I’ve had many passports during my life time. I’ve also lost many passports – that saw me stranded in various countries. Not funny, when you have to make your way to the Irish Consolate in Bern, Switzerland, and the like to explain your losses. It never dawned on me when I first had to get one, as a young teenager in order to work as an au-pair in Switzerland that I could have got details about my true identity. I was so gullible and straight out of Goldenbridge, and knew no better. I kick myself when I think of all the years that were wasted in not knowing who my mother was… so much could easily have been rectified at the time had I got an enquiring mind. Alas, to my chagrin, it was never to be. One of mama’s first words to me, when I eventually encountered her in the early eighties in Victoria, London, were… that she had thought I would come looking for her straight after I had left the institution at 16. That was simply not possible, as the nuns only divulged very minuscule information to me about her. I was told that I had once got a mother, but that she was dead. Nothing else was said about my background. I was almost leaving Goldenbridge at the time. Those words meant absolutely nothing to me in the slightest, as I had never got a visitor from a single relative after the first year I entered Goldenbridge to the day I stepped outside the gates on my own. I had no inkling of what a family was indeed. However, I do know that whenever the nuns did talk to others vis-à-vis moi, it was always in whispers. When I made new found discoveries, I had so much resentment towards the nuns, because it completely impaired any chance of coming together in a normal way with a real family. I definitely would have sought out my mother had I been given the correct information.
As you can see from the photo, youth is not exactly on my side. Nonetheless, that has not deterred me from obtaining once again another new new passport. It’s one of the newest variety that was introduced in Ireland at the beginning of October 2013. Even though, the photo sent in to the passport office via postal express from the GPO was a coloured one, the photo embedded in is back black and white. The inbuilt photo can’t automatically be removed from the page. Unlike its predecessor. So – security-wise that’s indeed a very positive factor.