An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. ~Mahatma Gandhi
"Your daughter may need you to come forward with the details of the coercion before she believes that you love her and wanted her — otherwise her feelings of rejection and anger may be a permanent rift between you." wrote Cedar in an earlier comment.
The comment made me ponder something I have often thought about. That is, should you share something with a person that has given clear indications they don’t want to know it.
If a mother is presented with an adoptee who clearly, firmly, repeatedly says "I don’t want to know the details of what happened to you. I don’t want to know why I was abandoned. I DON’T WANT TO KNOW" should you tell them anyway?
My personal belief is that you should not. It is tantamount to telling someone something you know will hurt them only to make yourself feel better.
I realize this gets grey and fuzzy and confusing and is entirely dependent upon the individuals involved. I further realize that many adoptees feel they have the right to push their mothers into telling their story no matter what it does to the mothers psyche and where it might send her emotionally – even a full psychotic breakdown.
For me, for my daughter, for anyone struggling with trauma, I feel I must respect their position whether or not I agree with it. Even if I know they are wrong. I choose to believe that others might hang onto certain positions as a way to protect themselves. I can influence them gently with my own behaviors and perspectives on things but I will not demand they listen to me or think like I do.
A parallel story is from my own therapy. A few months ago I revealed something to my therapist that I had been intentionally holding back. It was the elephant in the room. I felt it every session and I worked around it and did my best to avoid any reference to it. There is no doubt in my mind that my therapist knew, suspected, or felt that this issue was there but he did not push me. He built our relationship and let me go at my own pace. When I felt safe enough to share that item with him, I did. It was critical to my own psyche and our relationship that I come to that place on my own. He stood there, week by week, consistent, assuring me, talking with me, building a trust that eventually lead me to sharing and for us, an improved therapeutic relationship. I can now explore other dark hallways with him. I know he won’t push me. I know he won’t judge me.
I could be completely off base. I could be channeling too much of my own experience. For me, I felt tremendously pressured to surrender my child. I did what others wanted me to do for their comfort and to meet their own needs. I sold my own soul. I lost my voice. It was terribly damaging to my emotional makeup to be forcibly pushed to do something agaisnt my better judgement. I really don’t want to ever do that to my own child.
In summary, I agree with Cedars point but feel I must do this at my and my daughters pace – most importantly – hers. I have offered the details, been willing to share them. She doesn’t want to know.
What can I do? My only thought is that I must continue to reassure her I am here, stay steady and on course and be open. I can only pray with time she will appreciate that, respect it, and eventually feel comfortable enough to talk openly with me.