I feel sad today.
Putting aside the obvious reason (PMS, work, overwhelmed with life, struggling with classes), I feel as if I am failing a friend.
Years ago I used to have wise words for my adoption friends. I was able to help them with searches, direct them to support networks, suggest books for them to read. We shared our experiences and mutual and not so mutual pain.
These days, while the experience and pain may be similar, our reunions (or lack thereof) have gone in wildly different directions (none good). I no longer know what to say, I am at a loss for suggestions of books or support networks. Generally I shrug (alone to myself as our conversations are most often digital) and say “I don’t know what to say”.
I feel sad for them.
At times, I feel badly about the help I gave them in their searches as I worry I contributed, at least in part, to the situation they are now in. I wanted to do no harm. I was helping (or so I thought). Other times, I realize they could have, and most likely would have, gone on without me. It would not have mattered if I did not help them. They would have helped themselves or found someone else who would. It has nothing to do with me.
Yet, with that realization, I still find myself left wanting more. I want more for them. They are great moms. Great young men and women (adoptee friends). I want to offer them more. They deserve more, better, different. What can I offer? What? I do not know. More false hope? What really can I say?
- What do I say to a friend whose daughter wants nothing to do with her but everything to do with the rest of her family? What do you say to her when she sees pictures of her daughter with her family at events she was never invited to?
- How do I soothe the pain of a friend who found out she is now a grandmother via Facebook? She talked with her son just the day before but he failed to mention his wife had given birth. She never even knew daughter in law was pregnant.
- Or what about the friend who found out her child is pregnant months after everyone else (including me) found out. (I thought she knew…)
- What do I say to my adoptee friend whose mother is well, less than a mother and certainly nowhere near the fantasy the adoptee had of her? What do I say when she says “I wish you were my mother.”
- How do I comfort the friend whose son, after years of a really close reunion, suddenly and without provocation goes a bit off the rails and calls friend all sorts of incredibly mean and nasty things and then emails the steaming pile of nasty to her entire family.
- What to tell a friend when I want to tell her to run away from nasty child as fast as she can yet I know she cannot and will not – no matter the level of abuse her child foists upon her.
I suppose, for now, all I can offer is to sit there with them. Tell them I care about them and if they were with me I would hug them and cry with them.
Maybe that is all they really want.
I hope so.
Reality is, it is all I can offer.
“I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
to hide it or fade it
or fix it.”
Oriah Mountain Dreamer – The Invitation