How it Went

Last week was a difficult one for me. I really had no idea what to expect. I was about to meet a man who gave me life, his new wife, and his daughter. I had no idea what was going to be expected of me. I was unsure of what my role was going to be. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be what you expected, and the trip would end with an “I’m glad we met, but there really is no room in my life for you right now.”

Your wife had said that she was impressed that I could get in the car with two strangers and go with what the day handed me. The truth is that I was terrified. I presented a calm exterior despite what was happening on the inside. Perhaps life has jaded me in some ways. I’ve had many, many, many people in my life say wonderful things to me, and then turn around and hurt me more deeply than I ever could have guessed. It was a natural assumption that this too could end up that way. It is one thing to say you are accepting of a twenty-seven year old woman that you really don’t know into your life, and a completely different thing to actually make it work.

That first day was interesting for me. I sat on the end of the couch and attempted to internalize all that was surrounding me. Nothing was familiar, and everything was new. This was the equivalent to walking on a tight rope without a net. I wasn’t myself that day. I was a more timid, quiet, and introverted woman, and I am almost never that way. The day came to a close and I was left ambivalent.

The next few days were a whirlwind for me. I get the days confused, and can’t remember what order they came in. This is what I know for sure. Pardon the list, it’s just a bit easier.

• I felt a lot of anxiety to immediately jump into the role of sister. I’ve never been anybody’s sister before. Compound that with the fact that I’m somebody’s sister who is twenty years younger than me, and I’ve never met her or her family before. It was a tad bit overwhelming.
• I do adore my sister. She’s silly and fun, and some of her behaviors remind me of myself. I too stuck my tongue out a lot, loved to strike a pose for pictures as a child, and enjoyed being with all the grown ups. I’m just not used to being around children so often. I hope I did a good job.
• I truly did not care what the house looked like. I wasn’t saying that just to placate anybody.
• I was beyond frustrated the day my mother and I went shopping. We had dinner plans that night for Red Lobster. We truly did rush our shopping and went home sooner than we would have. When we called for directions, and you canceled our plans; I was pissed as all hell. I could have spit fire. I thought it was inconsiderate to cancel plans at the last minute. I could have used that day to visit my uncle while we were already that way. Then, I could have gotten to see him too while we were there. A bit of a warning would have been nice that the plans were changing. This is not to say that I don’t understand why they were changed. In fact, I understand that circumstances were what they were, and that they could not have been changed. I would have just appreciated more notice.
• I truly felt as if the week’s plans were dictated by everybody but me. I’m simply just not used to that. Then, when plans were made, you were late or cancelled. This is in direct conflict with my personality. I was upset and hurt. I felt as if I wasn’t important enough for you to be on time for, or too insignificant to follow through on plans with. I felt these were rationale thoughts considering I don’t know you, and there was a serious lack of effective communication.
• I truly enjoyed spending time with my sister at Friendly’s, and want to thank you for making that happen.
• I politely request that any further comments regarding God and his plans concerning my reproducing cease. I seriously can’t guarantee that I will continue to be graceful and bite my tongue. I do understand that such comments are meant to be helpful, but they sear a hole in my heart. In essence it is as if somebody is saying that my having a child is based on God’s will, and since I don’t have one, then it isn’t his will. Don’t get me started on that.
• I felt a lot of the time there was spent appeasing others’ fears, and that mine were never addressed. (This is partly my fault.)
• I was extremely grateful to my mom for her care and concern and for contacting you with those concerns. However a part of me was screaming, “If I’m important to him, shouldn’t he want to spend some time with me? Shouldn’t this be his idea?!? Why should we have to tell him that I want time for just the two of us!?! Everybody else has him 365 days a year, and I have missed the past 25 years. I don’t want to make him spend time with me. I want him to want to.” Of course, these thoughts lead me down an emotional tear filled road.
• I enjoyed every minute that we got to spend together. It didn’t matter what we were doing. I was just glad to share the day together.
• Saying good bye to all of you was very difficult.
• I’m still concerned that you will disappear. I’m afraid that if I begin to care about you too much, I will end up hurt when you leave.

I did come up with a few questions:

• What made you decide to try and find me when you tried?
• How do you feel about me?
• Am I what you expected?
• Did you think about me throughout the years?
• Perhaps it would have been difficult to have a relationship while I was growing up, but why didn’t you at least write a letter or letters? (Even if you never mailed them, you could have saved them for a day like last week.)
• Why did you never try to see me after the visit when I was little?

So far, that’s how reunion has felt. I’m glad I did it. I do want a relationship with him. I’m just afraid to place to much stock in it just yet. I guess you can say I’m protecting my heart.

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Published in: on March 21, 2007 at 6:59 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So much to process. Thanks for letting us share this journey with you.

  2. This all sounds so familiar.

    I remember those feelings from meeting my birth father 5 years ago. I still have some of them.

    Protecting your heart is totally reasonable. I still do it. We do what we have to.

    If you ever want to talk more about this, email me.

    I am glad you are home and that it went pretty well for the most part. Sometimes, it takes some time for everyone to figure out their place.

  3. What a confusing time for all involved. It’s difficult to even try to imagine. I’m sure you handled the whole visit with infinite grace even when you weren’t happy about it.

    xo

  4. Yes, but I’m afraid he doesn’t like me very much for expressing some of the things I posted here. So, I guess I just have to wait and see. I’m holding my breath here.

  5. Wow. That was so powerful. I think the most interesting part was that you were spinning all the plates, placating everyone else’s fears. But no one was taking care of your own. And how do you change that system so you’re not the middle of the spider web, but simply another supporting thread that holds up and is held up by other threads?

  6. It has to be really confusing for you. Very understandable.


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