I don’t know what I expected, except that this wasn’t it.
In all of the time I have spent searching for my father, and all of the DNA tests I’ve been through, I’ve never really had any expectations. I can’t count all of the people over the years who, assuming if was naive and over-hopeful, told me that I didn’t know what I was getting into and that I was probably better off not knowing. Nothing irritated me more. I had no delusions. I didn’t have some childish fantasy of finally finding my dad and being one big, happy, gushing family full of love, sunshine and rainbows. It was frustrating encountering these people, who seemed to think they knew what was best for me in relation to MY paternity.
Little did they know, the scenarios I imagined over the course of my lifetime were likely much worse than reality. Scratch that. Now that I’ve found the last man, I know for a fact the things I imagined were much worse than reality. Was I the product of molestation or incest? Was that why no one would help me or tell me anything for so long? Was my father in jail and if he was, did he kill someone or rape someone? Was he a wife-beating alcoholic degenerate? Was he a drug dealer? Was he involved in human trafficking? Was he a pervert or child pornographer? Why would no one tell me anything or help me at all for so long? What was so horrifying about my dad that it was hidden from me for so long?what kind of monster was he that I wasn’t even allowed to know his first name for so long? I can’t count (or share) all of the horrifying, stomach-turning, repulsive scenarios that have crossed my mind. I don’t know why I never pictured anything good. Maybe it’s because I had been dealt so much crap in my life that anything “normal” seemed like it would be unlikely, maybe even impossible. Normal, heck, even ordinary seemed out of reach for me. Normal was hoping for too much.
Now I’ve found the last man on the list. I found him. And from what I can tell, none of the above rings true. He seems like a normal guy, living his life, working, spending time with the people he cares about. I didn’t run a background check or anything, but he seems like a decent guy with a normal life. My imagination was worse than reality. I knew it probably was, but it’s hard to put those fears to rest when you don’t have access to what the reality really is.
This whole time, I’ve told people “If he is my dad and the one thing he ever does for me in my life is take that test, then that’s okay. I’d be okay with that.” Dan said I didn’t mean that, and it bothered me that he said that. I insisted I really meant it. He said he knew I didn’t. Maybe he knows me better than I do.
He agreed to take the test, but asked that I not contact his mother (I won’t). He also made it clear he doesn’t want to have any kind of relationship with he kids or I. He doesn’t seem to have any interest in knowing us. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this. I didn’t expect him to want to meet me, or tell people about me. I didn’t expect him to have much of anything to do I with me, but I guess I did expect him to be curious about me. Maybe ask questions. I don’t know. Something. Even just the teensiest, tiniest bit of interest. If not in me, at least in the kids. I thought that maybe, since he had been so excited about being the “grand dude” when his girlfriends daughter had her baby, that he might be excited for my kids.
I don’t know what I expected, except that it wasn’t this.