Betraying Me

Betrayal is the only truth that ever sticks – Arthur Miller

Over the past few months, I have been approached on a number of fronts to contribute articles to known adoption magazines, anthologies to be published, websites or other channels.

In nearly all cases, I have declined. I opted out of the Origins video shoot. I put off responding to an editor from a well known adoption magazine regarding an article I was asked to contribute to. Recently several friends approached me regarding an anthology that is being published.

It should be no surprise that my hesitation to follow through on any of these opportunities is my daughter, her view of me, my work and writing and also the state of our reunion.

I still have hopes that some day she will want to know me. Someday she will care that she has two brothers that want to know her. Someday she will sit down and share coffee with me in some quiet funky coffee shop. Someday she might be emotionally strong enough to tell me how much adoption sucks and how it complicated her life and how angry she is at me for being too weak to fight the forces that that lead to her being surrendered to a baby broker. I hope for all this and more.

And while I am hoping for this I am still trying to live my life without her, trying to accept that she may never want to know me and while I sit hoping I might be wasting very valuable time that could be used elsewhere, as in writing for any number of publications that have approached me. 

I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified. Being a Gemini, one might think I could handle the intense duality. Yet I cannot. I am literally frozen.

Do I or don't I?

In discussing this recently with a friend, she suggested I consider writing under a pseudonym.

At first, I thought "WHOA! What a great idea!". I could write and my daughter would never know it was me that was writing. I could preserve whatever chances I might have of truly reuniting with her and also write.

And then, something icky crawled up inside me and I found the idea quite unappealing.

A pseudonym feels oddly like, oh, I don't know, being put back in the barfmother closet. It feels like hiding. It feels like I am ashamed to be who I am. It feels like I am once again catering to the needs of others and ignoring my own. It feels like I would be selling my soul again to the closed adoption devil. It feels like this time I would be sending myself away to a maternity home and picking a different name or mother label for myself.

It feels like a betrayal of self. 

Do I or don't I?

3 Thoughts.

  1. Well, even though I was the one who suggested it (!) I myself would never write under a pseudonym, for exactly the same reason. I already had to give up one name, I’m not about to do it again. (I didn’t change my name when I got married, either) My own response has been to write sort of underground, on my blog in protected posts. But recently (and this has been many years, decades in the coming) I’ve decided to come out of my own closet and write it all. But that’s only because I’ve let go of the hope that you still hang on to.
    We all have our own path, our own timeline and decisions to make in this regard.
    Having said that, how would writing an essay be very different from this blog? (ie doesn’t your daughter already know about your blog?)

  2. Susan – And yet another excellent point you make (must be your great name ::wink::). I agree. That thought occurred to me. If I harvest something from here, that is already public, I should be okay since yes, she knows about this blog and has read a few posts.
    Thanks for helping me along in this thought process.

  3. I’ve been thinking about this post a lot since I first read it, and I’m still all twisted up over blogging under a pseudonym even though I realize why I’m doing it and how it protects my partner and me in certain ways….
    I, too, would be inclined to think that respectful writing like what you do here wouldn’t mean “outing” your daughter or having to shortchange yourself and I wonder how much of this is more the standard worry anyone writing a memoir-type piece has about fairness to others and how much is the adoption part. I don’t say that to dismiss in any way how horrible I’m sure it is to be stuck in just-barely-reunion like you are; I just mean that there’s a lot more going on than just reunion and reunion hope stuff and I’m sure as a mother and thinker you already know that.
    I hope this comment wasn’t too stilted and weird. Like I said, this has just been on my mind and in my heart lately and I wanted to try to say SOMETHING even though it’s not quite what I’d like to say. Your voice is yours and it deserves to be heard; there must be ways of telling your story without unfairly encroaching on hers. But of course I understand your hesitation and think anyone who’s read about your relationship with your daughter would.

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