“The authentic self is the soul made visible” – Sara Ban Breathnach
I dont typically write a post in response to a comment but I believe this warrants it. It is good stuff.
If you are reading this, go read Conversemamma’s comment first so this makes sense to you.
Conversmama’s comment is long and full of lots of typical adoption myths and challenges and questions and concerns and generalizations. I could comment on many parts of it but I want to comment on one aspect. It is something I hear often.
What I take from conversemamas comment is this (and these are my words, not hers):
“Perhaps if you shut up about what happened to you and pretended you were happy about it all your daughter might like you. Perhaps its your anger, your honesty, your raw truth about the surrender of your child to a baby broker that makes her not like you. Maybe you need to be something you aren’t and she would like you. Frolic among the daisies and sing a song of adoption and she might come running across the field to you. The bluebirds might even land on your mutual shoulders and sing with you.”
Again, my words not conversemama’s but my interpretation. I have heard this before. I think it even came from another adoptive mother, Mary. (The fact that adoptive mothers seem to say that most often to me in itself is interesting but I wont go there right now).
It is likely true that my daughter is put off and uncomfortable with what happened to me, what caused her to be adopted. While I have no proof of that, I accept that it is quite possible.
It is an ugly story, as so many adoption stories are. It is not easy for me to digest and I lived it. I cannot imagine what it like having to reconcile the fact that your mother always wanted you, was pressured, threatened and locked up so that you could be taken from her and sold to the highest bidding prospective adoptive couple. It must not be easy to reconcile that possible love you have for those parents that raised you when contrasted against how you came to be. How do you look at your parents all happy and giddy and frolicking in that field of adoption daisies with them and then look the other way at your mothers life that was irreparably damaged so those daisies could bloom.
It must suck like whoa. It is not a position a child (even an adult one) should have to be in. But she is.
I get that. (Although again I have no idea if any of this is a challenge for my daughter any more than conversemama does. Lets just pretend it is for the sake of this post.)
But see, the struggle I have with the mentality that tells me to shut up and be a good girl and pretend I am someone I am not so my daughter will like me is that it is a lie. It living a lie. It is living adoptions lie. I am done with that.
For even if my daugther is unable to reconcile how her possible fabulous field of daisies came to be, I must move on. I must live my life. I must live my truth. I must do whatever I can within my power to recover from what was done to me and as part of that effort I do whatever I can to make sure it doesn’t happen to other young mothers. This blog happens to help with both goals. It helps me and by being public it helps others.
Equally important is that if by some stretch of the imagination, she is not frolicking in a field of daisies and is struggling with this, I want her to find the strenght to be true to herself. To her feelings, just like I am to mine. Perhaps by seeing that I am open about my anger and feelings, she will find a way to be too.
The long winded point I am attempting to make is that I will not lie or be someone I am not so that my daughter will like me. I want her to know the real me. Not the adoption indstury approved version of me.
I am willing to risk that she may not be able to handle that real version in order to live my own authentic life. I will no longer give away my soul for the comfort others. It is not the type of person I want to be.
It is not the type of persons I want my children to be.