“Some people confuse acceptance with apathy, but there's all the difference in the world. Apathy fails to distinguish between what can and what cannot be helped; acceptance makes that distinction. Apathy paralyzes the will-to-action; acceptance frees it by relieving it of impossible burdens.” – Arthur Gordon
I recently expressed concern to my therapist that I seem to care less and less about the absence of my daughter from my life.
Is this normal? Is this good? Is this healing? Avoidance? Or might it be, as Cedar suggests in a related post comment, dissociation?
I will admit it bothers me. I fear that my lack of chronic pain will result in a lack of feeling completely. It is often said that the opposite of love is not hate but apathy. Have I become apathetic? Is that possible? If you are not agonizing over the absence of your child nor enjoying a relationship with them, what are you?
My therapist tells me I am being ridiculous (well, he did not use those words but that is what I took away from it). He asked me if I really truly felt it was possible for a mother NOT to care about her child. Of course I don't.
He asked me to reflect on the many years I have worried about her – even before I knew where she was, how she was and what she was now called.
I got his point – sort of.
Yet I still worry. I had so much love in my heart when I first found her. So much excitement. I had a huge desire to run to her and meet her and smell her and hear her laugh. I frantically, regularly checked out her myspace, her flickr, her facebook when it was public. These days I have forgotten the URLs of many of them.
Is this good, bad or neither? Is this a new normal? Am I caring less because I am hurting less? Does a lack of hurt equate to a lack of love? Is my therapy, my self work, contributing to this? Or is it that as I approach the fourth year in reunion with a daughter that I have not met or spoken to since the third day of her birth, I have finally found a way to live peacefully without her?
Have I accepted what is?
Is this healing?
Adoption trauma remission?
And what does the future hold? If the day should come that she chooses to meet me, does the pain start again ? Will I be lackadaisical or something else entirely?