I am a broken person
I am a broken person. I was born into a broken home. I was born of a broken woman. I was predestined to be broken and caste to be useless.
I am also the super-soft, very worn, faded tie-dyed shirt with the holey armpits and stains. I am exposed and flawed because of my brokenness; and I am comfortable and familiar. I can’t hide very much; but, I am still useful.
I am you. While our paths may not look exactly alike, I know that if you are human in the current world, you are broken too. And as we move along through the journey of all I’ve learned IN life, I just know that portions our paths will be mirrored.
You need a broken person, comfortable and real, to wrap her arms around you and say, “It is going to be okay. There is hope.”
I was born on Father’s Day in a small, community hospital where my great-grandmother was still a practicing nurse. My mother was young and stupid: a 20-year-old, married college student determined to keep her baby. Her husband, my biological father, was long gone. He would make his first and only appearance in my life when I was 6 months old to take family pictures for his mother. The juxtaposition of family pictures with a 1 hour father has to be funny...to someone, I guess.
My mother says I have an incredible memory because of my first memory. I have a detail visual recount imprinted into my mind of sitting on the toilet in a pink-tiled bathroom swinging my feet in white patent-leather Sunday shoes willing my bladder to pee. It was important that I do this. The world was waiting. I sent my thoughts downward, waited, tried the thoughts again, but nothing happened. With resolve that nothing was going to happen, I stood up and pulled on my frilly-bottomed panties so I could...pee. I wet my myself right then standing 2 inches in front of the toilet.
I was embarrassed. I cried. This was such an important job that I had just failed. My mother recalls that the pink bathroom and potty training happened when I was between 18 and 24 months old. We moved out of that house on my 2nd birthday. Why do I have that memory? Why was it so important in my mind that I regain this to treasure as my first memory? Does any child actually remember potty-training? Does any child have memories of their 2-year-old self?
I do not really want to write a book. I have nothing real or important or edifying to write. I am a broken person. No one needs to study that or emulate it. But, I am a broken person. Just like that handmade, unique vase that was broken and has been pain-painstakingly glued back together, I am also a mended person. My cracks are visible. I am probably not being used like my artist had intended. I am still here in this life, though, and I am still getting some jobs done.
Mr Biological Father never returned to my life. He skipped the “vacate your parental rights” trial that allowed me to be adopted by a new father. He never sent child support in the 4 1/2 years when I was his child. He never called or wrote or dropped by. And as far as I have ever known, he has never tried to find me in the 44 years that I’ve been in the living world except for family photo night.
He broke a part of me when he walked out that I did not mend until I was 22 years old. You see, I was such a disappointment and worthless child that my own father did not ever intend to be my father. Let’s get real. That’s what canine fathers do...find a sexy female, have fun, leave. If you encounter your pups later, pretend that they are just any other annoying pup. I learned a lot about life through his actions. Doing nothing is too much.
According to Wikipedia (teachers...don’t comment; just let it be), Fathers Day was proposed in 1910 by a woman from Arkansas (how fitting to me) out of utter respect for her own single-father who had raised six children on his own. Ms Dodd felt it was only proper to pay tribute to fathers since we were already celebrating mothers with a day. Fathers Day is held in the United States on the 3rd Sunday of June. It seems that every country around has a Father’s Day or Fathers Day or Fathers’ Day. Most are not public holidays.
So, I was born ON Father’s Day which rotates, numerically, without the presence of a father, physically. It is ironic. I blame this ironic entrance into the world as the reason that irony is my fallback focus of every situation. I see irony. I experience irony. I get irony. It isn’t ironic.
And Mr Biological would not be the only father in my life. I would later be adopted by father and also get a stepfather, who ironically, is no longer my stepfather at all. Just shake your head. It’s okay. That’s what I’m doing.
My adoptive father was physically abusive to my mother, my siblings and me. (He will get his own chapter.) My stepfather was sexually abusive to my sister and to me. (He probably will get two chapters.) What is a child supposed to learn from three abusive men in such a short span of 10 years? I learned that Father’s Day is stupid.
Is there a man in THIS world, right now, who waits for this day? It is a highly commercialized day (Congress of 1913 was correct) for a group of beings who truly do not care about any holiday. Implications are set that it is men who forget birthdays and anniversaries, even their own. Are they distractedly missing these days because they are eagerly awaiting Father’s Day? Are they pining away for this day to come so they may BBQ for their entire family and also get a tacky tie? Seriously...what are we doing? I hate this day.
I have sat in a lifetime of sermons as ministers honor fathers. I can almost hear the small pressure cracks that are veining at my being with each “Happy Father’s Day”. I am sick of the end-isles of silly cards and the eye-rolling “Happy Farters Day” t-shirts. (Really?! Farters?!) I do not want to honor any father I have. I do not have a father worthy of honoring. I can’t think of 1 small grain of a memory to honor in any father I have had.
I also do not like people who love Father’s Day. Aren’t they just a special bunch of yahoos to get 1, ONE, decent father who is worthy of at least 1, ONE, praise?! (For those of you who are wondering how I can keep ranting about this, please go back and read the 1st sentence I wrote.)
I AM a broken person...who desperately wanted a father who would let me climb into his lap (in extreme fatherly innocence) so he could wrap his (safe and protective) arms around me so I could actually feel peace and love. I’ve always wanted safety and belonging. I always wanted to be worthy of a man staying. I wanted the man who did not choose to impregnate my mother with me to not get a choice to love me. Isn’t that the way we understand parenthood?
Instead, a man who should not have had a choice to want/love me did choose. And I also know that if that is possible, then it is ironically true in a young girl’s mind that no one would ever really choose to actually stick around and love her.
My fathers really broke me.