If you’ve been following my business page for any length of time (or maybe you’re in my private VIP Group), then you probably already know that there’s SO much of my life that I’ve blocked out. Totally eliminated from my memory.
Truth is, I really didn’t even know that I did.
I started realizing there was a problem back in February, 2010 after reaching out to my childhood best friend. We were two peas in a pod when we were young and we were inseparable. She lived 5 houses down from me and if I had a choice, I would have rather been at her house than mine. We were in every single class together in grade school and they called us the Bobsey Twins.
We hadn’t spoken in probably 30 years (maybe even more) and I’m not even sure now what prompted me to reach out except that I had seen pictures on Facebook of her living up north, on property……..with her horses. Even with all those years of separation, we still had so much in common.
Anyway……we had some struggles to work through and as we did, she’d bring up things from our childhood with a “remember when….” or “do you remember….” and most of what she was bringing up, I didn’t remember.
I can remember thinking to myself that I knew I was getting older and that memory loss was a thing, but this was WAY beyond that. Before all this happened, I already knew that I struggled with remembering some parts of my life…..like, I couldn’t remember the days surrounding my dad’s funeral. I remember his entire time in the hospital and nursing care, but my memories end shortly after he died, standing outside the hospital with my mom, my Aunt Mary and Rob. Things like that.
(Please bear with me here because I KNOW it’s all kind of confusing and coming up shortly different parts of this story will all sorta blend together and get even more confusing.)
When Shawn found me and came into my life in 1998, he wanted to know me. ALL of me. He was curious. He wanted to see matching fingers. He wanted to know where certain personality traits came from. He wanted medical history. He simply wanted to know who he was from a biological standpoint. And I understood it completely because when I went searching for my bio mother, that’s all I wanted.
As I mentioned in the previous blog entry, Shawn IS me. Don’t get me wrong, his adoptive mom raised him with his morals, integrity and life experiences…..but the core of Shawn is ME. And I’m not gonna lie – it’s mind boggling how that can even happen when all I did was grow him inside me…..his adoptive mom did all the important stuff. He grew up experiencing the same disconnections that I experienced and his “need to know” is probably one of his strongest traits. (You’re welcome, son.)
As I was writing the last blog entry about Shawn, I spent SO much time in thought. Memories started surfacing that were included in that post…….like, my mom sticking my bed and dresser at the foot of the basement stairs and that’s where I stayed. I hadn’t remembered that part of the story until last week.
Back to Shawn……..
Over the years we’ve had so many conversations and I’ve told him stories about me and my life and I’d answer any and all questions he would have. There was absolutely nothing I wouldn’t share with him.
Except the one thing that he really wanted to know……
“Who is my bio father?”
Truth is, I couldn’t give him that information because I TRULY didn’t know. I couldn’t remember. You have no idea how often I’d beat myself up over that and think “I must’ve really been some kinda piece of work to not be able to remember who Shawn’s father is”. For the longest time I believed it had to be one person, but I was wrong. And I believed it had to be THAT person because of bits + pieces of what I could remember of my life leading up to finding out I was pregnant. But the reality was, I really couldn’t remember much of anything. I couldn’t remember where I was living, what I was doing…nothing. Did I have a job? Was I still in school? I had NO idea.
Eventually Shawn stopped asking me because I kept giving the same answer – “I can’t remember.” Which made me feel like the most horrible kind of human.
So he decided to take finding out into his own hands. (I would have done the same damn thing) Shawn did the 23andMe test and sent it back and eventually got his DNA and “matches” back. He went on a little bit of a goose chase but it’s not the easiest thing to read those reports and I think eventually he just kinda let it go.
Until I decided to try to find out who my own bio father was.
After I spit in the tube, sent it back and was over here waiting on my results, it dawned on me……..MY answers are inside Shawn’s report! They had to be!
I am NOT a numbers person. Never have been. So when those reports come back with “this person has .06498 of your DNA…..what the fuck does that even mean? I got lucky though and connected with someone on my bio mother’s side that is my bio 3rd cousin (I think) and she’s a whiz at this stuff! So she offered to help me weed through the mess and do some research. On behalf of both me AND Shawn.
It didn’t take her long.
It was the last weekend of July 2021. We were at the camper and her and I had a couple phone conversations. She let me know that the person that we thought was my bio father actually wasn’t (that’s the next entry) and then we moved on to Shawn. I remember the conversation…..
Brenda: Robin….I know identifying your bio father is super important to you, but you’ve also told me that you’ve blocked out so much of your life and you have no idea who Shawn’s father is and you want to be able to give him that. I want you to think back to around the time leading up to finding out you were pregnant………does the name Eric (leaving the last name out) mean anything to you? (At that point she also mentioned Eric’s brother’s name).
It ALL came flooding back to me. All these memories that I hadn’t thought about probably since shortly after they actually happened just started flowing into my mind and as they were I remember saying, “Oh my gosh……Eric is Shawn’s father.” I was remembering everything. I remembered being kicked out of the house. I remembered living with a girlfriend that was a few years older than me and had an apartment. And I remembered my relationship with Eric.
I’ve been told by a therapist that getting pregnant, choosing adoption, and the events that surrounded giving birth and never seeing Shawn were so traumatic for me that as soon as I left the hospital is probably when I blocked it out. Just erased it all from my memory.
I was finally able to give Shawn the one piece of him that I could never give him. Unfortunately, Eric had died several years back but I did talk to his brother and thankfully, he and his wife were super supportive and very open to meeting Shawn and growing a relationship with him. They didn’t even know he existed…..and believe me when I tell you, being able to give him that was the best feeling. It did my heart good.
Going back to that conversation with my 3rd cousin Brenda, before she helped bring back all those memories, she told me that she was 99.9% sure she knew who my bio father was……she just needed to confirm a few more connections and then she’d let me know.
And that happened the very next day. While we were still at the camper.
In ONE weekend last summer, I remembered who Shawn’s father was, made contact with his brother and I found out who my bio father was. Every single emotion that I could have possibly felt was running through me all at the same time and it was one of the most emotionally draining weekends of my life.
Finding my own bio father is where the story gets……..I don’t even know what word to use. I’ll just leave that up to you to decide.