I look at your eyes and I know it’s you, right away, without thinking. My stomach sinks. My eyes are your eyes. Later my mind goes into overdrive, searching for all the ways that it might not be true. This could all be a mistake on my part. I ended up on your son’s social media profile and by some chance, you have the same name as the man I am investigating, and by some chance, I have your eyes and now this nagging feeling. I am agitated and yet calm at the same time. I wash the makeup off my face that night, and my face suddenly fits somewhere. It doesn’t seem so obscure. I see you and I see me. And yet, you are a complete stranger. I revise the letter two more times. I obsess over details like font and paper, and what color ink will I use to sign my name?
It seems logical to worry about these things, especially in the context of knowing you are out there since I was 7 and not having to consider the possibility of your rejection until now. Yet why is it all I want is just for you to know I exist? Would it even matter to you? It is just so harsh to be created by someone without them ever knowing it. Why am I here? Why did you leave me in the hands of selfish, incapable people? What if it turns out that you are just as selfish? Where am I then? And somehow, it is absolutely better to know these things. Even if you reject me, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t erase me, it doesn’t erase this. Despite the obstacles, I have found you, and despite the “rules” you probably thought protected you, I will contact you. And maybe I am too late. Perhaps there is a reason the last photo of you was taken almost 2 years ago. Is it selfish to just want to be seen? To just have you know that I’m alive, because of you, carrying pieces of you with me wherever I go. It is selfish to want to meet you like it would be selfish to want to see your own feet, or to wish to move a hidden appendage.
Longing and guilt. Sadness and shame. Would these not be normal feelings for anyone else separated from their family and told their whole lives that it shouldn’t matter? Maybe it’s all too emotionally charged and inappropriate on my part, or maybe it’s perfectly normal. Even if I reject the idea that I am out of place to want these things, It is too deeply ingrained to not experience the shame and certainly not the bitterness towards those who think they understand how a life lived like mine SHOULD feel. Underneath all of these feelings, rational or not, is fear. Fear of more loss, rejection, and hurt. But at least when it is all through, I will no longer have the unknown. I will get, hopefully, what everyone else takes for granted and doesn’t think I deserve as much as them, which is to simply know who you are and for you to know I exist. To hope for anything more is too dangerous, and apparently foolish on my part.