Two days ago I had an argument with my best friend. Since then, I’ve been chewing at it over and over, trying to figure out how she could possibly have taken offence to anything I said when I thought we were saying the same thing.
I felt like I was coughing up this amalgamation of the black smoke, it was dripping and ripping and clawing at me as I spat it out on my keyboard, trying to cough and cough and dump it into the safe place; but it came without warning and without eloquence and with mass confusion both for me, and for her.
She felt like I was saying that biological connection doesn’t matter, that there is no value in it.
I was saying that if that is the thing that is valued most, then I am worth less.
My jealousy makes me ugly. I think it makes me ugly because it hurts so much. It’s not an excuse when my behaviour gets out of control, but I think the enormity of the hurt is worth some respect. I have watched the biological connection I wish I had play out in front of me. It has been given a new name, a swapping of agreed labels, a bank account in case of emergencies, a place in the family and a place to live in the home. It was given plane trips and drops of everything to help, it held the joy of shared looks and shared traits, and it was a great love and connection that shined like gold when I looked at it.
And I was jealous.
Some mornings I get up, and convince myself that even though I don’t have the biological connection I am still worth something, maybe I am worth the same. I still get to say “momma”, and “sister”. And I try to not look at the gremlin that raises it’s eyebrows at me and calls me “less”. Until Friday’s discussion (argument), I tried not to look at it. I danced around it and trapped it down and told myself not to be so stupid.
But I’m scared of him. I’m scared of the evidence he pulls that preys on that fear. And I’m tired of the stern talks I give to myself.
My great art has been to build familial relationships without a biological connection.
My life is built on it. My early friendships are steeped in it. The friends I called sisters, and the women I called mothers. And then I would leave for the day, and go home, and have to rely on faith that as these friends went back to their biological sisters, and the women went back to their biological children, that I still had a place. I wasn’t less than those connections. And the gremlin would raise his eyebrows.
When reunion didn’t go as it seemed to promise, that’s when the gremlin really got a lot of power. All of a sudden I could see where I was less. Where I was a few steps behind. And I think, because of the nature of the beast, that it was the biological connection that hurt the most.
My aunt heard me crying on Friday evening. She came in and she pressed her head against mine, and she told me “you have a connection with her. It’s not the one you want, but she worries about you. You know who’s getting in the way, it’s that man!” And I hugged her back and looked at the floor, and realised that my birthmother will always be this family’s golden girl. She will never have to be responsible for what she’s done to me. And I don’t want her.
I am jealous. And the ones who have the biological connection have already won. Of course it matters, of course it is valued the most.
I just don’t want to be worth less, or valued less, because I didn’t get it. Don’t you think I wouldn’t give anything, everything I have, to be biologically related to you? I would give anything to be able to have that claim.