Defending the Raven

Bisexual. Married. Man. Open. Read On.

Validation and Love

I have never had a great relationship with my father, either of my parents actually. I was raised in a household where there were ways that you acted and things that you did. It wasn’t perfection, but there was a bar to which I felt I was measured. Much of it had to do with the fact that I was a very different person than my parents and my older sister (since I’m adopted, the nature vs. nuture debate is a stalemate — there are ways I’m like my parents and ways I could never be like my parents). My biggest problem was that there was always this striving to show that we were the perfect family outwardly. I fought against that growing up and that didn’t jive well with my parents.

However, in the last five years since I’ve gotten married and circumstances with my sister have shifted things some. SR and I have been the de facto children for my parents since we lived so close. My sister was off doing her own thing, not getting married, and not looking to come home ever even though the opportunity for her careerwise (she and my father have the same profession) was incredible in out hometown. It wasn’t an easy transition though. My mother had a hard time accepting SR into the family. A month before my wedding I had to have it out with my mother and tell to not make me choose between them because my mother would lose.

But as we spent more time with my parents and they learned more about me and the person I’ve become, and as they’ve seen SR and I interact (especially in the last year) things shifted. I’ve also stopped fighting them. As much as they wanted to change me I wanted to change them. So I stoped fighting it and accepted them as they are and worked within the system they set-up and pushed when I needed to. We have become much closer.

Oddly enough, my parents’ friends have seen the way my parents treated me and idolized my sister. In some ways I’ve just now felt as close to my parents as I do to some of those people who long ago accepted me for the person I am and that I wasn’t lesser than my sister.

The culmination of this came on Sat. night. We went home for my dad’s surprise 60th birthday party. My sister was flying in with her boyfriend (who will never be her husband to my parents dismay, but they are begrudgingly accepting it for what it is. I don’t like him, but I don’t really care – her life not mine) as well as my uncle, aunt and cousin. It was a full house of people. We helped my mom plan it, just like we did for my dad when we had a surprise 60th party for my mom last summer. My dad is a big oldies music fan so I put together a CD of his favorite songs to send out as an invitation. It was a HUGE hit and my parents loved it. SR and I also were in charge of coming up with the gift we got for my dad with my sister. It was an XM radio and he loved it. Played with it for a good hour.

During the party my dad made a thank you speech. He strated going through all the people he wanted to thank and it seemed like he was going to forget SR and me. However, instead he made made special comments about SR and me. It was truly touching and everyone in the room applauded really loudly. It was really special and really wonderful.

Afterwards I went up to my dad and said thank you and gave him a hug. I think it was the first time I’ve hugged my dad since I was a kid. He said thank you again and said “I don’t deserve you two. You and SR.”

I was really overwhelmed. It was the first time I truly felt that my dad loved me, and it was great validation that the person I’ve grown into is ok with them. That’s really important. It’s been a year of finding myself and coming to terms with who I really am. This was a great moment to fill that all out.


November 23, 2005 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Great story.

    Comment by Perfekt Dad | November 23, 2005 | Reply

  2. Wow. Awesome story, sweetie.
    I am soo glad the evening turned out that way!

    Happy Birthday to your dad!

    Comment by E-E | November 23, 2005 | Reply

  3. Wow, Mark! A really beautiful story.

    Comment by Dee's Husband | November 24, 2005 | Reply

  4. I’m sorry that it took me so long to read this post, but it’s great. I can relate to what you speak of, particularly with my own father. Great post, and good for you!

    Comment by Ben | November 29, 2005 | Reply

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