Nothing left to hide

Something happened yesterday. Something earth shattering. It was one of those things, that if you’re a keeper of secrets you would be all to familiar with. You carry it with you everywhere. Decisions are made, opportunities turned down out of fear that it will expose you, expose it..

For literally a lifetime, my existence and my identity have been the worlds best kept secret for some. If you know me personally, or not, maybe you’ve just put a few of the puzzle pieces together.. you would know that in my early 20’s I was reunited with one half of my birth parents; my birth mother Natasha. It was at that time that I became aware that my birth father had not ever been open to his wife or family about my existence. So upon this discovery, I made myself a promise that I would never interfere with my birth father’s family or expose his secret. My conclusion has always been that everyone has secrets.. some are just significantly bigger than others.

In addition to this, I became very aware of the other people involved. The family of my birth father, did not ask for any of this, I am not a consequence of their actions and the discovery of my existence could potentially break an entire family unit. I always sensed that if the truth ever did come out, it would be earth shattering. How can you be married to someone for 32 years, only to find out that they’ve hidden something like a secret love child from you? How do you cope when your parents tell you that you’ve got a secret half sibling? I never wanted to be the reason for these innocent people having to consider these questions.

Yesterday it happened. The truth came out. Not by any action of my own, might I add. This was not my doing, not my wish, but I understand why the person responsible finally let the cat out of the bag. Initially I felt completely broken when I considered what would follow on for him and his wife. They would no doubt have a lot to discuss, to work through..but then I’ll admit, a wave of relief came upon me. The last lie. The last secret that I’ve been carrying around. It does feel freeing to know that I no longer have to hide who I am, I can tell my story openly, I can do that Ancestry.com DNA test that I’ve wanted to do for the last 5 years.

I sent a message to his wife apologising for what had taken place. To be confronted in her front yard with this information that had been hidden for 32 years. I cannot imagine the pain and betrayal she would have felt. I feel for her. In hindsight, I have found myself considering why I felt like I had to apologise. Essentially I apologised for existing, for being an inconvenience and cause of pain to her. As for him.. he never wanted me and he has made no effort to reach out. Still.. I’m left feeling raw by this whole experience, constantly having to bring my thoughts back in check and remind myself that the story I began with, the one where I wasn’t wanted.. thats not my story. & this guy, this person that I share DNA with. He is not my father. Through two very brief conversations I have come to know where my yearning to be in the ocean comes from, perhaps where my love of adrenaline also. The rest.. it means nothing.

I have a family. I have three beautiful children and despite feeling like this would absolutely break me in two… it hasn’t. Has it hurt? indeed. Have I felt rejection again and again.. yes. I feel this issue that adoptee’s wrestle with of feeling as though we don’t quite ‘fit’ anywhere… it will be something that I have to continue to punch on with for a lifetime. Nonetheless, I feel a freedom now. It’s out. I’m no longer a dirty little secret. It’s just a small part of my story, and we all know.. its never a good book without a plot twist.

Not sure why I felt to make this one public. I’m still writing a lot, but most of it is in private until I feel such a time to make it public. I just felt that instead of this crew, deciding who I am & what part I may have played in this.. I should give my two cents on the matter.

Sasha Fierce

It takes a village

It’s been rather quiet around here lately. For our little family & some others close to us; life just seems to be throwing a few curve balls. I don’t know whether it’s a half year hiatus that arrived a few months late, or that we have been floating on baby cloud nine for the past three months and I’m finally coming back down to earth. Don’t get me wrong, every day is amazing with our tiny human. It’s just that life happens, & I can’t just take a break from parenting you know?

Last fortnight my dad had a fall in the front yard and cracked his head open. He’s okay, other than being less than impressed that I’m now calling him Humpty Dumpty. He had to stay the night in hospital & due to a prior arrangement my Mum was unable to collect him the next morning. Humpty uses a wheelie walker & has poor mobility so it would have been rather difficult to collect him with a tiny human. My mother in-law kindly watched Sophie while I went to pick him up. After retrieving Humpty from hospital; I went to collect my tiny human and started the drive home. As I was driving, I got thinking about this quote:

“It takes a village to raise a child” – African Proverb

It made me realize that over the past few weeks I have seen the above proverb, lived out through the people around me. I don’t know how I would have gotten to this point in motherhood without the support network that I have around me. I am blown away at the support from my husband, my parents, my in-laws & my amazing friends. It’s the little things that have made the biggest difference to our little family.

Little things like: having someone offer to cook us a meal, my mother in-law watching Sophie for me, my Mum coming over to clean my house, & my friends texting me to see how I’m going. I feel for those who don’t have this kind of community around them. I can imagine that it would be really difficult.

There was a time when I didn’t have a lot of people around me. I didn’t have a child, but I had managed to build a proverbial brick wall around myself in some twisted attempt at self preservation. It sucked. A lot. So after a few months of wallowing in self pity, I pulled myself out of my funk and found ways to connect again. I got online and found some groups that were running in my area. I love photography, so once I found a group of people who had something in common with me; it wasn’t so hard to get talking. I also got connected in my local church. The amount of times that my church community have been there to lift me up when I’m feeling heavy have been too many to count. It also means that I now have a resource pool of many generations of mums who have gone before me to bug with questions about tiny humans.

I guess the point I am trying to make is: life is hard & parenting is even harder. You shouldn’t have to go it alone. If you don’t have friends or family around to support you, branch out and find some people who can. I came across this site a few years ago and I tell people about it all the time. Meetup.com is a website with a group for every interest you can imagine. There are groups for web developers, introverts, knitting, mums groups and extreme sports lovers. You can narrow down the search to groups that meet close to your home or city wide. Another way you can branch out is to check out your local play group. If all of these options are still daunting, then please feel free to drop me a line and I can try to help you look at options near you.

I hope whoever you are & wherever you are that you’re having a great week.

Keep living the dream
Sasha Fierce
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