Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oh the shame of it!

I was talking to my Aunt on Easter and shared with her that I have found out who my son is.  We had a great, lengthy conversation about my pregnancy, and all the circumstances surrounding it.  Finally, someone in my family had the guts to say what I've known all along.  My parents, particularly my mother, was ashamed of me.  She still is ashamed over this issue and I'm pretty certain that she hasn't forgiven me.  Unfortunately, I don't think she realizes the impact that has had on our relationship over the years.

In an odd way, my aunt's vocalization of this fact has released something in me.  Maybe a better word to use is eased.  It's eased the pressure of feeling like I was, and continue to be, the screw-up in the family.  For years I've felt I've been fighting an uphill battle to get my family to see me, and embrace me, for who I am, not for the 17 year old problem child who brought shame to the family.  The more I've come to know myself and realize that there is a lot here that comes together to make a really good person, the more I have slowly distanced myself from my family.  I learned along time ago that family is not where I go to get support.  During the biggest, most difficult, most tragic time in my life my family was nowhere to be found.  It saddens me to no end that this is the case, but it's what they taught me.

I was so alone during my pregnancy (I guess at some point relatively soon here, I'll have to tell my story).  I was so afraid of my parents that I hid it from everyone.  I think my family definitely wins the "Head in the Sand Award" I can't understand how they could look at me day after day and month after month and not insist on doing something about it.  They'd ask me and I'd deny, deny, deny.  They ignored the problem until it was too late.  After all was said and done, they watched me suffer the loss of my son and did nothing again.  Nothing except tell me that we would never speak of it again.  We never did.  In 31 years, neither of my parents ever approached the subject of my son with me.  Never a question about if I ever think about him, or do I think of finding him, or that they're sorry that they handled it so badly.  Just swept it all under the rug, like it never happened.  They made me the shamed, bad girl of the family and left me there.  There are a lot of things that I own in this.  The innocent mistake that created a life, the final decision to not raise my son and the consequences of that decision are mine.  But the shame of it is not mine.  I will not take responsibility for that any longer.


  1. I'm so sorry. I can't imagine what that must have been like. This gives me some good insight into why my bio-mother must feel the need to distance herself from me. I don't think her parents were very 'helpful' to her in her time of need either.

  2. Haley, on the flip side, I can't imagine what it must feel like to not have your mother embracing your reunion right now. I think it's difficult for first moms who have not forgiven themselves to embrace reunion. I know that the waves of grief, memories of that time and all the emotion that I've allowed myself to feel in small doses over the years has sometimes left me running for cover. If I was a person that never allowed myself to think about or feel the pain of the loss of my child it would feel like a tsunami hit me.

    This is all so complicated, isn't it? I wish I had some sage advice as to how to improve the situation. All I can do is lend my support to you if and when you need it.

  3. <3 Thanks Laurie... is it ever complicated!

    I so appreciate hearing it from your perspective as a first mom. I am often dwelling in my own 'pity party' which makes it hard for me to step into her shoes.