So, let’s be real. As much as I tried to go on like today was just any other day, you know I failed, right? It was not an epic fail, certainly not worthy of a fail whale, but it was a fail.
I had plans to go work and behave like I would on any other Monday. At 7 am my son texts me from his father’s house and tells me he is sick and his father is taking him to the doctor. He asks if I can get his school work for him. Shortly thereafter, his father texts me, informs me he is taking son to doctor, inquires if I can stay home with him. Of course I do.
I get up, shower, put in a load of laundry and await my sons return home. While waiting I send my daughter a simple “happy birthday” message via her Facebook.
I hear the text sound on my phone and pick up to find a text from my sister. The message says “Thinking of you today. Cannot believe it has been 25 years. Doesnt seem possible”. I gulp down some mixed feelings and respond by telling her I appreciate her thinking of me, and her, today but am personally trying not to. I tell her it still hurts after all these years.
I tweet a happy birthday message. I post a message to my blog. I post a somewhat cryptic message to my Facebook. Whewf. Good. Done. Got that over with. I plan to move on.
My fiance comes into the living room and gives me a warm hug and appears all emotional and tender. I don’t want it. I secretly push it away. Please, people, dont bring me there! I ask him to go get my car keys from the car so I can dial into work via vpn (RSA token is on my keys).
I decide to complete my daily call to my mom to check on her and my dad. I also want to discuss how my dad reacted to the news of yesterday wherein I found his travel documents from Poland to the Port of New York. Five minutes into the conversation Mom says “How are you doing today? Did you do anything? Do you have anything planned?” Inside I scream a blood curdling scream and tell her to shut up! I don’t of course. Rather, I respond by stating I am not doing anything and just moving on. She pauses and says “Oh, okay, well, I guess that is good too”. I sensed she wanted to discuss further. Sorry Mah, not an option.
It is a strange feeling, this straddling two worlds. In World One I am a mother that is recognized and in World Two I am not. I exist in both worlds and yet I feel incomplete in each one simultaneously.
Twitter friends also comment and I thank them and each time I cringed and cursed myself for announcing her birthday and wishing her well. Not exactly the way to downplay it, eh?
Later in the day I went on a hunt to find my copies of my father’s naturalization papers as part of the genealogy research I am doing on his behalf. He gave them to me sometime ago and I filed them. As I rummaged through my messy file drawer, I come across my daughters surrender papers, her adoptive parents profile, and a newsletter from her high school that showed a picture that looks so much like me at one time it takes my breath away. I glance, for a few minutes, I scan. I silent scream.
I curse it all and shove it all back into the drawer.
I continue doing laundry and caring for my ill son.
I am functioning on auto-pilot. Too much thought and I may crumble to the floor in a ball of tears.
I remember an adoptee blogger once wrote that she was afraid of meeting her mother for the last time they were together she, the adoptee, disappeared. The person she was gone, POOF!, off the face of the earth and a new person sprang forth with a new name and new mommy and new expectations. I found that profound.
I reflected on that today as I thought about mothers like me often have the reverse problem, or perhaps the same problem, only slightly in reverse. We are also wiped away, disappeared at the time of separation. We go on, in many cases, as we once were. We suppress the memory of our child and we go along with the great charade of society and pretend we are not a mother. Then one day, upon reunion, whether it be our doing or forced upon us, some person tells us that person that we denied DOES exist and damn, they want to know that person. Child stomps foot and raises fist to sky and screams “be my mommy NOW”. Be your what? Mothers are sent into a tailspin. Who am I? Why am I? How am I supposed to act? Many of those mothers resist that demand for their existence and prefer to revert back to their one-sided reality and in the end reject their child. Other mothers like me, we embrace that existence, but really, we don’t know how to live that life, particularly when so many continue to deny it. It is the stuff psychological disorders are made of. Multiple personalities. Dissociation.
Sure, my mother and my sister and my friends acknowledged me today, but did my daughter? No. Do her parents? No. Does society? No. So where do I go?
Which branch of my broken family tree shall I swing on for the remainder of today?