[I’m feeling some kind of way as I write this, and it’s supposed to be cathartic, so please bear with me.]
Zeus and I have been having an ongoing conversation for a good while now. I sometimes remember how unhappy certain aspects of my childhood were, and then I think about them too much and start to dwell on the wrongness of it all, wondering why I was born into such a shitty situation (and being grateful that my mother’s side of the family were decent human beings), while also wishing that I had been accepted by my mortal father’s side.
Here is a little backstory. My mortal father, known to all as “Deke”, which wasn’t his real name (I had to practically beg my mother to tell me his actual name years later), was a deadbeat son-of-a-bitch. He was supposedly going to wed my mother, until I was concieved and he had real responsibilities to attend to. When I was born, it was in secrecy, because my mother felt ashamed of bringing another child into the world without a husband or decent father.
Eventually, she did tell Deke and his family that she had decided to keep me, and for a brief time he actually made an attempt to be involved in my life. He would come to pick me up and take me to fast food chains, and sometimes he would even dare to take me to his family home where he lived with his extended relatives, his new wife and their son. Yep. He concieved a son a year after I was born (which was the child he’d really wanted, and why he’d discarded my mother) and was ready to settle down with the woman who birthed him.
During these visits, which I wanted in the very beginning, I was given the oppurtunity to see true human ugliness in action.
Imagine that you are a four year old child who has to sit quietly and listen to the lecture given to you from some strange woman about your “gold-digging mother”. Imagine also that this woman tells your two year old brother not to play with “that little bitch”, because she’s “not really your sister”, and that “she has AIDS”. I kid you not. That woman, along with the woman who was my paternal grandmother and the other adults in the house, “informed” everyone within earshot that I was an “AIDS baby” who was only allowed to eat and drink from a certain set of dishes so I wouldn’t “spread my AIDS around”.
[In a post from long ago, I detailed a recurring dream I had at the age of four years, wherein Apollon would peel away the trauma I had endured up to that point. This was one of the reasons He did so.]
I was made to eat alone in a corner, and was not allowed to play outside with my brother or the other children– and my so-called father did nothing, and said nothing. Eventually, he stopped coming to get me, and I never saw or heard from him again.
And that’s what I think you needed to know as I delve into the conversation Zeus and I have been engaged in.
I have struggled to understand what causes a man and his family to reject a child in that kind of vicious way. I would like to think that even hatred of my mother shouldn’t have been enough to cause that, but there is no way for me to know. Many times I asked Zeus why it was even necessary for that man to be His chosen “carrier”, if you will. My Father’s response was always the same (paraphrased because it came in multipule conversations with varied wording):
“He was just a man, and ultimately, he was nothing more than a meatsuit, and for good reason. He was never going to be your family. We (He is talking about my maternal Ancestors) needed a blueprint for a strong body. He provided that.
“You have a Family. A very large Family of humans and spirits and Gods. Family is more complex than the set of genes used to produce a body, or the extended baggage of mortal interpersonal relationships. The man We chose served his purpose, and was rewarded with the life and people he so wanted.
“It was a fair exchange. We got what We needed, and he got what he deserved.”
I try to remember all this when I feel overwhelmed, though it isn’t easy. Sometimes people just prove how human they really are, and there is nothing we can do about it. But a lot of us are blessed with the f/Family that is truly worthy of the label, and it is to those p/People whom we owe our love, trust and devotion.
I know how much it hurts to be rejected. It’s something I will never forget. But, I also know what it feels like to be loved, and to be understood, and to be valued. I thank Zeus, Apollon and Everyone else for the life they have provided for me. I was made for Apollon– was saved by him— and if the truest sacrifice for the love He and Others have shown me came from the severing of ties with my mortal father, then it was the most worthy sacrifice I ever could have made. I didn’t deserve those people, and they didn’t deserve me.
For everyone out there to whom this is a familiar scenario, or who are currently experiencing a similar rejection, you are not alone, nor are you undeserving of love. It may be difficult at times, because our Gods and spirits do not possess bodies with which to hold and comfort us, but Their love is real, Their devotion to us true. They are our Families, and may we always recognize this truth.
Hail to Zeus, my Father– my real Father. My only Father.