My mother was abusive, emotionally and physically and I knew there had to be a reason why. I would tell my brother that I didn’t think our dad was mine and that I was part of a big scandal. My brother thought I was crazy. On different occasions I would have talks with my parents and I was told that I looked like my mother.Growing up, our family didn’t take family portraits. My parents took pictures together and when I was out of the house a family portrait was taken. I was the black sheep.
My dad and I have had many one on one conversations. I remember when I was 24 years old and he came to my apartment and we talked for hours and I told him again how I felt that the reason my mom hated me was because I had a different father or something. He just said that my mom had some issues and that she and I needed to work things out. That day when he left he gave me a hug and told me that he loved me. I walked with him to his car and he saw a man that he knew. He never introduced me, saying that he didn’t do it because he didn’t remember the guy’s name. I blew it off at the time but all he had to say was, “This is my oldest daughter Tiffani.” When his car drove off I felt like my heart dropped and I called my mother and asked if something was wrong with my dad. She asked me why I was asking. I told her that he told me he loved me and gave me a hug and I couldn’t remember the last time he’d ever said that. My mother laughed and told me that I was crazy and that nothing was wrong with my dad.
Years passed, my dad and I had the same conversations from time to time and he would always say that you know how your mother is. I am a mother and I don’t know how a mother could hate their child. I still felt that I was part of a scandal.
I remember when my only sister graduated from high school and my mother threw her a graduation party and i went with my husband and children. The only people I knew at the party were family members and even a few of them didn’t know who I was. I was enjoying myself because I was so happy for my baby sister. I love her so much and remember when I would do her hair when she was little and how close we used to be. Anyway, I was at the party in the kitchen when this lady came over to me and said that she knew everyone there except me and my family. I told her who I was and she looked at me in shock. She said, “I have known your parents over ten years and I never knew they had another daughter and grand kids.” My heart dropped but I refused to let her get a reaction. I explained that I was my parent’s oldest child and she looked at me like I was crazy and when she said that it was nice to meet me, her voice was strained.
How do you not mention that you have six children?
In 2005 I was invited to my parent’s house for Christmas. All my siblings were there with their mates and I was separated, with my divorce in the works. I took my camera because we never take pictures together and I was determined to get some family pictures. Whenever we had these get togethers, I always felt out of place and I didn’t know why. We would be sitting at the dinner table and it was like I would have these out of body experiences. I was there but I wasn’t there. I would just look around the table and listen to my family talking, bonding, and here I was the guest.
When I got the Christmas pictures developed, I looked at the pictures and I called my mother and told her that I looked like the oddball. Everyone looked alike and there I was. Remember in school you had the assignment; what doesn’t fit in the picture? That was me. I told my mother that I didn’t look like anyone in the picture. My mother got a little upset and asked me why I was so obsessed with who looks like who. She said that I could look like anybody in the family. I just stared at the pictures.
I moved to Atlanta in 2006 and I had a picture of my siblings and I in a frame. Everyone that has seen the picture has said that I didn’t look like my siblings. I went through my photo albums and time and time again I could find no resemblance. It made me sad but I brushed it off.
Last year on the 24th of July, the day before Michael Jackson passed away I found out that what I suspected all of my life was true. My mom’s husband was not my biological father. I called my dad’s mother and asked her why I didn’t look like her side of the family and she told me that I looked like my mother. I got a little angry and asked if her son was my father. She told me that she wasn’t there when I was conceived. I called my brother and I told him that I didn’t think our dad was my dad. The thought was crazy to him but he keeps the Christmas pictures we took on his desk at work and he looked at a picture saying that we have the same smile. I told him to be objective and to look at the picture of my dad, sister and I. There was an eerie silence. Then he said, “Oh my God Tiff!” He still thought that there could be a logical explanation and he was hurt because I was crying hysterically. A couple hours passed and I called my parents house. My youngest brother answered the phone and I asked if his parents were home and he said yes so I asked to speak with “my” dad. He got on the phone and made small talk and then I asked him, “How come I don’t look like you?” He said, “Because you look like your mother.” IU could tell by the way the tone in his voice changed that he was lying and I told him that I didn’t want to play these games. I asked him, “Are you my father?” He said, “Biologically?” Now I’m mad and said, “Of course biologically.” He said, “Biologically no but I have been your father since you were three months old and that it was no different from him being adopted by his father.” I told him that there was a difference because he knew the truth and I didn’t. I hung up the phone and called back a couple hours later and my dad told me that I should be grateful because I didn’t know who my real dad was anyway and he couldn’t understand why I was so upset. I was treated like shit my whole life and he couldn’t understand why I was upset.I remember laying in the bed, crying my eyes out and saying that nothing worse could happy to me.
The very next day the person I love more than life passed away, taking my mind off of my troubles. Michael Joseph Jackson was gone and I did not know who I was or who my daddy was.
The reason I wrote this is because I always stress the importance of a child knowing and having a relationship with their father. I had a dad but I didn’t have a dad. Choices that I made, experiences I’ve gone through may have been different had I’d known my father. I am still the black sheep of my family and people think I should just let dead dogs lie. It’s hard to do when you look in the mirror everyday and see a stranger. The spiritual side of me is good and as long as I have God I’m good. It’s the human side that attacks me sometime causing me to break down and cry. No one will talk to me about this. Only two of my five siblings speak to me. My parents have facebook accounts and they don’t speak. Last night I was chatting with a friend who had requested my mother’s friendship a few months ago and the request was still pending. My friend went on my mom’s page to see how many friends they had in common and there was only one. Tiffani A. McClain. I saw that my mom was in the chat box and I chatted with my friend and a half hour passed and she didn’t even say hello. Finally I told my friend that I was going to say hello to my mom and I said, “I bet when I say hello she will go offline.” I typed hi in the box and pressed enter. Less than 1 minute later my mother was offline. If you go to my dads fb page there pictures with all his biological children. Tiffani is nowhere to be found. Most days I don’t even think about it. Today is the day I have been torturing myself looking at the pictures of my mother’s happy family. To all the dad’s out there who are not involved in your children’s lives, I beg you to make time out for your children. I never want any child to feel the way that I feel. I never want any child to grow up feeling unloved or unwanted. I never want them to cry the tears that I cry or to make the poor choices I’ve made. To the mothers I beg you to not use your children to punish their father’s. You are taking away a child’s right and need to be with their father.
Thank you for reading this.
God loves you and so do I!
By: Tiffani McClain