This is my fourth attempt at this post. I have been silent for so long, and for that I apologise. This isn’t any sort of comeback, and I feel like it is going to stir some very controversial reactions amongst my circle, but I am a blogger who puts it all out there. I tell my story in the hopes that it makes it easier for you all.
I am lost. I am lost and stuck on repeat. The same thoughts of pent up anger are swirling around in my tiny little head. You see, the last year of my life has been all about finding who I am. For the first time, probably in forever, I am learning to stand on my own two feet. Me, myself and Alfie the cat. Okay, so I know he doesn’t really count, but still. I did not realise until two months ago that I would be tearing myself apart in order to find myself. I know I am in there somewhere, and it is just a case of tearing back the wallpaper until I find the bare wall, I guess.
I touched upon this in one of my last blog posts, however in order to protect people, I held back. Only I didn’t really hold back, I just held it in. I haven’t been able to breathe out a sigh of relief since.
The pressure on my shoulders is immensely overwhelming.
As a child, my mother didn’t want me. As a child, I was left in the arms of other people.
I wanted to write this post to maybe connect with some other adopted children. Or maybe it was to be able to take a deep breath for the first time in months. I don’t know.
But my god, am I bitter. I am so angry.
The story is a little hazy for me, and I might get a few things wrong. But here we go.
When I was born, for whatever reason, my birth mother decided she couldn’t keep me. She left me pretty much full time with my Grandparents, who I always adored more than there are stars in the sky. They went on holiday, and left me with my aunt and uncle – my mothers sister and her husband. After spending two weeks with me, the story goes that they fell in love with me, and could see that my Grandparents weren’t the spring chickens they once were, so decided to take me full time. They were granted guardianship by the court, as family members cannot adopt other family members children (or something like that). Anyway, life to me since then has been my norm.
I remember as a child, I would constantly wonder where my biological father was, but I never found out until recently, thanks to the power of Facebook. I would spend hours locked in heated arguments with my dad (my uncle) about how he wasn’t my real dad, about how I was never going to see him as that. About how we would never get on because he could never replace a man I only had an idea of. I would write signs that banned him from my bedroom and I would refuse to talk to him. Every single conversation would spark another round between us. He wasn’t my dad. He couldn’t tell me what to do.
10 years on, and I couldn’t ask for a better father figure. I wince every time I relive those moments of heated arguments and screaming matches. He taught me to be strong. He taught me respect. He did nothing but love me. He did nothing but accept me as his own. He always was, and he always will be, my dad.
As I have grown up, and come to accept my circumstances as much as I think possible right now, I realise that I am not as bitter about my birth-father as I thought. He was never in my life. He did a favour for me by walking out when he did. Not because he is a terrible person. Not because he wasn’t adequate and didn’t fill the role requirements of the job. But because he simply left. He walked out of my life and stuck to his word by never returning. And I am okay with that.
My birth mother however, is a whole different ball game. You see, I have an older brother by her, and I have never, ever, ever understood why it was me and not him. Again, I knowing what I know now, I never would wish it to be the other way around. But there were still hours spent crying as a child that I was never good enough to be kept. I was the runt of the litter, thrown into the sale bin.
I remember when I was a young child, I asked my mum (my aunt) if I could spend some time at my birth-mothers house. She agreed, and dropped me off for an afternoon. It lasted a whole twenty minutes because I screamed the house down, I couldn’t stop crying. My mum, as in, the incredible woman who took me as her own 24 years ago, has always been protective of me, but at a distance so as to not influence my decisions. The table was always open for me to make contact. I just decided to never sit at it.
Fast forward a few years and there was a party at my other aunt’s house (see, it’s confusing isn’t it?!). It was all fun and games until my birth-mother pulled my pants down in front of everyone. This a memory that until recently, I had forgotten. I think it was a way in which my brain was protecting me from the embarrassment that I feel as I type this. This for me, is the first memory I have in my life that still sparks that ‘sheer embarrassment sinking feeling in my stomach’ type of feeling today. I have tears in my eyes as I type this. I just do not understand how somebody could embarrass a child that way, let alone a child that they decided wasn’t good enough to be in their life.
There is only one warming memory I have of this aspect of my life. My Grandad was really unwell in hospital. I was 16. I remember us all having to say goodbye to him, and as I left the room the first person I saw was my real brother. We had this surreal moment of crying and hugging. It was the first, and the last encounter we ever had as brothers.
There was an awkward week in my life when she and my brother came to live with us. That’s a story I will never repeat. But I will tell you that for the first time in my life, being at school was the better option compared to being at home.
In 2013, I moved to Liverpool. We had been in our house around a week when we decided to head to the local music festival for an afternoon. I bumped into my childhood best friend who I had not seen since we drifted a year or so before. We had a very strange catch up, and then decided to head out for dinner. During dinner, I got a message from my real mother. Somebody with whom I had not had proper contact with since my Grandad’s funeral in 2009. She turned up to the restaurant. Drunk. She ate with her then partner, and left without paying. I was humiliated. But a part of me pined for a relationship. A part of me was still trying to establish some deep level connection, hoping that we could have a relationship. I was wrong. We headed out for some drinks. She got drunker. She dragged us around every bar in Liverpool looking for a mojito. Her partner at the time asked me if I was her nephew. She began hysterically laughing. Telling him that she’d already told him the story and that she would repeat it when they got home. I couldn’t believe it. Something that was, and still is the source of most of my life pain was funny to her?!
I wanted to leave.
For two hours I had been dragged bar to bar. I had been reminded of how great my brother was. How amazing his life was. I couldn’t even gather the confidence to tell her about my life. Here I was, trying so hard to get a relationship with the woman who gave birth to me, only to have her remind me why I wasn’t good enough in the first place.
And that was it. The last time I ever saw the woman who should have been my mum. For a few years I was okay with it. I was happy that she had entered my life, only to mess it up one final time. I stopped pining for her. I stopped hoping that one day we could have some weird sort of relationship.
Then 2017 happened. I honestly cannot tell you why. But for the first time in my life, I am so, so bitter about it. Maybe it’s all finally coming to a head, or maybe it’s because I didn’t deal with it as a child, I don’t know. But I am angry. I do not understand how somebody can do something so ruthless. I am struggling to grasp why I spent so long pining for her.
And I am done.
I am done with the situation. I am angry at each and every one of my family members who still have contact with her. I understand why, though. It didn’t affect their life in the way it has mine. But watching her getting invited to family events, or to hear how her life is going is not only painful, but it makes me cold towards the family I once adored.
I know that I am speaking from a place of selfish bitterness. But I feel I have the right to do so. This happened to me. This shaped my life. Sometimes I feel like I am only walking a certain path because of what happened.
There has never been an explanation from her
There has never been an apology.
All I have truly taken from the situation is abandonment issues. I don’t like it when people don’t reply. I don’t like it when I am not a regular in somebody’s life. I don’t like to enjoy myself, because why should I be good enough as an adult, if I was never good enough as a baby? I overcompensate. I buy peoples love and affection because I am scared that not doing so would show people why I am not good enough. I constantly want to be loved. I want attention and affection and I want to know that I am good enough. The whole time, I am reminding myself that I wasn’t good enough for my own mother, so why should I be good enough for anybody else?
My mental health stems down to one act 24 years ago.
Did I mention she’s now studying to be a psychiatrist? I have no words.
What I will say, however, is that the happy part of me is grateful.
Because it wasn’t all bad you see. I was welcomed into a whole new family. One that is better than anyone can ever imagine. You see, the family I am a part of is lots of different people all stuck together with a bit of glue. I was welcomed into an environment where we get to have Sunday catch ups and the funniest little group chat on WhatsApp. I have been gifted with the most incredible, gorgeous niece any uncle could ask for. I have been given a brother and a sister in law whom I love more than anything else in the world, even if we don’t really say it often.
As for my mum and dad? Well there are simply no words. Two people who decided to give this human being a real chance in this world. Just two ordinary people who live ordinary lives, only in my eyes they will always be superheroes. Whenever somebody talks about selfless acts, I always smile, because the biggest selfless act of all was done for me. How do you ever repay somebody for sacrificing their life in order to make sure another life is given every opportunity possible?
All of the arguments, all of the late nights, all of the conflict, I think has been worth it. They have never taken anything away from me, only filled my life with more opportunity and positivity that anybody could be gifted.
Yes, I am bitter. Gosh am I angry. But writing this post and having two months of reflection upon a situation that has burdened me for 24 years has shown me how truly lucky and loved I am. Many families are stuck together through DNA, bonds and blood. My family however, stick together because we love each other and because all those years ago, we chose to.
When I started writing this, I felt like I would be apologising for it. I had this feeling that I shouldn’t be doing it. Rarely am I selfish when it comes to my situation, and I think that it is half of the problem. I won’t apologise for this. I want to tell you all my story. Because after 24 years, I finally found the route of my anxiety, my depression and my abandonment issues. And that for me, is a huge milestone that I will one day celebrate.
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