So what the hell happened?

It is time to reflect a little. Well, “a little”. I’m sure it will be a lot. It is now October 2018. Two years since I moved into my own house after I purchased it. This after I moved out of my now ex-wifes house (it used to be our house) in September.

Two years. Two years since I slept alone in a big empty house for the first time. I missed by dogs that night, and I missed my old house. I had no idea what to expect when I went to bed that night. I was alone and confused. But I know one thing, I slept alone in that empty house for the first time that night in October 2016 because I really wanted a family, and I couldn’t get that with my ex-wife. But let’s make it clear; I did not leave her for it. It was a mutual agreement.

Stuff was painful, and little did I know that it would be even more painful in the months that would come.

I started this blog in April 2017. I was on the mend.

And, so I sit here now with my laptop in a completely different house in a different town. The house I bought in 2016 is already sold. Five meters away from me is my girlfriend with our daughter in her arms having a visitor over. My daughter just turned two weeks old. Two weeks old. My own daughter. People greet me, say congratulations and telling me I’m a daddy. Excuse me, but what? I am?

I got one simple question;

What. The. Hell. Happened?

How did I manage to fullfill a dream of mine in that short amount of time? Did I do all this myself by simply making the right decisions? Decisions are quite something when it comes to these serious matters. They were so hard that it drove me insane. It was so difficult to make the right decisions that one night in February 2017 I simply opened up a bottle of wine and drank it all within fifteen minutes. It didn’t help, but I was desperate. I tore my brains out trying to do the right things. Perhaps I actually did? Maybe I was just lucky? And I know that this is not end of hard decisions. It is simply one hurdle overcome and onto the next.

If I only could send myself a message back to December 2016 and tell myself I was doing the right things and just keep going. But, hey, that’s exactly what I did. I knew what I had to do, and I had to work towards that goal. And I did. I kept going.

There were small and larger elements to my depressive state of mind back then, but the feeling of loneliness and not having children on my own was a large part of it. Feelings of failure and guilt as well. Of simply being a failure as a man. I constantly talked myself down. But when it comes to the feeling of loss of children or missing a child, it was a like a hole in my body constantly bleeding.

Suddenly, now, the bleeding have completely stopped.

Completely.

But I still miss my dogs. I feel like I have let them down. I think about my ex-wife and mourn the fact she is no longer my dearest friend. I don’t miss her as my lover, but I miss her terribly as my friend and confidant. It hurts. I am still filled with sadness and shame when I think about that terrible phone call I had to make to inform my mother about what was going on in my life back in June 2016. However, I am so happy to see that she is over the moon with being a grandmother.

Think about that; my mom is now a grandmother. And that is the most important part of it all, the happiness I see in her eyes. I made my mom so happy.

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My grandmothers coffee set

I inherited an old coffee set from my grandparents several years back. I always kept it in a closet, not being used. I never even washed them. Just stored them. I doubt it’s any sort of fancy, expensive coffee set. The value lies in the heritage. It’s made in Bavaria, Germany in what I suspect was the 1950s. It has light coloured flower decorations and “gold” around the edges. It is light of weight and it automatically makes you touch it very carefully. I say it’s my grandmothers because I am convinced she was the one cleaning it and taking care of it. Not my grandfather.

I recently moved in with my girlfriend, and obviously brought all my belongings. However, there’s almost no room for anything here so most of my books, items and memorabilia are packed away in boxes. I’ve touched upon this subject before.

I don’t know if it’s my daughter coming along that made me unpack my grandmothers coffee set or the deep desire to have something in this household that is mine. And so I brought it forward. My girlfriend wanted me to wash it before finding room for it – if there is room at all.

So I carefully unwrap the coffee cups and the plates from the newspaper wrapping and start to clean them. It dawns on me that these coffee cups have been held in my grandmothers hands so many times through the years. So many of my family members drinking from them. When looking at them, cleaning them – I was filled with a sense of deep nostalgia and a longing for my grandmother that died when I was barely into my teens. Longing for a time that is no more.

I remember times at my grandparents house, and especially extraordinary evenings when so many of my family on my mothers side were gathered together. Birthdays, jubilees, anniversaries. My grandparents had five daughters which made for relatively large gatherings of aunts, uncles and children of all ages.

I imagine my uncles and my father sitting in my grandparents living room only used for special occations drinking coffee from these cups and talking about society or politics. My grandfather pouring coffee into his cup, and slowly drinking the hot wonder liquid often not saying much. I pick up one cup and study it. I wonder how many people have touched it, been drinking from this very cup, and how many of them that are still alive. My grandfathers sibblings? Now all gone. My grandparents friends which I do not know the names of? How many? These cups have passed through the hands of so many people through so many decades.

I remember thetre was once a jubilee of some sor at my grandparents hosue. My mother and her siblings had composed a song to their parents. Most of them singing out of tune to my fathers rythm guitar. I remember buffets of cold cuts of food that evening. My older cousins laughing at me when I only went to pick up a piece of tomato from the lush table of food. I remember one of my uncles loud, but warm laugh between his soft southern accent – different from the rest of us. I remember looking up to one of my cousings about seven years older than me. I was very myuch influenced by his taste in music or interest in RC model cars. He was tall, cool and knew everything.

By simply touching the coffee cups I could almost hear my uncles and aunts talking, see my grandfather drinking his coffee and see myself as a child running around being asked silly auntie-type questions about school.

After everyone had gone home that evening,  I am sure my grandmother washed the dishes by hand. She had no dishwasher. It is a poignant feeling to know that she’s been touching and cleaning this coffee set through so many decades.

Now I was doing the same thing.

These days are long gone now. There are no more gatherings at my grandparents house. While most of the people involved are still alive, some are not and others are now at the very end of their lives. Time has moved on.

Just a Few Months To Go

I often hold my hand on her stumach. Usually at night. You tend to keep active around midnight and onwards. Please change your routine so you will sleep at night, ok? 😃 To feel your kick is amazing. Unreal. Your mother, even if she’s been through this once before feels the same. Just unreal.

You kick here and there. Punch with your small fists perhaps. We speak of you at night when we og to bed like you will just show up at our door in a few months. I remind both of us that we’re talking about someone already present with us. Always there. You are just inside her stumach, growing and doing all kind of unborn baby things.

My mother is ever so happy. I hear it when she speaks. Her tone. The happiness she can’t hide. She wonders about your name. We give her a few suggestions, but we’re not sure yet. It’s hard you know. How can we know your name? We haven’t even met you yet. We go up to the attic and grab big boxes of baby clothers. Left from when your half sister was a baby. Your mother looks at these clothes with stars in her eyes. All those dark thoughts she had seems to have disappeared. She’s nesting now. Cleaning, tidying, worrying. Thinking about how you will look. How you will be. She’s looking at photos of your sister, thinking of those days with her as a baby. Your mommy is getting ready.

Boy how far I’ve come in a year – in two years. Everything I lost I have gained back. Like a society crippled by war and then resurrected back into something better. Like an anthill being knocked over and re-built better and, stronger than ever before. I simply can’t believe it. Was it all planned out like this?

I imagine birthday cards I will give you. Signed «from your daddy» and I have to stop and remind myself it is me I’m thinking about. I turned it all around. All those strategic plans and reflections I did two years ago. And it all ended up exactly like I had envisioned.

Just a few more months to go.

Daddy.

“Pay via Paypal”

“Did you buy her any toys yet?”

The question came from one of my best friends and co-workers. I had to honestly admit I hadn’t really been buying her anything. Perhaps it was because I up until now had no money to buy anything. Perhaps it was because it hadn’t really sunken in yet that this was really happening.

“Take your stepdaughter with you and buy stuff. Let her pick the toys”

I had to admit, once again, that this advice was really good, and I was surprised I had not thought of it before. I didn’t want to wait though, so I went online and bought them both a teddybear. One of those TY bears for my stepdaughter (shocking have you can make a fortune on teddybears by simply enlarging their bloody eyes) and one bigger rabbit to my unborn daughter.

It was a peculiar moment. I was buying something for my own daughter. I suddenly had a direct relationship with her. I was picking out things for her. I had to stop and just take in that moment. Suddenly it became so very real.  Have I been in denial the whole time? Was the struggle to get where I am now last winter so bad that when it was finally over, I couldn’t shake it and continued to live in a state of limbo? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. Suddenly it was a simple question from a friend and one fluffy rabbit online bought via Paypal that made emotions just flood me. I mean, I have felt my girlfriends stumach. I’ve felt the bumps and the moves and everything. But no, a click on “pay via Paypal” did it. I was buying my daughter things. Real things for a real girl. My girl. My daughter. That silly looking fluffy rabbit is for her. I bought it for her.

 

A Voice in the Wilderness

Dear Adria

You never existed. Well, that’s not true either. You existed as a zygote, splitting into four, five or six parts. And then you were no more. This happened about five or six times. Only in my mind you were more than this.

I often found myself picturing what you would look like, what we would be doing together when you were growing up, how happy my mom would be when I told her about you, and what you would be doing with your life. I imagined our relationship. Me as a father and you as my daughter.

In the end it turned out that you would be just one of the endless mix of cells that never ended up as anything more in this world. Life is a lottery, and you lost. Most do. Most of us will never be born at all. I could say you are just another star in the endless , vast universe that we will never discover as a human race, but I feel even that is a poor comparison to the chances of you being born and being a person. Such are the odds you had against you, and I will be stuck here trying to come to terms with how truly precious life is, even if that’s a cliché thing to say. Because it is. But it doesn’t make it less true. Life is a mystery to me. The odds so low I don’t think most people ever realize.

You know what’s also funny? For each time I went through this – I imagined you a bit different than the last failed attempt. But you were always a girl. It’s like I have imagined six slightly different versions of you. Hows that for parallell dimensions uh. Like I could take a sneak peak into the millions and millions of different ways my life would turn out – and how your life would turn out if you ended up being so lucky.

I used to miss you a lot. I used to imagine you being there with me. At times it was so real I could almost feel you brushing my shoulder. I once sat down watching TV when the sensation of you standing beside me was so real it was one of the heaviest and most heartfelt things I’ve ever experienced. I cried that time. Because I missed you. But I know I imagined it. It wasn’t real. I was in a depression.

I’m out of the depression, but I sometimes get the same sensation. However, it is never as strong. If I feel lonely in a crowd of parents and their children, I can still imagine you standing beside me. I can simply start to miss you or the feel of you, and you show up. You and me together. Like the characters of my books, it’s all a figment of my imagination. I know it’s not real, but you are much more real than my characters ever was even if I know them better than you.

I guess I have come to understand and respect why some can go mentally insane and start visualizing invisible children, animals or even dead parents. When I grew up, a man was walking around the area with a long leash with an invisible cow at the end of it. It was real to him. The desire and wish for it to be real is so strong that it actually becomes real in ones mind.

And that is you, and this is me. I am alive. You never were. You never got the chance. And you will never again get the chance, not with this specific mix of cells between two people that used to love each other. That doesn’t mean you don’t mean anything to me, because you do. You were the closest I came to be a father, and even if I do become one at some point, I will still miss you.

You.

Someone that never was, and never will be.

It doesn’t make it less real.

Not to me.

Merry Christmas.

By Any Means Necessary

No one is really following this saga but me, but I’ll write it.

My wish and desire to become a father at some point is very real, and I damn well know all the pain I’ve been through the past years for dealing with it and the loss of it. The failed marriage impacted me greatly, but I knew what I was doing all along in terms of children. I stuck with my ex wife for as long as she wanted me there. When she didn’t want me there any longer, I left. And I did so with no hesitation. She could not have children. If she loved me, I would have stayed regardless. She didn’t, so I left. I wanted children, and I could not have them with her. I do not regret that decision.

I met someone new, and thought I did all the right things, asking at the right time, trying to pan it all out by the book. She knew my desire and wish to create a family on my own, and she agreed to it. Then she retracted it and didn’t want any more children. That’s fine. I don’t blame her one bit for it considering her story. But I do blame her for not being able to stand firm on a very important decision. That impacted me greatly, and yet again I took some very hard decisions and broke it off. I don’t regret that either, but it was an extremely tough decision when it was going on.

Then I met someone else. I decided to follow my gut feeling. She asked me i f I wanted children early on (which is normally the way you do these things) and I confirmed I did. I did not ask her back. I followed my instincts, and waited. I read between the lines instead. Kept my head cool. Did not speak much about children either. Did not pour my heart out. Maybe I was afraid of the answer if I asked.

I was more up front with her last night. I told her just that – that I had refrained from asking her so bluntly. She asked if I had been scared of her answer. I sort of replied with a “no”, but I guess it wasn’t really the correct reply, because I had been afraid of her reaction. I don’t blame myself for holding back. Not with my past experience this year, but I asked her last night. If children was a possibility in all this. She confirmed that it was. I replied saying that it was all that I needed. She asked me what if it wouldn’t work out – if she would not get pregnant. What then? I said that in that case it was a whole other ballgame. That is something completely different. It can happen. We’re not 25 any longer. Not 30 either. But it is a “risk” I am willing to take. Because I love her. I see what kind of girl she is, and her type does not grow on trees. She asked me what I would have done if she said that she would not under any circumstance have any more children. I replied that it would not normally go as far as this if that was the case (I would have known by my gut feeling) – but if that had happened (like last time) I would have left. The grief of not having children on my own, if it will come to that, will be something I have to deal with on my own, but at least I am in control of my own destiny. I decided last summer, when I met her, that if I would go along with this it would be a risk I was willing to take. I am more in control of my own destiny now. It simply feels better. It is my decision. Not someones elses.

Walking to work this morning felt easy. It was a relief. I did the talk I knew I had to do at some point, and now I have done it. I am in control of my future. If it doesn’t work out, at least I know it was my decision to go down this path.

I don’t think the grief will ever really go away if I am to be without a child. But I can learn to live with it. Deal with the cards I was given. I will have to deal with many horrible thoughts and reflection on my destiny, and how all this ended this way due to circumstances I could not control or know. I could not know that my ex wife could not have children. I will somewhat always blame myself for choosing the wrong person so many years ago, but I can’t change this. The shocking realization that life is by chance and luck is tough to swallow. You can be the man you want to be, you can believe in karma and always try to do the right things – but it might not be enough, and it’s not your fault. It’s not MY fault it ended like this.

But, it’s not over yet. There’s still a few years to go.

If it doesn’t work out, I might end up with a depression again. I might have to go to counselling again. But at least I can say I tried and took the decisions I thought was right.

Maybe none of this will happen, and in five years time I have settled into the life I made for myself feeling alright with everything that have happened. Coming to grips with it, and accepting my faith.

 

Between the Darkness and the Light

Fathers day came and went yesterday (I honestly don’t know why the date is different from country to country, but it is).

I was honestly a bit worried about it.

I was worried that I would scroll around on Facebook and see numerous of posts made about dads  and how they are so kind, caring and nice to their children. Photos of dads with their children, smiling – being happy. I was especially worried about posts about dads my own age and how I would react. I know a lot of them by the looks of it (yeah, I did scroll a little). So I worried about that Friday and Saturday. Worried that it would bring me down in jealousy and very real feelings of failure. Why they get so much attention while no one mentions me or say anything about me. It feels like I am not worthy or good enough. Not as kind, caring or supportive. And sure, that ain’t true, but it still pokes my feelings that way.

I was worried it would remind me all too well of what I have been through. Worried about how letting down my mother would be a present feeling all day. Worried that my girlfriend would notice as well. But in the end, I guess it was more about actually being scared that something *could* happen to my psyche instead of it actually happening. Like actually developing a migraine because you are shit scared of getting one in the first place.

It would have been different if I had been all alone that day, but I was with people that I care about. I was kept occupied, and had little time to think about it. I did alright. It was actually when I started to think about why the day turned out alright I got bummed out, and let’s forget the bad dreams at night. They often happen anyway. It doesn’t count.

I thought of telling my girlfriend that I had been worried about Fathers Day and how it all went pretty well in the end, but in the end – I didn’t. I don’t really tell her much about this at all. Not like with my ex where I opened up like a flood. I guess I learned to keep my mouth quiet. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe it’s not, but if taking a left turn last time around resulted in shit happening, I take a right turn this time and hope for the best.

So, happy belated Fathers Day to you guys and fuck all of you. 😉