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?