad that couldn't happen!