Dan and I recently discovered “How I met your mother” on netflix. We’ve been watching it for a month or two and we’re into the last season (season seven, I think?) available on netflix. I like it. It’s funny and as always, Alyson Hannigan is great… Last night, the episode we watched, “White Lies, Black Dads” sucked. It wasn’t poorly written. It was funny. It didn’t fall short of expectations by any means… but the subject matter was just a little too close to home for me.
Barney and James find a picture of themselves in an envelope addressed to Sam Gibbs. On the back of the picture, their mother had written “Your son,” but she hadn’t indicated whose father the picture was for, James’ or Barney’s. The two show up on Sam Gibb’s door step and a black man answers the door, quite obviously James’ father (since James is black too). After the door is opened, there’s a moment of silence and I could feel my heart breaking, watching Barney’s reaction. Of course, the writer’s rescued the comedy of the show… but those brief moments of silence are devastating.
Just sitting there, watching the show… Those few seconds lasted for ever and all of a sudden, I felt my heart breaking all over again, knowing exactly how it feels to be in that position. Not knowing where you come from. Desperately longing to know, to see, to learn… but despite your desperate pleas and sorry attempts at pretending you’re fine… You’re really not. Deep down it kills you in a way nothing else has and nothing else ever will. It’s a hole in your heart that can’t be filled except by knowing… and you live in fear, every day, that you will never know and that hole will always be empty. Every day is the same… and then it isn’t. One day you wake up, expecting a normal day, only to catch a glimpse of hope, thinking maybe you found him, maybe today is the day, maybe you’ll finally know… and you wait on that figuritive doorstep. You stand there with your heart in your throat for weeks, waiting for test results, hoping your journey is over, fearful that it isn’t and terrified of what will happen if this isn’t it. You try to keep yourself from being too hopeful, but it’s impossible. You can’t stop yourself and it only makes the pain that much worse when you discover you’re at the wrong door and all of this was for nothing.
The door opened for Barney, but it was the wrong door. Instead of slipping off to a valium-induced level of calm, Barney did what I have done time and time again: pretended it wasn’t true. This had to be his dad. It couldn’t be anyone else. He couldn’t keep looking, this just had to be it. He pretended he was done searching. He pretended he found his answer. Deep down, he knows he didn’t, just like I know I didn’t all of the times I pretended I didn’t know, or prayed that someone would take pity on me and forge the results of my DNA tests. Deep down he knew… but it hurts too much to admit.
At the end of the episode, the narrator said something hit me like a knife to the heart “Kids, your uncle Barney grew up without a dad and he always felt incomplete because of it.”
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a mother like Barney did. There is no happy ending or substitute. I’ll always be incomplete. Irreversibly and permanently.
And there’s nothing I can do about it.
This will likely be the last blog post I make before I find out if the test results are negative or positive.
I was ready to know Friday, but now that it’s Tuesday… It’s D-day, so to speak. We’re either going to come out of this victorious, or walk away defeated.
And both are terrifying.
If it’s positive… I don’t know if I’ll be able to believe it… I don’t know how I’ll handle that… After all… I’ve been searching for so long, and searching so hard… How would I have ever guessed that I actually would find him one day? Just seems to defy the natural order of all the things that can be my daily life… i.e. nothing going right, especially when I need it to.
If it’s negative… Well, the only silver lining is that this always happens to me… I get my hopes up, and start thinking positive, only for it to be crushed like a tiny little pansy, poking up through the sidewalk cracks.
Both answers, I think, are going to be difficult for me to swallow.
I went to my GP yesterday. I tried to get into a counselor, just for an urgent-type visit, but no one was open for weeks, and an appointment several weeks out isn’t going to help me, so I scheduled with the GP. She got me in really quickly and when she came in, I actually talked about it in depth with her. Sure, I’ve wrote some of my feelings out… But I haven’t actually said them aloud to anyone. Mostly because I don’t think anyone knows what to say… I tried to talk to Dan but he seemed really unsure of how to react and I didn’t want to lay that on him.
My GP was great though. I hope she wasn’t busy because she spent a good chunk of time in there with me. She prescribed me some valium, wished me well and gave me a hug. Took some last night, because she told me to, especially if I couldn’t sleep… I didn’t realize how bad that stuff knocks you out. I fell asleep sitting up with a cup in my hand on the couch and Bre and Dan telling me to go get in bed…
But for the first time in the last couple weeks, I slept.
Of course, I had several dreams. All of which I remember. And all of which revolve around my impending DNA results.
The first one was strange… I was sitting in this hotel lobby looking place, but it was a clinic… and you could see this pool inside of some glass windows, and when they called yur name you had to swim to get the results… but the water was boiling hot. I asked if I could skip the swimming because I don’t swim well, and I had Ava strapped to me and the clerk blew up at me and told me my results would be the absolute last… and there were hundreds ahead of me…
The next one, I was at a girl’s house that I don’t particularly like… Maddi and Danny were inside and getting into all this nasty garbage all over the trailer and I kept lecturing them not to… There were a lot of people there… And a lot of drugs. I kept checking my phone waiting for a call, and I never got one. All of a sudden, I realized I couldn’t find Ava… I went back outside and realized she had gotten out of her car seat somehow, and was facedown on the floor, screaming bloody murder, most likely for hours before I found her. When I got her, I went back in to grab Maddi and Danny and couldn’t find them anywhere.
Then, in another, I was waiting for the phone call… Waiting and waiting… I logged on to Facebook, only to see a picture of the potential father and his wife holding this long, rectangular red piece of paper… Captioned “Sorry! Negative!”
And they all felt real.
I don’t know what I’m going to do or how I’m going to do it, but at this point, all I can do is wait… and hope that my heard doesn’t explode.
Right now, I don’t even know if there are words for how I’m holding up… I was okay before, but now, I’ve hit a low and I haven’t seemed to be able to pull out of it. We were supposed to know the results by Friday… But instead, we’re forced to wait until Tuesday…
I don’t even know what to do or say.
It’s been so hard to keep cool and not turn into an anxious mess just waiting until Friday. I know it’s only four days more… But this is something I have been waiting my entire life for, and have been searching and searching the best I know how to for the last five years. And they make us wait even longer.
I still don’t know what I will do… Positive or negative. Even if its positive, I don’t really know if it will change anything, aside from giving me the peace of knowing, and finding the answers to where that part of me came from. It will bring some closure and healing to an old wound. If its negative… At least I met some great people, formed some friendships, and will keep in touch with, despite the disappointment.
But for now…
I’m depressed. Anxious. Afraid. Nervous. Dreadful. Scared. Alone.
Monday, I might call around and see if any counselors could get me in on a really quick basis… I just want to talk about it and perhaps get some help preparing for either result…
I just feel so alone.
Today is the day… Or rather, today is supposed to be the day.
We’re supposed to have our results by today… I am hoping and hoping they come in. I don’t know how I’ll handle it if I’m forced to wait until Monday.
Honestly, I don’t think I’m prepared for either answer. Positive or negative. Both of them are monumental, and as such, both have the ability to create a tremendous impact on my life. Of course, one is obviously preferable, but life-changing nonetheless.
I don’t know what I’ll do with either answer… Except know.
I’ll finally know.
I feel like a hurricane of emotion and anxiety right now… Today is supposed to be the crescendo, and I’m still holding that note until we get word.
Things in my life are awfully complicated lately. I suppose complicated isn’t the word I’m looking for. Confusing? Conflicting? Complication? Anxiety-inducing? Terrifying? Exciting? Dread-inducing? All of the above and maybe a few more?
I wanted to clear something up in my previous two posts. Re-reading, I may have given an unfair impression of my mother. Although what I said was factual, I didn’t present it in the best light. My mom did the best she could given the situation, and even despite the fact that my father was absent, she still made the choice to keep me and give me an opportunity at life. I had a lot of problems in my teen years, and in a way, she may have thought she was protecting me by not telling me who my father may be. Although I disagree with that choice, and it hurt me greatly, she made the choice she felt was best at the time. Maybe in retrospect she’d have told me then. Maybe she wouldn’t have. Regardless, we can’t change it now and I didn’t mean to make it sound as bad as it came out. There is no checklist of how-to-make-all-the-right-choices-as-a-parent, and just as I’m learning as I go with my own children, she was too. I can’t fault her for that. Thankfully, I’m not in a position to ever have to make that kind of choice with my own children… But I can only imagine how difficult of a situation that must have been for her. We all do things we aren’t proud of, and admitting and owning up to those things, especially to have to do it to such an intense level, can’t be easy and for that, she deserves respect. It takes a big person to own up to something of that caliber. Although I will never understand why she made the choices she made, and it will probably always sting a little, I don’t believe she made them out of ill-intent.
Now that’s cleared up, I did my DNA test. We drove to Anchorage, my grandma, myself and the three kids. I enjoyed the ride. I like it much better when someone else is driving, rather than myself. It was nice just to talk and relax a bit. On the way up, we pulled over before AJ’s roadside memorial. I can’t believe it was two years ago in August…. I fixed it up some while I was there, but I didn’t have much time.
I knew someone had put up a second cross a while ago, but I didn’t know who. When I got up close to it, I realized it was probably Rodney’s mom or dad because they had chiseled “Rest in peace son” into the wood of the cross. I didn’t know Rodney, but I can’t imagine the pain his parents feel, even now, two years later.
We made it to Anchorage and had lunch with Dan’s grandmother who was up from Texas. She had asked me a while ago to make her some diapers for a friend, and even though it took me quite a bit (finals, school, life, etc) I got them done and she absolutely loved them.
So after we had lunch, Grandma and I headed off to find the place where my appointment was. It took us a little bit of searching, but we found it. We went in about half an hour early though because my phone and camera were both dead and I needed to find an outlet. We let the kids walk up the stairs rather than take the elevator. After all, they’d been cooped up in the car all day… Might as well let them stretch out while they can, right?
We waited a little while and they called me back. I had Ava in the moby wrap, and she was being a little fuss bucket. She was her usual self… Angry at the world and screaming her head off. She wouldn’t even calm down long enough for me to fill out my papers even though I had just fed her and just burped her. Sometimes I think she just hates me or something.
Anyways, I popped a boob in her mouth to keep her calm while I was trying to fill everything out. They had to do an identification photo, and there was no way I was taking her out and pissing her off even more… So this is what my ID photo looked like…
I thought it was hilarious, so I had to have the woman take a photo of it.
The actual DNA test was simple. I filled out a form with my information, name, birthday, social security number, address, etc. Then they took my thumbprint, a photo then they had me sign the form and the picture. Then, they took swabs and I had to sign the envelope those were placed into as well. The form, picture and swabs were all then put into a plastic baggie sealed with tamper tape, which was then put into a FedEx envelope and shipped.
It was easy. Almost felt too easy, like “That’s it?” I remember being strapped to a board when I was a little girl, kicking, screaming, hyperventilating while they drew blood from my ankle. I know it was only a cheek swab, but I expected those kind of feelings.
After, we went to Fred Meyer and Wal-Mart, then headed home.
Now all we can do is wait.
The last few days have been a whirlwind. Actually, the last two weeks have been… Between my little sister going missing (and her subsequent recovery) to finding the man who may be my biological father.
It seems as if I’ve been standing in the center of a hurricane. I can’t feel the wind, but I can see what it’s doing and it’s overwhelming.
I’ve spent so long thinking that I would never find my father, and that this part of me would always be void. I’ve spent so long thinking that it was always going to be this way and nothing would change, no matter how much I searched. I’ve been searching so long, that I didn’t stop to think, “What happens when I find him?”
The answer seems like it’s simple. We get a DNA test and go from there. That’s what we did last time. I never talked to the guy. My mom orchestrated it all. I got the cheek swab, we waited for the results and that was it. They were negative, and it hurt, but part of it was a relief. The guy in question wasn’t the most savory character, so even though it stung like nothing before to get a negative result, there was at least some silver lining to it. I wouldn’t have to meet my father for the first time in a jail cell.This time, it’s even scarier.
Because this man, his wife, their family and their friends… They all seem so amazing. Just from the limited interactions I’ve had with them, I can tell they’re such positive people. They didn’t react the way I expected when I approached them. They were open, accepted and excited. They still are. These people are really nice, and I like them. I want to be part of that.
So why is it scary?
There’s still a chance I’m not. There’s still a chance that this amazing family isn’t connected to me at all and that I might be putting them through this all for nothing. I hate the thought of getting them excited, and getting their hopes up just for the test to turn out negative.
There’s a chance that all of those similarities I’m seeing between us aren’t real and that maybe I’m just trying too hard to see what I want to see. There’s a chance that all of the silly little coincidences that have to mean something that I keep stumbling over, really are just that. Coincidences.
That is what scares me.
The problem with this fear, is that there is no solution to it either way. Had I not approached them, I’d have spared them the excitement and possible letdown, but I’d still be dealing with the inner turmoil I’ve always dealt with. The only option, is to continue on, and find out the truth.
So for now, I’m stuck here, in limbo, in the eye of this emotional hurricane, and even though I can’t see it on the outside, I can feel it on the inside.