I slipped through that wrinkle in Time and am a bit behind in starting to watch that wildly popular show “This is us.” (Disclaimer: there will be some spoilers written here). Anyone who knows me and my story has told me that I need to watch it. And I finally started 2 nights ago, but it was only last night that I got in to the real meat and potatoes of the story, especially the parts that REALLY simulate my life. It really gave me pause to stop and wonder whether someone on the writing team knows me. Of course there are many components that are different, but there are so many parallels it is scary.
One of the episodes I watched last night is where Rebecca (the adoptive mom in the show-in my story it’s my birthmoms name) wrestles with why she can’t let her adopted son meet his birthparents. Everything she said in this episode is exactly how I always knew my adoptive parents felt. They expressed some of those feelings aloud, but not all of them. Seeing her say them with such anger and being so adamant about how Randall having them as his parents needs to be enough, for her own selfish reasons hits so deeply. She never cared that her son was missing parts of himself, was having an identity crisis, had endless questions. She didn’t care. All she saw was her own needs.
And then there’s the part where Randall finds out that his biological father (in my case, it is my adoptive father) is gay. In his situation, it is a more acceptable situation, because he is above board with it. In mine, it is much more tumultuous because my father remains married to my mother and continues on with gay relationships on the side, openly (yet not all at the same time).
When Randall finds out about his adoptive mother knowing who his birth father was all along, felt similar to when my adoptive father dropped on me that my birthmoms name wasn’t redacted from my adoption records as they were supposed to be and that they’ve had her name my entire life. While Randall’s situation is certainly much less forgiveable and much more heartbreaking and wrong of his adoptive mom to have done, I still felt extremely slighted. I asked and postulated ions of times growing up about what my birthmoms name might be. I always thought it was Susan. And they knew all along. And maybe they never shared with me what her name was (a first name wouldn’t have helurt), because I was close in some ways and maybe that scared them that I perhaps did have some odd bond that was inexplicable to them. If you remember from the first paragraph, I already revealed that my birthmoms name was Rebecca. However, her middle name is Sue, which is pretty close to Susan. When my adoptive father dropped the bomb on me that he had her name on my papers in the vault, I asked him if he could tell me just her first name because I always wondered. He told me he would have my adoptive mom look at it when she went to get my birth certificate out of the vault. He just remembered she had a long German last name. I’m sure they didn’t forget. But I never got that information from him. I was never told, but I was sent my birth certificate, so I know she went to the vault. I couldn’t get the nerve up to ask, but knowing my parents, I would have been given the run around. They purposely didn’t tell me. That fact, along with them forgetting my birthday one year close to that incident was what finally allowed me to give myself permission to secretly find my birth parents.
Watching the show “This is us” will definitely be a very cathartic exercise. I am surprised I didn’t cry last night. Perhaps I am finally on my way to healing. But seeing situations like this play out on tv dtv do help me feel validated. It helps me know that my feelings over the pain I have felt over similar situations is not far fetched or me being a drama queen. It is the stuff people write television shows about. And it further convinces me that if I can find the write words and writing style, that my memoir about my life that I am working on could be successful.