I’ve started writing this post because while I was reading Vicki-lynn’s post about Why the Unknown will Never be Enough for Adoptees, I felt a massive lurch within my body as the impact of her first couple of paragraphs hit me. Yes, it was physical, and yes, it was jolting, and yes, that’s why I’m here typing this now, based on the theory that if I start typing about it now, I might actually get the post out that I’d want to be getting out later. At least now it’s started I don’t have to write any introductions when I can think of how to word what I’m trying to describe.
Having gone back to the post to look again, it was very definitely the second paragraph that produced the lurch, although I’m not sure whether it would’ve worked the same without the first paragraph being there to set the tone. That being said, this is the second paragraph, because it’s this that gave me the lurch.
To finally touch the ground of your ancestors is healing. To stand before the graves of your great grandparents completes the circle of life. To learn fly fishing from your grandfather whose prominent nose you inherited, and look into the laughing brown eyes of your grandmother is a priceless joy.
Being a Brit. born and bred, I generally have less mileage to cover to do things like touching the ground of my ancestors, however, I am pretty much slap bang in the middle of the two directions. Maternal line is Portsmouth/round these parts (I think, could be Plymouth; definitely one of them two naval places, no pun intended), and paternal line’s Scot. As with all the rest of my life, I’m balancing precariously in the middle, being dragged in both directions.
If I want to do any visiting of maternal side direction, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing it on my own – at least the research part, because while the siblings ‘know’ the history, I’m thinking they’re likely to be far more like the cousin mentioned in Vicki-lynn’s post. It’s not like I can ask me mom, either now, since I walked out on her on Mothers’ Day. As for the rest of the family, I’ve met a couple of cousins, ‘n’ that’s it. One cousin I ‘met’ by virtue of being in the same year at college with her, and it wasn’t until long after I’d partied ’cause the loud-mouth had left that I found out I was related to her. Then again, finding out she was one of us does also explain why I didn’t like her, ’cause there’s not many of us ‘cept me bruv ‘n’ nephews that do seem likeable on the maternal side (which isn’t to say I don’t love my sis very very much, ’cause I do, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her too – just ask Daughter :p). The other cousin I met when he lived in the place bro moved into after ’cause it’s only up the road from here, however, haven’t seen him in a couple of years since he skanked off to live with his missus ‘n’ new baby. He did say we’d still see him, but we haven’t. I’ve got three maternal aunts, none of which’ve shown any interest in wanting to get to know me.
Paternal side I can probably get far more information easily simply by asking family on FB – which isn’t to imply that many of them seem all that bothered by my existence either though. My sis has declared that I’ll never be one of them to her, which while yes, it does bite, amuses me since her efforts at pretending I don’t exist are obviously not going very well if she’s been posting about me on Twitter. My bro did, eventually, deign to meet me last year, after much nagging, but I’m guessing from his lack of any real contact that I obviously didn’t make much of a very good impression on him (which no doubt our sis will be delighted to read :p). I did, as with the post this one’s based on, get to meet my paternal nan, and would very much like to meet her again too. This is proving difficult though, despite the fact that she only lives around the corner from dad, who doesn’t even live ten miles away. If I’m gonna go to see my nan, then I’m going to need my dad there because unlike all the rest of her grandkids who grew up knowing her, I can’t understand a damn word she says ’cause I have trouble understanding the Scot accent she has. It’s sad really ’cause I’m losing out on all this time when I could be going to get to know her, but I need to go with my dad, and even just turning up and finding him in is a challenge, let alone getting him up ‘n’ out again so’s we can go around the corner. I’ve also met one of my paternal cousins, who only lives five minutes away in the car. Been round there a few times, however, it kind of fell off when I wasn’t sure if I was really welcome there still or not. Yes, I can ask, I know, but that’d involve putting myself in a place to be outrightly rejected, as well as insisting that she say something either positive or negative, when she may be quite happy that I haven’t said anything about not going around there. It is saddening however, when my bro drives half way down the country to visit them, yet doesn’t even text a hello. Yes, I know I could say something about that too, but would you really wanna find out if people’re not interested in you when you’re aching to be around them and learn them and get to know them because you’ve already missed out on knowing them for so long?
I know I’m gobby on most things, but this post’s the closest I’ve got to saying anything about any of this other than in snippets with people close enough to talk about such stuff with. I’ve had to say something somewhere though because I know damn well it’s been eating me up, no matter how much I try to just ignore it and carry on, but it’s like I said in a previous post, Adoption Blogging – It gets complicated.
Actually, from today it could be getting even more complicated too, due on whole to the continued influence of MaggieT. Had she not died today, I wouldn’t be hivering hovering batting around FB not knowing quite which way to turn. Y’see, adad worked for the National Coal Board back before it (the NCB) got shredded by MrsT, and so I’ve spent over quarter of a decade intensely disliking the Lady because that’s the way the crumbs fell. However, dearest darling daddy dear (bdad, iow) was a para, and so was on the other side getting all the sweetness and light from her, and so had I grown up knowing him (either instead or as well) then my whole approach to day could have already been decided and settled, but nope, instead I’m torn. I’m already torn by those friends declaring I should be unfriending them if I’m in either of the above camps (like/hate her), but also because I have no idea which way to turn because I don’t want to be alienating anyone, let alone my dad whom I love very very much (there was a post a while back on one of the adoptee blogs about an adoptee who’s a quivering wreck daddy’s girl at heart, but I haven’t been able to find it again since I read it, but if you know the one I’m on about, that’s the same as I am). Thus far, I’ve played it what I HOPE is at least relatively safe by not particularly openly celebrating, but I have linkied a few ding-dongs in a single post.
See, how complicated adoption makes absolutely everything?!
Of course, compounding absolutely everything else that’s already been delved into is my overly maniacal mind, which likes to tease me with snippets, suggesting things like that not only is pbro ‘n’ cousin apathetic towards me now they’ve met me (which I *think* is supposed to be better than outright rejection, but at least with outright rejection, I know it’s there and I’m not left wondering and pondering like I’ve spent so much of my life doing up until reunion anyway), but that they actively dislike me, and instead of just (for example) unfriending me on FB (with any ensuing drama that such things may create within the family (not that I expect it would, I’m the outsider, after all, not them <sigh>)), they’ve decided to instead be as visibly happy to be around each other (five minutes down the road from me, despite pbro living hundredish miles away) in an effort to rub in just how excluded I am. This actually cropped up as a sort of real issue last year, too. I turned 40 on my birthday last year, and it would’ve been nice had someone said happy birthday to me – especially if it’d been my dad – but no-one did. To be honest, I wasn’t too knocked by it because (a) I don’t do FB happy birthdays or anything like that ’cause I’m crap at dates and would hate to miss someone important’s birthday, so it’s easier to do no-ones; and (b) they hadn’t even known about my existence for a whole three years by then and so can mostly be forgiven for not knowing when my birthday is, especially since I haven’t got it set to show on FB so they don’t even get a reminder from there. It would’ve been nice to at least hear from my dad though, but no. Of course, when one of my (not-as-yet-mentioned-in-this-blog) other cousins had her 40th birthday a few days later, there were tons upon tons of celebratory congratulations from all over the family. At that point, I finally lost it, and decided I’d GOT TO say SOMETHING to my dad. It took a while, not least because he’s not always in when I call over (’cause I do sporadic visits since I’m over that way a fair bit anyway), but eventually we were in the same room at the same time and having previously broached the subject in a PM on FB to him, we got to talk, and he got to tell me how daft I was being and that I’m not excluded. But still there’s all these family functions that I don’t get invited to. But I’m not excluded. And so with the crap my head churns out, today’s post from my cousin sharing a pic of my dad stood cheerfully alongside Thatcher before I’d worked out how to phrase anything similar, and obviously shared by both my bro ‘n’ dad, has again kicked my head into over-drive because it’s already being torn ’cause of growing up in the other extreme.
<takes a deep breath>
I’d write more, I think, if I carried on, but I think I should probably stop now ’cause at least this post works as just the one topic; adoption reunion, and how it carries on the tearing us apart that adoption did to us in the first place.