This past weekend I was instructed to write a letter to my birth parents, introducing myself and explaining why I would like to be put into contact with them.
Needless to say, it’s been tough.
It’s a first impression, plus so much more, all wrapped up in a letter and a few photographs. Given the importance of a first impression, all I could think about was what to include in the letter. What kinds of things would convince them to contact me or at the very least, leave an impression with them that says “I’m someone I hope you can be proud of; I turned out okay.”
Talk about pressure.
It had to be perfect.
And given my tendency to always fall a little below the mark even after an obscene amount of hours, hard work and careful consideration, and the consequent, unsettling realization that my very best is other peoples’ mediocre, “perfect” became that much more stressful.
At first everything I could think of to include got nixed for one reason or another, mainly because I couldn’t sway away from an endless stream of sarcasm that would look something like this:
To the people I burdened and wasn’t enough for,
I’m sorry for my parasitic tendencies during those nine months, but thanks for putting up with me long enough to enable me to live with complete strangers. I’m sure the adoption agency told you that it was “for the best” and that “I’d have a good life,” and they were right: I have had a good life.
I’ve always had a roof over my head and have been well nourished, so my basic, physiological needs have always been met.
I could talk about my childhood a little, but have a difficult time recalling a single fond memory, so I’ll spare you the details. (Don’t worry, it was nothing too traumatic…I’m just having a hard time moving on.) But to reassure you: my basic needs were met. Those other needs are just for fun, right?
That about sums it up.
It’s been a real blast.
The entire time this stream of sarcasm was coursing through my body, I could realize that I didn’t mean of word of it (and was embarrassed for even having such angry, bitter thoughts), but it was my attempt to mask the pain of having to write the letter in the first place.
It felt so strange and unnatural to be having to introduce myself to the two people who gave me life and knew me before I was born. After all, if anyone should know me the best, it should be them, right?
It felt even stranger having to explain “why” I wanted to contact them– um…because I should have never been separated in the first place…? Talk about going against what nature intended.
All of it is unfair.
And it hurts.