Beautiful Bastard

The usual, pre-reading terminology note: I don’t use the standard triad names for people. None of them feels right to me. So, here, as in all my posts, my birth or natural mother is simply called my mother. Following logically, my birth or natural father is called simply my father. My adoptive parents, then, get the proper nouns, Mum and Dad. Easy enough to understand, I think. Enough said. Here’s the post

Even after three years of what I’d call a successful reunion with my mother and a year-or-so of limping along with my father, I still find, surprising me around corners, so much anger welled up inside me. It seems to spring up at the least likely moments, rising up at the beggarwoman in the Publix parking lot or at my mother saying I should take up golf (the ultimate sport of the legitimized, at least here in the US). Understand, I don’t take it out on these people, but am nonetheless surprised that my normally pacifist self is capable of feeling such sudden anger.

It boils down to this: I’m tired of being the bastard in everyone’s family. My Dad has his gorgeous second family, complete with fashionable wife, her consummately coiffed banker niece and so on. My mother has her successful, attractive children. Maybe that’s part of the draw to my father — he’s single, never been married, never had children. Other children. Whom he brought up. In other words, there’s no-one there who could possibly make me feel like the outsider, the bastard.

Underneath it all, I know that I need to believe in myself. Part of me still thinks that I need to see myself as something other than the outcast. Part of me wants to embrace my inner bastard. Ideally, I’d just learn to love myself and leave out the labels. But we all have all kinds of labels for ourselves: mother, sister, daughter, friend, leader, follower, introvert, extrovert, and so on. Mingled in amongst the others, for me, is adoptee, which feels, some days, like amputee, and that still makes me angry. Less than it used, to, though. Standing alongside adoptee is bastard. Funny that they’re side by side in the alphabet, which makes me think they’d be a great start to a bastard baby book. These days, I remind myself that, in the baby book or elsewhere, b could also be for birth and baby as well as bastard. And b could be for beautiful. Somehow, the more I embrace the birth and the baby and the bastard, the less I feel the anger and the more I feel the beauty.

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