Years ago I hired a specialist to see if he could find my father. Unfortunately, it would have cost so much more money than I had so I had to accept that I would never know who the sperm donor was. It made me wonder though what I would have said to him, what I would have wanted to come from actually finding him and his family. Would he even be alive? The little information I have about him was given to me by my grandmother years before she died. She said I looked like a picture he had shown her of his Italian grandmother. I wish I could have seen the picture.
I have always wanted a family, for as long as I can remember thinking, every night I would pray (eventually I started to pull away from the indoctrination and create my own belief system that did not involve hers) , when I was living with my biological mother she would watch me and make sure I did the whole routine that she taught me. When I was in foster homes I would just lie in bed and think and wish things were different. Honestly, it feels like things haven’t changed all that much really. I am still unhappy. I am still lonely. I am still longing for the family that was never really mine and I am still wishing I was different and my life was different. I am trying to make it different. I am, but then I feel like I have always been.
I have been stuck in this loop. Which is why I started to seek help a year ago and why I am trying medication to help with the symptoms and therapy to help with the process of “healing”. The definition of which I am still trying to understand. My psychologist says “Keep writing Jess.” So I am writing. Which, in a way shows that there is some improvement because it has been years since I have been able to write, fantasize and create stories. I lost my ability to create.
Right now I am stuck in this loop of work, then home to cocoon and accomplish nothing. I feel worthless. Useless. I am tired and worn out and I am so confused about this whole process. I am tired of having panic attacks every day. I am tired of cringing when I have to listen to people talk, their voices grating on me like nails on a chalk board. I am tired of feeling alone, like I could disappear and no one would truly notice.
I have a few men that I work with who I listen to as they talk about their daughters, about being fathers and every time it breaks my heart and fills it. Because I know that their daughters will never have to go through what I did. These men are good fathers and they love and protect their children. Their children will never feel what I did. Their innocence will not be ripped from them and they will grow up happy and normal and I envy that while I love it.
It goes back to that damn question that pops up in every (almost every or many at least) survivors mind. “Why me?” Why me? We always want answers, why do some of us get born into “normal” happy families and others suffer and struggle? Why do some of us make it while others don’t? Why do I keep going even thought all I want to do is lie down and sink into the darkness, let it overwhelm me and suffocate me? I feel like I am suffocating now. I have felt it all day.
I woke up this morning and I could not breathe. I mean I was breathing, but it felt like I wasn’t and I am standing there breathing and saying to myself, “Dude. If you weren’t breathing you would be dying. So fuck off panic.” Panic of course had its own response and it just laughed and intensified and my day was filled with flashbacks and melancholy and self-despair and grief.
I forced myself through the work day trying to get as much done as I could. I tried to force it down. I tried to ignore it. All it did was make the feeling of suffocating worse and made me near tears all day. Couple times they slipped through and I thought about how tired I am of all of this.
Healing takes time. I know this but damn I am tired. I am tired of the well-meaning comments, I am tired of the pity, I am tired of the inability I seem to have to break through this wall. So I write. I write to purge myself. I write to understand myself. I write to keep sane.
Some people will be able to relate, some won’t. Some will feel happy or grateful and understand and some will get angry and be asshats. I have run out of fucks to give so asshats are banned instantly. It is okay to feel. It is okay to express those feelings and anyone who tells you different is simply an asshat. I don’t care how they got that way but they cause damage and pain therefore they are asshats. Agree, disagree, just refer to my statement about not having any fucks to give.
My entire life has been filled with longing. My entire life has been filled with grief. All because the first twelve years were filled with trauma. Forty fucking years with at least twenty missing because of disassociation. I was denied love, nurture, care, food, adequate education (in the beginning, I did make it through college but because of the early loss, I missed so much, it made everything so much harder.), safety and security and of course the abuse, verbal and psychical and sexual.
So, forty years on this planet and now I am finally trying to understand what it means to actually heal. What is healing? My psychologist said she thinks it is getting rid of the Shame. The Shame that taints everything. The Shame that makes me internalize everything. The Shame that hits me at random intervals causing me to feel like I am losing myself, that I don’t know myself. The Shame that makes me pull back from the world. The Shame that makes me feel inadequate and unlovable and unworthy. Echoes of the past.
I think I will be working on this for quite a while, thinking about what healing ultimately looks like for me. Because I feel that healing is something deeply personal and different for all of us. We all have this main goal, to Live. To be free from the past. But that is so damn broad and how do you make that happen? Thus the question after “Why me?” “How do I heal?”
Will the medication I am taking help with the therapy? Will the therapy help? Does writing everything out help? Is confronting it now, as an adult the key? I still don’t know what the fuck healing means to me. I need to keep working it out.
Meanwhile, sometimes, when I am in a reflective mood I think about this man. This man that met my biological mother in the MHU (Mental Health Unit) of the hospital while he was recovering from some sort of drug addiction. This man my biological grandmother claimed was my father. This man that held me when I was born and then gave me back to the woman who would contribute to my C-PTSD with her religious fanaticism, bad mothering, psychotic episodes, inability to nature or take care of me.
I have to wonder what he was thinking as he held me. What was he thinking as he gave me up to her. Did he ever think of me throughout the years as I was tormented? As I was abused? Did he live a good life filled with love, family and laughter? Was he kind? What would he think of me if he met me? Not that I give a fuck but I guess I do a little. He gave me away to her and he abandoned me and he allowed me to suffer. So, had I found him, what would I have done?
Would I have gone back to Upstate NY to see him with my own eyes? Would I have tried to talk to him? Would I have written him a letter? Would I have kicked him in the balls with every ounce of strength I had and then spit on him? Would I have felt love for him despite myself? Would I have thanked him for giving me life by donating his sperm? Would I have called him a coward? A dead beat who was incapable to taking responsibility for his actions?
I am never going to know who this man is. I asked my mom once who he was, she was in the middle of one of her psychotic breaks at the time. She told me to call one of our cousins and I did. He asked me if I was asking for her or for me and I chickened out and said for her. I imagine there was a story there, one that was way above my head. Perhaps she was punishing him for something. I don’t know but I never got an answer.
There is no one left now, I have no contact with anyone who might know who the sperm donor was and it grates on me because I want to know who and what I come from. I am so out of reality, a non-existent being sometimes. Lost and confused and I just do not fit in anywhere. Self-loathing. Perhaps when I am able to stop hating myself so much that will be a step toward healing.
If I was going to write a letter to this man who I despise, who causes the rage monster, the darkness that lives inside of me to stir I might say the following. And since I am never going to be able to say it to him, to his face, I may as well just get it out there, into the universe.
Purge it from my veins.
Will it help, I honestly do not know. I am just putting one foot in front of the other here guys. Trying to keep the darkness at bay while squinting at the light as it hurts my eyes.
Dear Sperm Donor,
Dear Sperm Donor,
I have thought often of what I would say to you if we were ever to meet face to face. I am not going to lie, a baseball bat and balls do come to mind. But, as I am not a perpetuator of violence, I figure that would never have happened, I would have felt the urge, but I would have just hit your shins, probably. I have just the bat for it too. She is a beauty. A replica of Harley Quinn’s bat. The dark side of me would like to have that bat covered in your blood and tears of pain. I would hang it up as a trophy, bloody and worn.
But as I wrote, I am not a perpetuator of violence, as much as there are times I wish I could be. All those years I suffered because you did not take responsibility for your actions, I feel like you should suffer. I want you to suffer. I think the reality is that once you handed me back to the woman who nearly destroyed me, you walked away and forgot about her and me.
I was worthy of your protection. I was worthy of your love. You helped make me after all. But then your spineless ass just left and left me with her. Alone. Have you had a good life? I hope not. I hope you suffered just a fraction of what I suffered you coward.
I want you to know that I exist and that I survived, despite everything. I am not sure what the future holds but I think I will survive that too. I am forever marked, forever damaged by what she did to me, by what her friends and the foster families and the fucking community at large with their indifference did to me. By what you did to me by walking away from me and leaving me at her mercy.
I could have been amazing. I had all the tools there, before she got her violent hands on me. High IQ, strong ability to love, caring and the ability to see such beauty in the world it would cause tears if you saw what I see.
I hate you. I truly hate you for being a coward and for leaving me with her and for not protecting me, the being that you helped create. I hate you for denying me a father. For denying me a family. I hate you for being a coward. I hate you for abandoning me and never looking for me.
Did you have another family? Did you have children? I heard that I had a half-brother out there who was born around the time I was, sooo, drug addict and you cheated on your wife? Bit of a dick aren’t you? Your other kids, did they have a good life? Food? Love? Security and stability? I hope so.
Why? It all comes back to that fucking question doesn’t it? I guess it doesn’t really matter. I exist. I am grateful for that. A part of me is at least. The rest of me is trying to keep the darkness at bay. Did you know when she died? It was in the paper and we lived in a small enough town so you much have known. Still you left me to the system didn’t you, you fucking coward.
Did you wonder, even for a second about me? Did you wipe me from your memory as you walked out that door and out of my life? So many questions. No answers.
I am trying to understand who I am. I am trying to figure out what I am and you would not be able to help me with that. I think I once thought you might but I have realized that it is something that I have to figure out on my own, with the help of the people in my life who genuinely love me, so perhaps not entirely on my own.
Here is the thing. I want to know what I come from and I have always felt like a piece of myself was missing because I did not know. My grandmother told me about this picture of your grandmother that you shower her and she said I looked like her. It is difficult not knowing who I am or what I come from. It is even worse to know you turned your back on me and never came for me.
You missed out you know. As much as I struggle, I am a loving person and I am a good person. You are an asshole who deserted his daughter and allowed her to be abused and alone and broken. One thing I have learned on this journey I am on is that forgiveness is bullshit and unnecessary for healing. I do not forgive you Ray. I will never forgive you.
You know, for me, I have always wanted a father. You denied me that. You allowed me to be abused. You allowed me to be lost in a system that did not care and you did not take responsibility for your actions. My mother must have seen something in you for the short time you were together and you in her. Because of your fucked up union I came into existence. So. Thanks for fucking my mother and allowing your sperm to fertilize her egg.
I hate you. Truly, deep down into the deepest depth of my being I hate you. For being a flawed human who did not protect his daughter and who left her with a very sick woman. While you sat down to meals with your family, I went hungry. While you played ball with your son, I was being beaten and forced to read a bible in a locked closet by candle light.
I had to fight my own battles and stand up for myself and find some way to survive. Thankfully I did. Without you. Without a father. There will always be a piece of myself that is missing because I will never know you or your side of the family I come from. I am this half being trying to make herself whole with varying degrees of success.
The reality is that you probably never thought about me again. You have lived your life and you hid your little secret deep down. You really missed out. I was an adorable baby and I am worth knowing.
Ray, I hate you. I will never forgive you for what you did. When I think of that bat, it makes me smile as I imagine what it would be like to make you suffer all the beatings I suffered. But I know that is just a fantasy. In real life things do not always work out do they? People like you, you are incapable of taking responsibility for your actions and you hurt people as a result.
People like me have to find our own way and we have to find a way to make peace with the reality that we will never know the full story and we will never truly know why. Not that it makes any difference. Not really. I exist. That in and of itself is pretty amazing.
You lost out on having a little girl that would have loved you more than anything else. So. Fuck you Daddy. Whoever you truly are, wherever you are.
I do not need you.
I did, but I am over that now.
I think I will always wonder though. I can’t help it. I wonder what you would have thought of me. If you could have loved me. If you would have been a good dad and if you would have protected me. I will always wonder what you were thinking as you drove away from me. Did you feel relief? Did you feel guilt? Did you feel anything?
The Fertilized Egg