Friday, April 08, 2005

It's all relative

Mari Christmas 1976 Uncle Vincenzo (my mother's brother) likes to call me on Friday mornings. We have a nice Friday morning chat, and he tells me about his health and how his legs and his shoulder are coming along.

He was in an accident last summer, where he fell down a cellar in his home. He fell so badly, he was in the hospital for two weeks and had to have his heel and shoulder blade replaced.

He wasn't able to move for months. Incapacitated. He was lucky he lived. The doctors told him it could have been fatal.

Over the winter he would call and would sound so depressed that it often scared me. As he was getting therapy for his limbs and able to move more and more, he would sound more like himself as time moved on.

Now he walks with a cain, and is able to drive. He said it's liberating to do the things that he once took for granted.

So, he called and we chatted. He talked about estranged members of my family that no longer want to have shit to do with me. I tried to sound like I had interest in them. I know he does the same to them, about me. They most likely say things meaner than what I say. He tells me about my other uncle who looks like a Puerto Rican George Costanza and acts just like him. About my grandmother who we all know thinks of me as "dead to her".

Then he told me he went to visit my biological father at his home. This always leaves a sting on my heart. My soul. "I went to see your Dad. He wasn't home. Your sister answered the door, and she had a baby girl about three months old in her arms. The cutest thing! She looks like you both when you were little . . . "
Stinging more than ever before.

I don't call my biological father my "dad." I call my Daddy my Dad. The man who raised me is my Dad. Not the man that donated his sperm.

I have never spoken of my other brother and sister before on here. Because there really isn't anything to speak of, not much of a history. The brother I speak of on here is my little brother with whom was raised with me since birth. My brother from my mother's side. We share the same mother. The other brother and sister I have are from my paternal side. Sperm donor's other donations.

The life I had with my biological father as a child was scarring. He beat my mother. Would lock us up so he could disappear for days at a time on drug and sex binges. He abused my mother mentally, psychologically, verbally.

I remember times being as small as three years old, and him beating the living crap out of her. I remember those times and they make me want to hide and cry.

We left when I was almost four. He disappeared and began another life. He had tried to kill himself in front of me when I was about four and half. He threw a fit in my grandmother's kitchen because he wasn't allowed to take me with him, somewhere. He grabbed a butcher knife and he held it to his chest as he lay on the kitchen floor. My uncles were fighting to get the knife out of his hands. I stood there motionless as he did this and looked into my eyes.

I felt nothing for him. I felt scared for myself.

I want to sob when I think about that day. I was so little. But felt so strong and so old. To be four and a half years old and to feel nothing for a man who is laying there with a knife to his heart. Maybe I learned and grew my strength from days like that.

He soon disappeared out of our lives. I heard things from people that knew him and our family, but my life was taking a better form. My mother met my real Daddy and they married when I was six. Our life from there on out was much better than the one I would have had, had I stayed being raised by Mr. Dramatics.

Now comes the stranger than fiction part. A part that even had my therapist raise her eyebrows.

When I was in 12th grade, I started at a new school. I was actually pretty much thrown out of my Catholic High School for being a trouble maker and because my parents were sick of paying money for a crappy education. So I went on to a public high school to complete the rest of my credits so I could graduate.

I entered my English 12 class and there sat this boy. I never knew him, but for some reason he looked at me as if he knew me. As class went on and on, we had to get into groups. As we all said our names, he said his . . . Michael S*******. I almost shit. I had the same last name. Now I already know what you're thinking... so do most people. But my last name was a Hispanic last name that is not very common. Extremely uncommon. So I looked at him, but just kind of kept doing what I was doing.

As my turn came to say my name, he turned and looked at me intensely. It bothered me.

Class let out and he came running after me to my locker. "Your name is Mari, isn't it?" I was weirded out, because my first name is not Mari, it's a nickname to my first name of Maritza. And in school, my name was always Maritza, not Mari. Only family and friends new me as Mari back then.

He then went on, to tell me he was my long lost brother. A brother I never knew about.

And to cut this insane story in half and keep from blabbing so much, he was my brother that was six months younger than I am.

How is that? You ask? Because when my mother was three months pregnant with me, my father fucked around on his pregnant wife and made another baby with someone else. A woman he would go on to marry after their divorce and have another child with, my sister Nena.

So when I found this all out, I went into a sort of denial. I bitched this kid out, and told him to fuck off. The next day, he came back to school with baby pictures of me. Me and my sperm donor dad.

Sting. My heart was stinging. My eyes were watering.

I learned that day, what it felt like to have your heart reamed through a ringer and sting and hurt in ways that I never thought possible. I had moved on from this man, who was my birth father and yet he still found ways to hurt me, even after he was out of my life.

My brother and I eventually grew close our twelfth grade year. We lied to people in school and we told everyone we were twins. I helped him pass Government class so he could graduate, and he beat up the boy that took my virginity for blabbing it in the boys locker room.

I was in his wedding two years later and let by gones be by gones, and finally embraced my biological father. Even though it still hurt to look at him, and to think of the things he had done to scar me.

Years went on, my sister grew up and she and I would try to stay in touch. When she called me back in 2000 to tell me she was going to have a baby (at the young age of 16) I was there for her. I went to my nephew's birthday parties and she came to see Keifer when he was born. She would bring Mya presents for her birthdays and come sit with me when I was down and upset. We began a relationship, a sisterly relationship.

We were trying to grow close. And then one day, it all stopped. I guess I stopped calling and she stopped calling and we don't know why, or maybe we do, but it stopped. My brother moved away to Florida and I never hear from him anymore. I have nephews that don't even know me. I have a new niece and they have a new nephew named Ryan Joseph. My son and her daugher most likely, will ever know how close in age they are to each other, and will most likely never know ofeach other.

I am still stinging from this morning's conversation. Not only because my uncle non-chalantly tells me of these things, and I know he has good intentions, but I just have no intentions of trying so hard anymore. They knew of my transfusion and my complications from Ryan's birth and they never called when my uncle gave them the hospital number.

I on the other hand have not kept up in trying to call either. I know I am to fault as much as them.

I tell you this though, it's so much harder on my end. They grew up knowing of me as their lost sister. I knew nothing of them. Until one fateful day, and that day is when the stinging began.

I still hurt from the betrayal my father did to my mother and me. I can never let that go.

So, I wish to my sister, happiness into the springtime wind. I wish my new niece a lifetime of prosperity and health and love. I kiss her tiny cheeks from my end of the world, and I hope one day she will hear about me.

I have a brother who does stay in touch, my younger maternal brother you see and hear of on my blog. He has always been in my life and will never be out of it. I am grateful for him, and one day he will make me an aunty. Even though he claims it won't be until he is 50 years old, so be it.

Also, my friend's children see me and know of me more like an aunt than my own nieces and nephews ever will.

As strange as life is, I guess it's all relative.


Blogger Desiree said...

Wow Mari. Your post today actually brought me to tears. I know what it is to have that sting when you think about your sperm donor. I have one too. My story is much different than yours, but still makes me who I am today. Does that even make sense? I dont know...You sent me into my head again...


Feel better,
Pedro sends his love...

3:08 PM  
Blogger mixedupmama said...

thanx for sharing such a personal story. I love reading your blogs.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Alisa Lynn Valdes said...

Mari, why are you "dead" to your grandmother?

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Autumn said...

Thank you. Knowing this will help me with The Eldest in so many ways. *hugs*

Also...I had a rocking pony very similar to that when I was little!

I should find the picture.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Aww Mari that was such a personal post and it takes a lot of courage to post something so personal for all to see.

My heart went out to you as i was reading your post. I am glad to hear that your uncle is doing well but sadden by your biological father action, but i see it as him being the one who is missing out on such an amazing person.

Big Hugs

11:58 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Boy, Maritza, I dunno what to say. Sounds like you be okay with "live and let live." But I think you got more room in your big heart for some of those people.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Secret Pinup Girl said...


I still love the way you write, it reaches into me like when you read a REALLY good book that you never want to put down. I can "feel" your words and how you mean them.

I know I'm busy alot now.. but if you ever want to talk.. you still have my number right?? I'm still gonna have to come visit you soon!!!

<3 Chele

8:38 PM  
Blogger Janette said...

That is such a touching story. Thank you for sharing it with us. It sucks that you were scared at such a young age with your father's actions but it sounds as though you have moved on and have a family that loves you the way they should. I understand about you wondering about their lives and whether they know of you/think of you. ~janette

5:30 PM  
Blogger Maddie said...

*sigh* oh sweetie. What is this melancholy in the air around us? I'm there with ya too. Hugs and besitos.

3:12 AM  
Anonymous suezette said...

Hugs to you mujer! Very moving story, I know how painful it must still be, but all I can say is that we can choose we want in our lives. Sounds like too many demons in your past to keep it healthy. Focus on those in your life that make it a positive life for you and your children! That which does not kill you will make you strong!

1:10 PM  

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