My best friends all coincidentally warned me yesterday to not dive headlong into my relationship with my birth father and to trust every word that comes from his mouth or rather, in this case, gets typed out on the computer. Their warning was a day late. I had already sent an email with part I of my childhood describing in brief but candidly the various shades of grey that I was surrounded by. There was nothing false or contorted about it, it was what it was but to a biased reader like him, it must have seemed the perfect opportunity to jump at.
I have been waking up in the middle of the nights and reading his emails and then have not fallen back asleep and have just been jetlagged from the past week or so, since we started writing to each other. Yesterday I drove an hour out to the Sai Baba temple here. As soon as I stepped into the hall and saw Sai Baba smiling at me, I felt at peace. I left my problems there, asked him for guidance, drove home and went to my desk and saw his reply.
His mask had slipped away. In haste he had gleefully jumped to conclusions and I could see how little he thinks of my grandmother and my birth mother. And how highly of himself and his family. He sees himself as this visionary of the future - we need to advise future generations so they dont have to go through what we went through. So now he sees himself as the victim along with me, and my grandmother and mother as the inflictors of crime :) I was so relieved to see his reply. I should have felt sad but I was relieved to recognise and realise the real person behind the glamor. And just like that I have grown up people.... I wrote to him admonishing him to jump to conclusions and how he should realise that the world is shades of grey and not black and white and no matter what their personalities were, the fact remains that my mother and grand mother love me immensely and have stood by me forever.
Anyways my head has cleared and I am focusing on the things that matter to me - my job search, my family, exercise, planning vacations etc... :) And one surprising side effect of this journey is that I have a renewed sense of patience and affection for my in laws. No matter how troublesome they seem to me, they have stayed together, given their kids a good life and have done their duty as parents. I was taking this simple act for granted until I realised some parents can get away with not fulfilling their responsibilities forever.
Travelbug had quoted from Obama's book on how he focused on the absent parent instead of celebrating the life of the one who was there. I was so caught up in the emotion of connecting with my birth father that I had not realised the impact of this statement until today. I have three sets of parents in my life, God has been very good to me. Everyone who has parents will admit to being frustrated with them at some point of time or the other. I have three (counting my in laws)! Add to it, the interference of well meaning relatives and a loving but fiercely protective and dominating grandmother, I have had my share of frustrations.
So here are my next steps, I have written to him, lets see how he replies back. If he admits his mistake and shows some amount of understanding and humility, our ties will be strengthened forever. If the reply comes back as self centered as before, I know how he is and can stay emotionally detached and still be in touch once in a while. In the meantime, I will try to patch things with my inlaws. I was so busy ensuring that my comfortable life doesnt get any bumps that I didnt stop and think about taking the first step to create win wins for them. I went out of my way and shed my ego for a man whom I have never met, who has not done anything for me in his life. I think these two people who have done such an excellent job of bringing up my husband and caring for his emotional, physical and financial well being when he was growing up, deserve better. I do not regret anything that has happened. I am thankful for this journey of self realisation which is definitely making me a better person and opening my eyes to what is really important with people and relationships.