My Father vs My Daddy

Through out my life I discovered people reacted in many different ways to the fact that I had two father figures. One I have no memory of and the other raised me from the time I was six years old. Some are interested and caring, some are disinterested and some are down right rude about the fact that my father left my mother and me to fend for ourselves. One doctor actually said it was disgusting that I couldn’t provide any medical background on my father. I’m not sure what she thought I could do to get information out of a man who didn’t want to be found, but she certainly made me feel lousy.

For years I referred to my biological father as my mother’s first husband, not wanting to acknowledge that he had any significance for me. The man who raised me was my Daddy. It was not until 2007 that I began to refer to my mom’s first husband, who is my biological father, as my father. He didn’t become real to me until I found another sibling to relate to as a family member. Until then, I had no sense of who he was, no feeling of connection to him.

For this moment in time the issue is resolved.  Father, for me, refers to a biological parent while Daddy is the man who raised me. The first is a formal term and best describes how I feel about my moms first husband and the second an affectionate term for the Daddy I came to love and respect.

Does this mean I’m still keeping my distance from my father? Protecting myself from him?

2 thoughts on “My Father vs My Daddy

  1. Joan Bears

    Hi Mary Lou- I started to write a comment last week about this posting but it seemed to fly off into cyberspace somewhere – as they say . I don’t know if it tho’ incomplete came through. Basically what I was saying was this: Those of us who know you and your family when you moved to Halifax had no question of who your father was. He of course is and was the man you knew ( as we did ) as you Daddy. When the “truth” came out to all of us, I for one never wondered or even thought of who your “real” father was. I only realized in my young mind that your mother had been married before. I feel that John was the only farther you knew or needed to know beacuse he loved you as his own and you him.
    I have always admired greatly how you coped with all of the details of your Mom and your Dad’s past.
    The doctor is the one who was disgusting in his/her reaction to your inability to provide info on someone you did not know – Revoke her liscence (sp?) for lack of compassion!!
    Really – the person who RAISES a child can be both —father and Daddy don’t you think??

    1. gomesspeak Post author

      I agree but most of the world did not at the time I was growing up, even some relatives. The fact is that it was harsh to have it pointed out to me as a child, in less than subtle ways, that I was not really family. Not everyone is as kind and loving as you and your family were to me.


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