Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fallout From the Lie

My daughter and I have been talking about a lot of things including my sometimes odd behavior and some of her feelings. I have been thinking about it a lot. First thing is that she dropped everything and called me when she got my e-mail about Freija, She knew how I felt and knew I needed her. She was there for me. We have had conversations since. Somewhere along the line it occurred to me that it is amazing that she actually loves me. Why should she? She didn't relinquish me, I reliquished her. Yes I was hurt by it but at least I got a vote and I delt with the fallout as an adult. She didn't get a vote and had to deal with the fallout as a child. It is hard to rationalize when you are an infant and no one can explain that it is 'best for you' when you hurt. I am not saying that it is easy for the mothers but at least there is the lie to cling to. So I am trying to wrap my mind around what it really means to be adopted. I realized that a lot of my weird behavior comes about when I simply have no idea what to do or how to react. Believe me, it is not a pretty sight. The only way I know is to really open up my mind to what adoption does to a person including some very sad pieces. The saddest for me is understanding that I can't make it go away like it never happened. I can't make her feel secure and safe and loved. I can do better with accepting and understanding her and get by my self-centered hurt feelings and self-protective behaviors. In short, I have to get by the deer in the headlights reactions (OK I will slip sometimes but I can get better). So this is going to be one of those posts where I probably manage to offend way too many people and be told that I am full of shit and I haven't got a clue. I don't intend any offense. I know that I don't really have a clue so I won't take offense when someone (including you Fuzzy Duck) tells me that I am clueless. I don't even think that my thoughts are entirely coherent at this point. So take them for a straw man. I have to start somewhere.

Separation is unatural. An infant knows the differnce between their mother and a kind stranger. They were together for 9 months, one person. An infant feels safe with the mother who is familiar (yes I do belive mother/child bonding starts before birth. I didn't until recently). The child is hurt by the separation. At some point the child knows that they (for those linguisically inclined I can't bring my feminist self to use the 'he' and the he/she is just cumbersome) are adopted and has to make sense of it. There is no way for a child to make sense of it other than mommy didn't want me. I don't care how it gets dressed up, children are quite literal and will see it as rejection. The child then feels sure that there is something wrong with them if their mother didn't want them. Then, no mateer if someone tries to tell them differently it follows that if they aren't very good their parents will also reject them. So life gets to be a constant challange of trying to prove that they are good enough. They can't feel safe and loved just for themselves. I am sure that as a normal part of growing up there is more than a fair share of acting up and pushing back but the underlying problem is just not feeling good enough. Love becomes very conditional. I will be loved if I follow all the rules. I will be loved if I act like you, think like you, do what you want. At some point a lot of adoptees realize they have been totally screwed over. What I can't really understand is that why when they look for us they are not comming armed. Not kicking in the door and kicking us to a bloody pulp until we explain what the fuck we thought we were doing is a triumph of rationality over justifiable anger. Then to add to the fun they get confronted with fog ladden self-righteousness followed by a sappy attempt to make it better. And people wonder why they are such ungrateful little bastards. I am suprised that my daughter does love me. I am suprised she lets me love her. I need to get over the self pitty that causes hurt feelings when I am 'trying to do my best' and she pulls back. The fact is that I got a vote in the relinquishment and she didn't. I was an adult dealing with the pain of separation and she was a child. She is entitled to anger at me. I am entitled to my anger at the lie and the people who perpetuate that lie for their profit and self interest. I am angry at her hurts that I can't heal. I am happy that she is in my life and that we love each other.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

RIP Freija Ann

The fuzzy rat's beloved kitty cat, Freija Ann, was tragically run over by a car this weekend. She was honestly the most beautiful cat I had ever seen. This was the "fur sister" that I swear helped me through all of my exams and auditions over the past three years by sacrificing rodents and other small animals (sniff) on my behalf. She was a tough outdoor cat, yet the most sleek, graceful animal you can imagine. I only got to meet her a few times, but I really will miss her. I'm really animal-sensitive as is my mother. I know many of you out there get it with the animal thing. Animals are family. Freija will be missed and remembered fondly.

On another note, adoption sucks.
I just can't say anything more about it tonight. It just sucks.
It has slayed me.
Tonight, I hurt to the very core of my being, and I feel like no one understands.
Yet I know that I have to pick myself up, dust myself off, and walk on alone like I always have.
It's what I do.
I was born to be alone. I don't "belong" to anyone. Never have, never will.
No one gets it.
No one understands.
I am alone.
I have nothing intelligent to say. Hell, I rarely have anything intelligent to say.
I'm screwed up. I hurt. I am alone.
At least that's how I feel tonight.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It Is Good To Know I Am Not Crazy

I have just been re-reading the responses to my previous post. There are so many times that I start thinking that I am imagining things and it is just me. Even my husband who has been wonderfully supportive during the ups and downs of reunion doesn't understand that adoption is harmful. He understands how my daughter and I feel about each other and is very fond of her and my grandson. He doesn't understand about the the the painful parts. I was on Phil's blog and was completely blown away when I saw what he had written about mothers believing they were doing whats best. Reading what everyone said really made me understand that this is not just a me thing. I am not crazy when I say that I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't believed the lie. Part of me just kept wondering if that was just an excuse and all I cared about at the time was getting past a problem. Its not how I remember feeling but can I trust my memories? Was I trying to re-write the past in order to justify the unjustifiable? Thanks to all of the responses I know that it isn't me being delusional.

Speaking of thanks, you guys are helping me through another difficut time with my daughter. For the past week she han't been communicating at all. I send her e-mails and no response. I think I know what is going on but of course can't be sure. I just try to keep reminding her that I am here for her and love her. Yes it is all about adoption "issues". I am angry, sad, hurt and about every other emotion you can imagine. It helps to know this isn't just my daughter and I going through the difficulties of reunion. There is nothing wrong with us. There is everything wrong with separation. There is everything wrong with believing the lie. Canuck, I hope the contact results in reunion for you. It is hard to face the fact that by believing the lie we have harmed our children. It is impossible to understand what is going on in a reunion if we don't.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Lie That Keeps Working

I was hesitant to write this. My daughter's post about birth mothers (I am using that very obnoxious term deliberatly because that is what we are when we are in the fog) really struck a chord with me. I have written before about why I relinquished. I haven't really understood why women would now. There are so many options. Society is fairly accepting of single mothers. Abortion is legal and safe. That was stupid of me to miss the whole point. The adoption industry stays alive and well based on the one big lie that keeps working. THE child deserves a better life than you can provide. It is pefect. It hits a very basic instinct, give your child the best life you possibly can. It is the all purpose lie. It works if you are poor. It works if you think you don't know how to be a good mother. It works if you are busy with a career and think there are not enough hours in the day to care for your child. It even works if you are married and didn't plan to get pregnant. You can give your child a better life than they would have with you. Not only that, you can give a nice couple who has the time/money/need to parent a wonderful gift. Forget the rest of the BS about how you will get over it and how you get to feel good about the decision as you get on with your life. That is a side show. What works is that the mother believes that her choice is to give her child the best possible life or be selfish and deny her child a good life. As a bonus you even get to make two strangers very happy. The whole thing wouldn't even be a lie if it weren't for one small inconvienent truth, an infant knows and wants their mother not just any person who cares for them. Separation from the mother hurts the child and they will remember the hurt. If I had known that my daughter needed ME more than she needed a nice married couple with a stable income and a desire to parent there is no way in hell I would have signed those damn papers. That is the bit of full disclosure that you don't hear when you are trying to figure out what to do.

I was hesitant to write this because in retrospect it sounds like some kind of lame excuse for taking the easy way out. I am writing about it because I think that it is something that most adoptees really don't understand. It is obvious to all/most adoptees reading this that they needed their mother not a substitute. It is not obvious to most people because you don't remember what it felt like to have your mother hold you when you were an infant. There are too many people who know what it feels like to not have their mother hold them. This inconvienent truth is also the last thing n-moms and a-moms want to hear. I am going out on a limb here and trying to speak for n-moms. I have avoided that because I have always felt that I could only speak for myself. I'm sure that there are plenty out there who will say I don't speak for them. They will be right. There are others who can't because facing it is hard. We relinquished because we wanted to give our children the very best we could. Even if we had known (they lie about this part too) that we would not just forget and get over it and that there would always be an emptiness no one could fill but our missing child we would have done it anyway. Finding out years later that you were what your child needed and you caused so much hurt to your child by not being there is devastating. I never believed I would go through anything as painful as the reliquishment. Comming out of the fog and understanding the harm I caused my daughter was worse. For the first two years of I reunion I clung to the belief that I did the right thing because I couldn't face the reality of the hurt I caused. It still hurts because I cannot heal her pain. I know that so much of what she goes through now is because I reliquished her. Sometimes it helps a bit because I am in her life now. It is a bit strange that I am glad I finally faced this. I,m not sure exactly why that is true and there are times that I would love to sink back into the fog and really believe that I made the right decision but I don't.

The reason (yes I will finally come to the point) that I decided to write this is that I have read a lot about adoptees searching, reunions and their difficulties, and reunions gone astray. A common theme seems to be that adoptees don't understand why they were 'rejected' and n-moms don't understand or can't face the fact that they caused harm to their child. So, I am on a crusade. I want full disclosure before any adoption decision is made that includes the following facts.




Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Anguish and Art

I spent most of today working on music. I know that's a luxury I won't have in a short period of time and the musical side of me is going to be a real bitch to let go of. My friend and I practiced diligently for hours and for once I really put my soul into what I was doing. I guess it worked, because she said my voice gave her chills today (she meant in a good way!) Our harmonies were perfect, the windows were wide open, and I didn't care how many neighbors witnessed our experimentations. Oh yes, it felt great.

As usual though, my songwriting betrayed my outer sunny dispositon. In a 5 minute stream of consciousness, I came up with

You’re here but somewhere else tonight
And I’m wondering if you’ll stay
I know you lie when you don’t look at me that way
Your private hell is my dominion
But my heart won’t let it go
And as usual I’m the very last to know

The first time was a revelation
The next it was a falter
The third time focused my suspicions
On my hurt and if it mattered

I’ve often held your hand in silence
Played games with borrowed time
Somehow believed your truth was close to mine
I’ll hide behind your inhibitions
And make believe you’ve got a clue
All I needed was to feel you loved me too

The first time was a revelation
The next it was a falter
The third time focused my suspicions
On my hurt and if it mattered

Save me the empty promises
And make me believe you might stay
I’ve begged you not to look at me that way
Let’s pretend this part won’t matter
It’s late and your heart’s grown cold
This time I’ll be the one to let it go

I think I'm on a downward spiral.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


In my never-ending quest to further understand relinquishment and how a woman could be coerced to have someone else raise their child, I started reading "Birthmother Stories" on an open adoption agency's website. This was a particularly moving collection. It was a concentrated blend of brainwashing all on one page. It almost sounds as if all of these women joined a cult.

I chose adoption not to give [my baby] to xxx and xxx, but to give xxx and xxx to [my baby].

I still visit [my baby] once a month and [my boyfriend] and I are still together. We plan on getting married and having children of our own one day.

I had always made sure that I would not be a woman who would bring an unwanted child into the world, and here I was—pregnant... Now I am not ashamed or embarrassed about the pregnancy that I went through. I am proud of the decision I made. I hear from the family once in awhile. [The adoptive mother] will call out of the blue just to thank me again. It's wonderful. I'm married now and have another child; my life has gone on. I thank God for making me a better person through my trials.

It was very painful for me to watch him go but I knew in my heart it was right. Sonne kept in touch with letters and lots of pictures which helped ease the pain a little. I got to watch him grow and change, although at a distance. That was okay though, because I knew he was getting so much more than I could have given him...I believe that [my child] came through me, not to me. He is where he was meant to be and he is having a wonderful life.

I'll tell you right now...if my mother had tried to tell me some of these things by the time I was an adult, I might have gone postal. I don't want to hear what a great choice you made. I don't want to hear how relinquishing me made you a better person. I don't want to hear how you are only a fucking walking uterus. I don't want to hear how easy it was for you and how I should be grateful to be in a nice suburban home with a swimming pool.

Time to get real, people.

As much as my mother and I "clicked" initially, I don't think our relationship became "real" until she could start to confront her pain and we could discuss how we BOTH felt.

Why aren't women told the truth? Why aren't they given more than one side to a story? Why aren't women who go to adoption agencies in fear and desperation given the flip side? They sure as hell give you the flip side when you go in to get an abortion. Abortion isn't a band aid to get rid of the "problem", they tell you. You will feel pain for your decision and may need some counseling to get through may grieve the loss of your baby...your hormones are going to whack out on you...I was told all of these things when I had an abortion in my twenties. Oh, but wait, excuse me, if agencies tell the REAL truth about how much adoption might suck for you, the agencies might lose money. And there are REAL parents waiting to raise your child. Parents that are better than you could ever be, you minimum-wage-earning-worthless-vessel.

What does it take for the world to start looking more critically at the system, questioning what is really going on instead of just accepting these happy dappy stories at face value???

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What More Do I have To Say

Sometimes I start feeling like I am alone in this and ther is nothing more I can add to a discussion. Maybe I have said everything I have to say. Maybe we do just get through the hard parts day by day and by ourselves. Then I get a comment. I find out that something I wrote strikes a chord and maybe will make a difference. I am starting to understand that the adoptees are a lot more open. We keep our fears to ourseves. Thats what we think we are supposed to do. After all, we know that it is our fault. We are the ones who made the decision even if we really didn't have a choice or believed that we didn't have one. Our children didn't get a choice. I don't think that anyone who is reading this really believes they made a good choice, just the only choice we thought we had. It doesn't matter why we made that choice, it only matters that we did. We can come up with a lot of reasons or excuses but it comes back to the fact that we signed those damned papers. Can we forgive ourselves for that. Can our children forgive us for that. I wish I knew. The duck and I are in a better place. Maybe she is learning to trust. Maybe she is learning that I do love her and have since before she was born. Maybe she will never really believe it. Maybe she will never really understand what she means to me but just maybe she will. Thats what keeps me goimg, maybe she will. One thing I have learned is that is not good to hide the hurt from our children. We try to protect them and don't want to tell them that it hurt us too. It sounds so sefish. After all, we were the decision makers. What right do we have to say we hurt too. I have come to understand that by not telling them we are saying that it was easy. They are the ones with problems, not us. We want to protect them but they don't need protection. They need the truth. That makes us face the truth. I wish that someone had told me the truth 39 years ago. Maybe I wanted to believe that I was doing 'the right thing for THE child'. It would be so much easier if it were true. Now I know it is a lie. Why didn't I know it then. Why do women still believe the lie.

So, enough about me for the moment. My daughter is OK. Her husband (dare I write my son-in-law) is fine. It was very scary but turned out OK. I am glad I was there for her. I wish that I could have been with her instead of a voice on the phone.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Love and Loss

Last night, I had a horrible scare with my husband. I took him to the ER with severe chest pains. They admitted him and ran all kinds of tests, and luckily he got to go home this afternoon...but the last 24 hours have been hell. I think I've gotten an hour of sleep. Tomorrow he goes in for more testing. They're not sure what is going on. I'm trying to maintain a calm exterior, go through the motions, do all the adult things that need to be done. I am trying not to do worst-case-scenario trains of thought and instead, concentrate on one hour at a time, staying on task, making sure bases are covered, i's are dotted and t's are crossed.

This is a scenario that many of us have had to go through, but I wonder sometimes if adoptees have an extra layer of difficulty because of the constant fear of loss that is within us. In a way, it seems like we should be experts at loss - after all, it's a core part of our beings. I realized today that I'm really, truly terrified of being alone. I almost lost my aparents to simultaneous heart attacks 17 years ago (yes, you read that right - 2 parents in the CCU at the same time). That was really scary and sad and overwhelming and indescribable and...but lemme tell you. The thought of having something awful happen to my husband is something else again. This man has been the core of my existence for the last 11 years - longer if you count all the times we dated and broke up in the 9 years prior to that. He is my lover, my best friend, my rock, my companion. We've had our ups and downs like every other married couple, sure. But in a sense, he's also been a father figure to me. He met me when I was 18 and he literally helped me finish growing up. He was there for me in all the ways my aparents weren't capable of (trust me, there is a long story there). He's been faithful as a puppy dog over all these years. I realized today that I always just assumed he'd be there, that I would be the one to die first. It wasn't really a conscious assumption...I just can't imagine a world without him.

I'm really rambling tonight. I'm still really scared.

My fuzzy rat mother has been wonderful through this. Whatever drama we have been dealing with in our relationship is kind of an aside at the moment. I'm starting to learn that she is just there, unconditionally, no matter how shitty things get. I love her very much. I'm learning to trust very slowly, I think.

I promise I'll type more coherent posts later. I'm just feeling like a little girl sucking her thumb at the moment...very childlike. I guess I just had to let off some steam here.

Whoever you are...thanks for listening.

We Are Back

For those of you that saw the goodbye post from the fuzzy duck, she will be back very soon. She asked me to delete the post. She is having a rough time now but understands that this is importanat for both of us and will be back on the board. I am happy about that but I wish that she wasn't going through so much turmoil right now.

Its hard to explain what has been going on. As much as we communicate there are times when we can just get in different places and hurt each other. Its hard but I have had some time to think about it. I can hurt her. She can hurt me. We have trouble saying when we have been hurt. It is too easy to just retreat back to what did you expect. It is too easy to believe that you have been crazy to think that you are important and so many reasons to believe that we really aren't. It is one of the hardest parts of reunion. Inside each of us thinks we don't really have a place and we are intrusions on each other's lives. The feeling of rejection and unwortheyness are both very real. It has the same root. The belief that both of us have had for so long that we are just not good enough. How can we believe that we really are good enough to deserve each other's love? How can we believe that we are important to each other? How can we learn to say when we are hut and trust each other? I know that it will take time. What we have realized is that loving each other doesn't save us from doubts and hurts. We have realized is that neither one of us can be apart. We need each other in so many ways. Living so far apart is hell. It makes everything so much harder. We both have said thing we regret. We have both reacted in ways that seemed to make sense at the time but we regret. The root of all evil is reliquishment and the fog lies. I am just begining to understand how much we have been hurt and how each of us is reacting to the same hurt.

This has been a very hard one. We were just starting to get back to where we should be and talking again. A really bad scare just occured in her life. She called and I think I was able to help some. We have talked a few times today. She needs me and I am 2400 miles away. I hate that. She needs to be hugged and have just a little bit of time where she can beloved and cared for instead of being strong and taking care of everyone else. I want to be there so much and instead all I can do for now is tell her how much I love her and even make her laugh a bit. I want to be there and just give her some time where she can lean on me for a time. I want to just hold her and tell her it will be all right. I want to help with my grandson. I want to do the shopping and make dinner so she doesn't have to. More than anything I just want to give her a bit of time where she can just cry and be held and loved before she pulls herself together again and do what she does so well, take care of everyone else.

She will be back soon.