Last night I didn’t sleep. I intended to. I was tired. I sat watching spoken word poetry online for hours. I talked myself into pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and reading some poetry at an open-mic night. And then for some reason I thought about the man that made me, who walked away when I was born, and who, in that very action, taught me more about myself than anything else ever will – because I was not worth staying for. I wasn’t worth fighting for. I’ve heard all these dads describe this outpouring of love and pride that they feel when they first meet their child… And I was incapable of inducing that in my own creator (because he will never be my father). And no matter how much I try at anything else, I can’t help but feel that if the man who made couldn’t love me, nobody else ever will. (Kiss friend is well and truly a friend). One of the two people who is meant to stick by me no matter what, and love me no matter who else walks out of my life… was the first person to leave it.
I wrote a poem. And then right when I thought I was done, another entire poem poured out of me onto the screen. By this point it was 4am. And I was fine until I read back through the poems and saw exactly how I felt all neatly typed on a page. I was fine until I realised that he screwed me up, this man who was supposed to raise me. I was angry that I still cried about him after nineteen years, having never met him (or maybe he held me once?) I was upset that thanks to him, my little brother is only a ‘half’ brother, because we both have different dads. I love him (little brother, not creator) with my whole being. And the first time a kid on the playground called him ‘half’, I insisted he wasn’t, that he couldn’t possibly be because I loved him so much. I thought I hadn’t loved him enough. And I still remember the moment when it sank in that there was nothing I could do. Because I burst into tears. And I hate the fact that at some point in his life he probably had that moment too. Because I love him with all of me, and when his heart breaks mine does too.
I will never feel part of my dad’s family. My sisters are related to my brother but not to me. I hate using the word ‘step’. Because how can they be my stepsisters when I love them so much? I’m scared that my dad’s family love my little brother more than me because he contains their DNA.
I will never feel part of my own family. I don’t look like them. I feel like an alien within my own home. I love them so much, and yet there is nothing I can do to fit with them. I listen to my friends talk about their dads – dads who actually care about their existence – and I watch them sit at our table eating dinner, and they look more like my family than I do. To an outsider, I look like the friend. And my parents don’t understand how much that hurts. I love my dog for many reasons, but I also love that there is another living thing in the house which also looks different to our family (because he’s an entirely different species but anyway…) and that he left not one, but both parents when he was born, and has siblings he has never met. Puppies cry for their parents too… They just get over it.
I cried, very briefly. And then I started writing this post. Because we’ve all felt like we don’t fit. We’ve all sat in a room full of people and felt out of place. And sometimes we feel out of place for even feeling out of place. But there is a place for each of us on this planet, we don’t need to make it for ourselves and we can’t see it, but we occupy it from the moment we are born.
And why did I share something so personal, that I never talk about, with the entire internet? a) For some weird reason that option was less scary than talking face to face with people I know, b) I hoped that if I could do this, it might encourage you to go offload whatever’s on your mind before it keeps you up for an entire night and you find yourself writing a blog post about the guy who created you while sat with the curtains open watching the sun rise over London, c) I don’t want my creator to ever ruin another blog post again, so I decided to give him one final mention and then cease to acknowledge his existence… d) Because this blog makes me feel like I am good for something, and I was very much in a rut, and equally in need of taking the time to write my way out of it. This was not a helpful thing to have stuck in my brain.
I eventually fell asleep at 6am. My alarm went off half an hour later, and we argued every eight minutes until thankfully I stopped to look at the time and realised it was 8:26 (which is also the time I woke up yesterday… Not that this information is relevant to you) I have a 9am lecture today (and every day except from Fridays, where i get an extra hour of sleep). Four minutes later I am sat in my coat, finishing this blog post, ready to leave. Not bad. Also not the kind of situation I wanted to start my week on because I’m ridiculously sleepy and freezing cold, but I’m sure both of these things will improve.
I feel good. I spent the rest of my night/ very early morning listening to birdsong, snuggled under the covers, thinking about ways in which I can raise money for the London air ambulance (I sit in my kitchen and watch it take off, and laid in the hospital underneath it feeling it take off, and I feel like raising some money for such a vital service.)
Anyway, I have to go now, a 9am lecture awaits!