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Saying Goodbye To Self Loathing

Ariel Tobin

Today was a strange day; 

I saw a picture of my father and 'liked' it on Facebook. He looked a lot older then I remember him by, his hair was thinning and beginning to gray, he was a lot skinnier but hid those eyes behind sunglasses just as he always did. He had a huge smile on his face, something I can hardly remember from my memories of him. But this person in the picture was someone I did not know, at least not anymore. Recently I've been thinking a lot about my biological father. This might not be an usual task for some since they are in constant contact with their biological father on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. However for me, that's a different story.

Ganshmi as a baby in 1992

Ganshmi as a baby in 1992

My mother and biological father married in 1990 and a year later I was born. I'm not sure of all the details pertaining to their marriage and from the little pieces of information I've been told, it was not a happy one. Shortly after I was two, they split up and my mother filed for divorce. My mother's first marriage and my father's second was short and bitter, the love they had for one another gone so soon. I remember my mother moving back in with my grandmother, taking on long hours at two jobs just so she could provide for me. I didn't realize why she worked so hard back then, but in retrospect I can see it so clearly now. I remember thinking about watching television with my grandmother until 7 or 8pm and wondering where my mother was, only to find out she would be working all night. I remember wishing I had more time with her. 

My father would meet up with my once a year, on my birthday, and take me out to Friendly's and buy me pretty much anything I wanted. I did have regular phone communication with him then, but seeing him was an entirely different matter. As the years progressed, they each met someone knew. My mother had custody of me and ended up moving me and my new baby brother to Florida, 1,054 miles away from the only home my mother and I had ever known. This made my father angry which resulted in a bitter custody battle that thankfully my mother won. 

Three years after the move, I was frustrated with my biological father. While at a slumber party I called him on New Year's Eve to wish him a happy new year, only to hear the familiar answering machine greet me. I called his girlfriend too, who told me she would tell him to call me back. He never did. The summer when I went to visit New Jersey for my birthday as I did every year, I tried calling again and this time neither of them answered.

"Was I not important enough to even talk to anymore? This man was my father, I was his flesh and blood, why did he not want to see me? What did I do wrong?" 

Thirteen years later and you would think I've gotten over this fact and move on. I haven't. I truly believed I was, having never seen him. I've talked about him numerous times but never in detail to my friends; my distant relatives that get to communicate with him told me bits and pieces but never in depth discussions. So when that random picture of my father, 13 years from the future came onto my timeline, I was speechless. It took me a few moments to react. I thought "oh he looks well", "he looks happy", and then "why the fuck can't he talk to me?" I instantly began crying, making a status of my own to show my lack of understanding during my unruly state of mind as my relatives and close friends questioned the meaning behind such a post. Ganshmi, a person who is usually happy and often the one who gives the support, needed it then. My father has always been a sore subject with me and whenever discussions about fathers come up, such as the father walking the bride down the aisle, the father/daughter dance, the father getting over protective over his daughter, being a daddy's girl, I never took part. In fact I pretty much tuned out these conversations for thoughts that were more pleasing to me. 

Thankfully, I had someone who was willing to step up and be a dad. My mother married a wonderful man who I now call my father. He's taught me so much about life, such as car maintenance, tax information, family and relationships, and just letting go. So why am I sitting here grieving over a bond that I couldn't learn anything from when I have someone willing to fill that role on a daily basis? And more importantly, where does this image of "not good enough" keep clouding my judgement based off of someone who is human, someone who is not perfect? 

My mind is constantly giving me solutions to a problem that is not fixable. I cannot control the actions of others but I can certainly control my own actions and thoughts. Immediately realizing this, I performed Reiki on myself and grabbed a Red Jasper for self worth and a Chrysoprase for the heart chakra and wore them all day. I felt instantly better. I can choose to let this man control my emotions and make me feel worthless or I can choose to learn from this experience. I choose to learn. I choose to be strong, to set an example for those who might be going through this same experience. It's never easy dealing with rejection especially when it's from someone that is your own flesh and blood, but you can let the experience make or break you. It's making me stronger, it's allowing me to finally let go of the torment this man has put me through for so many years. The tears, the yelling, the anger; it ends today.

I hope my experience helps you in some way or another. Feel free to ask me any questions if you wish.