Will it? Really?

I gotta say this. 

I hope that I say it with the greatest amount of tact possible. I have absolutely no desire to offend anyone for I know the referenced individuals mean well.  It is not their intent that is necessarily the problem but my receiving and processing of what they say.

Confused? 

Let me be very direct.

I don’t like people telling me, commenting, suggesting, or sending carrier pigeons with notes that say “I know your reunion will happen”.  (If you don’t understand what I mean, refer to Denise’s comment here.  And again, no offense to Denise or anyone else who has ever suggested this).

I cringe every time one of you write that and suggestion my reunion will happen. I realize it might be true. I also realize it might not be true.  I don’t like reading it because to me, wrongly or rightly, it feels like a platitude, or bromide, or patronizing or something well, just ucky. It makes me feel bad and it makes me angry. It makes me feel like I have something to live up to and accomplish yet I have no control or ability to meet that expectation. I feel like a failure.

No one knows for sure if my daughter will ever want to meet me and her siblings.  I know that suggesting it puts pressure on me and quite possibly on her. People have been telling me that for six years.  Since it has not happened, I feel like a failure — again.  Someone expects something of me and it hasn’t happened. That is my perspective.  From my daughters perspective, I worry what she might feel if she ever read that.  I fear she would be angry and find the suggestion highly presumptive and that strangers were suggesting they know her better than she knows her self. Worse she may feel like (as Amanda talks about in her blog post) that she “owes” me something.

I cannot handle the pressure or expectation and yet even with that I do hope my friends are correct, I don’t want my daughter being upset by the suggestion. (For the record, to my knowledge, she does not read here. She made it very clear that she is not interested and my blog makes her “puke”. So, this fear is likely unfounded and irrational since she would never see it, yet knowing that it is likely unfounded does not lessen it. Ya follow?)

Am I making sense? I am a bit angst ridden about putting this out there for again, I feel my friends mean well and care for me, and I do appreciate that.

But, could I ask, for now, till I get past this latest bout of adoption reunion hysteria that we cease suggesting such things?

Am I a total ninny?

18 Thoughts.

  1. I think, when people tell you that, it’s like saying, “Oh, you’re blind? You’ll see one day” or “You’re deaf? You’ll heard some day.” It’s like telling someone who’s suffered the painful death of a spouse, “it gets easier” or “You need to start dating”. You are not a ninny. I think that’s just not a good thing to say to someone, who’s not had a successful relationship with their child. You are using your common sense.

  2. I really don’t like when people do that. When I was active on the forums and whatnot, I used to see people say that kind of thing and it would really rub me the wrong way.

    The bottom line is – no one really knows what will happen and to suggest otherwise leads to false hope/potential heartbreak.

    Reality is – she may never want to know you and while that sucks, I’d rather tell you that than fill you with hope that one day, she’ll come to your door and welcome you into her life with open arms…

  3. They say it because that’s what they want to happen. People tell me that all the time. I know they are trying to be nice, but it bugs me, too. I get what you are saying, Suz. I feel like a failure, too. Even though I know I’m not, how can I NOT feel that way? I DO know my Mother. It’s over and that is that.

  4. I think it is good you have told people how you feel.

    Someone else’s pain, particularly pain in someone they like and admire, is hard for people to deal with. They want to try and make it better.

    People (possibly even moi) say things with the best of intentions without realizing it’s not helping.

  5. Yes you are making sense. No you are not being a ninny. It is yet another thing that is said in one way, but heard in another way ~ one of the many catch-22’s in the world of adoption loss…

    I think this is a great post, something helpful to know and remember when responding to someone in a similar situation.

  6. You are not a ninny and you make perfect sense to me! My First Daughter isn’t willing either, for some insane reason I keep trying and I keep having hope….knowing there will be no response from her. It’s good to know that I am not the only one who has been banging their head against the reunion wall for the last 5 years. In the meantime, we can wait together…with a margarita in hand.

  7. Yes, you can have a vodka martini as long as I have my margarita on ice with no salt. 🙂

  8. My sincere apologies, Suz. I was the ninny, not you. Even though I know you know I wrote that with the best intentions (more like hope for you), it was stupid (as stupid as telling a blind or deaf person that they’ll see or hear someday, as Sandy pointed out). Thank you for your honesty. I get it and promise it will never happen again.

    • I did not mean to make you as the primary offender, people say that to me ALLL the time (read the blog, search it you will find that said over and over). And it has always made me cringe. I finally just got the strength to express it after your most recent suggestion.

      I do realize it comes from a good place with good intent but as I said, it is not received that way by me. It, well, at best it makes me cringe.

      No worries. /And thank you for understanding. I felt bad using you as an example but I wanted to illustrate (in words other than my own) what I was attempting to express.

  9. Excellent post Suz and again I can totally relate. My found son is a drug addict and rage alcoholic. While we had an initially good reunion, our relationship has pretty much deteriorated. People mean well I realize when they say “someday he’ll get himself straightened out and realize how lucky he is to have you”… Well, after 20+ years, I am starting to have some doubt. And of course it reminds me of the fact that if he hadn’t been adopted, he might not have some of these issues.

    I remember 4 years ago when I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and was scared to death. I got involved with some online support groups with not only other women going through what I was, but long time survivors. One of the pet peeves of all of us was when we would tell some people about our disease,, the comments were often “Oh, they can do amazing things now you will be just fine”…. How the hell did THEY know whether we would be fine? No one knows…

    I like Buddha’s quote here because it applies to so many things. I had to learn to never give advice unless it was asked and it’s hard to hold my tongue sometimes.

    I like that you are so authentic and direct. You’ve explained why this is not really a kind thing to do very succinctly. I think we all know Denise meant well but it’s great that you are gracious enough to state what bothers you and move on. Very classy Suz.

  10. I just realized that saying “I’m sure it will happen” is a lot like what “they” told us, back in the relinquishing days… “you’ll have more kids, children that you can keep and raise.”

    • Denise – EXCELLENT INSIGHTFUL POINT. So very true. I never thought of it that way but now that you mention it, it is partly rootedi n that. People fed me adoption bullshit lies in 1986 and I am just tired of them. Thanks for pointing that out!

  11. Suzie Q – I know I’ve said that to you in the past and I’m sorry that it’s been hurtful (I know you’re not talking to me directly – it’s just the subject/words of it all). I know you know it wasn’t my intention to bring about shame for how you feel about the whole reunion subject. I’m sorry for WHY it’s hurtful, especially.

    It’s interesting, to read this post, ‘cuz it really made me think about my own adoption stuff and how reunion has turned out for me. I’ve had comments made to me from various folks that made me think STFU in my head and even though I know these people meant well with their words…it just didn’t fly with the stuff sitting in my heart and soul and reunion (or lack thereof) experiences. So, what you said above makes PERFECT sense and you’re not even close to being a ninny.

    xoxo

    • Sweet L;aurel! – Yes you have, but so have many many others. And like you it is meant with good intentions but ugh, I am just so tired of hearing it. Just tell me the truth “it sucks she does want to know you, she may never want to, blah blah” (Kinda like Brandy says up above). I am a realist and big girl. I can take it. Hugs back to you!

  12. I’ve also been told that my daughter will want to know me when she has children – really?, when she’s in her 30s’ (sigh, another 10 years), etc, etc,etc. The thing is I know too many first mothers with adult children aged 30-plus with children that want no or very little contact…
    I’m casual friends with a woman in her 30s with children who says she has no interest in finding her first mother ( but she does have her non-identifying info). So for me it is what it is (I hate that saying) and I am not expecting anymore now or in the future.
    Great post as usual.

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