If you don’t know, I *was a parent. At one point I made fertilization of eggs part of those things you can end up doing or such. *Yes I think fate can take that card away and create the status “was”.
My oldest child was born June 2, 1994 at about 4:30 pm. That day, as they were stitching up my wife’s episiotomy, immediately after my daughter’s first breath of life, my new baby and I stared eye to eye for what seems an eternity. As I feel now, and back then-there was something I saw of depth, distance, and life going outward in her eyes. They also said to me: “I’ll need you in my own journey.”
As our new family unit went along, my wife quickly raised issue that I was “supposed to be bolder and protective of your daughter”. I don’t think I am supposed to act like a “knuckle-dragging-ape” and really resented her. My daughter developed into my little buddy, my shadow. That ended at the separation when she was just a year and a half old.
So my divorce made twins from the most willing girl at my workplace. Fate would have us split, but the children were removed from her custody and I “retained” custody until a relationship and “instant family” with too many people involved caused legal problems and I had my rights terminated. During that “run” of being a dad, there were a lot of “Oh dad, why can’t you get it right” type characters on television and movies. I had my then lover’s mother telling me how to do this and how to do that.
After the children we’re removed and placed with Department of Human Services, I had the oldest-values-about-to-retire woman give me a list of requirements and such before they would consider reunification.
Needless to say….
But the common and central thing, as I did not transition until later, was this imaginary ideal of what you are actually doing as a dad. Every moment of your life, was everyone’s business to tell you how “fathers are supposed to act and be doing.” I loved my children, loved them deeply. As the world full of opinions around me finally collapsed, it took that whole role of simply being a parent away.
I started my transition within a year of being free of parenting obligations. The largest influencing factor of being “authentic me”, was shutting off of everyone who made it their business to tell me how to conduct myself.
So regardless of whether I hurt inside by not being me, I was even less me and was a terrible father because of nothing but people telling me what to do. As in any case, they should have invested more in themselves.