Many people have an underlying suspicion that they are oops babies. But I had more than an underlying suspicion when I did some quick math and realized my sister was 19 years older than me AND we both had different fathers AND my parents weren’t married.
Don’t worry. I’m not the only one who did this math. So did a lot of other kids in my elementary school. Insert childhood teasing here.
The good news is that my mom never let on that I was an oops baby. Instead she called me her happy little surprise — a much better name than my little mistake.
My mom was 40 when she had me and my dad was still in his 30’s. After being a work-a-holic jetsetter while raising my older sister, she decided to take a different approach with me. She opted to stay-at-home and have a daycare so she could spend as much time as possible with me. Instead of being a mistake, I was like her do-over, her chance to fix anything she did wrong while raising my sister.
I had a normal childhood for the most part. Of course the occasional snobby brat would make fun of me because my parents weren’t married and because I was clearly a mistake. But my parents never made me feel unwanted or unloved.
Then when I was six my mom was diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that basically attacks your nervous system and shuts down different parts of your body. She died within a year, and although I’m glad it was quick, I never had a chance to say goodbye. I went from being a miracle baby in my mom’s eyes to feeling like an added chore on my father’s to-do list. Although I knew I was loved, I couldn’t help feeling like I was always in the way.
And I guess you could say I’ve felt like that all my life. I’ve become this obsessive people pleaser — I constantly feel like if I do one thing wrong, I’ll be de-friended (in real life, not marky Z style) because people will know I was a mistake. So how do I deal with the stigma of knowing I was an oops baby? I fix it by being on top of everything all the time. And can I just say, it’s starting to get exhausting.
I would love to tell you that I had a revelation this year and I don’t feel like I’m a regret for my parents, or that it’s possible for me to have a healthy relationship. But I gave up lying for lent, so we’ll have to save that fiction story for another day.
I know that my dad doesn’t regret having me; I’m not stupid. But, some days it’s harder to rationalize. And the whole relationship thing, well, losing my mom left me with a lot, and I mean a lot, of abandonment issues — and mix that with constantly feeling like a giant mistake and you’ve got someone who is a bigger fail at making something work than Jesse James.
Hopefully some day I’ll be able to accept the fact that I won’t be able to please anyone and that it’s okay to lose people. But until then I’ll just continue to blog about my failed attempts at sparking a relationship and my annoying need to please everyone all the time.
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