Lonely

This is my first blog post, where I share negative emotions associated with being a donor child. The post is about how I have sometimes felt lonely.

I was the world’s most wanted child. My parents struggled for 6 years to have me, and I was a little miracle. The last egg, which had been frozen several months and just had to be “cleaned up”, as my mother says. They had lost hope and were almost through approval for adoption. But then I came along. Therefore, I received special attention and affection from my parents when i was a baby.
Then after 22 months the twins came into the world. Not only they were there two of them, but they are also my father’s biological children. This was due to the, at that time, new ICSI method.

I was very jealous that i now had to share the attention!

My parents have never treated us different. To both of them, we are all equally their children. We were very old before the idea that we were half siblings, struck us for the first time. Probably because it never felt like anything other than family.

To experience solitude

As most people have heard or experienced, there’s just something about twins. They have a very special bond that you can never become a part of. An understanding that can also be achieved after many years of marriage. And that is exactly where I found myself, left out of the understanding of my parents and my sisters.

Especially when the whole family went on holiday, it became more noticable. There was mom and dad, Asta and Iris, and then there was me all by myself. It was never actually the case, but it felt like it because of their mutual understanding.
And it spoke into something in my subconsciousness, namely the loneliness of being different. I felt left out and like the black sheep in the family. But as soon as we were at home in a familiar environment, with everyday life, friends and full speed the feeling disappeared.


I do think that feeling lonely, as I have experienced myself, is very common. Solitude is an extreme taboo and therefore it is not something many people talk about. I’m not writing this post for people to feel sorry for me, or because my family did something wrong. Just to make you feel like it’s okay to be lonely and different from time to time. It has not meant that I am unhappy or dissatisfied with my parents ‘ choices regarding me.
It has made me aware of something where I have to work on myself.
Perhaps if I had talked to others about it, or shared my experiences with other donor children had the solitude felt less?

Openness

Taboorised topics are never easy to talk about, but possibly the most important to talk about. This is where one can really make a difference to other people and perhaps avoid a feeling of solitude in another human being.

Also read my post taboo on various taboorised aspects regarding donor children.

I’m brought up to talk about things when something is difficult. Being more open will possibly help future donor children with some of the solitude they may experience.

That is certainly my hope!


Please tell me about your own experiences with solitude in the comments section below!

4 Comments

  • Ariel

    Hi Emma,

    I just read your blog post and it really resonated with me. I am also donor conceived and can relate to the feeling of solitude you described. Growing up, I think there were parts of me that my mother wasn’t able to recognize or understand where they came from. I was naturally quite shy, and sometimes enjoyed being alone, which was different than the family that I was raised in. On top of that – like you said, solitude can be taboo. I felt worried that something was wrong with me that I often felt alone. It seems like it is quite common among donor conceived individuals. Also, I discovered the identity of my anonymous donor this year, and found out that everyone in his family tends to be shy!

    I enjoyed reading this post and look forward to more!

    • Emma Grønbæk

      Hi Ariel,

      Thank you so much for writing!
      I was very nervous about this post and if people would be able to relate to the feelings I had.
      I sounds like you know it very well too.
      How do you think that your experience of solitude could have been avoided or felt less?
      How fun to experience that you have a family tends from your donor!
      How have your feelings been towards being donor conceived in general?

      Best wishes and thank you again for your message!

      – Emma

  • Jonathan

    Hi Emma,

    I want you to know that the loneliness of which you wrote is common among donor-conceived people at various stages of their journeys.

    My experience as a donor-conceived person is very different than yours (though I was also told that I was the world’s most wanted child, so clearly our parents never communicated with each other). I learned that I was donor-conceived in January, 2018, when I took a DNA test. I am the product of artificial insemination of my mother’s egg with the sperm from a then-anonymous medical student.

    I spent a year going through a grieving and healing process while I tried to answer one basic question: “Who am I?” I worked hard to repair close relationships that were hurt as a result of me learning about my conception and struggling with a shattered identity. I learned that I, an only child, am one of many half-siblings. I saw that biology can be just as important as the environment in which somebody is raised. I witnessed time and time again that the infertility industry in most countries cares far more about profit than they do about the people they create – people who often have no legal rights to access one or both of their biological parents.

    In your public remarks about being donor-conceived, it seems that you believe that there is nothing wrong with the status quo. I hope that you are able to eventually see other perspectives from donor-conceived people. Most donor-conceived people are opposed to anonymous gamete donation because of the long-term effects that it has on our identity formation and the difficult situations it places many of us in. Many donor-conceived people who have known about their origins from a very young age still long for a connection with their biological relatives, siblings and/or donors. You may not see it this way, but you come across as a spokesperson for all donor-conceived people; Cryos benefits from views like yours being spread while the voices of many others are suppressed.

    I’m truly sorry that you’re experiencing loneliness. I hope that you feel comfortable reaching out to the international donor-conceived community for support on your journey so that you can connect and see that you are not alone. Please feel free to contact me personally if I can be of any help.

    Jonathan

    • Emma Grønbæk

      Hi Jonathan,

      First of all, thank you for writing!

      It has taken me a while to write you back as I was not sure what to write.

      It sounds like a very difficult situation and like you’ve gone through a lot experiencing that you are donor conceived.

      As you say I have no problem with the status quo.
      I do really try my best to understand other perspectives and why people have different views than mine. We all have different stories and different perspectives and I respect that. I am not trying to say that this is not also true!

      My only wish is to tell how we have gone about it in my family to potentially help other families navigate in a very complex situation.
      I believe it is very important for both voices to be heard. But in Denmark there has been a tendency for only the unhappy stories to be told.

      Once again thank you very much for your message!

      Best wishes

      Emma

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