Do know all your close relatives personally? And some more distant ones as well? Do you have access to their phone number, home address and know their birthdays, occupation and maybe other details? Yes? Well then – congratulations. I do not. There is an issue with this in my life right now and it just burns in me – I need to write about this. However, since it does touch on private information about others, I will be quite vague sometimes and hope to be still clear enough to make my point.
I grew up with a lot of family that was not there. Some people who should have existed that were never properly grieved for. Others far far away because of decisions made by people who wanted to avoid the mess of a complicated family, not respecting their children’s rights. Then Family that could, that should be close, kept away to keep the secrets that needed to be kept in order to maintain this wonderfully tidy construct. And finally those not interested in contact, for what reasons? I can only guess. Why do people do this? I can only imagine the adults sitting together while the baby sleeps discussing things that will so greatly decide another’s fate. What did they say? Maybe they said a child would only be confused by these things, it could not possibly understand them (while what they were really saying was that they did not want to find a way to explain). Maybe they said the others were not “really family” anyways and that this must be taken care of by them alone. Maybe they never thought that years of loneliness are so much more damaging than some confusion.
And then years later when we are the adults. Why someone is not curious to meet a close relative – another thing I do not understand. It cannot be a fault of mine because I had not even had an opportunity for any mistake. What do they think? Again I can only guess. Maybe they want to forget the mess, forget what connects us in the first place? Or is it really just the lack of interest? Am I the strange one for my curiosity? For 25 years I have longed to bridge this gap and still my desire for information has not diminished in the slightest. Why? What do I hope to find? One part of the reason certainly is that I see the power of the genes. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they fit right in with their family and consider these things results of nurture. But I have not fit in. I know my interests are not a result of nurture – they are my nature that came out even though it was unexpected, unwelcome where I was. Maybe that is what makes me so curious to see for myself what more lies in my blood, things I could not possibly conclude from an internet research. My desire to find out just keeps growing with each unbelievable coincidence I find. Will it ever go away?
I am all grown up now, but years of manipulation and forced distance have left their marks. We are all trapped in those learned behaviors. And still have to live with the consequences of other’s decisions. Maybe forever.