It’s been a long road to find my family. I can’t think of anything barring of course my children, that has taken up so much time and effort and great globs of angst. It’s a sad but true statement that I have quite literally put my life on hold because of my desire to meet them. I know logically that we decide who we are and live our lives accordingly, but somehow I refused. I don’t think it was a conscious thought, it was more a sense of disconnect as I was growing up that seems to have continued until I was found by Stretch and the Doc.
I was raised in a home I didn’t understand and didn’t particularily like. I felt completely alienated and alone. I would look at my family and have no basis for self-discovery. Where did I get this mop of hair, why do I think the way I do and what is it about bagpipes that makes me howl? Funny that, considering my family turned out to be Scottish
You can match up physical attributes when you place a child with a new family, but it’s very seldom that one manages to land up with people with the same spirit, or in the same soul group. Some are lucky that way, as for myself things were a little different, and THEY were a little different, it was a jarring and off – key experience.
I have gone through enormous change along this path. Every step of the way I’ve felt myself re-connecting. Of course I’m older now, and have far more strength and understanding than before so the process has become easier with time. Meeting my father and then years later my brother, was frankly traumatic. My identity was so closely bound to them I couldn’t see myself for the longest time. It was only years after meeting my brother that I finally not only accepted, but understood that family are an extension of you and your life, not the main core.
If we are lucky our families add to what we already understand about ourselves. They love, assist, guide, argue and all the other good stuff that becomes relationships, but they don’t create you (except of course for your parents). I didn’t allow myself to exist really. I was waiting to find them, so that I could form myself from scratch, using them as my blueprint.
I guess one could say that if my childhood had been happier I might not have disconnected so completely. Perhaps that’s true, but somehow knowing my innate need to question everything I believe that it would have made the process less difficult but I would have been just as obsessed with finding them.
This weekend is about to bring along another chapter in the journey. Today my eldest daughter ‘The Seasprite’ is travelling to Scotland to meet the family for the first time. It’s always been me that goes in first, but somehow this bit just feels right this way. I really wish I was going too, it burns that I’m stuck in Africa too far away to do anything – BUT I realised again in the last couple of days that this is not only MY journey. The Seasprite has been with me through all of the reunions and suffered me through years of DIS-connections. The Scots are OUR family. The search for MY mother was also the search for HER grandmother. I tended to forget that over the years.
I am guilty of ‘hoarding’ the family, so to speak. My eldest was raised by a mother who had no idea who the heck she was, and is now slowly discovering the answers. MY discovery is that my child needs to experience the same kind of journey in order to make the same kind of discoveries about herself and them and the world at large.
So this weekend my daughter has been released completely from mothers’ apron strings and is off to meet ‘The Scots’, on her own, gulp!!!!
My baby’s all grown up – I guess I’d better hurry and catch up!
The Seasprite is about to discover something new to add to her personal library of self, and they are about to get a sampling of us to add to their stores and therein lies the magic of chance and grace.
But for now I wait and fret and hope my new uncle D is not setting traps as he has promised……….