Journey without Steve Perry

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping” – Chinese Proverb

A friend suggested that a mothers journey ENDED the moment she gives up her child. Speaking for myself, that could not be  more wrong. My daughter and I both went onto new life journeys the day we parted. Both our lives were forever dramatically traumatically changed.

Giving up my daughter, the last day I had with my daughter, began a life time of trauma. The "journey" never ended. It still hasnt ended and I dont expect it ever will. The journey has been hell. I have lived two lives. I lost my first, real, original life. You know the life that said I was supposed to go to college, live on campus, do this or that. I was supposed to have this. I was supposed to be one person. I should have married a certain guy. I should have done certain things. That entire life path was obliterated the day adoption entered my life.

Losing my daughter required me to lose not only her but the person I was then and the person I was intended to be. I lost my family, was estranged from them for years, I lost the love of my life, I lost my  home. I had no where to live. Losing her was not the end of any so called journey. It was just the beginning. It was a road to hell.

I am saddened when I see adoptees state this. They erroneously believe that as mothers, our lives went back to normal, that we got over it, that our life went on just as it had before they were born. Again, utterly false. I fear this belief feeds the already festering suspicions that losing them was a good thing, that they were not wanted and we were evil.

This journey that was supposed to have ended the day I lost her has affected my marriage, my subsequent children, my career, my self esteem, my health, my ability to sleep, to bond with others, to be intimate, my sex life, my friendships and more. How is that an ending? It has been over 20 years of this so called journey.

No, sorry. It doesnt end. We do not get better after losing our children. We are never whole. Our children are gone forever.  Reunion doesnt fix that. In our hearts, we still physically expect, crave even demand to have our child back. To treat them like our child, yet by the time reunion happens for some of us, if it happens at all, they are no longer children at all let alone our children.

This is not a journey and there is no end. For to imply it is a journey is to suggest there is a destination. For mothers, the destination we forever fantasize about, the destination mother nature demands we reach, is physically and emotionally impossible.

They are gone. Whether we agreed to their adoption or not, whether we were drugged, tied in restraints, or did a happy dance upon signing, they are gone.

I can never reach that destination.  It simply doesnt exist and cannot exist. What does exist, is some pieced together version of mother child relationship. What that becomes, how it develops, is up to both of us. We both must want it and both must work at it.

For our lives, our reunions, are very much like photography. We must use the negatives to develop.

From the negatives, I hope to gain acceptance and to avoid the reunion potholes on the path ahead.

6 Thoughts.

  1. Suz, you are so dang prolific! Jeez… I visit every few days and there are always at least two new posts to read. You put me to shame! What’s more, everything you write is so original and thought-provoking. You are my bloggin’ idol.
    I have so many questions, the least of which is why did you change your picture? A mood thing? You look so sad in this one. More importantly, I’m curious about your relationship with your mom. Actually, I’m envious. My mother and I never talked about what happened — of course it was long ago, in a different era — and she ignored my reunion, refused to acknowledge that I’d found my son for three years until forced to do so. I’d like to know more about what happened after you got pregnant, your parents’ reaction, how you came to relinquish, all that. Perhaps it’s somewhere on your blog, an early post.
    Finally, I want to say: don’t give up. Your daughter is so young. Do any of us have a clue before 30? I was more like 50.

  2. I think there are some things in life that can never be “fixed” and this is one of them. I believe when it comes to adoption we learn to live with it, use it as a catalyst for positive growth. I think maybe I should try to use the negative to create a pretty picture. I don’t know. It’s hard because my mother continues to treat me like dog shit on the bottom of her shoe and I keep allowing it, hoping one day she will stop. I have plenty of friends who are moms that feel just like you do but it’s hard to relate this to my own mother. Her actions say “the only regret I have is that you found me” but I suppose she might feel this way. Selfishly it would be sort of comforting to think she did. Is that terrible?

  3. You are right that it NEVER ends – when will people get that?
    I am one of the lucky ones – my son and I have a great reunion – but the pain from missing his childhood is ALWAYS there.
    People seem to think that adoption and even reunion can fix these things.
    When will people get that they don’t – some things are forever broken, no matter what we do.

  4. I just sat here, nodding, singing Journey songs in my head and quoting a line from The Family Guy. (“Is that Journey? I LOVE JOURNEY!” Strangely, the only episode I’ve seen that my husband hasn’t instead of the usual vice versa. So I quote it a lot.) ANYWAY:
    There was no normal to go back to for me. I had a baby. And she was gone. But that didn’t erase this innate feeling with my soul. Something was missing from my being. And something still is, even though she’s “there,” which I’m sure you understand. It’s just always not-quite-complete.
    In short: this post is amazing.

  5. This is really interesting. I love your description about how we lost ourselves- that who we were supposed to be- too. Yes, it’s so true. We took a wrong turn somewhere. Got off course. Interesting.

  6. poor_statue – technically I am on my third life now…I lost the first I was leading when I got pregnant..then I became a mother…and lost that…and now I am life three…trying to still live the previous two as well!

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