Friday, July 8, 2011

The Elephant in My Room

It's been seven months since I sent the intro letter to my son.  I haven't heard anything back from him and my secret fear is that it has a lot to do with the elephant that has been sitting in my room for almost 33 years.  That elephant knows way too much of the truth about how I felt about being pregnant.  It knows that my loneliness during that time, that I speak of often, was somewhat self imposed.  It knows that I was angry, terrified and ashamed every day for nine months.  It knows that not only did I not want to be pregnant, I prayed for it all to go away.  Guess what?  I got that prayer answered, only by the time it was answered, all I wanted to do was keep him. 

This elephant has to be addressed, he has had his weight felt in my life for way too long.  I feel such shame for how I felt then.  It is something I have not been able to forgive myself for.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive myself for it.  I understand the logic of how to heal. For example, I know that when you know better, you do better.  I know that I was sixteen/seventeen and reacting with a sixteen/seventeen year old brain.

I also know that how I felt then is unforgivable to me and my elephant knows it.  He is here to remind me of it whenever I think about hearing from my son.  My husband tells me that my son just got married, he has a lot on his plate, he's just not ready, when he's ready, I'll hear from him.  My elephant is there to remind me that I don't deserve to hear from him, that those feelings are what my son knows of me and that he wasn't there for the part where I loved him. My elephant knows that I'll never hear from him.

I'm stuck here, with this elephant.  Don't know how to get rid of him.  Maybe I'll never be able to.  Maybe I'll only get rid of him when I can say to my son that I'm sorry that I didn't realize what a gift he was until it was too late.  Maybe I'll never get the chance to.  In that case, maybe I should rename this blog "Laurie and Her Elephant."

Monday, July 4, 2011

In a funk

Happy Fourth of July! bah-humbug I woke up this morning in a serious funk.  Now I know some of this is the fact that I am having some serious menopause related insomnia (oh yes, I caught up on ALL the adoption blogs last night!)  I'm also going through some personal stuff that kinda sucks.  But really, what is making me a not very pleasant person to be around today is the fact that yet another holiday is going to pass without contact from my son.  It's been seven months since I sent the letter and nothing.  Now, I have a theory as to why there is no contact, but I'm saving it for another post. (really not the post to write when I'm already in a funk)  Regardless of my theory, this solo, emotional roller coaster ride sucks.

I'm tired of hoping, wishing, crying, trying to not be too disappointed, trying to talk myself into not giving up hope, trying to keep myself from putting this all back on my safe little shelf and moving on with my life.  I'm tired of putting on the brave face, trying to not talk about it too much, trying to pretend that it doesn't bother me, that I only want "what's best for him", "on his time", "whenever he's ready."  Noooo, what I want (I think) is for him to put me out of my misery.  Stop this waiting game, which is just torturous.  Of course, I'm totally petrified that I'll get a big kiss off and then I'll wish that I was still waiting to hear from him!  UGH!

I want to be be able to say that I have needs here to, and to not feel guilty for acknowledging them.  I put my feelings aside 31 years ago in the "best interest" of him, look where that got me.  I want what I want to be important enough, finally.  I want to get to meet him, hug him, talk to him, apologize to him, share his sister with him, his family, his heritage and I want him to be happy about it. I want to read other people's reunion stories and be really, truly happy for them.  I am really, truly happy for them, I just wish I wasn't so envious.  I don't like feeling that way, it's not my nature, but I can't seem to help it these days.

I guess what I'm really looking for is a way to move forward.  I hate being stuck, I'm always looking out for what's coming next and being in limbo land for this long doesn't sit well with me.

Thanks for listening to me whine, now let's get out there and enjoy some humbug fireworks!

Whoa, Nelly

I don't like being attacked and I don't like reading about people attacking one another. I know that there is so much loss on all sides of the adoption triad. I know that there is a lot of anger out there.  I know that the adoption establishment has set us up to point fingers at each other, while they take our children's rights and identities away from them.

Even though I am a strong willed, independent thinking, determined woman, I hope that one of my best qualities is that I am a compassionate human being.  Even though I haven't lived it, I understand the pain that an infertile woman feels, the longing for a child to love.  Even  though I haven't lived it, I understand the pain an adopted child can have, the longing for connection to heredity and nature.  I have lived through losing my child, having someone else raise them and the feelings of insignificance and incompetence that led me to believe that I wasn't capable of raising my son.  I understand the pain and loss that other first moms experience.

I may not agree with all the choices people make, but I have not spent a second in their life, feeling their desperation, loss or pain.  Who am I to judge or correct them?  I have learned a few things in the almost fifty years I have been on this planet.   One of them is that you cannot change someone's mind if they are not open to having it changed.  It is a waste of time and energy to try to change them.  I own a store and people ask me all the time if I think about my customers when I am buying.  I don't.  I buy what I love and the people who share my taste are my customers.  The people who come in my store and don't get it, are not.  There is nothing I can do to sway the non-believers to my side.  The same in the adoption world.  There are people who want to learn from, grow from, understand and support each other.  There are those that want to blame and hate each other.  If we spend time trying to change the minds of blamers and haters, we waste energy that could be spent healing ourselves and educating the public/legislators that can help us attain our goals.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good, healthy debate as much as the next person.  It is certainly possible (and preferable) to be respectful and debate an issue at the same time.  There are fence sitters out there that can be educated from our experiences.  What I don't want to participate in any longer is the drama that goes along with being able to express an opposing position only by personally attacking someone.  Sinking to that petty level only fuels the fire and there is never a winner in that.