I was trying to work out when I last spoke to him and worked out that I must have been about 14 when I did. It wasn’t a good conversation and it was very short.
I last lived with my dad when I was about 9.
But you see neither of us is even a shadow of the person we were back then. I was just a kid and growing up. He had a lot of stuff going on.
When my dad stepped back into my life in April this year it threw me. It upset me but not because of him. Clearly he was a very different person.
Over the last few months he has been there. He has communicated more openly and honestly with me than other members of my family who I am supposed to be closer to. He has been unerring in his support while I sorted my head out. He has been helpful and supportive as I started the process with the police.
He has been my dad and believed in me. Been there for me.
I can’t put into words how strange this has been. To have lived my whole life with a belief that nobody cared about me and then to find I have a dad and he did care. He just wasn’t in a position to show it before.
He’s showing it now.
So on the day where his other daughter got married and his son connected with him on Facebook for the first time, I had a Skype conversation with my dad and his partner.
I was nervous before but most of all I was excited. Like a kid again. A kid who gets to see her dad when he’s been away.
And I was worried. We are both adults but so much has gone before and we are both so different. We are strangers. What if we hate each other?
So we talked. And of course Skype made it difficult by not working but that sort of broke the ice.
For over an hour and a half we talked.
We talked about ideas and beliefs. We talked a bit about our past. Both of our experiences.
Conversation was easy and flowing. I have never believed myself to be very good about talking about personal stuff…I can write what I can’t talk. And communication is a challenge for him too. Talking about feelings. That’s always tricky isn’t it? Especially when everything is so complex and potentially a bit of a minefield.
But it was ok.
We both were able to continue the open communication that we have had going on through email.
We agreed to talk again more often.
I think next time I’ll try and do it when the little one is around so that she can meet him.
Yesterday I spoke to my dad for the first time in over 25 years and whilst it’s still taking a bit of getting my head around – it was ok. I’m ok. Still.
I’m becoming very fond of my dad.