The news hit me like a tidal wave that took not only my breath but also my entire history away. My childhood had been like walking across a never-ending stretch of quicksand. I had to keep moving or I would sink without trace.
So who am I? This person with no history. How do I rebuild a new history that is not a tissue of lies from other people but a true reflection of what really happened for all the people concerned?
Alopecia and vomit stained overcoats, where was the love? How did the participants in my coming into the world actually get together and why? What made them stay together beyond a year or two?
I was reading a story and lost the plot, it disappeared and I didn’t know where to go to find it. I walked in Dublin and cried on the tree-lined avenues, the red brick semi-detached houses made me feel more alienated than ever. I walked to my train on Wednesday, again not wanting to go home. Because I didn’t know how to be the me they knew anymore. I was a different me and they found that hard.
On Thursday I went to Ballybunion with Lorelei and we walked on the beach and I realised I didn’t lose the plot because that plotline never existed, it was their imagination.
My reality is not in their imagination and so now it is necessary to go back to the beginning and work out a real plot. I shall scrutinise all the characters and it may be time for some pruning. Too many characters can spoil the plot.
I remember reading someone’s blog, I think it may have been the white space author when she had a complete epiphany and had to rewrite her history and that is what I have to do. But I never expected this. I wanted the Disney story of being brought up in the wrong home. Or being sent to Mallory Towers, I would even have accepted “care.”
Throughout my life, I have wanted those things because I did not belong to the historical framework of my family and I knew it. Somehow, deep down I knew I was being fed untruths, not the full story, lies and deceit. But I always thought it was because underneath the solid rock of our shared history was something so awful “about me.”
The freedom I feel now is like a 51-year-old weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It isn’t my fault; there is no one to blame. We were just child pawns, in a very grown-up game of chess. My brother and I are known for picking up our ball and leaving the playing field. My sister stays on the pitch crying out for us all to come back.
Weirdly then, it is I who wants to bring some peace and clarity to all our lives, I want to give a voice to people who have had no voice. I want to explore with them what it means to live, truly live. And maybe, just maybe I will share.