I am in my 40s and successful by any measure, but a nightmare from my past has come out. At 16, I gave up a baby girl. She was the product of years of sexual abuse by my half-brother. I tried to commit suicide when I found out I was pregnant. I failed, and the authorities got involved. My mother blamed me for all of it, and I haven’t spoken to her since. I would have had an abortion if that had been possible. I feel nothing for this girl maternally but I wouldn’t push my past onto anyone. Even though the adoption was closed, she was able to find me and wants to know about her birth. What do I owe her? My mother and half-brother are both alive, to the best of my knowledge. I wouldn’t send a serial killer into their arms, let alone a child. I don’t want a relationship. I am not this girl’s mother in any way, but I owe her something. What do I tell her? I have told no one in my current life about my past. You are the only one I can tell.
—What Do I Owe Her?