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Nicky: What’s up CorrNation!  I’m your host Nicky Correa,  CEO of CorrWealth Management and you’re listening to another episode of Coin For Thought.   This interview is a personal one and took a lot out of Geoff to share.  Over the years he has really worked on becoming more in tune with himself and his emotions and he’s come such a long way in being able to really articulate himself and while he may seem so sure at times or confident, it doesn’t make the choice any easier and as his wife the best kind of support I can really offer him is a space to define what is right and you’ll understand this all when we start talking so here goes.   So today I have Geoff here and I don’t even know how to introduce this episode but we’re talking about something that is really strange.   It’s something that happened a little while ago and something out of the blue and I guess you’re gonna hear all about it.  

Geoff:  Yeah um so I guess uh something to know about me um I am the child of a divorced family.  Uh my father left when I was very young um and I haven’t really seen or spoken to him in probably close to 20 years.  I hesitate to say that it was his choice because I don’t know what his thoughts were.

Nicky:  So what happened? Well, how old were you when it happened?

Geoff: So the thing with my father and I I don’t know if it’s just Chinese fathers or you know that generation of fathers but um I was never really close to my father even before he left.   When I was younger, um he would spend a lot of time with my older brother maybe because he was the firstborn um but for me I didn’t spend a lot of time with my dad.   Um he also worked a couple cities away so he would tend to leave very early come home very late and he would stay out you know multiple times.   Um I do remember when I was younger that he began to sleep at uh my grandmother’s house and eventually he kind of just disappeared.   Uh he never really spoke to me I don’t know if it’s because I was young and you know we don’t really talk about that kind of thing um or whether or not there was something that he decided but I didn’t know exactly what happened between my parents all I knew was that all of a sudden my dad was suddenly gone.   Well, that’s actually not fair to say it was very gradual actually like we got to the point where we’d see him, I’d see him like every weekend, and then I’d see him every other weekend, and then I see him once a month and then every three months and whenever I ask the question or anybody ask me the question but like hey where’s your dad um the answer was always oh he’s gone on business.  Now to be fair to my father, he works in manufacturing so um he did actually go to China many times he was gone quite a bit um so I I don’t I don’t know if it was true to start but it got to the point where every answer was always oh he’s he’s gone for business, he’s uh gone somewhere, he’s whatever it is um and to be fair when I was a kid I didn’t really know any better and again I don’t know if they just didn’t want to talk to me about it or you know they felt like oh he’s young don’t burden him with it but I feel like as a person I’m very good at letting things go like it takes quite a bit for something to bother me and to get under my skin and I feel like for me I got to the point where I just you know I just love my mom and I had her and she took care of us as a family and you know I’m not saying that we were rich but we were you know we were well off so as a single mom, she never struggled to put food on the table you know we always had you know like one week or two week vacations um we never struggled for food you know there’s always a roof over our head we went to a you know a private christian school like I know that when people say private schools they think you know tens of thousands of dollars it wasn’t anything like that it was a relatively inexpensive school um but at the end of the day you know I didn’t really struggle for needs.  Um sometimes wants but you know I think that was more a subject of my mom’s upbringing choices versus a financial inability um but yeah so for me for the longest time even you know when we got married and we had our kids and things like that I never I never really thought about my father um in the sense that he was never around and I didn’t expect him to come back right?  I didn’t expect um I didn’t expect him to ever be in my life for the simple fact that he walked out um it was his choice I don’t know whether or not um you know it was a discussion between him, my mom to be like hey you know don’t come back or whether or not he just decided to leave um nobody’s ever told me or wanted to tell me but it’s been very interesting for me.

Nicky:  When we when we met I always thought it was so strange because when I asked you what happened with your dad you never knew and 

Geoff: I still don’t know 

Nicky: and I think that I had never um met anybody up to that point that didn’t understand such an important part of their story and um you know years later even as an adult um was in a space where they weren’t really allowed to ask either and 

Geoff: sometimes I feel like I could ask it’s just I think at this point or at the point

Nicky:  Would you get an answer if you asked? 

Geoff: I don’t know and to be fair it’s been over 20-25 years at this point 

Nicky: Yeah because he he left when you were nine and I think like 

Geoff: it’s literally been 20 25 it’ll be 25 years this year right?  and to be fair like I said before it wasn’t like he was around anyways right it wasn’t like he was in you know in our lives all the time it wasn’t like you know he was there every day to you know tuck me in at night or you know whatever it was like I feel like I don’t know if it’s I I don’t know if it’s harsh to say but I knew how to be a father by doing the opposite of what my dad did right like I want to be there for my sons I want them to know that I love them I tell them all the time you know we always talk about this right like how I’m the one that puts them to bed every every night you know I’m the one that gives them the hugs and kisses and that’s that’s what I do right like that’s my that’s my thing with them you know and I’m doing all the other dad things like teaching them how to ride a bike and all that but at the end of the day when I look at who we are and you know who they are and who they we hope that they’ll be I want them to have a father that’s present and I feel like even like I said even when I was younger I didn’t really have a dad even when I had that right and I don’t know if it’s because the problems already started or I was just so young I couldn’t remember but I don’t have a lot of memories of my dad and when I look back on my time when I look back on everything that’s kind of happened i’ve made peace with it insofar as I have no animosity towards the man I’m not angry I’m not

Nicky:  we were talking about this the other day where I asked you if you were angry and you said that you were indifferent and 

Geoff: Yeah I’m not angry like I’m not angry it’s not like I love the man I don’t want to go visit him or anything like that right like there’s no there’s no love and but there’s also no anger or hatred right like I don’t hate him 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: I don’t have anger towards him he made his decision and you know he he’s living with it and to be fair like as a child I don’t feel like it’s my responsibility to take care of his his wants or his needs or you know I have to do what’s best for me and my family 

Nicky:Did you find it strange that he walked away from his side of the family too like he walked away from say like his mom and his sister and his brother and stopped coming to Christmas and stopped doing everything?  Did you find that to be sort of odd while your mom and you and your brother still went and have these traditions 

Geoff: right 

Nicky: you would have with your dad?

Geoff:  So the thing for me is like I said before I think even when my dad was around he wasn’t around and I don’t know I don’t know what happened I don’t know what’s going on or what was going through his head or whatever it was but when I look at what my father did I don’t know again whether or not his it was his choice to just leave and to be fair I also don’t know if he sees my grandmother or his sister and brother and things like that on his own time away from me right like I only went to see them on weekends so I don’t know what happened during the week I don’t know you know if he spent a different time to have Christmas with them or he visited for whatever other reason and to be honest I never asked the question and what I think is kind of what brought up this whole episode and brought up the whole reason why we’re filming this is you know somebody for you know from when I was very young um contacted me on Facebook and was like hey you know we haven’t talked in a really long time 

Nicky: Yeah this is your dad’s business partner’s daughter 

Geoff: Yeah and she’s a super nice person she’s like hey how’s it going I remember when you were really young you know how are things?

Nicky:  and she has all these memories of you

Geoff: Yeah

Nicky:  that are so different than the guy I know 

Geoff: Well to be fair like I  don’t know you know you don’t I don’t know I don’t remember that time when I was that young of a kid 

Nicky: Yeah

Geoff: but you know she’s like she has all these memories of me that I don’t have like all my memories of that time are gone and when I look at when I look at what she was telling me and she knows my dad right because like her dad and my dad are really close and they talk and you know she knows him and I you know she knows him like an uncle I would say at this point right and 

Nicky: So she said that he a few years ago I don’t know how many and she didn’t specify he tried to reach out to you and now um you and your brother and your brother has chats with him every now and then and you haven’t spoken to him like you’re 35 since you were since you were nine I guess 

Geoff:  Yeah

Nicky: you know since he left.  How does that make you feel that he reached out to you 

Geoff:  Apparently?

Nicky: Apparently

Geoff: So and again so the big thing they have to remember too is like she’s hearing things from her dad and she’s like we don’t know right like we don’t know what happened we don’t know anything and it’s just at this point we we just don’t know  

Nicky: Yeah 

Geoff: and to be honest it was just strange to hear him saying or apparently I’m saying that you know he reached out I don’t know if that’s true because I never you know if he reached out he never you know with all the scammer calls you know I only answer numbers that I you know have caller id and if it’s a number I don’t know I let it go to voicemail and if there’s no voicemail then I just let it go right?

Nicky: Yeah 

Geoff: um but at the end of the day I have not like he’s never reached out to me and what made me what brought this all along and brought this all up is the fact that when I think about when I think about what could have been and what it would have been like to have a dad and to hear stories of hey he does this oh my god he’s amazing at this hey he’s really this and to never have known that and what I what really got me was the fact that you know he came up to her and was like hey here’s here’s my son here’s his sons here’s his wife and showing off pictures like a proud grandfather and me not even having spoken to him and the big thing for me is like where did he get the pictures like you keep saying Facebook but like at the end of the day I’m like this is insane like 

Nicky: Well I feel like you know i’ve always known through the grapevine of your family that you know he has dinner with say for example his mom every now and then and it’s rare he walked away but now apparently he connects in small ways and I think that like either he he saw it from I guess them or you know he saw it from Facebook and he keeps coming up as one of my suggested friends on Facebook and I don’t know how he doesn’t come up for you but he always comes up for me and it gives me pause every time and I think that like for me you know when Claudia came over and she was talking about it I felt like she really wanted you to give your dad a call and you have come to peace with the fact that he’s never ever going to be in your life and I guess she like you know she disturbed that peace and 

Geoff: I’m not again I’m not against her coming and saying what she did or

Nicky:  No,  but I agree with her 

Geoff: I know you do but you’re you’re one of these people that you know you’ve always been that person that can’t let things lie in the sense that if you don’t have closure you have to go find closure

Nicky:  Yeah but

Geoff: your closure and what you need for closure is very different than what I need and the thing for me is like you have to remember like this is something that happened 25 years ago and 

Nicky: you know that saying like let sleeping demons lie or whatever 

Geoff: sleeping dogs 

Nicky: sleeping dogs lie or whatever the case is or like you know let the dead rest or whatever I feel like the situation isn’t dead and I think like that’s that’s what’s getting me is just that for me I feel like with my father my father was in my life and it was actually the opposite where I wish that he wasn’t because of everything that he was putting me through and my mom through and that relationship was so toxic for us and we really tried and tried and we were exhausted from all the effort we were making to try to work things out and I think that if you had the opportunity to be able to reconnect with someone and now you’re an adult be able to redefine you’ll never be that that dad to you that you needed as a child but as a 35 year old man I think that you could gain a friend I don’t know you would have to really redefine what fatherhood uh really meant means to you now um because technically now you you don’t really need a dad but I would I would hate for you not to have something that I guess for me I always wish that I did 

Geoff: no I get that but like what I’m 

Nicky: and and can it get really any worse I mean now he’s completely non, non-existent in your life and if you tried you could at least turn around and you could you could say that you tried and 

Geoff:  I get it

Nicky: it could go back to being non-existent if if you know you guys are too different and if too much time has passed or if there’s too much baggage and you guys were not both in it to work it out I mean you could go back to being non-existent it can’t get worse than this 

Geoff: Well, I get what you’re trying to say but at the end of the day I don’t necessarily want those same things I’m not looking to be you know this person’s whatever like for me I’m I’m wholly satisfied with the people in my life like I love my inner circle you know and at the end of the day I don’t know if it’s childish to say but I don’t feel like it is my duty to reach out and you know maybe I will maybe I won’t but the biggest thing is that you know he chose to leave and I don’t know if I ever told you this but I remember writing him a letter when I was 14 and it was like a nonsensical 14 year old letter but it was essentially just like hey dad hope you’re okay it took I feel like it took a lot of courage for me because I hadn’t seen my father in years of it and I remember dropping that letter and I never got that letter 

Nicky; Where did you drop that letter?

Geoff: So at the time he was still living with my grandmother 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: I believe and to be fair this was like over 10 years ago 20 years ago at this point 20 years 20 years at this point right I think it was yeah I think it was like 14 or maybe like 13 and I wrote a letter and you know I dropped it in his room I think I put it in his sock drawer something like that and I never got a call never got a letter never got anything back and like I said right like it’s at the end of the day I don’t know what happened but I don’t feel like it’s my place to reach out and if it’s something that he wants and he wants to be a part of our lives you know he’s got to man up and and come and the thing for me is I feel like i’ve never had a father right like I don’t have memories of like I don’t have memories of the man like I remember when we were when I was young and we would go to like say like a like a family skI trip and I was I don’t know like four or five like I was little you know my dad would take my brother they would go skiing and I would hang out my mom and she would take me down bunny hills and you know take care of me right like I feel like my mom has always been that rock for me my mom’s always been the person that I would go to for everything because I didn’t have a dad like I didn’t have somebody that was hey I can rely on you I can talk to you I can do anything because he was gone even when I was young 

Nicky: I feel like your mom’s still not okay talking about about things she’s still you can see that it still hurts her either that or it’s horribly awkward but it’s not something you can it’s not a conversation you can really easily broach with her and it’s been so many years do you feel like maybe a part of the reason why you’re not reaching out is because you’re protective about your mom you know you’re protective towards her you feel like you connecting with him or striking up a relationship with him might really hurt her and you don’t really understand how the dynamic would work because she comes here she spends time with the kids you know she does the things that she does and then where would he fit in are you over thinking things like like would I go out for dinner with him would he come over to our house like you know what would the relationship be like are you are you really going there in your mind or are you where are you going in your mind

Geoff: no

Nicky:  when you think about 

Geoff: I’m not thinking about that at all to be honest I’m not thinking about I’m not thinking about anything beyond a phone call right like I’m not especially when it comes to things like this you know me I’m not the person to like look at and like try to think of you know whatever scenarios and whatever things I let a lot of these things happen you know as they should right I just let it roll out I mean I do think a little bit about my mom and how she would react and how she would feel about it but apparently you know the way that everything’s going down somehow he’s got photos of me you know like somehow he’s got a photo of our kids and I don’t know if that’s just hey that’s the cover picture on my profile picture or whether or not that’s you know um somebody’s talking to him about in sending him photos or whether or not that’s you know my brother talking to him and I have no idea and

Nicky:  I feel like it really bothers you that he has photos of you 

Geoff: it’s not that it really bothers me I’m just curious where he got them and I didn’t I didn’t know he cared at all right like at the end of the day for somebody to just walk in and disappear and then for you to find out 25 years later that they’re essentially Facebook stalking you or you know however they’re getting photos it just for me it’s just like where is this coming from you know and to be honest we’ve had the same phone number i’ve had the same phone number for what is it um almost 20 years at this point you know like the numbers still in the family but it’s just one of those things where 

Nicky: it’s my number now 

Geoff: I get it but at the end of the day it’s still here and I just I don’t know it just seems like one of those things where in the world of the internet and the world of you know cellular smartphones if somebody wants to reach out and talk to you it’s not that hard and you know I have a public linkedin page I have you know whatever we have and it’s not like and even if it was like let’s call it 20 years ago he knows or he knew where I lived he knows who my aunts are my uncles are and he’s they they know my number you know like it’s not I’m not bothered at the fact that he has photos I’m just surprised that he even cares 

Nicky; Do you think that he is scared of you?

Geoff:  I don’t know I don’t know anything about him as a man I don’t know anything about what he wants who he is

Nicky:  I feel like if I were to have left or abandoned a family and been that asshole really and left two kids and a wife um you know and kind of started a new life um there wouldn’t be a day that goes by you know without me really thinking about that old life even if I was the biggest asshole.

Geoff:  I get it right like and I totally understand that 

Nicky: And you’re always kind of curious because these are children that you you created right 

Geoff: I have no idea 

Nicky: and and you like it’s just natural I feel like it’s natural human curiosity you know um to really wonder how like your long-lost son is is doing and you know I I feel I feel like that’s natural for him to be curious about you

Geoff:  I don’t know like I said and I said it before like I’m not I’m not interested in reaching out

Nicky:  If he were to reach out 

Geoff: I don’t know we’d see where it went 

Nicky: but you’d be open to you wouldn’t shut him down 

Geoff: not right off the bat I mean I do have questions I want to out I’m kind of curious what happened I’m kind of curious why he 

Nicky: what would you ask him and how would you would it be a phone conversation would would you want him to come over and and just have a chat you and him would you go out to lunch I mean 

Geoff: no I don’t know so I think it’d just be a phone conversation and we’d see where it went like the thing for me is like you don’t get to I think you know Will Smith I think said the best right like if you’re not there for my worst times you won’t be there for my best and I feel like I may not have had the hardest life right like I’m not gonna turn around and be like a martyr and be like oh I had a terrible life but if you weren’t there when I essentially needed a dad why do I need you now like why are you going to be coming in now you know and it’s not to say that I wouldn’t have a conversation with them it’s not to say that it wouldn’t be civil and it’s not to say that you know I wouldn’t ask the question to be like hey what happened like why did you choose to do what you did why did you choose to leave why did you why did you choose to not reach out right and at the end of the day I feel like as a person I am a I’m a take it or leave the kind of guy where you know what if you don’t like me as a person I respect your choice and you know I’m not going to try to force somebody to love me and for me when I look at this whole situation especially 25 years later it’s it’s just like a blast from the past to be like you know what maybe when I was like 15 it would have been nice to be like hey you know what is this but to be fair like I don’t know if I’m just you know you said are you angry and I don’t know if maybe I am maybe there’s a part of me that’s angry which is why i’ve never reached out you know and I can truthfully say that my curiosity has not has never outweighed my you know my my inner desire just to be content with his decision and to live my life as best as I can without this person you know being there 

Nicky: I don’t think you’re angry I just think that you’re you’re nervous of I mean you’re not a person that likes change and I think that having him in come back in your life is for you the ultimate disruption 

Geoff: I wouldn’t say it’s the ultimate disruption 

Nicky: it is I mean but

Geoff: I don’t think it’s a question of hey my life is going to change like obviously my life would change but it wouldn’t especially now in Covid like there’s nothing like crazy right it’s not like we’re talking about it’s not like we’re talking about hey you know this is going to be the time where he spends every christmas with us or whatever like that and to be honest I don’t know what he wants I don’t know anything right like and at the end of the day he gets to make the choice and I am nervous but I feel like I’m more nervous about hurting my mom right like if anything like I don’t I don’t feel like he gets the right to decide you know oh now’s a good time so now I’m going to come back in and at the end of the day my mom’s been there for every day of my life and she was there in all the good times and all the bad times sometimes you caught some of the bad times um teasing mom I love you just teasing uh but it’s you know at the end of the day like it really does come down to the fact that he made the choice to leave and if he wants to come back into my life he gets to make the choice to do that himself

Nicky:  I feel like you make it sound like you’re at peace with it but I don’t feel like you are for one reason the reason why I feel like you don’t have closure with him is because I feel like a few years ago when I was on mat leave he had a heart attack and your cousins posted a selfie of them and him in the hospital uh and sent it in the whatsapp group and you were completely thrown for the entire day you didn’t know what to do you were 

Geoff: I just didn’t know how to feel 

Nicky: yeah you didn’t know how to feel and I felt like you were you were in a rut that day 

Geoff: well okay so I get what you’re trying to say right but the reason why I was in a rut obviously it’s not nice to hear that somebody you know you may or may not know had a heart attack 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: even if my favorite shopkeeper had a heart attack I could be like oh my god that sucks you know

Nicky:  yeah but you kind of like it yeah but 

Geoff: what I’m trying to say is like at the end of the day my I guess I don’t know what you’d call it but the the the societal um norm of oh my god your father had a heart attack versus the I don’t really have a dad and i’ve never really had a dad um like those two conflicting things and it was more a an internal conflict of hey should I feel bad and I don’t feel bad and does that make me a bad person and I think that’s really what I was conflicted with and what really bothered me was 

Nicky: that you were nervous to label yourself 

Geoff: no no no like as in like I should I feel bad because my dad had a heart attack 

Nicky: okay 

Geoff: I don’t feel bad that my dad had a heart attack because I don’t know the man does that make me an asshole

Nicky:  is that how you were feeling 

Geoff: yeah I still kind of feel that way 

Nicky: so you I genuinely felt like you felt bad 

Geoff: no I felt bad because I didn’t feel bad I didn’t know how to feel like I didn’t know what was appropriate and to be honest i’ve never been my emotional iq my emotional intelligence when it comes to who I am as a person right I don’t I’m not an I’m not a very emotionally intelligent person because I feel like before I met you I never really had to deal with personal emotions right like I was very and I still very much so in that person that goes hey this is who I am take it or leave it 

Nicky: well I think you’re you were raised in an environment it was like such a strict Chinese culture where you know emotion is really associated with weakness right so everybody 

Geoff: I don’t know it’s necessarily about weakness it’s just not something that’s talked about I think

Nicky:  it’s definitely not welcomed and I think the only emotion i’ve really seen is is anger 

Geoff: no but like at the end of the day all I’m trying to say is like when I was there in that day it was just really strange for me because I remember telling a co-worker and being like hey my dad just had a heart attack and she looked at me and she’s like what are you doing here go home like go take care of your dad and it was really weird for me because I didn’t tell her this but at the time I’m like I haven’t seen him in 20 years 20 I think this was like four years ago three years ago right so 20 plus years I’m I haven’t seen him in 20 plus years 

Nicky: when I asked your brother like hey are you gonna go see your dad he had a heart attack he was just like no no 

Geoff: I get that you know

Nicky:  and he was sure in I guess what he was going to do and you were so not sure you were like pacing around and I didn’t I didn’t realize that that was more of an internal struggle with you versus like uh I interpreted that as concern and just the inability to understand what to do with that concern I think like that’s that’s what made me feel like this chapter really isn’t closed like you’re saying it is and so that’s that’s kind of what made me feel that way so and I feel like since then things have like really informations popped up or things have popped up about him and I think that that’s ironic I think that I don’t know if it’s the universe trying to send you a message that you know maybe now is the time um because before then you know it was just silence about the whole thing and 

Geoff: no I get that 

Nicky: so I genuinely I didn’t know that you know obviously you know that’s like really a normal struggle to feel I mean people don’t like to admit it but a lot of times I feel as people were put in a situation where you know we don’t feel bad about certain things that we’re really supposed to and then we don’t want to you know we don’t want to come out looking like the asshole that doesn’t feel bad about something because you know it’s not we don’t want someone to call us an asshole we don’t want someone to say that we’re not nice right and I hate that word but we we don’t want to be um our thoughts or who we are to be interpreted in that negative way or associated in that negative way I didn’t know that that was your struggle at that time

Geoff:  I think that was a big part about it right like at the end of the day I look at it and I I think back and I think that was a major portion of what I was feeling was I didn’t know how to feel because I didn’t know if I was being cold I didn’t know if it was one of those things where it’s like oh you know it doesn’t matter he’s still your dad or I just I just didn’t know I didn’t know where to put my feelings and I think that it was one of those things too where I just didn’t know how how it would be you know affected like how how my mom would be affected how my brother would be affected and I remember texting my brother that day being like hey did you hear about this and he’s like yeah like what are you gonna do about it he’s like nothing and I was like yeah it’s kind of how I feel about it but does that make me a bad person and there’s all that existential you know internal struggle about who you are as a person and you know what you are not supposed to do right so I think that was more what it was than anything else

Nicky:  I feel like you you turn to your brother a lot when it comes to decisions like the major decisions like that like you know like 

Geoff: I think one of them 

Nicky: figuring out figuring out like um you know like if what he was gonna do with this information and then also like um you know when your aunt gave your dad your her you know your dad’s phone number to you before we got married and I asked you hey are you gonna call your dad and then you know you said no and then I actually didn’t know until like today that you had his phone number in your phone this whole time since since before we were married 

Geoff: yeah

Nicky: because you know she asked you to reach out to him 

Geoff: yeah but you also know that I’m the person that never throws anything away right

Nicky: but that is a big thing not to throw away 

Geoff:  I don’t think so right like at the end of the day it’s a number that I can choose to block or not block I didn’t but it’s just one of those things where I look at you know my time and I look at you know I look at what should be in my life and who should be in my life and I think one of the big things that always kind of gets me with this whole situation is like yeah you’re like oh you look at your brother to see where you know you should be and to get you know advice I feel like my brother very much so was like a second parent to me right like I look up to him because I didn’t have a dad and it’s on I I feel like it’s it’s something that’s unfair for him right like I really do feel that way 

Nicky: well he really had to 

Geoff: he had to step up 

Nicky: he had to he was 14 when it happened and he really had to man up really really quickly 

Geoff: yeah at that time 

Nicky: to be there for your mom and you know 

Geoff: well he wasn’t just for their for my mom like I said he was there for me right like it was one of those things where I felt like a lot of my morals came at least when I was younger came from my brother because he was the man like he was the man of the house kind of thing almost right and you know I remember joining a church and joining groups and I felt like I always lived under my brother’s shadow not a bad way right like I’m not saying that like but as a man he’s a great man right he’s kind he takes care of his family he takes care of church you know he’s a community guy he has a successful company and he’s living the life that he wants right and at the end of the day when I look at where I want my life to be I want a successful business I have the friends that I want I have a beautiful wife with beautiful children right like these are all things that i’ve always wanted and I feel like I look to my brother for advice because I feel like he’s ahead of me in the sense that you know he’s been married for longer he’s been in his career for longer the only exception is obviously you know we got pregnant a little bit earlier than him but other than that you know I looked to him because I never had anybody else it’s a touchy subject which I a hundred percent um 

Nicky: yeah so you call you called him and you know he hadn’t invited your dad to his wedding and that made you feel assured about not 

Geoff: yeah 

Nicky: about following suit exactly it made me feel okay not doing it right and I think one of the big things that like I said is I looked to him for a lot of my moral compass right like I feel like I have my own decisions and I made my own decisions but when I look at is this a moral thing to do like sometimes he’s my compass 

Nicky: did you feel like you would have made the same decision had you been the older brother and you had to make that decision first 

Geoff: I don’t think that’s a fair question because I don’t know what it’s like to be an older brother 

Nicky: okay

Geoff: I don’t know what it’s like to be that person and to be honest I feel like I would have made the same decision but I would have had more indecision if that makes sense 

Nicky: yeah

Geoff: like I would have thought about it more I would have considered it more the decision I don’t believe would have been different right um but that being the case I’m not I’m not I’m not looking back at my decision and regretting it I have no regrets about all the things that have happened right I’m extremely happy with how my life has turned out so far now obviously we have goals that we want to reach and how we want to move forward and maybe this man comes back into my life maybe he doesn’t but at the end of the day if he does not I won’t be heartbroken if he does then it’ll be interesting right but good or bad it’s it’s it’s just what could happen you know

Nicky:  if tomorrow he got hit by a bus and he died god god forbid knock on wood would you are you in a place right now where you would go to the the funeral what you would 

Geoff: I’d go to the funeral I wouldn’t ask you to come I wouldn’t bring the kids why would you not ask me to come

Geoff:  I 

Nicky: would you not want me to come or would you not ask me to come because I would come 

Geoff: I would not ask you to come but if you wanted to come with me you could I would not bring my children 

Nicky: okay 

Geoff:I don’t like they’re four like they would be confused maybe if they were like 15 or 16 and I you know like hey you know what this is the grandfather you never knew right this is the man that you know gave birth to me and then essentially left right so it’s a different conversation then but right now they have two grandmothers that love them and spend time with them like my mom comes every weekend right and your mom lives with us so they have two grandparents that adore them and want to spend time with them and do everything they can right like my mom does you know takes them out and you know whatever like they want to do and she does what she can right and your mom’s the same right and they have 

Nicky: they’re completely spoiled 

Geoff: well they’re spoiled for love 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: right like they have absolutely they have many people that just adore them and want to take care of them 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: and love them to death and if my father heaven forbid like you said was hit by a car tomorrow for me anyways it’s not a question of it’s not a question of uh you know it’s not a question of them ever needing to meet him 

Nicky: do you feel like he doesn’t deserve to see the happiness that you’ve kind of created in a way because he left 

Geoff: no 

Nicky: you know you brought up that Will Smith thing where because now you you really are living your best life now like you’re so happy now 

Geoff: what I meant by that is I’m I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want to talk to him I’m not saying that you know he deserves to he deserves never getting to meet my gran like his grandkids or whatever it is but I remember you know um when your parents were going through their divorce um and for whatever reason I was speaking to your dad and he brought up he’s like hey is it okay that a grandparent doesn’t get to see their grandkid and I didn’t say this to his face but I was like you shouldn’t be asking me that I have a father that will never like my dad will never meet my kids you know what I mean and I’m not doing this out of spite but I think one of the biggest things for children is consistency and not confusing them right like 

Nicky: you’re coming from a protective space 

Geoff: a hundred percent

Nicky: yeah

Geoff:  for me I don’t want my sons to ever be like hey where did grandpa go 

Nicky: well that’s what kind of happened with my dad right 

Geoff: well your dad’s like he’s a very toxic person and his anger and his abuse isn’t something that’s good for the children to be 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: and when I look at my dad I don’t know if he’s abusive as a person right like I don’t know what it’s like it’s been 25 years I don’t know who he is anymore but I will say that I don’t want them to meet somebody and be like hey this is your grandpa and for them to be like have the expectation to at least see him as much as they see their grandmother and then gone you know what I mean like it’s just one of those things where I feel like yes it’s a protection for my sons but at the same token it’s also not something that I want to expose them to yet 

Nicky: if he were to reach out to you and if you guys had your phone conversation and he answered all of your questions and they were satisfactory to you which I don’t think that they would be but you know if you decide decided to accept his answers for whatever they were when would be an appropriate time where you would say okay now you’re allowed to come meet my family because I feel like this relationship is kind of getting into a place where I trust that you will keep that consistency or this is getting to a space where this is okay how much time do you feel as a person you would want to give it before you really opened up your your home or your life to this person

Geoff:  I can say that you know with great honesty and clarity that I I don’t have an answer for that like I don’t know right like the thing for me is 

Nicky: would it be right away 

Geoff: no of course not definitely not okay like it wouldn’t be like something I turn around and accept right away the biggest thing for me is I would I would want some sort of any sort of relationship like I feel like because of what happened with your father and where he was a big part of their life for like two years right like he was there you know he may not have been the best example and he may not have been the best you know person but he was there and he was around now he’s just out 

Nicky: yeah

Geoff:  and I feel like at the time the kids were really young so it wasn’t terrible for him to now be gone forever 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: but they’re five four and a half five now and our kids are really smart they they just know things 

Nicky: and they keep asking yeah about about things that 

Geoff: they ask all sorts of questions and to be honest I have no problem having real conversations with them right

Nicky: yeah

Geoff:  like if the kids were to be like hey where’s your dad I can like I will have that conversation with them right and I don’t I will never speak poorly of my father especially to my children 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: right but I will tell them the truth that hey you know what he left and daddy hasn’t seen him in a very long time right and it’s not something that I do out of spite it’s not something I do out of anger but it’s it’s again something to protect them and for them to understand that hey you know what this is what he decided to do and I know up there that there are tons of dads tons of great dads that want to be with their kids that want to be you know they want that 50 50 custody they want to be there and they want to be good examples but my dad wasn’t one of those people right like at the end of the day he had every opportunity to reach out and not only did he have every opportunity he I spent so many weekends in my aunt and grandma like in my grandmother’s house where where

Nicky:  his mom’s 

Geoff: his mom’s house 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: right so it was very easy for him to turn around and be like hey let me reach out or just to be like hey can you tell him to call me like you know what I mean like for him to turn to like my grandmother and be like hey can you tell my son to come 

Nicky: would your would your grandmother or do you feel like your grandmother or your family had had your grandmother had he done that would you feel like your grandmother would have actually told you that or would she have felt a sense of reservation would she 

Geoff: I don’t know, like to be fair I don’t know I don’t know what she would have done I don’t know what um they would have decided 

Nicky: yeah it is kind of an awkward space to kind of 

Geoff: I get it but like at the end of the day it’s it wasn’t that difficult you know what I mean 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: like it wasn’t like I left the country it wasn’t like my mom said never actually to be fair maybe she did say that but like I can tell you right now heaven forbid something happened between us I would be there 50 like all as much as I could be I would want my kids all the time because I want them to know that I love them and even if again heaven forbid something happened I want them to know that you love them 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: right and 

Nicky: well you you grew up also in the same house that he left 

Geoff: yeah 

Nicky: right like you guys 

Geoff:  like it was very it’s very strange right like when he left he left everything he left the house he left I I don’t know what the divorce settlement was I don’t know how everything like you know now that we work with divorcees 

Nicky: well you don’t even know if your mom was actually divorced it’s really speculation 

Geoff: no she is 

Nicky: she is for sure

Geoff:  99 percent sure right like at the end of the day like my understanding is that he turned around and said hey you can have all the assets I’m gonna go start my own new life good luck with you know here’s the house here’s the car here’s every all these things these are for you and that was that you know and for me I look I look at the time and I look at all those things and I’m like okay right like you make your decisions and that’s that 

Nicky: so Claudia said that he was with somebody and 

Geoff: yeah apparently he left my mom for that person 

Nicky: so how would you feel if things were okay with you would you be okay meeting that person or is that is that another question you can’t really answer 

Geoff: I would say it’s not something I can answer I think one of the big things that you’re you’re asking are a lot of these hypotheticals of hey how would you feel about this how would you feel about that and to be honest I haven’t given it any thought 

Nicky: I think for me I like I really would want a visual a visual of how the relationship would kind of play out and before I kind of got into this relationship 

Geoff: I get it, you have

Nicky: I would want to really understand like what the approximate dynamic would be like before I really entered in this relationship that might that was so I don’t know volatile um so I  would want to know like you know because it would help me kind of set my boundaries it would help me turn around and say okay I’m willing to do this but you’re not going to see the kids for say maybe I would like a year of us you know having lunch together and seeing each other and then if things go well for a year then okay that after that we can we can take it the next step or like um if you are dating somebody um and you left that left my mom for that person I don’t exactly know how I would feel like going out to dinner with you and that person that I know you say cheated on her with or whatever the case was um and just being like la dee da right and that that’s another boundary I think for me um I would need to be able to understand what my boundaries are do you 

Geoff: I understand that 

Nicky: and you’re more go with the flow

Geoff:  I’m very much go with the flow for me like when I look at that whole situation all those things that you brought up yeah they’re valid points right like I don’t know how I feel about this you know opposite woman I don’t know how I feel about you know him wanting to say hey let’s all go for lunch for me when I look at the whole situation I look at what you know what he would do and what I would do I don’t look past hey is this something that you want and what exactly do you want I think that’s those are two very important things that I would ask the question of 

Nicky: I think you’re trying to answer the first one which is like is this something that you want 

Geoff: well is it something that he wants and to be fair if it is something he wants I have to decide whether or not it’s something I want right and there are too many questions for me to answer or get answers to um before I could answer that 

Nicky: what are the top three questions you would want to ask him over the phone before you like what are these you know that you would ask him before you kind of proceeded and said okay well this like I accept your answer to these particular questions like what are your burning questions for this long-lost father that you have 

Geoff: I think it’s the same questions that a lot of people would have which is hey where did you go you know, what happened,  why haven’t you reached out like I think they’re very basic questions like it’s not like I’m gonna be like oh my god what’s the secret to your soul right like it’s it’s at this point it’s essentially ancient history right like I have been without a father for significantly longer than I have been with one right and it’s one of those things where I look at my life and I’m like you know what if I go another 50 years and don’t talk to him then that’s his choice and you know he’s gonna have to live with that as he gets older and I have all the love that I need I have you know my beautiful wife I have my children I have my mom I have your mom at the end of the day like when it comes to parents and unquestioning love you know unconditional love I have that in my life and like I said if he answers those three questions and he can say hey this is what it is let’s find out hey like let’s see where we go from there but at the end of the day I’m not going to try to force something and I’m not trying to ask for something that isn’t that isn’t something that he wants that isn’t something that I want 

Nicky: My biggest struggle in all of this as your wife is is really respecting your space with this

Geoff:  yeah I know because you just want to call them today and be like hey 

Nicky: yeah I know I I really want to meddle and I know

Geoff:  I know and you are not not allowed to 

Nicky: and I know I know that’s a that’s a boundary

Geoff:  that’s a boundary that you’re not allowed to cross 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: I made that abundantly clear 

Nicky: I wish that I could just I wish that I could go on Facebook and message him and say you know hey by the way you know um I don’t know you but I would love to have lunch with you I would love to vet you out before you you contacted Geoff I would if I vetted you out and if I felt like you were somewhat of a decent human being I would love to encourage you to contact him because I know that he already stated that he wouldn’t make the first move maybe but that he was open to you making the first move and I would encourage you to make another move if you’ve done that before or if you haven’t done that before I would encourage you to make that move I think that it’s so hard for me not to do that and not to because I always push you to do things sometimes like you know I think all wives have this thing where they push their husbands to do something that their husbands might not want to do and I think that you know this is a huge thing for me where I have to like really step back and put on my like itch cream or whatever to like lessen the itch to try to do this because I want this so badly for you because of how much I don’t have this and how I feel this could be something that that that could turn into something amazing but and because I didn’t have that and I so badly wanted that uh I it would give me a lot of pleasure to be able to see you have that with somebody

Geoff:  I understand that right like I understand that you essentially had a terrible father where I had none and we always have that discussion I should not say always but we’ve had that discussion in the past where it’s like okay which one you had 

Nicky: I felt bad I felt that complaining a lot of times because your dad just left and I think that in the past a lot of times when I met somebody whose father was completely absent and they left it really hurt them to be able to hear regular people complain about fathers that were there but crappy and I think 

Geoff: that that doesn’t bother me 

Nicky: I was sensitive about that you know being able to share so much about that even in a past relationship that was something that was um I guess a point of contention you know even during the worst times with my dad even during the most abusive times with my dad because I was pre before you I was dating somebody who you know essentially their mom was the person that their father cheated on their spouse with and then you know then they went back to being with their spouse but then while having a baby who was my ex with this other woman right and now this this woman was young and had a child that she did not have any interest in having so now

Geoff:  I get that but it’s a very different situation right and I feel like at the end of the day everybody makes choices and i’ve made the choice to live my life as best as I can without wanting to change things that I can’t change and it’s not my responsibility to make this change like at the end of the day I’m the man I am because of the people that were in my life and are in my life right like when I look at who I am as a person I can’t think of how much better I am because I looked up to my brother instead of looking up to my father and when I look at what it’s like to truly love and truly love like a person for who they are I can’t think of how much better I am learning from you than learning from my father right like being but being the person that I am and trying to love and have the relationships that I have is entirely based on you know you and and the way that you love me and the way you’ve shown me what it’s like to have true love when I look at our children in the way that they so unconditionally love people I look at that and I say how how can you not want to be there how could you not want to hold that person a little person and be like hey you know what I love you I’m proud of you I want to be there and when my dad made that decision to say you know what this isn’t what I want everybody makes decisions and you know what I don’t understand it but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get to make that choice just like I get to make the choice not to call him just like I get to make the choice to say if you want to be here you make the effort to be here and that’s where my head is at right now and I understand that people change I understand that you know I’m sure there were difficulties in his you know in his marriage with my mother but if you make the decision to leave and you want to come back you know you better make that decision and you better do it and I think it’s cowardly for you to turn around and expect your child to do that and to be fair I’m sure there’s lots of children out there you know like that like want to go find their lost parent

Nicky:  I would be that kid 

Geoff: I totally get it right because you have unanswered questions but I don’t need the answers to those questions I don’t need to know I already know that I have the people that I need and I think that’s where you and I differ right

Nicky:  yeah well thank you so much for sharing your story and your dilemma

Geoff:  I don’t think we’re posting this right we’re not going to post this whole story.

Nicky: ] I think this is a huge uh this is really a turning point for you because you haven’t um you’re in this weird spot right now and I think that regardless of the decision that you make I think that a lot of people you know considering the divorce rate considering how many dads or moms have really left I think there’s a lot of people in your situation where they are broached with that that question should I give my dad a call or should I should I not or should I give my mom a call or should I not and 

Geoff: I think one of the big things that we have to talk about though is the fact that I think that a lot of parents on one side or the other like especially with the way that our court systems everyday work there’s a lot of parents that want to be a part of their children’s lives they reach out they want to be there they want to be a dad the children are their lives but for whatever reason the other spouse or ex-spouse chooses to cut them out chooses to alienate them from their kids I don’t hate my father my mom was never the person to turn around be like your dad’s an asshole you know don’t have anything to do with him my mom was never like that 

Nicky: did she not talk about it at all

Geoff: no, she didn’t talk about him 

Nicky: yeah 

Geoff: right but she didn’t speak poorly of him and she never once said hey don’t go reach out right she never kept him from me at least to me right I don’t know what happened behind the scenes I don’t know if she told him hey never come back but I can tell you that for me nobody ever turned around and said hey I told your dad never to call you I told you know whatever like this isn’t happening in my mind the choices that were made were their own like my mom made her choices my dad made their choices and that was that 

Nicky: I really appreciate you sharing your position and being so candid with how you’ve been feeling.  Thank you to everyone who tuned in today to listen to this episode.  I hope you all know that no matter what you’re going through in life I’m always rooting for your success.   Until next time.   See Ya.