QA188 QUESTION: I was adopted, and I know that my mother died just before I was born. I have reason to believe my father is still living in Austria, and I was planning a trip this summer to go to Austria to look up my background, to find missing links. Would this be beneficial, or would it be too painful and harmful?
ANSWER: The answer cannot ever be, “This is beneficial or it is not beneficial.” It depends how you take it. And you must be the judge of it. I would suggest that you, first of all, before you undertake such a search, ask yourself some very deep and probing questions. For example, what is the real reason you want to find and reestablish this link?
If you can give yourself really very honest answers that go beyond the surface answers that you have ready, then already you will know much more whether or not embarking on such a project would be painful or not, would be beneficial or not. It might be painful just because of that or, in spite of it, be very beneficial, provided you know the real reasons.
Also, I might add, the real reasons may be manifold. There may be some you’re perfectly well aware of now, but the fact that you may not be conscious of some other motives that pull you in this direction does not make the genuine motives secure enough for you. Therefore, the probing deep questions must be asked of yourself: What do you want? What do you expect of this contact? How much anger is there that you do not accept in yourself?
If you would accept it, there would not be any problem. But if you deny the anger and the hate and the revenge and the rebellion that is contained in what drives you, then you would be bound to be disappointed, no matter what happens. And that disappointment would be painful. You could not cope with it, not because whatever happens is so difficult to cope with per se but because you are unable to cope with these emotions in view of the fact that you do not permit yourself to know them.