Everything I have said and am going to say about the feelings that come from being donor conceived have probably already been said. I’m doubting I will have anything new to add. I’m starting to come across literature that has been published on this subject. I have noticed excerpts being shared in one of the Facebook groups which seems to be covering all my talking points and then some.
I also find myself in a very pessimistic state regarding the industry and its shaky ethics. Can our voices really make an impact? This is going to sound absolutely horrible, but even if there are eventually better regulations or banned anonymity, It’s too late for me. My donor was born in 1944 (according to the donor demographics sheet, so who knows), so he’s a senior citizen who may very well be deceased. Yes, it is totally selfish, but if I am being honest, I am not sure I have the energy to advocate. The act of searching for my biological father is emotionally draining as it is. All under the cloud of the state of politics and the American media circus going on, I’m not sure how to feel anything but apathy. I envy those who have the time and emotional energy to devote themselves to the many facets of everyday life in addition to being an advocate for change.
Anyway, here are the items rattling through my head this week:
1. My creation was an anomaly:
• My actual bio parents would never have gotten along in a natural scenario let alone create a life together. I don’t have to have met him to know it. I can feel his personality within mine… meshing with the other factors that built me.
• I am a product of US society’s Christian-based expectation to create a family. This is part of why I do not to create children of my own.
• My mom decided to have me for selfish reasons and donor conception helped to make this possible. She was 19 or 20 when she started trying and a high school dropout. There was no reason to bring life into this world other than to play house and get attention for 5 minutes. (It sounds harsh, but the driving force behind much of my mom’s behavior is for attention.)
• My creation was a business transition. I will say it repeatedly. This wasn’t a family friend helping my parents out. My DNA father sold me for probably what amounted to something under $100, maybe even under $50. I’m left to ponder the possible reasons for this. Is his possible ignorance towards the reality that he was creating lives really an excuse?
2. Being donor conceived is partially responsible for the spite I feel for my mom, and the associated guilt.
Bear with me, this point takes a bit of an explanation… I distinctly remember times where I was jealous of other people’s family constructs. I didn’t feel like I belonged with the parents I had. I still find myself slightly stung by movies that show close mother/father -daughter relationships. Growing up I could see the pity in some people’s eyes. An aunt once offered to let me stay with her and her family. This of course was retracted when her husband didn’t like the idea. (Which hurt more than if she had never offered).
Later I had a 3rd – 4th grade teacher that took special care with me and encouraged me. She looked at me with eyes that understood that I was suffering, which was rare. I was so good at hiding, and I’m used to being overlooked. She had suggested that I go to a few group meetings offered by the school for children in families involving divorce. I am not sure this helped much, but it was nice to be in an environment where my parent’s emotions weren’t the ones that were most important.
I wrote a blog as a young adult where I stated if I wasn’t my mother’s daughter, I would have no reason to talk to her, and that I deeply despised her personality. This was following a 3-day pity party where she complained endlessly about how she felt the auto shop that worked on the brakes on her $43,000 luxury conversion van didn’t do a good enough job. Meanwhile, I was driving around a “beater” car with basically no brakes, that was fit for a junkyard, which was purchased with funds with my part time job while I was still in high school. (I believe minimum wage was something like $5.00 hourly) I was also paying for my own school clothes and lunches while they bought wide screen TVs for every room. My mother is very entitled, she is the kind of person that will find a way to complain about anything. She doesn’t think she should have to work for anything. You could give her the world on a silver platter and she would still somehow find a way to be a victim. Someone anonymously commented on this post trying to put me in my place, telling me I came from her womb and therefore should be grateful and automatically respect and love her. I think people forget that you can love and despise someone at the same time. Sadly, I still stand by my hypothetical scenario. I absolutely would have no reason or obligation to talk to my mom had she not been my mom. Everyone has encountered someone, that for whatever reason, rubs them the wrong way. Well that would be her… even if she was just some customer at one of my random cashier jobs, or a coworker at my current office job.
I’m not saying she is devoid of all good qualities. There are positive aspects that I try to focus on when spending time with her. I like that she doesn’t put value in mindless superficial social protocols, and she’s generally not a snob despite how self-involved she can be. She can also have a sense of humor at times, when she’s not trying too hard to be funny. My grandfather was truly funny, in a dry and sometimes inappropriate kind of way (mostly observational humor peppered with dirty jokes, swear words, etc.). His disposition somehow created a completive environment where my mom and her siblings might take the joking to the point where it’s just not funny. It seems like some of them try to be offensive just for the shock value. Anyway, if it’s not geared towards her, she’s not easily offended, which can be a nice break in a world where you must be so careful not to offend everyone all the time. You ever think of something funny to say, but don’t because it might be taken the wrong way? Well with my mom’s family, you don’t have to worry about that.
I am getting off track… I think there is something to be said for compatibility of parents. Even if a relationship ends up toxic, in natural conceptions, or ones where there is face-to-face interaction, there is at least one thing that draws the parents together, some element that makes sense that leads to the creation of the child. I truly believe my bio-dad was a lot different than my mom. I think it has in turn, made me more likely to feel so very different than her. My younger half-sister who was conceived by my stepfather certainly has more sympathy for our mother. She not only has a father that chose (for whatever reason) my mother as a spouse, but her conception wasn’t purchased. She didn’t have to wonder if her parents had buyer’s remorse as her mom started a new family with a man that saw her very existence in the family as baggage. I know that she feels the same way I do as far as my mom’s perpetual victimhood, but she is just much more patient with her than I am. And I think the biological and direct circumstances of my conception have made a clear impact on my ability to have empathy, trust, and relate to the people in my family (and even others at times).
3.) Whether ______ likes it or not, my donor is my biological father.
The above is an ad-lib sentence that you can fill with any noun/pronoun you’d like
- The cells were donated with knowledge of what they would be used for. No phony contract can magically erase his genetic fatherhood.
- He was assured anonymity by the cryobank, but not only is this not applicable due to DNA testing, there is no legal constitute protecting his anonymity through this venue, especially not from me, as an adult.
As much as I want to tell my story, who am I telling it to? I no longer have the patience for people, donor conceived or otherwise, who want to sympathize with and protect the fertility industry’s process and reasoning behind the anonymity aspect. (Even though I was once part of this fiction) I suppose if this helps someone else realize or process similar feelings, my ramblings could be justified. It’s tempting, but I am by no means stopping here. My recent disgust and apathy is due to the recent stories being shared of rejection (by the donors or other close paternal family), and the constant flow of new group members who recently, in adulthood, discovered the truth about their conception. And, of course, the obvious hurt caused by both of those situations. Most of all, the constant minimization of these negative feelings, intentional or otherwise, by parents, other donor conceived people, and donors themselves. (Some of the groups have everyone, and I can’t say I go on them anymore for this very reason.) …We should be grateful for life. Everyone had good intentions, so it is hurtful to talk about your own pain, so move on! Then there are the few D.C. folks saying things like “I had a good childhood, and I was wanted, so that is all that matters!” I get it, I really do. I will go as far to say I envy it. But I must wonder, why are they involved in the D/C community? To gush about how special, they feel? Is there an element of denial like I had for so many years? (feel free to rip me a new one in the comments or via private message, really, I’m curious.)