"“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” – Denis Waitley
"Your blog is very good but you are so open. That would make me nervous. I could never be so personal and open. You do realize its the Internet?" he said.
My cube mate, Bob, is telling ME, the Internet/new media addict and paid communications professional, that the Internet is open to the public.
"Yes, I know it is the Internet. I know the entire world can see it if they wish too and thanks to archive.org they can see it for years. Yes. I know my daughter could read it (she doesn’t), I know her parents can (and they have), I know my sons may read it in the future. I am comfortable with that. I stand by all I write. It is my truth." I informed my friend.
"But don’t you feel, like, naked? Exposed? Vulnerable?" He queried.
"We are all vulnerable, Bob. Some of us just work harder at concealing it. It is our humanness. We are not terminators. I have to share this. I share this information for me, as a way to heal and process from the PTSD caused by the loss of my daughter…and I share it for the mothers and children of the future. If the victims in adoption continue to remain silent, the atrocities will continue. Silence is golden, remember? Standing silent in the face of obvious crimes, to me, makes me equally guilty. I will no longer be an accomplice. " I stated firmly.
"But, your daughter, you say she avoids you. You say your presence in adoption reform makes her uncomfortable. She tells you not to talk about that "adoption crap". She mocks your friends and insinuates they don’t like you but are using you as a replacement mother figure. Doesn’t it concern you that doing what you are doing will hurt your reunion? It might keep her away?" He asked. His large blue eyes stared at me with concern.
I smiled. This topic again.
I have discussed this so many times with so many people I am beginning to think I should carry a tape recorder.
Pause, rewind, play.
I do this for me. I do this for the public at large (hence the Internet as a medium). I do this for my children (my daughter included) so that maybe, just maybe, something I say or do will contribute to a change and make a better world for the mothers and fathers of tomorrow. I do this for the fetus growing inside the teenage girl in Weekhawken, NJ who may be easy prey for the adoption industry. Maybe she will Google adoption, find me, and read me. Maybe she will think twice about drinking the kool-aid.
I have discussed this conundrum with my daughter. I really do work hard to protect her feelings – often to the point of deleting comments that don’t bother me but I fear would bother her if she read them. I walk a very fine line between being true to myself and protecting my child’s feelings.
I realize there are words here, truths, that could possibly upset her. My hope? My dream for the future is that some day my daughter will be strong enough to talk to me about those things. I am more than willing to have my view of things changed. I am open for debate and discussion. She is absolutely entitled to her feelings – even if they hurt mine. However, lacking any feedback from her, I remain true to me with a slight filter for her.
The most painful part of this approach?
When it comes to where I think I can make a difference? It is not in or with my daughter. Perhaps that is as it should be. I don’t know. I have a very low confidence level that anything I do with, to or for her will change reunion feelings towards me. I am not blogging for her. I am not writing with some misguided hope that she will read here and suddenly POOF! want to know her mother. It really isn’t for her. As much as she may disagree, it isn’t even really about HER. It is about me. It is for me.
Where I can make a difference is with others. I know I can. I know I already have.
"If your daughter called you up today and asked you to please stop being so public, would you? If she said she would meet you if you would please go underground, would you?" Bob asked
"No. I wouldn’t. I don’t respond well to being shoved in the closet of someone else’s fears. I did once. It did not work out so well for me…" I chuckled.
Bob appears stunned.
"I would however discuss her request with her, try to understand her fears or anxieties, work towards a comfortable compromise" I responded.
"Equally important" I go on "… is that I do believe, some part of me, is indeed a role model for my daughter. Adoptees look at their first mothers and see their weight and think "EEK! I am going to be a fatty boombalatty just like her!" They could easily assume that a mother who is weak of spirit could mean they are weak of spirit too. I want my daughter to stand up for herself, trust herself, to believe she has value. to respect herself. The best way I can teach her that – from the position I am in?? Is to believe I have value. I felt I had none 22 years ago. I was wrong. It is time I start behaving differently."
Bob is smirking as I rant on. With a shrug of his shoulders, he turns toward his cube.
"Suz, you are way too intense for me today." Bob chides.
"I hear that often, Bob"