Divorce, Half-Siblings & Life. It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again.

Above picture from Pinterest. Quote from Benjamin Button.

Today I saw some pictures that my half-sister posted on Facebook. They were pictures of a part of my family that I don’t know very well. The pictures included all four of my older half-siblings from my father’s first marriage and photos of my father as a young man.

I only remember meeting my biological father a handful of times before he died. He died while I was in college and he and my mom divorced before I turned one. I have no memory of what he looked like as a young man, and I don’t know much about who he was and what he was like in person. Seeing the pictures of him and his first family struck a nerve deep within me. It’s painful.

I am amazed at how raw my feeling are all these years later, but still I want to see more pictures and always—I want to know more. I had ripped up or burned all of the pictures of him that I was given when I was a kid because he had broken his promise to come back and visit me. Of course, I regret destroying all those pictures, but I was so angry and hurt that he didn’t come back to see me again. What child wouldn’t be? Back then, I didn’t understand there is always more to the story. I just thought that he and my half-siblings really didn’t care about me and that hurt.

Before my biological father died, one of my half-sisters, who I only remember meeting once as a child, invited me to her wedding. Even though I was angry and hurt by their past lack of effort, I had to go.

I am so glad that I did go because I was able to really talk to my father in person for the first and only time as an adult. Although it’s still pains me that I never got to spend time with my biological father, that he didn’t make more of an effort,  and that I never really knew him, I am so thankful for that last and only true conversation I ever had with him.

All these years after meeting my half siblings, I have kept my distance. The same sister who posted the pictures has consistently reached out to me over the years, and I have been guarded. Maybe it’s been fear or pain that has held me back–I don’t really know….

I think separating myself from all of them allowed me to not be reminded of the sadness I felt as a child and teenager that was caused by me not spending any time with my father and feeling like he didn’t care. All of my half-siblings spent time with him growing up and they knew him well. Hardly fair, but that’s life.

I emailed that half-sister after seeing the pictures and told her how I felt, but she already knew. She also told me some things from her perspective growing up that made me think about the past in a different light.

It’s never too late to change or open your heart. It’s time to let them into my life.

It may be weird and painful at first, but I think I would regret it forever if I didn’t open myself up to that change.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nmangina
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 20:27:27

    Liz,

    This is such an amazing post. My heart goes out to you in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability with all of us. Way to go on reaching out to your half sister.

    Sending you lots of hugs,
    Nicole

    Reply

  2. Nicole
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 00:10:15

    Thanks for sharing this story, Liz. It really hit home with me. ((hugs)) and good luck :)

    Reply

  3. Sasha
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 08:07:04

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s hard for me to read because of the painful content but so important.

    Reply

  4. Liz
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 08:12:34

    Hi both Nicole’s and Sasha,
    Thank you for the comments. Someone wrote on my Facebook page that I was brave for writing it, but honestly I don’t feel that way. I just had to write it. :)
    @Sasha, Sorry it was painful for you to read, but you’re right!

    Reply

  5. carla
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 10:27:50

    so glad you are open to change and the hurt can be healed more each time!! love you, carla

    Reply

  6. reporterturnedmommy
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 16:38:16

    Writing is therapeutic and you did a beautiful job telling your story. You just opened the door to new possibilities. Good for you

    Reply

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