Herd Mentality

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

So, I do think it is working.

My avoidance of certain blogs and forums is helping me to feel better.

It’s amazing to me in a way how badly they made me feel.  I struggled intensely with boundaries and not making their problems and their reunions a reflection of mine. I also took on too much of their pain. As if I am the collective natural mother – the one who should bear all the pain and horror and blame for the alleged crimes of us all. I just got in too deep.

It reminded me of my teenage years when my mother required my siblings and I to attend Alateen. I hated those meetings. For me personally, sitting in a room with people who told us all these horrible stories about their alcoholic parents just brought me down. What was the point? I had my own alchoholic parent and horror stories. Did I really need to hear more? I understood the need to vent but what were we going to DO about it? I personally was not helped by sitting around kvetching. I needed action, hope, and a light at the end of my tunnel. Not having that made me want to slit my throat.

With my recent obsession of reading painful adoption stuffs, I also felt I was adopting the herd mentality.  You know how a fight with a few people can turn into an enormous riot? I felt like that. I could go visit a board, or a blog and see rants and rave and anger and suddenly I felt the rage myself and had no idea why. The topics would not even apply to me, the threads would have nothing to do with me but the anger was contagious.  (“Let’s go kill that guy! Yeah! Yeah!”…. “Wait, who is that guy?”) Frightening. Very frightening.  This effect is not unlike what put many of us into the belly of the adoption beast to begin with.

Over 20 years ago, my parents and I fell prey to societal constructs that said unwed teen mothers should not raise their children.  I could have been doing the same by engaging in rage I wasn’t even part of.

The LAST thing I want to do is lose my own voice and opinion after working so many years to reclaim it.

I found a few new natural mom blogs and have been reading them and also corresponding with them via email. I find that is just the ticket for me right now. To feel validated and understood and not like the demon seed. I need to be around people who give me hope and inspiration. I need to communicate with people healthier than me. I need to be around those that feel like me not those that want to castigate me and my fellow sisters.

I once thought that since my daughter was so challenging, I could benefit from reading challenging adoption blogs. I don’t think that will help me. I need to trust her, time and myself and allow us to be the unique individuals we are. As I have said so many times, adoption trauma may bind us but how each of us handles that trauma varies greatly. And that’s okay.

It is our humanness.

8 Thoughts.

  1. Suz, This post totally resonates with me. That was happening to me at the boards and the negativity was seeping in. Not the way I want to be. Love you, R

  2. Maybe it is because I am older (not necessarily wiser though!)that I just don’t have the energy and/or the desire to get wrapped up in the fights and anger.
    I identify so much with you and your challenges with your daughter in part because I never got to meet my deceased bdad. In a perfect world, you would have a great relationship with your daughter and I would have (at the very least!)met him. Ah well…
    I am thankful I have a relationship with my bmom. Is it perfect? Not really. But after having nothing for 45 years, it is a vast improvement. I don’t think we will ever be calling each other “son and mom” but that is OK.
    I read you religously and always appreciate your comments!
    After some thought, I would gladly “follow the herd” to a Starbucks though…
    Dan

  3. I have been reading your blog for several months and this post really resonated with me. I too have found myself lately getting too emotional about threads in forums and blogs. I think I will follow your example and just avoid them for awhile (except yours of course).
    I have found your posts very thought provoking, thank you.

  4. Outrageous post and now I to know! The boards abound, emotions enraged, and the spider has entered the web.
    Anyway, I have survived being almost burned to a crisp. I am not an advocate of anything I just know what is right and wrong about it all (in my mind)
    And you are right there are nicer places to visit.

  5. Oops! I just re-read the above. I am sure you know how very much I love to read your blog. It was a senior moment I forgot to finish it. lol.
    Just why do we get so involved on these blogs. I certainly have a lot of things to do.
    You are right, comes a time to pack up and find nicer quarters.
    I will always be here first.

  6. Stay away from those evil boards. They do me no good at all, just piss me off. Your right we’ve had enough trauma in our lives we don’t need any more.

  7. Thanks for putting this into words, Suz. I can totally relate. It’s so easy to get worked up into a frenzy and the anger expands, leaving room for nothing else. I recently finished an article on the history of the “b-terms” and the so-called positive adoption language, which required a lot of research on the web. I became obsessed and finally managed to write an objective report (it will be published in PACER’s newsletter in Sept.), but the residue of the flowery pro-adoption sites and the enraged anti-adoption sites remained with me. I find I have to take breaks from the issues. I have enough on my plate just dealing with my son.

  8. You are absolutely right to stay away from boards where there is so much fighting.
    It is not good for the soul to hear so much bile and poison – what is the point?
    It is better to seek out the positive – it is better for your mental, emotional and physical health.
    I stay away from boards like that – some people just want a fight to validate themselves, to make themselves feel superior to everyone else. They are the ones to be pitied. They are the ones who bring down everyone else. They are the ones who make can make you suicidal.
    They are not worth it – and you are worth more than that.
    Take care of yourself.

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