I am here

I am here.

I’ve struggled with my entitlement to this statement since I was a child — the idea that I’m meant to be here; that each next breath is mine to take and not some sort of theft. For a long time, I saw myself as the embodiment of immorality. If my mother committed a sin, I was the living, breathing result of that sin. Adoption, she and so many others like her were told, was the only way to shed the sin and reclaim a virtuous life. Having committed such a sin, she was told, she was unfit to be a mother.

But what about me, the child of the sin? How could I shed my mother’s sin? That would mean shedding myself. I tried, in adolescence, to be shed of myself in all manner of self-destructive behaviour. Even when I moved beyond that, after the birth of my first child, I still held the sense that I wasn’t quite entitled to be here.

Finding my mother and father has helped me see and feel what I’ve been trying for years to tell myself: that a handful of people found my presence to be too much, too soon, too much evidence of immorality. And that that’s about them. Being in reunion has helped me learn that this is my time for this body, this life. That I belong.

That I am here.

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