@soup, something that stood out to me above all else. It's something that you've alluded to but not directly stated yourself. Before your search began in earnest, you had very little to go off. You had no idea who he was, save for a few tidbits about him being very secretive. As things heated up, as you found out more, his avoidance, his unwillingness to even entertain the thought of meeting you, would basically have been a confirmation of sorts of your worst fear - that your Dad is an arsehole who not only does not give a shit enough about his son to stay in his life, but is actively trying to avoid answering for it, taking zero responsibility. From what you have said, the reality was nothing like that. In my mind, it seems to me that the reason he left in the first place is that he is so unsure of himself, so cautious as to what he should invest his affection in to, that he was too terrified to even make a go of it. Like you said, effectively a simple man who lives off the land, overwhelmed by hustle and bustle, a social awkwardness. This is the complete opposite of the uncaring and unrepentant man that he seemed he could be. You know what I think? I think he loved you. I think he has always loved you. I sincerely doubt that there was a day that went by that he didn't think of you. The reluctance to meet you wasn't because he didn't want anything to do with you. I think that he didn't want to be put in to the position to disappoint you again. That's what this "no expectations" is about IMO. Who knows what has happened to him in his past, or what he has done in his past. There may be things beyond abandoning you that he is not proud of and does not know where to begin opening up, even if he wanted to. That may be too much for him. You are right, it may well be the last time you ever see him. But again, he will never stop thinking of you, never stop loving you. It seems to me you've found all your answers. Not only who your father is, but why he did what he did. And they seem to be nothing to do with rejecting you, with not caring about you, not thinking that you are not worth having in his life. What he did was wrong, and nothing can ever fix that, but now, for the first time in your life, I think that maybe you can start to understand. In the circumstances that you were born in to (if I recall correctly), you were like the city - simply too much, too bright, too loud, too busy, for a simple man to handle. He shied away because he was ashamed and thought he couldn't endure it. Not because of who you were. That feeling of what was "broken" in you? It stems from this feeling of rejection, of worthlessness I presume. Maybe the feeling has been that you, yourself, are literally flawed, broken, which is why you were rejected. Maybe for the first time ever, the reason you feel like it's been lifted is because you now know you weren't rejected. You don't feel broken any more, because you were never broken in the first place. Either that or I read too much in to stuff. Whatevs, still happy for you.