I Wonder….

“We have a double standard,
which is to say, a man can show how much he cares by being violent –
see, he’s jealous, he cares – a woman shows how much she cares by how
much she’s willing to be hurt; by how much she will take; how much she
will endure;” – Andrew Dworkin

I wonder if the roles were reversed would the sentiment be different?

Meaning, if my daughter were blogging about our relationship, would people feel differently?  I have no idea if she is. I don’t look. I wouldn’t look. I have trusted her to share with me what she wants me to see or read. She has done so and when she was no longer comfortable she blocked access. That is her prerogative as owner of her content.

Yet I wonder if folks would be so protective of ME if it were me she were talking about?  (N.B., It would be fine with me if my daughter discussed me publicly. It is her truth. I am in no position to challenge her truth or her feelings.) It seems to be with some folks that it is okay for a wounded adoptee to
thrash from the agony of the condition that is adoption but it is not
okay for a mother to do so.

Is that because we are, in some sort of theory, the mother? (Even though we are not?)

Is this some sort of social engineering? Be a mother, act like a mother, but oh yeah, you aren’t so don’t call yourself that?  Or is this rooted in the discomfort felt by those who have to face what adoption does to mothers? Or something else entirely?

And to the person who suggested that "A" was indeed my daughter herself, I strongly doubt it. I am quite confident she is capable of speaking for herself should she want to.  Furthermore, she doesnt read here.  Additionally, A is resolving to Brookline, Massachusetts.

I am using my own experience here as a thread fertilizer but I think what is happening here on my blog speaks to a much  bigger issue on adoption/reunions/privacy/mothers and children. Since the only experience I can speak to is my own, I use it to spark conversation and provoke thought.

Curious that I am supposed to act like a mother and protect my daughter and put her above myself (as all "good" mothers do for their children) but don’t dare consider myself her mother?

7 Thoughts.

  1. (one last comment, if that’s ok….)
    I’m not the best writer, and I don’t think I’ve gotten across what I meant to – just to clarify – I wasn’t suggesting that you put your daughter above yourself, or that you stop blogging, or that you deny yourself or disappear or do anything drastic at all. As a reader of your blog, my suggestion was really small – to take or leave, as you do with suggestions from strangers – and it was based on my understanding (flawed, of course) of your situation and your goals. I was merely thinking –
    1. Suz really wants to connect with her daughter, and is in a lot of pain as to how the reunion is progressing, and doesn’t know how to proceed or whether there’s anything she can do.
    2. One thing she does in her blog, is think through questions about her daughter’s specific motivations and emotional maturity while discussing communications from her daughter.
    3. Her daughter probably reads the blog – at least occasionally – I know I would, if someone kept a blog “about” me (though of course it isn’t strictly or even mainly “about her”).
    4. If *I* were her daughter – I wouldn’t like that. I wouldn’t like it if there was a writeup debriefing my emails and wondering what was wrong with me, whether I’m a nice person, speculating as to whether I were too beholden to my parents, etc. Being privy to those thoughts would hurt my relationship with the writer.
    5. Therefore, I’ll suggest to Suz that she might want to stop doing that. Because it occurs to me – as a stranger – that blogging about her daughter’s communication and thinking through possible conclusions about those communications – might be counterproductive to the goal of gaining the trust of your daughter.
    That’s all – just a suggestion, and I was never for a moment suggesting that you should stop writing in general. That would be a tragedy.

  2. A – It is perfectly okay! Really. I was not upset or offended and did get your point in the end – but had to point out the numerous challenges with it.
    It is not so cut and dry. It is very complex for all concerned. Furthermore, I am sadly too confident that ceasing my online presence would do little to nothing to help my reunion or my daughter. I don’t believe the root of our challenge is my blog. It is adoption and the damage it has done to both of us. That requires aLOT more than just some filtering.
    I can also assure you, she doesn’t read here. The one time she did, she told me. And she also told me it made her throw up. I also have a number of stats checkers and I regularly check them. I would know. I also don’t get the sense she would lurk (and frankly, if she did, that would be fine).

  3. Yes Suz I think you hit the nail on the head.
    Act Like a Mother, Behave Like a Mother, But ner ner you cant be a mother ! BLah.
    Write what you want.
    I do know personally that if my Mother (who doesn’t have a computer or internet access) wrote about me, I would keep reading her blog to see what next she wrote and I would read it and then I would write back at her ! and have online arguments with her – no doubt but that’s never going to happen for me
    I guess the person with the point of getting emails and then pasting them here and discussing them – that would hurt me.
    I guess Suz its the reverse – you are in the position with your daughter that I am in with my Mother.
    (although you have contact)
    I know that you are wanting validation and or other viewpoints so that you don’t make an error so that she leaves permanently for your life _ would that be a fair call ? so you talk about it here to hash it all out so to speak ?

  4. Okay, I have been thinking this over and over in my head for a few days now. I debated writing it or not. I fear it will be seen as “oh, the adoptive mom defending adoption.” so, let me say first that while I am sure there are underlying factors at play and while I probably cannot bare the thought that my children will grow up damaged, on a conscious level I am not trying to defend anything. I am only making a comment about something I keep thinking. So, here goes….
    Is it possible that your daughters rejection is rooted in the fact that she is not as damaged as you are? (not meaning that you are damaged goods, just that maybe you hurt more than she does) Is it possible that she is loved in her family and feels as though she belongs there. She is confident in who she is in terms of that and therefor does not have a gaping whole in her life that needs to be filled by you and your sons.
    Yes, I know about primal wound and I know that some people swear by it and still others (even people who were adopted) say that it is not true for them. So, what I guess I am saying is…. Is it possible that she is not affected the same way and therefor rejects you not because she is so damaged she cannot let you get close but because she simply does not know what to do with you.
    As I said before please know that while I recognize in myself the need to see her as the one that could be happy and not in need of you I am not really trying to defend adoption or anything. I am not trying to say that you should not try or that she does not need you. I am only asking something I have been thinking. Is it naive and hopeful to think that while you could be this damaged (okay, I keep using that word because you use it, it sounds nasty when I say it so please know I am not meaning to be nasty), she could be fine? I am sure it is. But I give it to you to present another view. Do with it what you will.
    Lastly, I truly hope you never stop writing. I enjoy reading what you write. I feel it gives me a clearer version of the women who loved my children before I knew they existed. I am sorry that your daughter (for whatever reason) has not found a way to allow you into her life. I hope that one day everyone is able to get what they need.

  5. Mary – Yes, it is entirely possible and plausible that adoption “worked” for my daughter and that she like some adoptees is happy she was abandoned and has no need for me, her brothers, her medical history, etc.
    I have ponddered that many times. That was what it was supposed to be, right? That she would be happy and wonderful and never know another existence or need for heritage or medical history or other. She may indeed feel that her parents are seated at the right hand of God as the agency lead me to believe they were.
    So, you make a valid point I have thought of many times.
    I find it very curious – again – that the assumption by many is that my pain can only be fixed by my daughter. She did not cause it. How could she possible fix it? Why would anyone – including her – thing she was the cure? Unfortunate that people cannot separate out a mothers love from her child from a mothers trauma causes by the loss of that child.
    And I will never deny being damanaged by my experience so use that term freely. It is quite damanging to lock a mother up in a maternity home, isolate her, dehumanize her, take her child from her, fail to give her counseling and guidance, annd more.

  6. I know my son had the perfect adoption with the perfect parents and the perfect life.
    But we have a bond that is strong and unexplicable – or is it?
    This is my special secret. I keep it to myself so I can deal with the “perfect” part of his life that discounts me as his “mother.”
    Am I a threat? A nusiance? To what? To the happy lie everyone was living? I mean, get real here, they would not have a son if it wasn’t for me!
    Suz, I too was sent to a city a thousand miles away from home. Isolating is the best thing I can say about it. LOL.

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