Healthy by Association

"Projective Indentification refers to a psychological process in which one person projects a thought, belief or emotion to a second person. Then, in most common definitions of projective identification, there is another action in which the second person is changed by the projection and begins to behave as though he or she is in fact actually characterized by those thoughts or beliefs that have been projected." – Wikipedia

Years ago some witty corporate executive suggested that it was wise to dress for the position you want versus the position you have. This made me laugh at the time as I envisioned janitors the world round mopping up floors and taking out garbage wearing suits and ties.

After my belly laugh ended, I started to mull it over and it made some degree of sense to me and in my early career when I was still climbing the corporate ladder, I did just that. It did indeed work. I impressed my superiors, they saw potential in me and were eager to promote, encourage and welcome me into their circles. (That has since changed by the way. I just don’t care. Perhaps I am confident now or just stopped climbing the corporate ladder. For the other nugget I learned was the higher you climb on the ladder the more people see your ass. But alas, I digress).

Dressing for the position you want was rather like ‘you are what you eat”. Eat shit, you will feel and quite possibly look like shit. It’s also like the phrase my grandfather was famous for “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are”.  Also true. Lie down with dogs, you are bound to get flees. Hang out with a rough crowd, you are bound to get roughed up.

In recent weeks, I find myself needing to avoid the seriously angry, mean, malicious adoption blogs. Now, anger, IMO, is totally justified in adoption. I don’t mind bitter natural mothers, angry adoptees. Its part of our process. But what if people get stuck there? What if I spend too much time there? How can I ever get past my own anger if I all I do is wallow in it with others?

I just cannot do it anymore. Is this a sign of growth for me or denial?  How long is an anger phase? Does Kubler Ross have that documented? Does it vary by individual?

I just cannot do it anymore. I really can’t. The hurt, the lack of compassion, the lack of understanding for first mothers and what WE went through. The loss we suffered. I can no longer go into arenas and be surrounded by individuals who carry on about the pain of infertility and the loss of adoptees. News flash, people, some of us moms lost too. Some of us were victims and coerced and intimidated and naïve and used and threatened and worse. My life was not bettered in any way, shape or form by losing my daughter.

I cannot deal with being told I had a choice. Oh yeah? Were you there? Were you a fly on the wall in that Italian restaurant when the caseworker threatened to sue me? Do you know what it was like to live in my family home? Have you ever lived in a stark bare maternity home over one thousand miles from your family friends?  Better yet, have you been a pregnant teen with no where to live, no job and a family that has discarded you? Do you KNOW how that feels? Unless you do, don’t give me that I had a choice bullshit. You don’t know.

Why can some people find compassion and understanding for natural mother and all others want to demonize us? Why do some people (adoptees included) refuse to believe that some mothers did not have a choice, always loved their children and hurt for the rest of our lives – just like our children?  I don’t know. I just know that I think I have to stay away from those people. They perpetuate the hurt. They make me angry and I don’t want to be angry any more.

I cannot change the past. It is what it is. I did what I did – good bad or otherwise. I truly believe I have done all I can for my daughter and the rest, if anything, is up to her. If she chooses to live an angry life, that’s her choice. But it is not mine. I paid my debt and I live with that loss every freaking day of my life. It has permeated my marriage, my working life, my waking and sleeping hours, and even my subsequent children. I am done punishing myself and I won’t accept it from anyone else. I am a good person. A good mother, friend, sister, daughter, and more. I am done allowing myself to be the whipping post for other people’s issues.

I want to focus on the good people I know, the people who care and respect and understand that mothers love their children, always have and that we don’t deserve to be punished for what the church, society and those that buy and sell babies did to us. They harvested our babies for the good of oh, I don’t know, themselves, and then held us responsible for their actions.  Screw that. Enough of that noise.

I want to continue to be a person of growth and wisdom and understanding. To do that, I feel I must ‘hang around” with people that are caring and understanding and compassionate. I want to “hang around’ with people who are healthier than me. Not angrier.

I simply cannot do it anymore.

9 Thoughts.

  1. You are always so eloquent, and once again I find myself in tears. Your words could be mine. I said I am done paying for something I had no control over, and I am glad you have come to the same decision. I don’t read many of the “angry blogs” anymore either, it does me no good, and hurts when I truly want to get past the pain and anger and to do that I need to make my anger and pain less. Yep I have both those things, but they do not make me who I am. They are but parts of me, there is much more to me than those two things. I want to dance, yeah I want to dance, and live, and breathe, and love, and I want to be me…

  2. Kudos to you honey! All right, I don’t know you all that long yet, long enought to know the real you, so I feel I can say this: It’s about time!
    Mo xoxo

  3. I have to admit that before I joined a triad support group, and found the online adoption community, I really thought that birth mothers had a choice. And they would’ve kept us if the timing had been more convenient for THEM.
    I’m glad I’m not as ignorant anymore. I’m grateful for writers like you who have helped me learn about things like BSE. I had no clue before. I still have anger, I’m still hurt, but hell knows I’m not the only one in the triad who was hurt. It’s helping me heal just knowing that.
    This whole damn thing’s a journey and I want to continue to grow and learn too.
    P.S. I stay away from the sofa mostly because of the reasons you defined. I’ve found an adoptee only group that was a sofa offspring, and they have been an incredibly supportive gang. Have you thought about starting a birthparent only group?

  4. You, Suz, are like a beacon in all the craziness. I’ll be eternally grateful for all you’ve taught me, all you’ve helped me see and understand. Thank you.
    You have been through enough, and don’t need to be hurt by the loud and angry. I just hope that those who won’t listen to you now are able to some day. How much they’d learn if they did!
    Sending hugs.

  5. Just plain factual! I am so happy to hear this. I was getting worried how long this would take. So emotionally draining and you are so strong. But, it is time and you have put yourself through enough. Some things are never meant to be anything more than what they are. This is an AMEN.
    I wish you well. You have lead me thru some dark places..And you are worth All of you.

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