Home > Personal > 0 Hai! Whatup, Dad!

0 Hai! Whatup, Dad!

According to the family I grew up with, my biological father was a junkie and a gambler and my biological mother was a harlot who was married to somebody else and already had children with her husband.  They couldn’t look after me, so, I ended up being adopted by his sister.  

I’ve gone through the in-between on the old BourbonBird blog, but home stopped being home when I accidentally found out at 12 years old that I was adopted.  My mother (adoptive) freaked out and became an extreme racist and control-freak, banning me from doing anything that normal children would do, even banning me from seeing my blood cousins who lived literally around the corner from me because they were half-white and, according to her, were bastard children from a Mail Order sham marriage.  Until I ran away from home at 16 years old, she would yell at me for a short period of time and then spend the rest of her time beating me, almost daily.  During this time, I ticked all the boxes of seeking-out behaviour, truancy, anger outbursts and violent behaviour towards schoolmates, drug use, promiscuity, self-harm and, to a LOLsome degree, writing emo poetry. 

It’s taken years of therapy to realise that I not only hate my mother, but I would’ve flat out murderised her face off if I had to endure her through my young adult years.  I would’ve been the female version of Sef Gonzales and I’m pretty sure I would’ve been relatively remorseless about it. 

When I left home, the first year was rough.  I was a victim of rape and went through the court process mildly successfully (1 count of rape whiddled down from an original 13 counts including Depravation Of Liberty, Stalking, and 3 counts of rape and all he got was a 15 month jail sentence with 4 years suspended) without my family knowing.  Before this, I begged for help and scraped whatever charity I could, but even then, I still spent a few nights homeless.  I engaged in trade-offs that my soul will scream for long after I’m gone.  I try to live without regret today but I have a post-it in my head to thank the people who helped me out and to apologise to the people I used to keep my head above water in this first year.  It’s often hard to be philosophical about things, but I found my now ex-husband-but-still-best-friend through it and I wouldn’t have my rad mates, my amazing partner and my awesome daughter today.  I wouldn’t have the love and support I do now and I know I wouldn’t be half as strong if life didn’t happen the way it did for me.  I still don’t believe it most of the time, but I’ve earned this happiness.  I earn the good and the bad in my life today, and I need to deal with it.  I know now that I can’t control my past and it totally sucked but whatever, my focus is to keep going forward with as little collateral damage and as much learning as possible. 

So you’ll understand my complete and utter shock when my biological father messages me through my cousin’s Facebook via Wall Post to say he’s in the country until the end of November and that he’ll be in my city for just over a week in… two weeks’ time. 

For a weird compromise in my upbringing, I was always pushed off to spend time with him whenever we visited the Philippines, and I grew up believing that he was my favourite uncle.  And he really was.  He introduced me to rock music through a tape of The Eagles and Queen.  He pumped me full of GI Joe Bubblegum and MSG-laden Filipino food.  We sat together laughing while we set off fireworks in the front yard, without a care of where the fireworks would fly.  He was fucking awesome as my uncle.

Of course, my natural reaction was to freak out.  The main emotion was anger.  Anger that he has not made any effort that I know of to contact me in the time before I left home.  Anger that he could just casually message me like I’m supposed to come running to him.  Anger that he bailed on me.  Anger that I have justified his absence when I, through practice, could never bring myself to do the same.  Anger that I grew to hate my mother and gave no thought to how I felt about him because he was virtually non-existent in my life.  So what did I do first?  I went to my therapist.

It was comical, actually, since I haven’t seen her in over a year because the last consult was painful and emotional and I cried like a bitch and said aloud for the first time that I hated my mother.  We had to go through that again and, this time, we had to draw a family tree.  Even I was confused with all the circles and squares and the lines surrounding me on her green consult pad, but we got there.  We talked.  And talked.  And talked some more.  And I walked out of her room feeling far angrier than when I walked in. 

I’ve since had time to think about it and I think she’s right.  Of course she’s right… for $350 per hour, you’d bloody well hope she’s right. 

There were other emotions, too, but none that really stuck.  My head felt like exploding with the avalanche of questions I wanted to ask, and the more pressing ones I wanted to know weren’t really that important at all… like… why did he sell my monkey for gambling money when he was clearly not a betting man?  Who named me?  Why did he have a mounted badminton racquet and shuttlecock mounted on his wall when I visited at 6 years old when he never played?  Does he play any musical instruments?  What’s his favourite colour? 

I will meet my biological father, and I will hear him out.  I will not expect anything, because I will only be disappointed.  I will be okay if he turns out to be an absolute jerkoff, and I will be okay if he turns out to be okay.  I will tell him how I feel, even though he won’t want to hear it, and I will do all of this so I can walk away from it and get on with my life feeling a little less lost.

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Categories: Personal
  1. September 20, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Sometimes the saddest thing we realise about life is that it doesn’t treat you the way you would treat it, if the shoe were on the other foot (so to speak). And sometimes forgiving others starts with forgiving yourself. All the best with this.

  2. BourbonBird
    September 20, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Therapist and I discussed an end-goal of forgiveness for the both of us, but she also told me to focus on being selfish about it and getting what I need out of it. It’s hard any which way you think about it, you know? I need to keep reminding myself that meeting him is the first step in what will ultimately be a very good thing for me, but I do hope it answers some questions for him, too.

  3. September 20, 2009 at 9:36 am

    As good as she sounds, is there some specific reason she charges more for an hour of her time than it costs for my monthly car payment to be made? What the christ.

  4. BourbonBird
    September 20, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I know, right? Her speciality is in Functional Medicine and Pfeiffer Treatement for adults who have Pyrrole disorder, which is a natural biochemical imbalance between your copper and zinc levels which causes emotional extremes and sends stress levels through the roof. It can be controlled with dietary tweaking and supplementation, as well as traditional medicine and, to a minimal degree and only where necessary, treatable with pharmaceutical drugs. It’s genetic and, in untreated Autistic children, it’s got the potential to cause blackouts with rage.

    She’s a master at her game but I’m cheating here. She’s a practitioner at my work, so I get her free with a huge thanks to Medicare.

  5. September 20, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Her specialty sounds amazing, downright fascinating. Just as an aside, I love hearing about traditional/non pharmaceutical treatments because I have seen them work in defiance of the medical field. Brilliant stuff.

    Back to your original post, I sincerely believe that something good will come out of the catch-up with your father.

  6. BourbonBird
    September 20, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I love my job – wholistic healthcare is revolutionary and while there’s a lot I don’t personally agree with, there is far more that makes sense than to pump yourself full of utter shit. Gut dysbiosis secondary to antibiotic use AND long-term antibiotic therapy is also heavily featured at our practice… I’ll have to take you there and introduce you to all and their individual therapies and specialities one day, you’d get a real kick out of it. We have Naturopaths, Clinical Psychologists, General Practitioners with their own Specialities (Chronic and Complex Disorders / Chinese Medicine / Acupuncture / Functional Medicine / Homeopathy / Naturopathy, etc), a Paediatrician who specialises in dietary intervention and gut dysbiosis as well as treating Autistic children, and a Dentist who uses intravenous sedation rather than general anaesthetic. The Dentist started Sydney’s first Buddhist chapter decades ago and we constantly have a stream of venerable Buddhist monks coming in for medical treatment, haha. We also have a really really old herbalist named Rosemary (LOL!) who makes her remedies from scratch, and we also have a fully independent Dispensary. Yes, you’d love it.

    I’ll be sure to update on this father business, yes.

  7. September 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Good luck

  8. BourbonBird
    September 21, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks, Robb. 🙂

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