Sunday, November 09, 2008

On Being a Bastard

As you may, or may not know; at the delicate age of twelve years, seventeen hours, thirty two minutes and fourteen seconds, I learned—from a drunken woman—that the man I thought was my father, was indeed not my father. Instead, as she further explained; my father, my biological father that is, was actually my “father’s” married best friend, who she, (my mother, The Beast as I loving refer to her), slept with in an act of revenge.

Needless to say, this was traumatizing, on many levels, for many years. But as time passed, I stopped wondering why and started wondering what.

What kind of diseases am I unknowingly at a higher risk of developing because of this dude’s genes? What if generations upon generations of women in his family have died of breast cancer before the age of forty? What if they exhibit a strong susceptibility for rheumatoid arthritis? Alzheimer’s? Parkinson’s?

At times these thoughts consume me; so much so, that I’m considering hiring a private investigator. I mean really, if you think about it, it’d just be another medical expense, an investment in preventative care; that, and I’ve always wondered what he looks like.


The Maven said...

I don't know my biodad either, nor am I in close contact with his side of the family. I'd say go for it - get some pictures at least. Then you might see some really old women walking around and feel better :)

The Maven said...

Um... by 'walking around' I meant in the pictures. Just in case that wasn't clear. I highly doubt seeing random women walking around on the street would make you feel better!

Robert said...

I had a daughter as the result of a short fling, and her mother & her partner wouldn't allow me to see her or have anything to do with her life. When she was just about to turn 14, one of my other daughters asked her mother if she could see her (half-)sister and was surprised to be allowed. Turned out that my daughter was going through a mental breakdown, a contributory factor of which, was her belief - given to her by her mother - that her father had plenty of other children and didn't want anything to do with her.

The good that discovering she had a father (and several other siblings) who actually DID care about her (we have a close relationship now) was ruined by the fact that it became obvious that her mother had lied to her for many years. It took her 5 years to come to terms with this.

What I'm saying here is, that if you make contact with your biodad, you don't know what you might unearth, how it might affect you, or what reaction your mother and "father" might have.

Nevertheless, I agree with "the maven" and think you should go for it. It will probably give you a better insight about who you really are (and, of course, what hereditary diseases you might be likely to get).

Good luck!!

meghan said...

I totally agree with you on this, as a fellow hypochondriac (and silent reader of your blog for some time now). My parents believe the act of concealing my family's genetic health issues will keep me from worrying - until I find out by accident. Those are fun conversations! Let us know what you find out. Good luck!

amu said...

Hmmm... as another fellow hypochondriac, I'm not sure about finding out about his family's disease history. I burnt myself digging in my father's family for illnesses before, and now I really wish I didn't know as the main reason for my hypochondria is a) my father's early death from cancer and b) my grandmother's depression and suicide. I genuinely wish I didn't know.

~Jobthingy~ said...

i think you should find out.

i am a firm believer in knowing stuff like that for medical reasons.

*hugs* good luck in your decision.

nick said...


I'm not a hypochondriac and discovered your blog recently...and have read almost all of it. Wow. You have so much self-awareness and humor and writing talent and blows my mind.

Have you ever tried meditation? It's helped me a lot in my own life. And people with a lot of anxiety, fear, obsessive thinking, etc. tend to say it helps them a lot too. I'm not super crunchy or Eastern-y or anything. In fact I'm generally skeptical of such things. But good practical meditation has been grounding for me. Could be good for you too.

Please keep writing.

ShamWOW! said...

I still love your writing, Leila.

Woolly said...

I think you should find out. It makes sense to know your history. Maybe you could get him to write things down and give them straight to your doctor for your file.

There's no real urgency though. You've had a lot of intense emotional stuff going on lately.

Robert said...

I have nominated you for up to 2 awards and I've tagged you simultaneously. Pop along to my blog & see if they're worth picking up.

Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

you need to let that bitterness towards your mom go. It may be the very thingthat is making you so anxious. Bitterness can literally make you sick. Your bio dads gene history is not going to impact your life and future health enough for you to obsess over.I too suffer from anxiety although I am now doing much better. I would even say that I am 90% better.

LaureenM said...

good god girl you need to chill out and enjoy life! Why do you want to not die so badly if you are soooo concerned with dying all the time!