Alright alright the moment I’ve been dreading the most. I don’t know where to start so I guess I’ll just start with a confession. To my dear friends new and old I’ve been lying to you. All this time I’ve been pretending to be something that I’m not… a father. If you’re confused please let me explain, it’ll all make sense in 8 mins.
A trip back in time.
Once upon a time 17 year old me fell in love with a girl from Arkansas. I would almost say I fell in love right away but then again I was 17 so I didn’t know what love was. I met her on a blind date and man was she pretty. We hit it off right away forming a couple within the first month of dating. Little did I know, neither of us was mature enough to make that commitment. She was still in love with an ex and I wanted to be a player like my friends. We found this out over the course of a rocky first 2 years but we made it through, somehow. Then came the “long distance” portion of our relationship.
Our long distance relationship lasted another 2 years. Anyone that’s ever tried one knows it sucks. It gets lonely only being able to communicate over a phone. I’d love to tell you that we made it through this tough time unscathed but that would be a lie. There was cheating on both sides. After realizing just how little I meant to this woman I cut off all contact and went my own way. That should have been the end of this story, but it wasn’t. 3 maybe 6 months later she reached out to me, she had moved back to Ca and wanted to see me. Can you guess what I did? If you guessed that I told her to “take a hike” you would be wrong. I think we dated for another 2 years before we ran into problems… AGAIN.
She wasn’t happy in California. Most of her family was in Arkansas and she felt she would be better off there. At this point in my life I did something that I’ve never done for anybody… I begged her to stay. Now when I say I begged her I mean I REALLY pleaded with her like I was bargaining for my life. A bawled and sobbed and cried like never before, there were tears and snot everywhere. In fact I’d like to think that this was where the “ugly girl cry” came from. I just poured it all out because the love of my life was going to leave and I wasn’t okay with it. After all that… she still left. You would think that would be a major sign to stay away… but it wasn’t, for me at least.
Before she left we had a conversation. I remember it like it was yesterday. We talked about how we loved each other and how this didn’t have to change things between us. However, I was adamant about one thing. I wasn’t going to be in another long distance relationship. If she was going to go the only thing I asked was “don’t get pregnant.” Anything and everything else would be forgiven if she decided to come back.
I bet you can guess what happened next.
Yea… she ended up pregnant and barely a month after she had left. Here’s where the story gets complicated. Given the timing there was a chance, albeit slim, that I was the father. Initially, I gave her an ultimatum “get rid of the baby or lose me,” not the coolest shit I’ve ever done but I panicked. I loosened up though. I realized that if I had asked her to do something I knew she was against then I would lose her forever. Instead, I told her I would support her no matter what and if she came home to me that included being there for the baby. Now it wasn’t that cut and dry there were some concerns on my part.
What about this other guy, what was the situation there? What sold me on the whole idea that this would work? I was reassured over and over again that she wanted nothing to do with this guy. If it turned out that he was the father he would be considered a “sperm donor” (exact words). If for some reason things didn’t work out with us she would NEVER take the baby out of my life. What can I say, that was all the reassurance I needed.
I was on board but what about my family, my friends? Well I had to sell this arrangement to my closest friends and my immediate family. Some of my friends thought I was doing a good thing others thought I was being an idiot. My mom was probably my toughest customer but that’s how moms roll. As for my friends that didn’t agree with my decision. I told my unsupportive friends to either learn to pretend or exit my life, I was that sold out on this. Was I worried that things wouldn’t work out? Yes, as much as anyone else would be but I thought I knew this girl better than that and thus had nothing to worry about. So I flew her out for Xmas to visit. If I was going to do this thing I wanted to be involved. When it was time to deliver I took a week off work and flew to Oklahoma (long story). It was pretty cool watching a birth live for the first time, it was like having my first child even if I wasn’t. A couple days after that I was on a plane home.
In the beginning I was there but I wasn’t really there…. I didn’t see my newborn daughter until 2-3 months after she was born maybe a little longer. During that time I took a paternity test which came up negative. Regardless of the results I stuck around and my parents backed me up. It took a little finessing but they agreed to let them both come and live with us in their home. Things were pretty great, about a year later we got an apartment together, we were a little 3 person family. Thinking back, that year as a family in our own home was one of the happiest times in my life thus far. It was slow at first but I really took a liking to being a dad. Unfortunately, my relationship started to go downhill again.
I wasn’t the best boyfriend and I made some poor decisions with finances and work. I was neglectful to my lover and I was ungrateful for my job to the point I got fired. She and the baby went to Arkansas to visit family a few months later. They were supposed to be coming back. One night while she was gone, I let jealousy and insecurity get the best of me, I went off on her over text. I said a lot of mean things and took us to a place we shouldn’t have gotten to. She was done with me and she wasn’t coming home. I’m not justifying her actions but I understand where she’s was coming from.
So what did I do?
I hopped on a plane to get my family back and I failed… miserably. At first she didn’t even want to see me. I stayed for about a week. Before I left we got a chance to talk about things but she wasn’t coming home with me. Now this was in 2013 right around Thanksgiving. That first year afterward was the hardest for me. She got a new boyfriend who she ended up living with and this further destroyed me. I was still in love after all. (Watching someone you love fall for someone else is a pain worse than death, I don’t recommend it.) They broke up she got another boyfriend and it was the same cycle over again. All of this strained the relationship between me and her and me and my daughter.
To top it off I wasn’t able to help with my daughter financially and that caused problems with the new boyfriend. He thought he was doing everything and was picking fights about my involvement. My ex chose the boyfriend over me. I couldn’t accept that some new comer’s opinions were even valid so I decided to walk away. I cut off all contact like a scumbag. I figured my daughter was young enough that she wouldn’t remember me and that was best for everyone. Being without blood relation made me insecure about my place in my daughter’s life. At the time I felt like I was replaceable so if that was going to happen I’d rather it be by my own hands.
Again me walking away didn’t last long.
In late 2014 my ex got into some trouble. Naturally, I stepped up to take care of my daughter and have been doing so solo since then. Originally, the plan was for my ex to come to California and maybe we would work things out if it seemed like a good idea. After some time she changed the plan to her staying in Arkansas and me moving there. I wanted to stay close to my daughter whether I could reconcile with my ex or not.
Snap to the present… there is no fucking plan…
Why tell you all this? Well I believe in 100% transparency on and offline. Also, my ex dropped all talks of reconciliation and decided to get back with her “sperm donor” ex. If you’re surprised trust me so was I, I didn’t exactly get a heads up that this was happening I just sort of found out. To add insult to injury she announced she was pregnant again and so excited to have a complete family. This has left me scratching my head, where exactly do I fit into this “family” you might ask? My immediate answer is I don’t and I’m struggling with this revelation. Frankly, now that they are back together I don’t have a right to stick around. Sure I’ve raised my daughter from birth but now she’ll have her birth father to take care of her. I’m all for blended families but this isn’t the same thing. I’ve been reduced to a step dad at this point. Even though I want to stay involved I can’t see how this situation would work out. If the shoe was on the other foot I wouldn’t want my daughter calling some other guy dad or talking about him constantly.
My prediction is I’ll be pushed out of my role as dad within the next 18 months. My ex claims that would never happen but history tells me “never” just means “not at this moment.” All I can do is come to terms with it all. On Tuesday I take my daughter back to her mother and I don’t expect to see her again after that. Am I upset about this whole deal? Absolutely! This so-called “dad” hasn’t reached out once in the nearly two years my daughter has been living with me. It’s not like I’m hard to reach I’ve had the same cellphone number since high-school. He doesn’t fucking deserve to have my family, to raise MY daughter… Still I’ve found a way to be at peace with my life. One thing I’ve learned is not to waste thoughts on things I can’t change. No sense crying over spilled milk right?
But what about the website???
Considering I won’t have much dad stuff to talk about for a while I might make a pivot with my content. I have another URL but I decided against changing the current one. Other than that I’m going to continue giving you my best work. Maybe someday soon I’ll have another baby and I’ll be able to rock the dad moniker confidently…
Despite everything I’m going through I still love my daughter like my own flesh and blood. I don’t regret anything and I’m glad I made the decisions I’ve made up until this point. I don’t know what the future will look like but I’m confident that whatever happens is exactly what needs to happen in order for everyone involved to get to their next point in life. See you soon!
Join the SID newsletter
Subscribe now to get our latest in exclusive contests and content straight to your inbox