For years I was angry with my biological father.
The anger was not helping me at all, nor was it changing the past or my current messed up love life.
But it’s convenient to blame a messy love life on your past. It’s easy to swear left and right that everything is due to the fact that your parents are divorced and your father is an asshole. It can be convenient to hold onto anger and frustration, because you grow used to these feelings and they become a part of you.
But there comes a time when, to be happy, you might have to learn to leave the past, and all the feelings related to it, behind.
The moment I realized this was after my first year in Barcelona. I was 28 and had just moved from the Netherlands to Spain. My life of partying and fooling around with men didn’t make me happy anymore. I started to lose confidence in love, relationships, and men altogether.
I noticed that I couldn’t simply ignore the fact that I had a biological father on the other side of the world – a man who was, according to me, a loser, and a guy who had hurt my mom in an awful way. But somehow, my desire to deal with the past and move forward with my life in a happier way became stronger.
I took a flight to the Caribbean, where my biological father lives, to visit him after 17 years. Yes, I was scared, but it proved to be a positive, life changing experience. It was strange and sudden, but after my visit, I started to believe in love again.
How did I reach that point, to jump on the plane to see him? Well, unfortunately there is no “Leave Your Past in the Past” manual, and everyone has to take different steps to find their resolution.
But I started acknowledging the fact that I was really angry because of what he did to my mom, and accepted that it affected me more than I wanted. I cried, I talked, and I wrote about it. I always felt that I wasn’t allowed to have this father-issue because I had a happy childhood, but that’s not how it works.
I talked with my mom and stepdad about my fear of betraying them if I went to meet the man who had hurt my mother.
They raised me with a lot of love. How would they feel if I would actually like my biological father?
Luckily, my mother and stepfather supported me, which made it much easier to move forward. I did like my biological father. No, we are not best friends now, nor do we have a picturesque father-daughter relationship. We hardly have any contact. But I do respect the way he lives his life and I have been able to find peace.
I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert in leaving the past behind, but I am getting better at it. Knowing my past helps me understand my (love) life at this moment. By not placing blame on the past, it allows me to enjoy my life at this moment, even when things are a bit messy.
A trace of dust
was what he left
when The Past
from my head