I saw a picture of my daughter, Eevee, several days ago. I didn’t have the presence of mind or the will power to write about that experience at the time, but it’s easy to remember how I felt. The first feeling really surprised me: happiness. I felt happy. There she was, smiling her big, beautiful smiling, just being pretty and wonderful. She’s only 2, but I kept thinking, irrationally that maybe she thought about me sometimes and I wondered what she might think.
Then I saw Sarah, holding her. And I felt something different: guilt. And sadness. She was smiling too, but I knew it couldn’t have been the same kind of smile. So many questions began to formulate in my head… What does she think every time she sees Eevee? Does she think about me? What will she say to Eevee about me when she grows up? How can I live with the thought that I did this to someone? Will she ever forgive me?
It hadn’t taken long to get over Eevee after Sarah and I broke up. In fact, I hardly thought of her at all, the only person I could think about was Sarah and how angry and confused I was. But now, 2 years later, Sarah’s become almost an after-thought. The first thing that comes to mind is Eevee, my daughter. I’ve denied her existence more times than I can count at this point. Partly because I hate myself. Partly because I don’t want to think about it. Mostly because admitting it has always just taken me to the brink of what I can handle emotionally.
Just last night I was thinking about how much like a dream that whole section of my life feels. I could almost truly believe it never happened at all if it weren’t for that picture, or for finding the occasional piece of Sarah I forgot to erase in some dark corner of the house or the internet. I want to be able to watch Eevee grow up. I want to experience it, but I know I can’t. I’m not ready emotionally, financially, psychologically… I’m just not ready yet. But I miss her. I miss her and I haven’t even gotten to really know her. And why shouldn’t I miss her? She’s my daughter, a piece of me walking (shakily) around and laughing and hopefully being curious and open-minded.
Hopefully going down a brighter path than my own…