Twisted up

Submitted on: March 15, 2019

I found out about my situation after the father who raised me had died, as a result of nearly finding out on my own through DNA evidence, and as a grown adult with a family of my own.

I can accept that it was hidden for a time. That part is easy to forgive for awhile. But I was a black sheep, among my peers, among my family, and especially in comparison with my Dad. I think, at least as an adult, I would have had more respect for him had I known. As it was I was duped into believing he was a terrible father when the opposite was true. My impression of him was forged in a lie, and now I regret it. He was a saint for treating me like his own and I wished I could have told him I thought so at least.

Then there are the obvious questions. Things like, what if I had married someone I was directly related to? So I guess we were just going to lie about my medical history until I had some unrepairable condition that might have been prevented?

But then there are others as well. As a high IQ kid who floundered and squandered opportunities, would I have done better knowing a bit about my biology? Would I have understood my expectations if I had known my biological father was getting a graduate degree when I was donated. That I came from stock that understood what I was going through? Did being so different from my parents encourage that alienation? I feel like it did. Would I have been able to develop better coping mechanisms armed with the knowledge of comparison to my biological father? Would I have allowed myself to get so depressed over being so obviously different if I had known the reason why? Would I have known about my ADD before diagnosing my child?

I failed to live up to expectations so often. I was called out for being an outlier and looked at as a problem child. I was loved, sure but I was a headache by my mother’s admission. Could my parents handle knowing I had to get counseling as an adult for suicidal thoughts? That their henpecking me constantly made me feel like a mistake. That my wife urged me to find a psychiatrist who kind made things worse. That I can’t get life insurance now because the psychiatrist I saw put me on a list. Would they be able to swallow those secrets like I have? Would I have even gotten to that place had I known?

I don’t think so. I wouldn’t wish that on an enemy.

I know my parents loved me. I know they went through hell getting me here. I’m proud of everyone involved and their decisions in the beginning.

But I wish they’d have told me sooner.

And the worst part is now I’m supposed to keep it a secret. My Mom is mortified of people knowing as if I was a failed science experiment. She seems obsessed with what other people think. What is wrong with you?! You did something out of love in a time when it was “unacceptable” to have an amazing kid? Right? What’s so embarrassing that I have to keep quiet? You had courage enough to fulfill your biological purpose no matter the cost. You were strong when you wanted a child, but now that I’d like to stop lying about how it was done you’re suddenly done with all that? I have a chance to explain some things that have bothered all of us since I was born. Why aren’t we celebrating?
I can’t tell people I care about? I can’t tell anyone who I am to protect you from your silly fear that some of your shittier friends will think less of you? What’s so upsetting about trying to understand how I’m put together?
What about this situation should make me feel like your deep biological need to have children was dominating your actions only until I was old enough to be recognized as a stranger. That, at that point, you were sick of your decisions and now you had to sweep your actions under the rug and my history with them.

How am I supposed to feel as a grown ass adult when my mother asks me to keep quiet about my lineage… Not for my sake… but for hers.

Because I feel like you think I owe you something. But I don’t, you got the child you asked for. Like you did all the work and any suffering I had to put up with was just a normal childhood. I feel like what your judgmental, senile card buddies think is more important than accepting your child and being proud of who they are and how they got here.
I feel like you intended to keep this secret to the grave and let me sweep up the pieces of a cold, dead trail. And I feel like you’re damn lucky I found out when I did because if you had let it go that long I *would* have hated you, as you apparently feared.

And to the Donor. As I understand it your family was broken before you decided to give part of yourself for adoption. I’m not in any denial. I don’t think you did it for a higher purpose, it was probably easy money and you assumed anonymity. I’m pretty sure you were in your 20s. But you’re a grown grampa-aged adult now. Shouldn’t you know better? Oh the irony of finding out about you on a ancestral DNA service. Your family was looking for their roots, but now I’m not allowed to know mine because you’re private and conservative?

I get it, maybe you’re some hot shot dude. Maybe you’re afraid I’ll make some claim of you or inject myself into your immediate family and affairs.

I don’t want to go to your reunions or your Christmases uninvited. I don’t want to be written into your will. I’m not plotting to borrow money. And I’d be willing to prove all of that. Just like you, I just want to understand. I was on that heritage site for the same reason. I was hoping for a few stories, maybe even a picture. I want to know if you were “different” in school, if you like the things I like that seemed so strange to the family that raised me. If you’re handy like I am? If you like taking on amazing projects. I want to know what music you like. Everything I want could be covered in a meeting at a bus stop like the narration of Forest Gump.

If you could just talk to your lost grandfather, or the parents who gave a loved one up for adoption, would you? Your actions seem to suggest you would. So now that you’re in the role to be the relation that abandons it’s offspring, are you going to make the same decision and saddle me and my kids with the forced curiosity that apparently bothers you?

And how long do you think you can keep this up anyway?! DNA isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Why would you want to be that curmudgeon that did something selfless only to abandon the product of your donation for future generations to learn about?

You don’t even know me and you’re ashamed?! Why? How?!

Pun absolutely intended. Nut… Up…