Fast Forward | Still Healing The Past
Today? post is kind of out of the blue and skips straight to the most current point of Our Recovery Story. I will go back and continue to update our story in chronological order very soon but we experienced a strange turn of events this weekend that I just had to share.
What seems like decades ago now, my husband was a semi-pro footballer (or Soccer player if you?e in the US). I made mention in Part 2 of Our Recovery Story about the beginning of his rise to high level football and in 1992 he was pretty much at his peak. He was also on a swift path to becoming an alcoholic, though at that point his drinking was considered just another part of the culture of his sport and his community.
Hand in hand with Dave? drinking was his permissive attitude towards women. Mostly considered a resource to maintain his ego and bandage the fractured self respect he covered up with his happy go lucky act, he tended towards short and uncommitted relationships, always moving on when things got a little too hard. He was too absorbed with his addictions to waste time on issues that made life any more complicated.
As was bound to happen, given the odds, one of these easily recycled women fell pregnant. Dave always disputed whether the child was his based on sketchy details of nights out, holidays in Spain and the days in between combined with an unwillingness to accept any responsibility at that point in his life. Convinced, and in any case, not ready or mature enough to take on a child, he barely gave it another thought and carried on playing football, drinking and gambling.
13 years later when I met Dave, he mentioned to me during one of our marathon conversations in which we shared all our secrets, that he might have a teenage son. I wasn? entirely surprised given everything else I had heard about his past and although Dave went on to assure me the child wasn? his I my had doubts because at that time, in the midst of addiction, Dave was an expert at lying, denying and refusing to acknowledge what was real. I sometimes asked about the child as the years went by, curious if the stance on probable paternity had ever changed as time passed, but it remained doubtful in Dave? mind.
That is, until today.
Yesterday in a collection of coincidences, an old video clip was uploaded to You Tube which showed Dave playing in the FA Cup against Tottenham Hot Spurs. It highlights a goal Dave scored against his favourite team in front of a crowd of 1000s and seeing it again gave Dave a huge sense of pride and achievement. It was lovely to see him being acknowledged again as the video did the rounds between friends and family, some who had never seen it before. And this time Dave enjoyed the accolades clean and sober, from a place of recovery and gratitude.
What we didn? know at the time was that Dave? sporting moment was also being viewed by the child he had denied, after meeting someone at a party who knew enough about Dave to know who he was and what he had achieved, and felt enough compassion for this kid to upload the video as evidence about who his father was.
It is believed that there are only ever 7 degrees of separation between us all and today it seems true. Because our world is so connected by technology these days, it wasn? long before the uploaded video found it? way from the original source, who had no connection with Dave to the one person who could connect Dave with the boy who had spent 2 hours talking about the father he never knew.
All of a sudden there was a path into the past and without too much effort 18 years of absolute silence on the matter was cracked open. Within hours we received an email and photos of a young man who was so clearly Dave?. So much about him is Dave, the eyes, the hair, the face, the smile. And apparently he can play football like his father too.
And then the words ?? love to get in contact with my Dad? This boy has always believed what his Dad doubted and now there was no denying it for anybody.
As shocking and as odd as this day has been and as strange as it has been to have the dynamics of our family shift and change in an instant it has also been a wonderfully exciting time.
The beauty of this happening now, of all the times that it could have come into our lives, is that Dave is in the best place possible to handle the surprise of actually realising this boy is his son. If Dave was still in the thick of his days of addiction and destruction this kid would have received barely a cold shoulder and words would be uttered to say ? don? need this kid in my life, I can barely look after myself? That? how it was.
But today, with 3 years of recovery behind us, I have an excited, proud and somewhat shocked and confused husband who is getting used to the reality of having a teenage son.
I have a man who is ready for the challenge of creating a relationship with a child he left behind for his own selfish lifestyle. I have a man who is ready to step up if he is wanted and needed and will gladly share himself with this young man if that? what he wants.
Should they meet, and to get to know each other, it makes me so happy to know that Dave? son will meet the man that I know and love, the man that makes me so proud and will make this boy proud too because he? an amazing, incredible guy who has fought his battles and come out victorious. This young man will meet the best of Dave. He will know only the version of his Dad that is loving, kind, generous, fun, happy, and sober.
Maybe someone or something out there knows that the timing is right and that Dave is ready to heal this final piece of his past? I know that he will do it with respect love and kindness because that? who he has become and I am so pleased that this young man will experience the ultimate version of who his Dad is after all of these years.
Recovery makes that possible.
Recovery just keeps getting better.