I have been out on the blogs after reading the comments on my last post. Yes I am one of those stealth readers who seldom comments. I have been trying to understand the hurt mothers and angry adoptees and why reconcilliation is so hard. I am sure I will get plenty of disagreements with this but I think I am begining to understand at least a part of it. Mothers and adoptees are both hurt and both want that hurt to be understood. As a mother the hardest thing for me to come to terms with is that I caused the hurt. All of the reasons/excuses/justifications are really beside the point. That is not an easy conclusion to reach nor is it particularly easy to live with but it is real and I need to understand that and come to terms with it.
Before I get jumped too badly on this, I am not advocating sackcloth and ashes for all mothers. At least most of us did not intend to cause harm, usually just the opposite. As adults (or at least teenagers) we got through a lot of the pain of relinquishment by telling ourselves that we 'did the right thing for the child". We learned to cope one way or the other with that as our mantra. Lorraine Dursky said it best, "you don't stop hurting you just stop crying every day." We reasoned through it. We tried to get on with our lives as we were told to do. Our children didn't have that luxury. They were told that their mothers gave them away because their mothers loved them. What the hell kind of a message is that? How do you reason through that one when you are 5 years old? Our children did not choose to be adopted into a nice family. We made that choice for them. There is absolutly no way that you can explain relinquishment to a child so that it makes sense. The only thing that makes sense to a child is that their mother didn't want them. It is not helpful to be told you should be grateful that you weren't wanted.
I had a hard time getting to the point where I could accept responsibility for my decision and tell my daughter that I had made a horrible decision that hurt her and I was sorry. It doesn't solve everthing but it is a start. I can understand why she pushes me away sometimes. I can understand her anger. That doesn't mean I don't get hurt by it. It just means that I can undertand. I think she is starting to understand that I always did love her and always will (except on her really bad days). Our hurts are both real. It helps to face them. No sackcloth and ashes, just a dose of reality.