Tuesday, September 07, 2010

things that shouldn't be said out loud.

Everyone tells me I look like my dad. My birth mothers second daughter looks just like her. They have the same nose, the same mouth, the same eyes, and the same colour skin. I'm the odd one out. With my slanted eyes, swollen lips and skin paled by 25 years of Canadian winter, I don't look like I belong. Probably because I simply don't.

One of the things my father and I talked about before communication came to a halt was the fact that I was the baby that looked like him. I can't help but wonder if I had looked more like my birth mother maybe she would have kept me. My sister was born 13 months after me almost to the day. According to my birth mother, her father like mine and all her children's fathers (excluding the last) too was a deadbeat. So why keep your first and your third (and the fourth and fifth) but not your second?

The child in me wants to scream "because she hated you, that's why!" but adults don't say things like that out loud, or even dare to contemplate the possible validity of such a statement. To be fair, she never got to know me to decide if she hated me or not, but then she did make the decision that she'd rather not get to know me.

When I came to see her, she paraded me around town (my friend in toe) like some sort of freak show, proclaiming to anyone who'd listen how my friend and I were her "two daughters".

I don't know why she did that. I don't know why she does anything, but I hated every second of it.

It was an interesting experiment though. By the end of the trip, my white friend had more than enough of being a minority, and constantly being put on display. I told her welcome to my world. From the time I could remember I was surrounded by people who looked nothing like me, but claimed to be my family. From the time I could remember, I stuck out.. a black spec in a sea of white clinging to the white arm of a woman who everyone knew wasn't really my mother.

I thought it would be different with my birth mother, but it was just the same. People still weren't buying that she was my mother.

I've come to a decision. Whether it be temporary or permanent will have to be determined at a later date. I have no desire to have anything to do with my birth mother. She made the decision that she'd rather not get to know me all those years ago, and now its my turn to decide that I too rather not know her either.

I know I'm over simplifying the situation. I know it was much more than whether or not she liked me or not that made her decide to abandoned her first daughter born, but I do wonder if appearances would have made a difference. I truly believe that people for the most part fool themselves into believing things are much more complicated than they really are in an effort to preserve the idea that we somehow are more than simply animals who act on instinct.

I mean when you think about it, there is nothing wrong with acting on instinct and trusting your gut. We understand so little about our own consciousness that to believe that it is somehow different or more complex than that of other creatures is really rather silly and conceited on our part.

I don't look like my mother, I look like my father. A man she never did know or love. When she looked at me and held me as a baby, did she resent me? Did my appearance remind her of the person who was suppose to save her but didn't?

I mean it happens all the time! I've heard stories of women with children that resemble their father and for whatever reason these women seem to not get past that fact. Its ironic though, because the feeling in regards to my birth mother is mutual.

And I should perhaps feel guilty about it, and to an extent I do.. but not enough to force a relationship with someone I do not know, I do not love, and can't ever see being a positive force in my life. She doesn't look like family. Neither do the rest of her children really.. and that's a disappointment.

Its hard to admit, but things didn't click when I saw my mother, I still didn't get where I fit in. All my life all I wanted was to be part of a real family with people that looked like me. My friend even admitted to me on our trip that if my birth mother hadn't known the right dates she would have thought she were a fraud based solely on the fact that we look nothing alike. As shallow as this sounds, I think if I had resembled her more I might be a little more active in trying to establish some sort of relationship. Cause the thing is, my big sister from my dad's side I love, and did love from the moment I laid eyes on her. We look just alike.

But thoughts like these shouldn't be said aloud, on account that they aren't very nice, and are extremely confusing.


Viajera said...

Like you said, follow your gut. I too have cut family members out of my life. Simple reason: Their presence had a negative effect on me. If you get past that point, where you think that your birth mother can be positive addition to your life, then fine, include her. If not, preserve yourself, preserve your strength. Some people say that blood is thicker than water. That is, no matter how shitty your family is to you, you never cut them out because they are the ones you can rely on, yadda yadda yadda. Those people don't live in the real world.

Don't feel guilty for taking care of you. From what you've written here, I think that you are making a positive decision.

Von said...

We have to look after ourselves and do what is right for us, we've spent so long pleasing others.Cut out anyone who is toxic, follow your gut and have no guilt.

michelle v said...

beautiful and honest

Post a Comment