The mirror is a monster, it’s my worst enemy; I see questions instead of answers. I don’t see a whole person; I see a fragmented piece of art that is yet to be signed. I see a stranger who is strangely familiar. I wrote this as a part of a piece for a non-fiction writing class I took last year. I really like it and I think it captures a part of what I feel about myself and my identity.
After I was told about my conception I became a different person. There was a line drawn in the sand; the me before I was told and the me after. On the outside and to others I am sure I seemed the same. I subconsciously buried this information and chose not to deal with it until I was older, at least until I had finished school.
I would ask so many questions, usually when I was laying in my bed at night. Some of these questions still haunt me today.
- What does he look like?
- Why did he donate his sperm?
- Is he still married?
- Does he have other children?
- Why did he give me away? And why couldn't I be the sperm that stayed with him?
- What are his interests? Does he like music as much as I do? Does he sing like me?
- Where does he live?
- What has he done with his life?
- What are his family like?
- Would they accept me into their family? My family?
- Does anyone else besides he and his wife know that he donated sperm?
- Are my grandparents (his parents) still alive?
- What nationality is he? Was he born here or overseas?
- What did he study at university? Is he as passionate a person as I?
- Is he still alive???
- Does he still live in Victoria or Australia?
- Does he think about me? Does he think about what might have happened as a result of his donations?
- What does he do for a living?
- Does he have a sarcastic sense of humour like me?
- Is he scared that I want money from him?
- Does he even care that I exist?
- Has he seen me in the newspapers, in the magazine article, on the news or on tv at all???
- Has anyone of his family recognised me and ignored the fact that I may be his?
- Why doesn't he want to know me?!
- Is he scared? I am scared too
- Will I ever know him.....or myself?
- I hope he knows that I love him, no matter what.
All of that going through my mind for years and to this day. Now the questions sit with me on a deeper level and I don't get as sad to think about this, however the relevance of these questions have not faded one bit. There are more questions, but if I were to list them all I fear I might just bore you all. And you get the gist anyway.
Something that I think helps to perpetuate the fantasy that donor conception is a fantastic and revolutionary practice are the labels used to change and distort the relationships that truly exist. The word "donor" for instance is one of them.
I find the term "donor" highly offensive. He may have "donated" his sperm to my mother, to my parents, but he is my biological father. Calling him otherwise hides the true connection that we have. This is one reason, I believe, why my loss is not recognised.
Everyone says "He is just the DNA", "He did not raise you, so he cannot be your father!", and so on. To that I say bull! No matter what way you look at it he is my biological father. He is more than just DNA, he is a part of me, my identity and who I am today. I walk with his influence everyday. I carry his traits, his family's traits, with me everyday.
He may not have raised me, but he will always be my father. There is no denying it. Call him whatever you want, but I can see that people are just trying to distort reality for their own satisfaction, for their own cause, for their own position.
The fact that he is not a part of my life is a major loss to me. Not being able to know him and my paternal family is... indescribably hard.