It’s really windy tonight and there’s something about it that makes me a bit uneasy. Especially those really big gusts that slap against the side of the house, seemingly testing its strength along every crevice, searching for a loose shutter or panel to dismantle. Normally I just try not to think about it but now I’m wondering what about it is so disturbing? Maybe a bad memory? I remember being very small, probably about 5 years old and waiting for my mom to unlock the front door feeling like I was going to get taken away at any point by the gusts. Feeling it pushing against my tiny body while the adults of the world seemed much more stable in it.
But I’m not afraid the wind will take me now. I don’t live anywhere that it gets dangerously windy except really rarely there are tornadoes. And as I’m thinking about this I realize that instead of the tiny scared child, I’m now the house, unmoved, but tested, pushed, and combed through.
I actually do have a recurring nightmare that a tornado is suddenly coming and I’m right in the path with no escape and I wake up just as it starts to rip through whatever building I’m in. If I had to guess it’s meaning I’d say it’s probably tied to fear of loss of control from something… maybe the instability in my childhood.
But the wind seems separate from that. Something tied to the feeling of loneliness and darkness. It is something overwhelming yet somehow incredibly boring at the same time, and unending. The wind is the experiences that took me from a small body that was easily pushed to an immovable building with a foundation in the earth. The wind reminds me of all the time spent feeling isolated and empty. And there it is. Childhood again. The tornados must be the bigger, more memorable traumas and the gusts of wind are just the day to day living through some of the darker times that followed.
I don’t think it stops at childhood though. Finding my biological father was a bit of a tornado on my life. It certainly revealed a lot of pain that was hidden and shook me to my core. I’m not even sure if I have made it out yet, but I’m at least no longer crying every day, triggered by almost anything (E.g. Dads in movies, dads in commercials, almost any song involving emotions).
The one good thing so far, that effects me on a day-to-day level anyhow, is that I seem to feel more at home in my body and with the way I look. I look a lot different to myself, in a good way, and yet I look exactly the same. It’s hard to put into words. It’s not that I’m constantly like “wow I look like my biological father.” I seem to have a warmer and more familiar regard for my reflection in general. For example, my long limbs (on my average height body) seem more charming and less awkward. They seem to be flattering (slimming) rather than deforming. I’m also more at ease about my face but I can’t name specifics there. Best of all, I think I have been smiling a little easier, and I am a little less self-conscious in general!
I’m all over the place, I have trouble focusing on one topic at a time. I suspect I may have inherited that from my biofather. The number of things we have in common is probably too many to count. But I will never really get to experience most of that. And I am my own person in so many ways. My life, lived apart from his, has definitely helped shape me. In order for me to move on from the loss that he was to me, especially now that I have glimpsed who he is, I need to let go of my past. I have more than acknowledged the lack of nurturing I experienced during childhood, and I am currently working through the pains of the “what-ifs” and the hurt caused by his choice to have me with a stranger and not know it when I truly needed him in my life. I longed for the love of someone I thought I’d never meet, and had to feel shame around that to the point where I hid it from the world and even myself. So it makes sense that I am grieving now. I need to separate the guilt, throw it away, and finally give myself the time and space to work through it. I also need to be my own nurturer, and for me, that means getting rid of the front that I have put up for the last 35 years. Instead of getting even stronger, being kind to myself probably means letting my guard down and asking for help when I need it.
Living the life I have and being donor conceived means the storm may never completely pass. And I’m seeing now that maybe the key to living within it is not necessarily being as strong as a house, but to let the wind bend me a little knowing that it’s never going to actually take me away with it.